February 12, 2011:
Transition Colorado Hosts Conference on Local Economy, Feb. 25 – 27
WHAT: A two-day regional conference, “Our Local Economy in Transition,” hosted by Transition Colorado, Exploring Food Localization as Economic Development, held at Millennium Harvest House, Boulder, Feb. 26 – 27, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., opening with a special documentary film screening Feb. 25, 7:00 p.m. The entire conference is part of Transition Colorado’s EAT LOCAL! Campaign.
WHY: “Our Local Economy in Transition” is an opportunity to explore how local food and farming can contribute to the resilience of our local economy, reduce our contribution to global warming, and ensure the health, well-being and self-reliance of all our citizens. The premise of this regional conference is that, like the global economy, our local economy is on the precipice of monumental and unpredictable changes—an unprecedented transition. Surprisingly, the fundamental thrust of this economic transition is, increasingly, towards the local. And nowhere is this more true than in food and farming. It appears that something new is arising amidst these tensions, a vision of a resilient and sustainable local foodshed that provides an abundance of fresh, locally-produced, healthy food for all people. With this vision comes the prospect of thousands of new jobs, new opportunities for economic resilience, and a new understanding of what leads to truly sustainable life—even happiness itself.
CONFERENCE KICKOFF: Documentary film premier, “The Economics of Happiness,” Feb. 25, 7:00 p.m., Unity of Boulder, 2855 Folsom St. This new documentary features a chorus of voices from six continents joining together in a powerful message: we need to relocalize, to bring the economy home. The good news is that as we move in this direction we will begin not only to heal the earth but also to restore our own sense of well-being. Audience discussion will follow film.
DAY ONE THEME (Feb. 26), “Bringing the Economy Home”: What are the economic challenges and opportunities we face locally? What’s possible? What is the role of food localization in an economy in transition?
Morning Keynote: NICOLE FOSS (Stoneleigh), The Automatic Earth, delivers an urgent message about the local and personal implications of a quickly unraveling economy.
Morning Panels: Boulder County citizens share unfolding personal stories of transition. Local experts reveal essential skills for a challenging future, guidelines for relationships in changing times, the emerging role of faith communities in food, and the challenges of local food justice and security.
Afternoon Keynotes: MICHAEL SHUMAN, Business Alliance for Local Living Economies, illustrates the surprising economic upside of food localization and the pathways to get there. WOODY TASCH, founder of Slow Money, shows how a revolutionary infusion of capital into local food and farming enterprises can strengthen the local economy. MICHAEL BROWNLEE, co-founder of Transition Colorado, charts the gaps between needs and current realities in our local foodshed, and paints an emerging vision of a localized food and farming system.
DAY TWO THEME (Feb. 27), “Rolling Up Our Sleeves”: A day of dialogue and collaboration, an exploration of how to move forward together as a community to respond to the challenges and opportunities ahead.
Morning Panels: Key leaders and stakeholders in the local foodshed tackle tough questions: Is there sufficient demand for local food? How much can we increase local food production? What will it take to rebuild the local food infrastructure? Do we have enough water? What could it mean to “think like a foodshed?”
Afternoon Community Dialogue: How can we work together to localize our foodshed? Utilizing Open Space Technology, local citizens will propose topics and host discussions. Results will be recorded and shared with all participants in a final session.
REGISTRATION: Advance registration $50 (includes film and full conference), $60 at the door. Film only, $5.