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Fifth annual Central Coast Bioneers Conference coming Oct. 23



You are a middle-aged person with some savings who cares about society’s well-being and the environment. You put your investments in mutual funds, thinking that you’re helping businesses grow while earning some returns. What a perfect plan!

What your financial advisor didn’t tell you is that these mutual funds can be financing the very companies that destroy the rainforests you want to protect.

“If we want a better world, more secure, more diverse, more local, more interesting, more compassionate and so on, we have to recognize that our investments play a role,” said Marco Vangelisti, a speaker at Central Coast Bioneers. “And we have to figure out how our investments are helping to bring about the world we want to see.”

FOR A BETTER WORLD:   The Central Coast Bioneers Festival will feature more than a half-dozen events. - PHOTO COURTESY OF CENTRAL COAST BIONEERS
  • FOR A BETTER WORLD: The Central Coast Bioneers Festival will feature more than a half-dozen events.

Touching on the topic of Investing for the World We Want, Vangelisti will give a presentation at the SLO Grange Hall in San Luis Obispo on Oct. 25 at 1:30 p.m. With 20 years of experience in the finance industry, Vangelisti had experienced many such ethical dilemmas involving investments—such as working for a health clinic that invested in tobacco companies.

In fact, Vangelisti left the finance industry in 2009 and since then has contributed to the foundation and development of Slow Money, an alliance that encourages investments in local food and farming enterprises. There is also an active Slow Money group in San Luis Obispo.

Vangelisti is among many speakers who take part in the fifth annual Central Coast Bioneers Conference, Oct. 23 through 25. The event includes field trips, a concert, lunch, snacks, drumming lessons, presentations, and more. Proceeds from the concert go to the SLO Noor Foundation to pay for free cancer screening tests for SLO County residents.

Presentation topics range from climate change, water supply, and indigenous knowledge to youth leadership. One major workshop is about designing a watershed-wide management plan for the Salinas River as part of the Dreaming the Salinas Initiative.

Conference attendees can receive a discount when staying at Peach Tree Inn or camping at El Chorro Regional Park and Campground. Tickets range from $15 to $200. More information can be found at


Fast fact

The final stage of Cal Poly’s 2014 Elevator Pitch Competition will be held from 4:30 to 7 p.m. on Oct. 14 in the Performing Arts Center Pavilion on the Cal Poly campus. The competition is hosted by the Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) and is part of the center’s first forum of the academic year. Last year’s winner, Quincy Freeman, pitched her line of customized boots and won the grand prize at the national competition in Chicago—a first for Cal Poly. The event will also feature entrepreneurial experts discussing the process of launching a business. The event is free and open to the public. Advance registration is required. To register, visit


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