Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sustainability means Slowing Down: Slow Living Summit June 1-3, Brattleboro

A gathering of diverse movements toward local and regional sustainability from New England and beyond, the Slow Living Summit will be an intensive two-and-a-half day exploration of ways to build healthy, thriving local economies while encouraging, mentoring and supporting a new generation of activists, entrepreneurs and engaged citizens.

Strolling of the Heifers, best known for its annual agriculturally-themed parade and festival, is organizing the Summit in partnership with the Marlboro College Graduate School and World Learning as part of the tenth annual Strolling of the Heifers celebration.

We invite attendees representing the many organizations, businesses, educational institutions, funders and public entities who are working to make a resilient future an emergent reality in New England.
Scheduled speakers include:
  • Bill McKibben, author and environmentalist, co-founder of 
  • Bernie Sanders, U.S. Senator, Vermont
  • Gary, Hirshberg, entrepreneurship guru; president/CEO, Stonyfield Farm
  • Josh Viertel, Slow Food USA president
  • Majora Carter, President, Majora Carter Group; founder of Sustainable South Bronx
  • Chuck Ross, Vermont Secretary of Agriculture
  • Will Raap, founder, Gardener's Supply founder
  • Terry Mollner of Trusteeship Institute and Calvert Funds and Foundation
  • John Cavanagh, Institute for Policy Studies
  • Trish Karter, Dancing Deer Cookies
  • Jesse Laflamme, CEO, Pete & Gerry's Organic Eggs
In addition to the plenary session speakers, the Summit will offer many breakout sessions organized into five topical tracks:
  • Food and agriculture
  • Energy and resources
  • Economic issues (business, finances and entrepreneurship)
  • Education for sustainability
  • Quality of life.
In the breakout sessions, conferees can learn about diverse topics such as using technology for sustainability, reinventing agriculture, community-scaled renewable energy systems, and how to tap sources of funding for sustainable enterprises.

In an intensive schedule of workshops, discussions, and presentations, thought leaders, social investors and veterans of social enterprise and entrepreneurship will share their knowledge and experiences, make new connections, identify new opportunities and build new collaborations, partnerships and networks.

All this happens in Brattleboro ,Vermont - centrally located in the heart of New England and long a center of progressive thinking and enlightened enterprise. The summit is part of the Tenth Annual Strolling of the Heifers, Brattleboro's unique and world-famous celebration of Slow Life.

The Summit will take place in various locations in downtown Brattleboro, including the Latchis Theatre, the River Garden, Brattleboro Museum & Art Center and Marlboro College Graduate Center.

Organizers hope to attract conferees from throughout the Northeast, including representatives of non-profits, businesses, educational institutions, funders and public entities working toward a resilient future for the region.

During receptions and other informal networking sessions, the Summit will offer opportunities for attendees to share their knowledge and experiences, make new connections, identify new opportunities and build new collaborations, partnerships and networks.

Why "slow living"? This simple phrase expresses the fundamental paradigm shift that is underway in this age. "Slow" encodes the transformative change from faster and cheaper to slower and better-where quality, community and the future matter. It's about slowing down and becoming more mindful of our basic connection with land, place and people, taking the long view that builds a healthy, fulfilling way of life for the generations to come. It is about common good taking precedence over private gain.

This gathering will form a "big tent" (or in Strolling terms, a "big barn") where people and organizations from very diverse sectors can convene, share and mobilize in a supportive, convivial environment. Slow Living builds economies and puts people to work by focusing on the socially-responsible and sustainable enterprises and community relationships that will matter in the future, rather than on the environmentally and socially destructive practices of the past. It grows from the strengths, people, resources and history of the region. It is about basing life on the wellbeing of nature and community, where wealth and money can recirculate locally, combining with innovation and entrepreneurship, to create jobs. It's time to make sustainability and resilience a mainstream movement.

The summit will explore the methods, tools and resources needed to build sustainability from the ground up. Opportunities for cross-sector collaboration will be cultivated, so new opportunities can develop. Online networking in the months prior to and after the summit will foster momentum for new connections and ideas and start to lay the framework for a comprehensive roadmap for creating a resilient future that can be used throughout the region and beyond.

Please help us spread the word! Forward this message to your friends, associates and mailing lists, and post it on your web site!
Registration Fees: Through May 14: General registration: $150; student registration $105. After May 14 or on-site: general registration $180; student registration $115.

SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES: We invite inquires about sponsoring the Summit. Sponsors will receive recognition commensurate with their contributions. For sponsorship information, please contact Strolling of the Heifers Executive Director Orly Munzing at 802-258-9177 or


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