2012: Summit Schedule

For a handy printable version (18 pages) choose downloadable PDF.


Wednesday, May 30


2:00-5:30 p.m. 

  • NETWORKING: Opening gathering — registration, exhibits open, networking cafe – Latchis Lobby

5:00-6:30 p.m.

  • NETWORKING: Pre-plenary gathering – Latchis Main Theatre — Reception with hors d’oevres and cocktails provided by our sponsors Crop Organic Vodka and Farmer’s Organic Gin.

6:30-8:30 p.m. 

  • OPENING PLENARY: Setting an Agenda for Action and Change – Latchis Main Theatre — Charles Eistenstein, Woody Tasch and John Restakis lead us in setting the agenda for the next two days by starting the conversation about the three “tracks” of economics, communities and policies. Following their introductory remarks there will be a facilitated conversation among them and with the audience, during which we will begin to express how the other Summit themes  weave among them.

8:30 p.m. – ?

Thursday, May 31

7:45-8:15 a.m.

  • NETWORKING: Registration and continental breakfast – Latchis lobby

8:15-9:45 a.m.

  • PLENARY: Linking Wall Street and Main Street: Finding Common Language to Strengthen Professional Networks within Communities – Latchis Main Theatre — The Slow Living Summit is a coming together of diverse professionals motivated to creating strong, binding and generative local economies.  While individually we may play significant roles in our communities, we may not immediately recognize the true value of our inter-connectivity in ways that can be mutually reinforcing. How do people of varying professions and backgrounds define their core “assets”, identify their “market”, mitigate their “risks”, efficiently “leverage” resources for growth and sustainability and ultimately build “wealth?”   While economically-centric in modern parlance, these five words can mean different things to different people – but can also be an important way to understand our interpersonal (and inter-professional) intersections.  This discussion should help create a contextual framework – to deconstruct and interpret seemingly differing macro issues into common themes.  The goal: Seek a common language across professional circles – to link Wall Street and Main Street, develop and reinforce community enterprise, and perhaps re-establish our core priorities.

10:05 a.m.-11:45 a.m.

  • GROSS NATIONAL HAPPINESS: Can we have a happiness economy? Why does it matter? Marlboro Grad Center 2 East Nobel-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz is famously quoted: “What you measure is what you get.” In a fast-based primer we’ll explore efforts to supplement the Gross Domestic Product with quantitative and subjective measures of sustainable human well-being. We will look at Gross National Happiness as a new movement and how Happiness and Well-being research is now in used around the world. We’ll review Maryland’s state “genuine progress indicator” (GPI), and look at brand new Vermont legislation aimed at using the GPI to measure the state of Vermont’s economic, environmental, and societal well-being.
    • HOST — Tom Barefoot, co-coordinator, Gross National Happiness USA, Waitsfield VT
    • Jon Erickson, managing director, Gund Institute of Ecological Economics, University of Vermont, Burlington VT
    • Chelsea Ferrell, former program coordinator, Tibetan and Himalayan Studies program, School for International Training, Brattleboro VT (via Skype)
  • COMMUNITIES: Slow Livelihoods: Designing Resilient Work and Lifestyles – Marlboro Grad Center 2 West— What are the possibilities for living the “slow” life, increasing personal resilience, and earning a living at the same time? How are we bringing the values of Slow Living to our workplaces and community organizations? Panelists offer inspiring stories about their thoughtful choices to integrate life and livelihood in ways that align with their values about community, family, and quality of life. brand new Vermont legislation aimed at using the GPI to measure the state of Vermont’s economic, environmental, and societal well-being.
  • ARTS: Creative Placemaking : Art and Identifying the Common Good – Marlboro Grad Center 2 Chill Room — Creative expression is one of the higher order capabilities of homo sapiens.  The arts have the power to uplift, illuminate, and inspire change. For decades European Democracies have viewed the arts as essential components of community. In regions like the Berkshires of Massachusetts, a ‘creative economy’ is under construction (see www.berkshirecreative.org) What is the relationship between sustainable place and the arts? The arts, when perceived primarily as product, then need to be filtered throught the sieve of cost analysis. In this breakout, we’ll position the arts as a resource for community renewal and expression, a seed bed of innovation and inventiveness which uncovers solutions.  This is evident in the histories of our greatest scientists, of our greatest cities. How do we tap this the creative well for community benefit?
    • Christian McEwen, author, World Enough & Time: On Creativity and Slowing Down
    • Dee Boyle-Clapp, director, Arts Extension Service, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst MA
    • HOST — Kate Anderson, chair, Brattleboro Town Arts Committee, Brattleboro VT
    • Fidel Moreno, co-director of Healing Winds and The White Eagle Sanctuary; documentary filmmaker, digital media artist, activist for social & environmental justice,  Lanesborough MA
    • Meg Whilden, director of cultural development, Pittsfield MA
  • FOOD/AG: Behind the Plastic:  Relearning the science and culture of real food  (Food Literacy) – Latchis 2 — Industrial food comes wrapped and packaged, and if you lived your life in a city you might not know how or where it grows. This that makes it hard to make informed judgments about nutrition, safety and value. In this breakout, we’ll survey the best efforts to get behind the plastic to relearn the science and culture of real food. We will hear from individuals in the educational system about challenges and successes of altering our educational paradigm to include a more complete understanding of our food systems. Then we’ll talk with the audience about what’s needed next!
    • HOST  Roger Allbee, former Vermont secretary of agriculture, Townshend VT
    • Kelly Erwin, director, Massachusetts Farm to School, Amherst MA
    • Orly Munzing, executive director, Strolling of the Heifers and Slow Living Summit, Dummerston VT
    • Phil Conroy, president, Vermont Technical College, Randolph Center VT
    • Rob Macri, Farm for City Kids Foundation, Reading VT
    • Bob Rosane, superintendent, Franklin Central Supervisory Union, St. Albans VT
    • Will Wootton, president, Sterling College, Craftsbury Common VT
    • Edward Pirie, Central Vermont Adult Basic Education, Barre VT
  • INVESTING: Putting our money where our mouths are – Marlboro Grad Center 1 Conference— What options are there for those of us who would like to direct some or all of our savings towards supporting the local economy, helping build Slow Businesses, and transitioning our communities?  Are there opportunities to match our appetite for risk and return to the needs for capital in our communities?  Managers of a range of community oriented loan and investment vehicles will discuss the options, how to make them more accessible and better fit the requirements of savers and investors, and what is missing.
  • JUSTICE/WEALTH: Four Views: Is sustaining wealth possible? – Marlboro Grad Center 2 North— In  “The Reign of the One Percenters: How Income Inequality is Destroying our Culture,” (Orion Magazine, Oct.-Nov. 2011) Christopher Ketcham  argues inequality makes people more stressed and insecure, feeling inadequate, defective, incompetent, foolish. Can our system – our world – last in such a condition?  Four  nationally know experts on wealth consider the question.
  • MANAGEMENT:  Reinventing the MBA for Slow Leaders – Marlboro Grad Center 2 Northeast – The Master of Business Education is a standard part of the education of many managers and entrepreneurs.  Its content, process, and culture arose during the 20th Century — primarily to serve larger corporations – and many conventional MBA programs appear still stuck in that era.  Meanwhile, a small group of MBA programs offering a sustainability-based curriculum has emerged, and now most major business schools include a sustainability concentration.  Is this the same sustainability or resilience that the slow movement seeks?  What should “slow” business education involve?  What, seen from the slow perspective, is the purpose of management education in an age of corporate power, concentrated wealth, challenged corporate personhood, and social and ecological disruption?  Find out in this session how pioneering business educators are transforming the MBA for relevance in this century, not the last one.
  • SPIRIT: Validating our 6th Sense:  Creating Wholeness in our lives and transactions through the awareness of the Sacred – Latchis 4  How do we fully experience, honor, and share the Spirit and Sacredness we all possess with each other and bring it into all our transactions?  How do we recognize it?  How does focusing on what we have to offer and give allow us to receive more fully?   Sacredness involves learning to give and receive for the benefit of all, a sense of oneness.  Panelists talk about how listening to Spirit has changed their lives and how bringing Sacredness to the forefront can change our lives, relationships, transactions, and communities.
  • CO-OPS: Humanizing the Economy – Latchis Main Theatre — John Restakis is author of “Humanizing the Economy: Co-operatives in the Age of Capital,” a book that asserts that it is the disconnection between conventional economics and social ends that lies at the heart of our economic crisis.  2012, the International Year of Co-ops, offers a unique opportunity to consider the commonalities between co-operative enterprise and Slow values.  Built on democracy, participation and meeting social goals and aspirations, co-ops can be a key to our efforts to slow down! John Restakis has been active in the co-op movement for 15 years. He is the Executive Director of the BC Co-operative Association and has been a consultant for co-op development projects in Africa and Asia. A pioneering researcher into international co-operative economies, he writes and lectures on economic democracy and the role of co-operatives in humanizing economies.  John is executive director British Columbia Co-op Association.
    •  John Restakis, author of “Humanizing the Economy” and executive director British Columbia Co-op Association, Vancouver BC

11:45 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

  • NETWORKING: Farm-fresh lunch – Robert H. Gibson River Garden

1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m.

  • INVESTING PLENARY:  “Slow Money: Investing as if Food, Farms, and Fertility Matter” – Latchis Main Theatre — Slow Money. ACRES USA calls it a “movement.” NPR calls it a “revolution.” One thing is for sure: what began with a book and a set of ideas three years ago has blossomed into a network of investors, philanthropists, farmers, entrepreneurs, and everyday folks who are concerned about where their food comes from and where their money goes. Today, over $15 million has been invested directly in more than 90 small food enterprises through the Slow Money network, both nationally and through over a dozen local chapters, with more in formation.  We are still at the beginning of a process that has enormous potential.  Our goal: one million people investing 1% of their money in local food systems, within the decade.  Come learn how, in Wendell Berry’s words, these “millions of small acts” can begin to rebuild our economy… from the ground up. – Latchis Main Theatre
    • Tone-setting moment: Lori Hanau, Summit Steward, Global Round Table Leadership; Marlboro College Graduate School faculty, Keene NH

2:50 p.m.-4:05 p.m.

  • GROSS NATIONAL HAPPINESS: Toolbox: Changing the world by changing what counts as progress – Marlboro Grad Center 2 North — In April, the United Nations convened a High Level meeting on “Happiness and Well-being: A New Economic Paradigm,” the start of a two-year effort to encourage nations to make policy based on well-being and happiness indicators. Hear the latest news on this effort, including strategies for adoption of well-being indicators at local and state levels. Discussants will offer examples of how such indicators are already being used, including the GPI Plus Project at the Gund Institute, Benchmarks for a Better Vermont, and the Happiness Initiative in Seattle.
  • ECONOMICS:  Regional Renaissance: Getting the best from business, non-profit and government – Latchis 2 — Under the pressure of relentless change – technological, economic, social, political, and ecological – how can regions such as counties and states achieve their visions of the good society?  Given the momentous thresholds on which global society stands, which regions show promise in their capacity for adaptation?  This session looks at how more economically and culturally vital regions can emerge from the close collaboration of business, non-profits, and state and local governments.  Under the current circumstances, working alone is proving to be ineffective for businesses, non-profit/civil society organizations, and the public sector.  A more holistic, “shared value” approach is needed, along with an adequate sense of both responsibility and urgency.
  • FOOD/AG: Sovereign food, indigenous culture — from Africa to America – Marlboro Grad Center 2 Northeast Every culture has their own practices, beliefs, tools, and systems that have evolved for thousands of years around food production and consumption. Preservation of these systems is a crucial component in preserving the integrity of different cultures and the diversity in our food supply. In this session we will hear from individuals around the world about unique approaches to support food sovereignty among indigenous cultures, as well as current initiatives which serve to protect individuals’ abilities to continue producing and preparing local foods.
  • INVESTING: Slow Money – Latchis Main Theatre — Learn more in depth about the kinds of investing happening through the Slow Money network. A panel of seasoned investors will share their excitement and engagement in this new field of “investing as if food, farms, and fertility mattered.” So far, $16.5 million dollars has been invested in 102 small food enterprises through members of the Slow Money network. Hear from socially responsible investment firm Trillium, the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund, and two foundation leaders about their work and the prospects for connecting sense of place and care of the commons to our investment choices.
  • HABITAT: Resilience: A new design paradigm for buildings and communities – Marlboro Grad Center 1 Conference — The world is changing. We need to create buildings and communities that will function well and keep us safe in an age of more intense storms, extended power outages, and other problems caused by a changing climate. This session will provide an overview of resilient design and address how this can integrated into our homes, public buildings such as schools, and communities. Resilience may provide the motivation needed to achieve the dramatic changes required to mitigate climate change — while keeping us safer.
  • EDUCATION:  Learning from Nature: From Indigenous to Urbanized to Indigenous 2.0 – Latchis 4 —  We long have known that “Nature is our first and greatest teacher”.  But are we as confident in knowing how we humans actually learn from Nature, and the benefits of such learning?  Come to this session to explore how groups are putting that phrase into action, for the benefit of self, (whether you are young or an adult), schools, communities and organizations.  We’ll also explore how schools and organizations get committed to sustainability values and practices.
  • MANAGEMENT: Terry Mollner: Love and Managing the Mature Corporation – Latchis 3 — Join veteran social investor and corporate-change guru Terry Mollner in a fast-paced exploration — and arguments — about the premises of his just-published book,  “The Love Skill: We Are Mastering the 7 Layers of Human Maturity. ”  Mollner argues that when we think of  “layers of maturity” we can manage people and organizations better — and move beyond both parternalistic (communism) or freedom-based (capitalism) political systems to one that emphasizes “common good.”  The result can be the emergence of common good capitalism and common good investing.
  • CO-OPS: Building a Better World – Marlboro Grad Center 2 East— The United Nations has declared 2012 the International Year of Co-operatives, highlighting the contribution of co-ops to economic resilience, employment and food security at home and around the world.  Around the world, about 1 billion people are members of co-ops, more than people who are direct owners of shares in multinational corporations.  Here in our own country, co-ops operate across industries, including producer co-ops, food co-ops, credit unions, worker co-ops, energy co-ops, and artisan co-ops.  Join us as we explore the impact and potential of the co-operative movement, and its connection to Slow Values.

4:25 p.m.-5:40 p.m.

  • ECONOMICS: Steady-state Economics: Possibility or Pipe Dream? Rethinking Scarcity and Growth, Redefining economic success in terms of sustainability and resilience – Latchis 2 Conventional economic wisdom teaches that natural resources created over millions of years and depleted over a few generations are scarce and this affects their value and use with consequences for future generations. Using real-world examples, we examine this theory of scarcity, and consider the consequences — as well as the possibility of other theories.  Can we possibly develop a “steady-state” economy where depletable resources are recycled or barely used and industrial outputs are no longer standard measurement of growth?
  • FOOD/AG: The Business of Food: Foundation and government support: The Vermont case  – Marlboro Grad Center 1 Conference It takes a great deal of collaboration between the public, private and quasi public/private entities around vision, planning, programs and activities to help develop and sustain an agriculturally based local food system. The panel participants have many years of experience in addressing these issues in Vermont, a state leading in the local foods movement. We will hear how they make strategic decisions of what programs to support and how they measure success, and where they see the future of Vermont’s food system heading.
    • HOST — Chuck Ross, Vermont Secretary of Agriculture, Montpelier VT
    • Ela Chapin, Farm Viability Program director, Vermont Housing & Conservation Board, Montpelier VT
    • Ryan Torres, advisor, Vermont Community Fund, Middlebury VT
    • Paul Costello, executive director, Vermont Council on Rural Development, Montpelier VT
    • George Putnam, president and CEO, Yankee Farm Credit, Williston VT
  • OWNERSHIP: Why Slow Living is Not Only Individual, But Collective – Latchis 3 — Marjorie Kelly, author of the just-released “Owning Our Future: The Emerging Ownership Revolution,” explains why the social institutions in which we live often work against us living slower, more fulfilling lives, with more time for family and community. This session will be a combination of discussion and brief presentation, focused on envisioning alternative social architectures that support slow living — in the way we live, the way we work, the way we generate power. We’ll talk about options like co-housing, community land trusts, cooperatives, employee  ownership, community banks, municipal power, distributed solar, and other ownership designs that invisibly embody and support the emerging social paradigm of slow living, well-being, and sustainability. Kelly will draw on examples from her  book.
  • HABITAT: Intentional Communities: Co-Housing — A How To Guide – Latchis 4 — Creating a community is a priority in the Slow Living world, and co-housing communities provide one of the most exciting models for achieving community. Some communities include a significant agricultural component, with the residences clustered on a small portion of the land while most of the land remains productive, and the community itself providing a significant, built-in market for produce. In this break out session, representatives of co-housing projects in New York, Massachusetts and Vermont share their structures, successes, and challenges.
  • INVESTING: Alternate Investing: Financing the socially-responsible enterprise – Latchis Main Theatre — Communities and investors in New England want to encourage sustainable companies, locally owned and benefitting our communities, to grow and prosper. Picking up from the morning session, “Putting Our Money . . . ,” learn how three different investment firms are thinking about, and practically making, investments in local economic sustainability.  We will look at the kind of companies being financed, financial structures used, challenges and opportunities, options to keep companies local, and the kinds of community impacts possible.  We will also explore opportunities for investors to participate in these investments. Examples include impact venture capital, cooperative finance, and project finance of sustainable energy.
  • JUSTICE/WEALTH: Building a Multiclass, Multiracial Movement for Justice and Sustainability – Marlboro Grad Center 2 Chill — Co-op Power is working to build strong, inclusive, binding, just, restorative and generative local-energy economies across New England and New York. The fossil fuel industry has a lock on how we think and  how we live. The members of Co-op Power are taking on the largest  industry in the US and picking the locks one product, one community at a time and sharing all we’ve learned across the region so that we get  more efficient and more effective each year at freeing us from our dependence on oil. Co-op Power is a consumer-owned cooperative  organized as a decentralized network of self-organizing communities.  It’s a multi-racial, multi-class movement committed to restorative  justice.  Learn how Co-op Power members linked their power as consumers, workers, investors, and citizens to raise “slow money” capital, build nine community businesses, create more than 100 jobs, provide sustainable energy products and services, and influence public policy. Discuss how you can join Co-op Power, start a Co-op Power Council in your community, or start your own energy cooperative.
  • MANAGEMENT: The Green Entrepreneurs Toolbox: Success stories across energy and food – Marlboro Grad Center  2 East In the face of the current, interrelated economic and environmental threats, business leaders are “greening” supply chains and jumping on the sustainability-marketing wagon.  But what about those businesses who have been green from the get go? We hear from panelists who have designed their business with a triple bottom line perspective from day one  – and hear their lessons, challenges and thoughts on now being considered visionary.
  • SPIRIT: Slow Relationships: Changing How We Perceive and Treat Each Other – Marlboro Grad Center 2 NorthConventional wisdom says that we need to reform Wall Street, corporations and government policies to achieve more sustainable communities and adjust to the imperatives of climate change. But is changing rules and policies enough? If the core values and goals of people don’t change, they will find ways around new rules. Can we have slow living, without a commitment to slow relationships, too?  This panel will consider how to form relationships that foster common good equally with private gain.
  • CO-OPS: Co-ops and Business Succession: Converting to Co-op and Why –  Marlboro Grad Center 2 WestCo-ops are a great model for enterprise succession, retaining jobs and infrastructure, and rooting businesses in local communities. Why choose to go co-op? What are some of the challenges and opportunities involved? How can the co-op model sustain local business and strengthen our communities? Come hear from business leaders in a variety of industries who have converted their business to a co-operative (or are considering doing so), and learn how slow entrepreneurs can incorporate co-operative values into their work.

5:40-6:10 p.m.

  • Spiritual Practice for Slow Living – Marlboro Graduate Center 2 Chill Room— led by Helen Daly. Sacred chant from the world’s traditions, sacred words from farmer poet Wendell Berry, and spacious silence. Walk the talk — slow down and sink deeply into the wisdom of ancient/new spiritual practices. People of all faiths and no faith welcome.
  • Sans Stuff: Good Living With Fewer Goods — A Virtual Discussion—  Marlboro Graduate Center Room 2-N —  Sherry Ackerman, speaking remotely from California via a “Skype” session, facilitates an interactive session and Q&A on what it really means to live a “Good Life.”  She will look at contemporary American values and explore the root of the societal confusion that currently exists between The Good and ‘goods’ (stuff). Asking “how and why it got this way”,  Ackerman takes us back into psycho-history and traces our social progression into Flatland. Then, she offers a blueprint for the way out! Ackerman is author of the 2010 book The Good Life: How to Create a Sustainable and Fulfilling Lifestyle and a former two-decades central Vermont resident and farmer.

5:40-7:00 p.m.

  • NETWORKING: Light hors-d’oeuvres – Robert H. Gibson River Garden

7:00-8:30 p.m.

  • GALLERY OPENING: Farm Art – The Works Bakery Cafe

7:00 p.m.-8:30 p.m.

  • MEDIA: How can media sustain community? How can community sustain media? The role of journalism in Slow Living – Latchis Main Theatre — If a tree falls in in a distant wilderness, is there any sound?  New ideas always take time to propagate and the “slow movement” is in danger of preaching to choir.  The Internet has brought profound changes to journalism and media, diminishing some traditional voices, and magnifying many new ones through social networks and technology.  How can we help journalists to tell stories of sustainable transformation — at the same time we help sustain journalism as a foundation for participatory democacy? Can — should — journalists be engaged with change? How can — or should — the public engage with the news and journalists in a participatory culture?

7:00 p.m.-8:30 p.m.

  • NETWORKING:  Transition Town MovementMarlboro  GC Room 2E — Join representatives from Transition Town movements in New Hampshire, Massachustts and Vermont for an information circle-round discussion of projects, news and possibilities.

8:45 p.m.-9:45 p.m. (second show)

  • ARTS: “Invasive Species,” premier of a one-act play – New England Youth Theatre, Flat Street —  New species invade a pristine lake in rural New England and create havoc. But who are the real invaders?  Blending humor and political satire, this five-actor, one-hour staged reading-in-costume by Berkshire County playwright and former daily newspaper editor David Scribner raises deep questions about climate change.  Staged at 7 p.m. and 8:45 p.m. as a benefit for the New England Youth Theater of  Brattleboro, “Invasive Species” is a work-in-process. Meet the playwright after the late show.  Late details at: https://www.slowlivingsummit.org/theater

8:30 p.m. – ?

Friday, June 1

7:45-8:15 a.m.

  • NETWORKING: Registration & continental breakfast – Latchis Lobby

8:15-9:30 a.m.

  • FOOD/AG PLENARY: Farm to Table: Why does it matter? Who will sustain it? How’s it working? – Latchis Main Theatre — In the Hudson Valley, the Berkshires, the Champlain Valley and elsewhere, new entrepreneurs are slowly stitching a network of farms, growers, distributors, institutions, and markets for local food. They are reinventing the business – and culture – of what has come to be called “Farm to Table” – food that comes from closer places and people you know, not from a transcontinental truck or aircraft. In this plenary we will explore the question: why does Farm to Table matter? How does it fit into the bigger picture of sustainable communities and economies.

9:50 a.m.-11:05 a.m.

  • COMMUNITY: Slow Communities: Overview of the Transition Movement to Create Resilient Communities – Latchis 3 — How do we increase our own resilience and strengthen our communities as energy costs rise, and economic and environmental problems deepen?  Transition is a global movement in 34 countries, inspiring community projects on local food, buildings, energy, economy and culture that bring people together for positive, creative action and fun.  How does the process work?  How does it support existing local groups and leaders and help everyone collaborate?  We’ll share experiences and successful models, and explore how communities can come together to thrive in changing times. Learn about the origins and key principles of this model for cultivating resilient communities through grass-roots, neighbor-to-neighbor initiatives.  Information will be offered on regional and national resources to  support starting up a new Transition Town.
  • ECONOMICS: Slow Corporate Soul:  If a corporation is not a person, can it have a soul? – Latchis 4What are the aims, values and beliefs of the 21st-century corporation? What role should they play in a sustainable world economy? This session will focus on how it is possible to harmonize the soul of a new corporation with the interests of investors, employees, customers, the public — and the earth.  (This session will NOT focus on the mechanics of governance and corporate form.) We’ll hear from CR pioneers  and discuss how to tackle this paradox.  Participants will go away from this session with a better understanding of what the soul of a corporation might be in a time when corporate person-hood is being quehttps://www.slowlivingsummit.org/wp-admin/post.php?post=489&action=editstioned.
  • EDUCATION: Farm to Schools:  Toward a commitment to sustainability education – Marlboro Grad Center 2 NortheastIn post-World War II America, many public secondary schools included “civics” classes in their curriculum. Few now do. As we realize that Americans are increasingly deficient at understanding how communities and their food systems work, is there an opportunity to include farm-to-school experiences and lessons into students’ lives? In this session we’ll explore various ways to bridge the gap between farms and schools, whether in the classroom or out in the community, as students learn the ultra-important lesson of where their food comes from and get hands-on agriculture experience in the process.
  • HOST — Caryn Shield, educator and sustainability curriculum specialist, Burlington VT
  • Liz Kenton, youth agriculture project coordinator, University of Vermont Extension 4-H, Brattleboro VT
  • Katherine Gillespie, Program Manager, Windham County Farm to School, a Program of Post Oil Solutions, Brattleboro VT
  • Deborah Habib, co-founder, Seeds of Solidarity, Orange MA
  • FOOD/AG: Farm To Plate: What policies are needed to grow it? – Marlboro Grad Center 1 Conference Room  The public’s interest in knowing where their food comes from is creating what some have called a “renaissance” of the past. Due to this growing interest there is a challenge in determining how consumer needs for local and regional foods can best be met. This panel will discuss how these needs are being addressed from a policy level. What policies are needed to make it more competitive and scalable? What are the challenges of both creating and implementing such policies?
    • HOST — Len Bull, Chair, Vermont Agriculture Development Board, emeritus professor, NC State University, New Haven VT
    • Carolyn Partridge, chair, Vermont House Agriculture Committee, Montpelier VT
    • Jessica Hyman, executive director, Friends of Burlington Gardens / Vermont Community Garden Network, Burlington VT
    • Julia Freedgood, managing director, farmland and community initiatives, American Farmland Trust, Northampton MA
  • INVESTING: Slow Investing Locally & Regionally: Lessons Learned in Community-Scale Investing, Part 1 – Latchis Main Theatre —  This session will continue until 12:30 p.m., through the next breakout period, with a break at 11:00 a.m. Participation in only the latter half is not recommended.  This session with use a modified Case-Study approach to learn from community investors in New England’s sustainable food, agriculture and local businesses.  In this session we will survey the variety of approaches to making good investments in private companies including 1) how investors make returns (both financial and impact) and 2) innovative structures for exit strategies to help assure continued local ownership. We will also examine opportunities for increasing the scale of funds managed, businesses financed, and attracting more impact investors to these approaches.  Finally we will learn about the sustainable management styles of the funds presenting.  How do they manage and operate to make a difference?
  • HABITAT: Gimme Shelter (and Food):  Lessons from the Brattleboro Coop Building (includes tour) – Location to be arranged— In the early 2000s, struggling to keep up with growing sales in a limited space, the Brattleboro Food Coop was faced with a momentous decision: to move our Putney Road into a vacated Grand Union building, or rebuild in its current location. Retaining a strong downtown, community presence was the priority that emerged, even if the resulting store would not be that much larger. The board of directors went further by working with the Windham and Windsor Housing Trust to create affordable housing — a desperately needed commodity in Brattleboro. The commitment to creating a state-of-the-art, low-energy building that would satisfy the intent of the Co-op’s 100-year plan was also a top priority. The building, scheduled to open in April, 2012, is a model for other food coops looking to put shared ownership to work nourishing the community in new ways. Our panel will discuss key aspects of the project, and we’ll follow with a tour.
  • MANAGEMENT: Good or Just Less Bad? Corporate commitments to sustainability – Marlboro Grad Center 2 WestAlthough not a panacea, consciously re-directing purchasing power is a powerful tool that businesses can employ to shift patterns of production and consumption in a more sustainable direction. In order to stay current, respond to growing consumer demand and satisfy international stakeholders, corporations are now setting sustainability goals and hiring sustainability managers to achieve them. This panel outlines supply chain reform, packaging reduction, and other  green  measures businesses can take, thereby  exploring the idea of ‘greenwashing’ and just how big business shapes and impacts the playing field of green standards and measurement at large.

    MEDIA: — Slow news? Experiments in sustaining media and community: A Brattleboro case study – Marlboro Grad Center 2 North Journalism and media have moved beyond the mass market to an era of one-to-one social media.  This creates opportunities for a more diverse local media culture media culture.  Brattleboro is home to one of the first local online news communities in the nation, a pioneering experiment in non-profit news publishing, and a legacy daily newspaper now managed by dynamic and controversial leadership.  Not to mention local commercial and non-profit low-power radio and public-access TV.  How can these all coexist and how are they changing the “news ecology” and community of southeastern Vermont?  And what do we mean by “slow media” or “slow news”?   A roundtable discussion will all community-serving  media invited to participate.  Confirmed so far:

    • HOST — Fred Daly, editor/co-publisher, the Hill Country Observer, Cambridge NY
    • Jeff Potter, editor, the Brattleboro Commons, Brattleboro VT
    • Matt DeRienzo, regional editor, DigitalFirst Media, New Haven CT
    • Kevin O’Connor, Brattleboro reporter, The Rutland Herald
    • Tim  Johnson, news director, WTSA Radio, Brattleboro VT
    • Steve West, Live and Local, WKVT 1490, Brattleboro VT
    • Frederic Noyes, access coordinator, Brattleboro  Community TV, Brattleboro VT
  • OWNERSHIP: Community as Commons – Marlboro Grad Center 2 East — When we talk about the “common good” it’s becomes easy to assume that we have a common understanding of what’s good. But how do real systems assess, and play out the common good?  This session is about the community “common good” and how to achieve it — in theory and in practice.
  • HEALTH: Well Communities: The science, policies and politics of health – Latchis 2  A crucial component of a sustainable community is the ability to pursue a healthy life. We will consider the health essentials — diet, exercise, emotional well being, an environment free from toxins and violence. We will discuss the present barriers we face to these essentials.  Is it  time to develop a public transportation system around walking and biking and subsidize healthy food?  This session includes an expert on the Vermont Blueprint for health-care reform, and a New Hampshire physician who is distributing healthy food to the needy.  What is the connection between a local-based food system, nutrition, mortality and sickness? And what about transportation systems and community design that promote walking and interaction?
  • SPIRIT: Visioning and Birthing a New Humanity – Marlboro Grad Center 2 Chill Room — In theater, there are no small parts and Shakespeare tells us that “all the world is a stage.” Who are the emerging visionary authors? What might this dramitic and transformational script include?  What tasks/roles might activist actors perform to design a more conscious humanity? As John Lennon believed, if we can imagine peace and harmony and live a more eco-conscious manner, we will manifest a planet of co-existence and abundance. What will it take to vision or “birth” such a much needed reality. The Hopi elders from one of the oldest aboriginal communities in North America believe that “We are the Ones we have been waiting for.” Calling on all visionaries, teachers, healers and social justice warriors to unite. Come share your ideas, visions, strategies and action plans for designing and building a peaceful and sustainable planet.

11:25 a.m.-12:40 p.m.

  • COMMUNITIES: Transition in Action – Marlboro Grad Center 1 Conference Room —  For both newcomers to Transition and those already involved, this will be a chance to hear stories from a range of communities.
  • ECONOMICS: Slow-cal Economics: Are National and Global ever as good as Local Ownership? – Latchis 2 — The idea that businesses do better for their employees, owners and customers when they are locally owned is the current thought. Is it ever good for companies to go National or Global?
  • FOOD/AG: Farm to Table: From Maine and the Hudson to the Berkshires and Champlain Valley: Three (or four) case studies – Marlboro Grad Center 2 Chill Room With the many challenges related to increasing the production and consumption of local foods, it is inspiring to hear tales of creative successes where individuals thought outside the box to find ways to get more local foods onto local tables. In this session we will hear three unique case studies from around New England. What are the ties that bind these approaches? How can we inspire more of such programs? What were the challenges along the way and where did these individuals go for support?
  • HABITAT: Protecting Land — A comprehensive approach to protecting farm land for the future  – Latchis 3 — Producing good food requires good land, despite what Disney World and other technophiles suggest. In fact, a sustainable system of food production depends not just on the land itself but also the natural resources associated with productive farmland, such as clean water, healthy soil, and biodiversity. Alas, we are losing farmland and its resources at an alarming rate around the globe, across the nation and even in Vermont where land preservation programs have thrived. Join this conversation about strategies that could be combined into a comprehensive approach to protect agricultural land, including perpetual and term easements, progressive zoning bylaws, use value taxation, new farmer programs, incentives for non-farming landowners to lease their land, and a rearticulation of highest and best use of land in public doctrine.
  • EDUCATION: Sustainability in Higher Education: Leadership by Example? – Marlboro Grad Center 2 East — As both large-scale consumers and educators of the future’s leaders, academic institutions face many choices. A growing number of schools are re-assessing their ‘power of purchase’, creating sustainability departments, and making steps towards incorporating environmental concerns into operational decisions. The challenge at hand is how these forward thinking schools can minimize their planetary environmental footprints, improve bottom lines, while equipping their students with ecologically savvy intellectual capital. Panelists will present definitions and models of what sustainability means within different institutions, and examine the critical role that schools play in connecting our economic, ecological and social futures.
  • MEDIA: Media with message: Theory and practice – Marlboro Grad Center 2 West —  It’s a constant debate among journalists: Should the reporter stand apart from the community, or engage with it? And what does engagement mean?  In this session, we meet several people grappling with this question — from the nation’s first experiment a  in co-operatively owned  community news website, to a Citizen Engagement Corp., to a BALLE activist running a non-profit news blog for coastal New Hampshire,  and the nationally known leader of a cable public-access service that is broadening its missiont to the web (and journalism?)  Each is on a mission to  sustain communities — local or niche  — and each has taking a different media approach to do so.
  • OWNERSHIP: Building to Last: Ownership and governance for sustainability: L3Cs, B-Corps, Co-ops, ESOPs and all  – Marlboro Grad Center 2 North Realigning enterprises toward long-term, earth-centered approaches that sustain profit is partly a matter of personal values. But form matters, too. A variety of structures for business association are emerging with features markedly different from the traditional “C-corp.” In this session, we hear from the people who study, create, fund and run some of them, comparing and contrasting their benefits.  We’re guided by the author of the new book, “Owning Our Future: The Emerging Ownership Revolution.”
  • SPIRIT: Re-imagining Earth – Latchis 4 — This session offers the wisdom of the earth, as translated through representatives from indigenous and esoteric systems of understanding. We explore the appropriate human place in natural ecosystems –  as part of, and not separate from, the cosmic ecosystem we live in. What do we owe the earth? What is the contract for our survival?

12:40-1:50 p.m.

  • NETWORKING: Farm-fresh lunch – Robert H. Gibson River Garden
  • (meeting of Vermont Higher Education Collaborative) 

2:10 p.m.-3:25 p.m.

  • Futures Conditional: Wishful Thinking, Technology and the World’s Fate – Latchis 3 The fate of our nation, and the world, lies somewhere between technology, wishful thinking and a call to individual, community and institutional action. Provocative (and prolific) author James Howard Kunstler crosses the chasms among all three. You will be left challenged and uncomfortable by this one-man-show — but your creative juices and more critical neurons will be stimulated. Author of best-seller The Long Emergency and the just-released Too Much Magic, which examine and debunk conventional nonsense about energy and our suburban “Happy Motoring” society, Kunstler predicts skyscrapers will become obsolete liabilities and big cities will contract substantially. He says smaller cities with navigable and clean water will be revitalized, and urges the resuscitation of rail travel, but has grown resigned to the notion that our society will sacrifice many values and miss many rational opportunities as we cling to our most cherished indulgences and heavy energy consumption as long as we can.
  • FOOD/AG: The Big Table:  How to get local food into institutional kitchens – Marlboro Grad Center 2 East Bringing local foods into institutional kitchens is a complex issue. Due to scale and supply factors, many barriers exist for relationships to form between institutions and local farms. As more consumers demand locally sourced foods in their institutions, and schools and colleges require it as a component of their food sourcing — how do these two worlds meet? What products make the most sense to incorporate? What are the barriers on both sides of the relationship? What policies could support these burgeoning relationships?
  • MEDIA: Media for change – Latchis 2 — Social media turns all of us into creators as well as consumers of news and information. It also creates new outlets for journalistic form which includes passion and purpose. In this session, three trained journalists explain how they turned to authoring books about change in — at the table and in boardrooms — and consulting worldwide on health, food systems and communities.  In promoting change, are they still journalists, or advocates, or both? Does it matter?
  • ENTREPRENEURSHIP WORKSHOP: How to sustain a business: Six pros, six skills, exposed –  Marlbor0 Grad Center 2 North — Once you’ve identified a product or service idea and convinced yourself or funders that there’s a market, fear sets in. Can you actually start, run and grow a business? In this session for budding entrepreneurs, six members of the Organic Trade Association first offer fast-pace, bullet-point tips on how to make it to sustainability. Then, they’ll scatter to six parts of the break room so that you can focus in on the skill set you’re most worried about. Does it matter?
  • JUSTICE/WEALTH: Corporate Personhood: Corporate rules change, CitizensUnited and the drive for a constitutional amendment – Latchis Main Theatre — For almost two decades,  economists, Wall Street theorists and other policy experts have been arguing that the only way to change corporate behavior regarding the use of depleting resources is to change the rules by which corporate success is measured.  An element of this is the Gross National Happiness index movement to measure broad social goals. In this breakout, we’ll highlight 15 key corporate “rule changes” that  could drive greater boardroom focus on social responsibility, and focus on efforts to adopt a U.S. constitutional amendment affirming that free-speech rights belong only to natural people, not liveless entities such as a corporation.
  • SPIRIT: Slow Living, Mindfulness and Your Brain: A Psychologist explains the research – Latchis 4 People involved in helping people change behavior need to understand how the brain evolved, how to amplify brain functions that increase morality, relationship and, prosocial behavior and decrease brain functions that cause short term thinking, threat reactions and automatic unconscious responses. This session will explain basic brain functioning using the “hand model of the brain” and mindfulness techniques that increase higher brain functions.  Implications for promoting slow living and sustainable societal practices will be explored.
    • Helen Daly, clinical psychologist, Body Mind Spirit, Brattleboro VT
  • SPIRIT: Taking the Plunge – Marlboro Grad Center 2 West— So many people are now thinking about taking 90-degree career-path changesinto efforts that are more deliberative, sustainable and consistent with community values.  In this session, we hear from couples and indivudlas who took the risk of starting family farms, left Wall Street fiance, or are teaching principles of homesteading. Although the structures and businesses are radically different — dairy farming, food/energy production, homesteading, consulting and a community-supported agriculture, we focus on the personal aspects of starting up and summoning the courage to take a different path — what it takes, and how to mitigate the risks.
  • OPEN SPACE: What’s On Your Mind? – Holstein Room — An alternative format, this session will use  Open Space Technology  (LEARN MORE) to foster cross-fertilization and in-depth discussion of ideas that matter most to the participants. The program is “open” because the participants propose topics and choose the conversations to join. Facilitators will review a few basic guidelines and then the process will unfold according the inspiration of those in the room.    You can also propose an ad-hoc mini-breakout.

3:45 p.m.-6:30 p.m.

  • CLOSING PLENARY/NEXT STEPS:  The Summit concludes with a closing plenary session  featuring three speakers, and a next-steps facilitated wrapup – Latchis Main Theatre 
    • Tone-setting moment: Lori Hanau, Summit Steward, Global Round Table Leadership, Keene NH/Marlboro College Graduate School faculty.
    • Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin will discuss the Vermont initiatives that earned him the designation as the  2011 Greenest Governor at the Opportunity Green conference in Los Angeles.
    • David Orr, Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies at Oberlin College, Oberlin OH and author of the Obama administration’s 100-days climate-action plan.
    • Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders on Creating a Sustainable Economy — Our nation and world face two major and linked crises. First, if we don’t significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reverse global warming, our entire planet will face severe and irreversible damage. Second, the global economy is experiencing a massive increase in unemployment and a lowering in the standard of living of tens of millions of people.  Senator Sanders will discuss how we can address address both crises by developing economic models that emphasize local and sustainable production.
    • Closing remarks by Orly Munzing, founder and executive director, Strolling of the Heifers
    • Closing moments of reflection led by Lori Hanau, Summit Steward

5:30 p.m. -6:00 p.m.

  • Gallery Walk’s Moment for Peace at Center Congregational Church, 193 Main St., led by Helen Daly

5:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.

Saturday, June 2

10:00 a.m.

9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

Sunday, June 3

7:00 a.m.-noon


8:00 a.m.-5 p.m.

  • TOUR DE HEIFER: Farm-to-farm 10-30-60 mile cycling rides – Beginning and ending at Lilac Ridge Farm, West Brattleboro

10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

  • FARM/FOOD/FIBER TOUR: Open houses at regional farms, food and fiber enterprises – throughout Windham County region

For other Slow Living Summit information: