Posted: April 12, 2011
Understanding social responsibility
Three events in CarbondaleMartha Young
Social unrest is taking place all over the globe. We see the images of what is occurring in the Middle East on a nightly basis. We read about the oppression of people congregating across the Asian continent, especially in China.
The United States is not immune from social unrest. It can be argued that the highly contentious dissention we are witnessing at the Federal, State, and local levels of government is a manifestation of social unrest and dissatisfaction with the status quo by citizens across the land. Concentrated power has ebbed and flowed since mankind started organizing itself into societies. The cycle of power has once again started to flow back to the people.
To facilitate the re-distribution of power numerous movements are afoot around key areas of society including energy, transportation and food. Woody Tasch, founder and chairman of Slow Money will be holding three events in Carbondale. The first event, a teleconference, is scheduled for May 27 from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm MDT. To register to participate in the call, click here.
Who is Woody Tasch and What is Slow Money
Woody Tasch is a venture capitalist and entrepreneur who emphasizes social responsibility. His philosophy is rooted in the idea that when investors participate in the community in which they invest, a deeper relationship is built for all parties involved that benefits the entire community.
Slow Money supports food security efforts by promoting localized investments in family owned farms. Its founding principles emphasize the need to think globally but act locally. By keeping a substantial amount of investments within the community, society as a whole becomes more sustainable. To read the short list of the Slow Money principles, click here.
Others Behind the Slow Money Concept
The idea that traditional capitalism is broken has been getting legs from numerous sources. Hollywood films such as Cleveland Vs WallStreet, WallStreet: Money Never Sleeps and Limitless portray the corruption of 20th century investment banking practices.
Books from Wall Street insiders including Liars Poker, The End of Wall Street, and Den of Thieves cover specific companies and their broken financial practices.
Even Michael Porter has penned a piece in the Jan/Feb 2011 issue of Harvard Business Review eschewing the virtues of rethinking money flow by stating, "Profits involving a social purpose represent a higher form of capitalism - one that will enable society to advance more rapidly while allowing companies to grow even more. The result is a positive cycle of company and community prosperity, which leads to profits that endure."
The Food Industry
Food and food security has come to the forefront as a major global issue. Food shortages and rising prices are two of the core impetuses behind the uprisings in the Middle East. Genetically modified seeds have become a political issue. WikiLeaks released documents illustrating the insidious business objectives of Monsanto and its desire to control the world's food supply.
The food industry has been in the process of consolidation, but especially so in the organic industry. The organic industry is becoming increasingly more controlled by non-organic enterprises. Dr. Phil Howard, an Assistant Professor at Michigan State, has created and maintained a graphic of the organic food business chart. To see how the market is changing, click here.
The increasing demand for cheap food has amplified underlying issues including nonperforming political systems, abhorrent business practices by industry giants, and a systemic destruction of agricultural lands, water and air.
An Offered Solution
Things have to change. And change has to come at a grassroots level. "The human race is very clever." According to Mr. Tasch, "We can take that wisdom to perform life enhancing activities." By focusing on non-violent solutions to our food, energy and transportation problems, which will require a shift in entitlement attitudes and actions, we can reverse the social fabric destruction we have initiated. Non-violence is the connecting fiber of the planet.
Slow money is one non-violent solution.
For information on participating in the teleseminar, to participate in the screening of The Economics of Happiness on May 12, and the Panel and Community discussion on May 26, click here.
Martha Young is principal at NovaAmber, LLC, a business strategy company based in Golden. Young has held positions as industry analyst, director of market research, competitive intelligence analyst, and sales associate. She has written books, articles, and papers regarding the intersection of technology and business for over 15 years. She has co-authored four books on the topics of virtual business processes, virtual business implementations, and project management for IT. Young can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @myoung_vbiz