Slow Money

Every day over 3 trillion dollars of money flows through the global stock exchange. That’s more that 200 times the amount exchanged in the 1970s. In comparison, during the same period the world population has only seen a 2.5 fold increase. Unfortunately, as the circulation of money around the globe speeds up, many of the indicators for improved quality of life, such as poverty, stress and illness are showing no signs of decreasing. Maybe it’s time our economy slowed down a little.

We are all immersed in a get rich quick society, which leaves no stone un-monetised — but there are ways to wean ourselves of rat race bait whilst reducing ecological and social injustice at the same time.

So, for this Slow Sunday we are asking you to take a more deliberate look at how money affects your life and how your money affects the world around you. Here are a few points to ponder this Sunday.

Ethical investment — what’s your money doing behind your back? Instead of just seeking the largest, quickest return on your investment — spend some time looking at how can be used to change the world for the better. Online resources that can help you make informed decisions include the FTSE4Good index of ethical stock and www.eiris.org.

Help communities keep cash in. Your neighbourhood will be more resilient if money is kept circulating locally rather than allowing it to be siphoned off by national and international firms. For more information about the benefits of local economics and ideas on how to take action see this page.

Get Creative — money has become more than just a means of fair exchange. However there are many tried and tested alternatives to exchanging goods and services, which do not use money at all. For example Timebanks measure the value of services being exchanged in hours. Everyone’s time is equal: one hour of your time earns you one time credit to spend when you need. Local Exchange Trading Systems (LETS) allow the exchange of goods as well as services. There may even be a LETS group near you.

A whole new system — learn about The Venus Project. Could a global resource-based economy free humankind from the limitations and shortcomings of the monetary-based economy? Find out more about a radical proposal for social and economic change here.

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