Vermont Law School: Sustainable conference line-up features authors, policy makers

SOUTH ROYALTON — "What does a resilient future look like?" That is the framing question posted on the invitation to a two-day conference to be held at the Vermont Law School on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 21 and 22. Called "Localize It: What Resilience Looks Like," this conference brings together a line-up of presenters and panelists to dig into the deeper questions and challenges the world faces in its disquieting and transforming future.

"This is a solutions-focused gathering for leaders and community members engaged in accelerating a localizing movement in our region," said Chris Wood, one of the conference organizers. "When we look at where the world is headed in this time of climate crisis, economic injustice, and frayed democratic systems, it can be bleak and unsettling. But, by working on systemic renewal, we have chosen to focus on solutions. With leaders of local, regional, national and international networks coming together, this convening will forge new relationships and pathways toward localizing our economy and making our culture more placed-based. We'll learn from each other and prod at some deeper questions, all while bringing localization to the forefront of people's imagination as we work toward a more resilient planet."

The list of presenters includes Helena Norberg-Hodge, founder and director of the NGO Local Futures (and winner of the Right Livelihood Award and the Goi Peace Prize); Frances Moore Lapp , founder of the Small Planet Institute and author of 18 books, including the three-million seller, "Diet for a Small Planet"; Melissa Scanlan, Director of the New Economy Law Center at Vermont Law School and editor of the just-released book, Law and Policy for the New Economy; Sherri Mitchell, Executive Director of the Land Peace Foundation, Penobscot leader, indigenous rights lawyer, and author of the just-released book, "Sacred Instructions"; Jonathan Rosenthal, Executive Director of the national New Economy Coalition and co-founder of Equal Exchange; Christine Hanna, Executive Director of Yes! Magazine, one of the leading solutions-focused publications in the United States; Chuck Collins, Senior Policy Analyst for the Institute for Policy Studies, author of many books including "99 to 1: How Wealth Inequality is Wrecking the World and What We Can Do," and contributor to the forthcoming Community Resilience Reader; Gus Speth, co-founder of the Natural Resources Defense Council and Next System Project, founder of the World Resource Institute and the New Economy Law Center at Vermont Law School and author of many books including "The Bridge at the Edge of the World," "America the Possible," and "Angels by the River'; and Gwen Hallsmith, Director of Vermonters for a New Economy and author of several books, including "The Key to Sustainable Cities and Creating Wealth."

Over the course of two days, there will be 10 panel presentations to choose from that take up such topics as "Shrinking the Economic Footprint: Beyond the Paradigm of Growth" and "Place Based Healing: Connecting Human and Ecosystem Health."

Up to 50 different breakout sessions will engage and activate the wisdom of conference participants working on resilience efforts across the Northeast.

On Saturday evening, the program includes the world premiere of a documentary film called "Dancing with the Cannibal Giant," which features several of the conference speakers and participants. The film's director, Anne Macksoud, of Woodstock, will be present for the screening. The film was funded by BALE (Building A Local Economy), one of the conference organizers.

To learn more or to register, visit


If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.

Powered by Creative Circle Media Solutions