2015 New Economy Week

Drawing displaying a New Economy community with renewable power, agriculture, and healthy communities and environments

Vermont New Economy Week,  October 10-17, 2015

The New Economy movement taking hold across the country is all about creating a people-driven approach to achieving prosperous communities, successful businesses, and healthy environments. Through diverse initiatives such as local investment structures, community food and energy networks, and alternative indicators of wellbeing, the New Economy is empowering us to generate a high quality of life at the local level. And New Economy Week is all about celebrating these initiatives to make their impact felt more widely!

Here in Vermont, we are lucky to be surrounded by all sorts of innovative New Economy work. Like with the New Economy Coalition’s national event (scheduled for November 9-15), Vermont’s New Economy Week will highlight these emerging approaches that are building a more local, equitable, and value-driven economy. With educational events and celebrations alike, Vermont’s New Economy Week is an opportunity to acknowledge progress, learn about new opportunities, and develop new visions for what our economy and communities can be. We encourage all members of the Vermont community to take part in New Economy Week!


2015 Schedule of Events

 Click on the arrow next to each event to view more information.


Prelude to New Economy Week, October 10
10:00am-2:30pm— Weaving Well-Being Festival, State House Lawn, Montpelier

Come and meet healers, therapists, artists, teachers, and other practitioners at the State House for a day of wellness, happiness, and other festivities. 

Opening ceremony at 10:00 am.

Get a quick massage (Shiatsu, Cranio Sacral, and more), sample yoga classes, recharge with Reiki Masters, probe the future with clairvoyant readings, Tarot, and Astrology, open to flower essences, herbal remedies, and crystals, have a photo taken of your aura

Joie de Vivre Dance for Well-Being. Qi Gong on the lawn for the closing at 2:30.

If you are a healer, artist, teacher, therapeutic cook, musician, dancer, or spiritual guide, bring a pop-up tent and join us. If it rains, we’ll be inside the State House, but if it’s the beautiful autumn Vermont weather, the lawn can be filled with small tents for all the practices that provide us with well-being and make Vermont an exceptional place to live.

Admission: The event is free of charge for practitioners and the public, donations to defray the costs are accepted gratefully.

Inquiries: To reserve a spot and register, email Gwen Hallsmith, gwenhs [at] gmail.com

Monday, October 12
6:00pm-9:00pm — Carbon Taxes, Why We Need Them, Energy Action Seminar, 108 Lafayette Hall, UVM, Burlington  

This weekly seminar series explores the role of renewable energy in Vermont, the US and the World.  Featuring world-class speakers on policy options, political controversy, costs and benefits, activism, and jobs.  Free and open to the public.  Get educated about our energy future!

On October 12, the seminar will feature Yoram Bauman,  The world’s only “stand-up” Economist

Location: 108 Lafayette Hall, UVM, Burlington

Event Cost: Free.

Admission: General public and students welcome

 Inquiries: Fred Hall fhall [at] uvm.edu, Roisin Low rlow [at] uvm.edu), Richard Watts rwatts [at] uvm.edu

Wednesday, October 14
2:00pm-6:30 pm —Investing in the New Economy: Transforming Investments for Climate and Community, Chase Center, Vermont Law School, South Royalton

Come explore local, environmentally conscious investment opportunities as part of the 2015 New Economy Week. We will facilitate connections, stories, and deep dives on practical investment strategies. Featured speaker: Gus Speth, Senior Fellow at the New Economy Law Center (Vermont Law School), The Democracy Collaborative, Demos, and Tellus Institute. Presenting organizations include the White River Investment Club, the Vermont Community Loan Fund, the Vermont Food Investor Network. Share your ideas and plan your next steps for local investment!

Who Should Attend: Community members, next-generation leaders, investors, business owners, activists, nonprofits, community banks and credit unions, financial advisors, fund managers, educators, students, and anyone interested in putting their money where their heart is.

Location: Chase Center, Vermont Law School, South Royalton, Vermont

Event Cost: Suggested donation of $10

Registration: Click here to register  

Contact: Chris Wood, chris [at] balevt.org

The event is co-sponsored by BALE, Donella Meadows Institute, Slow Money Vermont, Clean Yield Asset Management, Two Rivers Ottauquechee Regional Commission, Vermont Law School, Vermont Community Loan Fund, Sustainable Woodstock, Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund, and King Arthur Flour

Thursday, October 15
4:30pm-6:30pm — Green Drinks: Divestment for Sustainable Investment, with guests Gwen Hallsmith, author of “Vermont Dollars, Vermont Sense” and Steve Aldrich of the White River Investment Club, Worthy Kitchen, Woodstock

Sustainable Woodstock will dedicate its monthly “Green Drinks” event to New Economy Week by hosting Steve Aldrich of the White River Investment Club and renowned activist and author Gwen Hallsmith. Green Drinks is an opportunity to meet and talk about sustainability issues in a relaxed and informal setting. The investment club was launched by BALE (Building a Local Economy), an active and effective citizens’ group serving the White River valley. Aldrich and his colleagues say that “an  investment club can be a great alternative to putting your money in the stock market or other financial instruments that leave out your values… and usually have nothing to do with the local economy. An investment club offers shares that are pooled and then invested in truly local projects.” Gwen Hallsmith will provide additional inspiration at our event by discussing her new book, Vermont Dollars, Vermont Sense, which she co-authored with local economy expert Michael Shuman. The book describes nearly thirty investment ideas that individuals, businesses, or finance professionals can use to promote local self-reliance and keep financial resources recirculating within our communities and region.

Location: Worthy Kitchen, 442 Woodstock Rd, Woodstock, Vermont

Event Cost: Free

Contact: Sally Miller sally [at] sustainablewoodstock.org

6:00pm-9:00pm —Worker Co-ops in the New Economy: An Evening of Short Films and Discussion, Artsriot, Burlington 

The Vermont Employee Ownership Center is pleased to present an evening of short films and discussion about worker cooperatives. Following a reception, we will view Civilizing the Economy, which examines one of the world’s densest co-op economies in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, and Own the Change, which features interviews with members of a number of American worker co-ops, as well as practical advice for those interested in starting their own cooperative.

The films will be followed by a panel discussion, moderated by Matt Cropp of the Vermont Employee Ownership Center, featuring experts and members-owners of local worker co-ops. Confirmed panel participants include:

  • Margaret Lund of Praxis Consulting

  • Elias Gardner, a worker-owner and board member of the New School of Montpelier, Vermont’s newest worker co-op.
  • Deb Harris, a founding worker-owner of PT-360, a physical therapy worker co-op with offices in Burlington, Shelburne, and Williston.

This event is organized by the Vermont Employee Ownership Center, and is made possible in part by the generous sponsorship of Artsriot, City Market, PT-360, New Frameworks Design-Build, Woodbelly Pizza, Catamount Solar, and Round Sky Solutions.

LocationArtsriot, Burlington

Event Cost: Free.

Registration: Not necessary but share your interest on our Facebook page:

Inquiries: Please contact Matt Cropp, matt [at] veoc.org

Friday, October 16

4:30-6:30 pm – Who is Responsible for Climate Change? Perspectives from Science, Ethics, Policy, and Law. Sustainability Solutions Cafe’, Filene Auditorium, Dartmouth College, Hanover

A keynote lecture and a panel with Peter Frumhoff, Director of Science and Policy, Union of Concerned Scientists, and a lead author of reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.  Moderated by Anne Kapuscinski (Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Professor of Sustainability Science at Dartmouth) followed by a panel discussion with Aine Donovan (Director of the Ethics Institute at Dartmouth), Gus Speth (Professor  and author at Vermont Law School), & Rich Howarth (Professor and Chair of the Environmental Studies Program, Dartmouth).

LocationFilene Auditorium, Dartmouth Campus, Hanover, NH (map)

Event Cost: Free.

Registration: Not necessary

Inquiries: Please contact Kim Wind, Kim.Wind [at] Dartmouth.edu

Postlude to New Economy Week, Saturday, October 17
9:30am-3:30pm—Vermont Interfaith Power and Light Conference “Leading Action on Climate: Tools for Faith Communities”, Christ Episcopal Church, Montpelier

VTIPL’s 2015 conference features Tim DeChristopher as Keynote speaker (see bio below). Other highlights include workshops to engage and inspire people of faith and spirit to be leaders on climate- encouraging action on divestment, putting a price on carbon, and more! Many sponsoring organizations will have displays and, as in past years, the “bookstore” will offer wonderful books for sale. Registration for the conference will open in the coming month. Mark your calendar and plan to come!

Tim DeChristopher, disrupted an illegitimate Bureau of Land Management oil and gas auction in December of 2008, by outbidding oil companies for parcels around Arches and Canyonlands National Parks in Utah. His actions and 21 month imprisonment earned him a national and international media presence, which he has used as a platform to spread the urgency of the climate crisis and the need for bold, confrontational action in order to create a just and healthy world. Tim used his prosecution as an opportunity to organize the climate justice organization Peaceful Uprising in Salt Lake City, and most recently, the Climate Disobedience Center.

More information on Tim DeChristopher and how you can help.

Location: Christ Episcopal Church, 64 State Street, Montpelier, Vermont

Event Cost: $45 + $3.47 for processing

Registration: Conference

Inquiries: please contact Betsy Harder, info@vtipl.org

6:00 – 8:00 pm – New Economistas CD Release Party, Bagito’s Restaurant, Montpelier

On Saturday evening, October 17th, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm, the New Economistas are hosting a CD release party for their new album called Making Money Out of Air: Songs for a New Economy. The New Economistas are a small folk group made up of Michael Taub, Gwendolyn Hallsmith and occasionally Tim Berry. They were formed during the first New Economy Week back in 2013, and hosted a New Economy Concert at Barre’s Old Labor Hall. The music they write combines parody and humor, and is sung with their tongues planted firmly (and strictly figuratively) in their cheeks to educate people about some of the issues with the “old economy” and make singing suggestions for ways people can work on a new one. They use the time-honored tradition of taking public domain melodies and re-purposing them with new words. For example, their song Economic Words takes an old time song called Diddy Wa Diddy by Blind Blake, which originally was a song about sex, and changes it into a song about money, covering two of the topics that are forbidden at New England dinner tables. They will have free songbooks for the first 20 people who come to the party.

Location: Bagito’s restaurant, 28 Main Street, Montpelier

Event Cost: Free

Inquiries: Please contact Gwen Hallsmith, gwenhs [at] gmail.com


Sponsors and Event Hosts

As an organizing hub for New Economy Week in Vermont, the Donella Meadows Institute works with individuals and organizations throughout the state to coordinate information and advertise the week’s events. We are always looking for new partners to help us showcase the possibilities of the New Economy.

SPONSORS: Our New Economy Week sponsors support New Economy Week with their generous contributions. The more support we receive, the more great speakers and events we can put on to help promote more sustainable, equitable, and value-driven economies! We are grateful to BALE, Slow Money Vermont, Clean Yield Asset Management, Two Rivers Ottauquechee Regional Commission, Vermont Law School, Vermont Community Loan Fund, Sustainable Woodstock, Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund, and King Arthur Flour for their support of this year’s events.

There is still time to become a sponsor for New Economy Week or one of the week’s events! Please email becky@donellameadows.org for sponsorship information and opportunities.

EVENT HOSTS: If you or your organization would like to take part in New Economy Week by hosting a lecture, workshop, performance, tour, or other community event, please get in touch by emailing emily@donellameadows.org! We want to have as many voices represented during New Economy Week 2015 as possible. For inspiration, check out the New Economy Coalition’ Ideas for Action.

Our 2015 Sponsors:

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New Economy Week 2014

The 2nd annual New Economy Week featured over two dozen public events from Brattleboro to Burlington. Through film screenings, lectures, public forums, workshops, and more, the week provided hundreds of Vermonters with a chance to discuss and engage with a wide range of New Economy topics from finance and food to climate change and renewable energy.

Here at the Meadows Institute, we chose to focus on the theme of alternative ownership models for our 2014 New Economy Week events. We brought Marjorie Kelly, author of Owning Our Future and The Divine Right of Capital, to Vermont to present and lead discussions at two separate panels. The first addressed the question “Who Owns Vermont?” by bringing together leaders in land, energy, business, and finance who are working on alternative ownership designs. The second took a more specific business focus by investigating how entrepreneurs and business owners can integrate their values into their mission and business design.

To read more about these events, see the 2014 New Economy Week schedule or check out the write-ups for “Who Owns Vermont?” and “Integrating Mission into Ownership” by our event partner Clean Yield.

 Vermont’s New Economy Week 2014 was made possible by the generous sponsorship of the following organizations:

  • Clean Yield Asset Management
  • Donella Meadows Institute
  • King Arthur Flour
  • Merritt & Merritt & Moulton
  • Vermont Bioenergy Initiative
  • Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility
  • Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund


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About The Donella Meadows Project

The mission of the Donella Meadows Project is to preserve Donella (Dana) H. Meadows’s legacy as an inspiring leader, scholar, writer, and teacher; to manage the intellectual property rights related to Dana’s published work; to provide and maintain a comprehensive and easily accessible archive of her work online, including articles, columns, and letters; to develop new resources and programs that apply her ideas to current issues and make them available to an ever-larger network of students, practitioners, and leaders in social change.  Read More

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