Friday, September 11, 2009

Slow Money Notes

Just attended some of the Slow Money conference here in town and heard some very inspiring entrepreneurs. The theme of the Slow Money movement (in my words) is that money is not the end-all measurement of value, and in fact using money as the only measurement of success for a business or an individual or a society destroys the planet, relationships, cultures, community, etc.

Here are some random notes from what folks said:

Our power comes from protecting what we love.

On "return on investments"--what about a "living return"? We measure this in the benefit of living in a better environment, the quality of our relationships, our connection with the community, the quality of our lives.

Running a business based on appropriate, human scale (as opposed to growing as big as possible as fast as possible), retaining a sense of ownership, and the identity of locality (where are you from?).

There is no such thing as one sustainable business--only sustainable systems.

Business is about relationships. Money is just a tool.

(Those quotes were from Judy Wicks of White Dog Cafe.)

Businesses operating for a "quadruple bottom line":
Social Justice
Human experience--employees, customers, when people encounter your business, do they feel that they are a part of something meaningful? Does it enhance their lives?

Are we practicing trust?

This is how we measure return:
We wake up every morning and say "this is my life!"

Those rough quotes were from Ari Derfel of Terrain ( who was especially cute and inspiring).