Thursday, September 4, 2008

Ten Years to A Green Economy Conference Sept 19-20

Emilie Hauser, a Kingston environmentalist colleague asked me to pass this on to you:

Folks, it's about 2 weeks til Sustainable Hudson Valley's third annual conference, Cool Communities/ Living Economies: Ten Years to a Green Economy. The program is published, and online registration is now available for your convenience, at This regional gathering is set for September 19 – 20, 2008, at the Seven21 Media Center, 721 Broadway, Kingston, NY.

With green opportunities bursting into view, and the need greater than ever, this spirited annual gathering brings together business, government, educational and civic leaders to strategize for an accelerated transition for our region.

Generously sponsored by Chronogram, the Ellenbogen Group, the Hudson River Estuary Training Program, and Prism Solar Technologies, the conference brings together entrepreneurs, industry and civic leaders, funders, educators and engaged citizens for a practical exploration of the ways we can work together to accelerate the region's transition to a green economy.

In this bulletin:

Strategies for a Green Economy: Local Sourcing
Final conference program
Speaker profile: Stacy Mitchell

Strategies for a Green Economy: Local Sourcing – commentary by Melissa Everett from a forthcoming "Clearwater Moment" to be aired on WAMC Northeast Public Radio on or about September 8, 2008

Ten years to a green economy! The goal is daunting – or motivating. But one of the most promising strategies is actually the closest at hand: strengthening the existing local business base.

We can't abandon fossil fuels overnight, but we can reject the most frivolous uses of them. Take a mind-walk through your supermarket, and visualize those apples from Washington and Chile and China. Join me in saying, "No more."

In the Hudson Valley of New York, like many regions in transition, the food and farm industries are leaders in nurturing local markets. They "brand" communities with signature events – Meet me in Marlboro, Columbia County Bounty, the Ellenville Blueberry Festival. They give rise to vibrant local markets. They inspire cookbooks, like the gorgeous one recently published by the Wallkill River School. Our Hudson Valley is rich in economic support infrastructure that is helping farms stay viable and people to nourish themselves on local foods – from Valley Table Magazine to the Hudson Valley Agribusiness Development Corporation.

These supports help grow real businesses – including scalable ones like Winter Sun Farms, which freezes local produce for year-around consumption.

What would happen if we set about creating similar supports for other key industries – green building, water quality, native horticulture? Imagine the native plant festivals and horticulture trainings… green building salons at the local hardware store… renewable energy projects to stabilize farms …

What makes "local-first" such a strong platform for green development is not just the enterprises it can grow, but the spirit of innovation it sparks.

Cool Communities/ Living Economies 3: Final Conference Program

The finalized program is now available at! We're walking the talk on "local first" with many speakers who are leading figures in sustainable development and business from our very own region.

Supplementing these, we have three featured speakers representing key strategies and success models with nationwide significance:

Angie Vincent, ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability
Visionary local leaders are a major force in the wakeup to more sustainable strategies for development. The movement of local and state governments responding to climate change now involves roughly half the U.S. economy. Local Governments for Sustainability is a worldwide membership organization that provides technical assistance, sophisticated consultation and the solidarity of peers to help local leaders take the necessary steps for sustainable communities. Angie Vincent, northeast regional director, will address financing strategies to help communities go green cost-effectively. (

Stacy Mitchell, Senior Researcher, Institute for Local Self-Reliance
The Institute for Local Self-Reliance ( is a premiere research and technical assistance organization that, for thirty years, has helped communities build resilient economies from the ground up by capturing waste and shifting production toward renewable resources. Stacy Mitchell focuses on policy and market strategies for building sustainable economies on a foundation of independent business especially a strong retail sector.

Jay Gilbert, Co-Founder, B-Lab
B-Lab is the center of the fast-growing movement to re-define the legal structure of businesses using the vehicle of the B-Corporation, with a charter oriented toward environmental, social and financial bottom lines. B-Lab works closely with a number of sustainable business alliances around the country to help accelerate their members' greening while promoting financial success. (

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