Vermont Works Towards Sustainable Local Economies

Published: September 29th, 2014

During the second annual New Economy Week, communities across Vermont will celebrate new approaches to food, energy, business, and finance that strive for wellbeing over growth.

people shop for vegetables at a farmers market standVermont has emerged as a national leader in the New Economy movement, a people-driven approach to achieving prosperous communities, successful businesses, and healthy environments. Whereas the traditional economy strives for profits and material growth, the “new” economy prioritizes people’s wellbeing and stewardship of our natural resources. Through initiatives such as community food and energy networks, local investment opportunities, worker-owned businesses, cooperatives, and more, communities across Vermont are exploring new ways of structuring the economy. Their successes offer important examples of how a more participatory, resilient, value-driven economy can bring positive change to Vermont and other states.

This year, Vermont will celebrate its progress towards a New Economy during the second annual National New Economy Week October 13-19. Through a combination of in-person programming and online conversation, the event encourages communities across the country to come together around issues of long-term prosperity and wellbeing. It asks them to celebrate progress, learn about new opportunities, and envision solutions.

The New Economy Week schedule in Vermont includes more than 17 events over five days. There will be workshops, film screenings, panel discussions, forums, lectures, and celebrations on topics such as money and finance, public banking, business ownership models, climate change, and renewable energy. Highlights of the week include:

  • Money and Finance for a Finite Planet
    A talk by ecological economist Dr. Joshua Farley of the Gund Institute
    5:30pm, October 13, University of Vermont, Burlington
  • Who Owns Vermont?
    A forum on new ownership designs in business, finance, land, and energy featuring author and Democracy Collaborative fellow Marjorie Kelly
    8:45am, October 15, Capitol Plaza Hotel, Montpelier
  • Integrating Mission into Ownership
    A business breakfast for VBSR members featuring Marjorie Kelly
    8:30am, October 16, Main Street Landing, Burlington
  • Public Banks: A German Success Story
    A talk on public banking and its potential for success in Vermont by Dr. Thomas Keidel, CEO of the German Public Banking Association
    11:00am, October 16, Main Street Landing, Burlington
  • Last Call Film Screening
    A viewing of the award-winning environmental documentary followed by discussion led by Marta Ceroni, Executive Director of the Donella Meadows Institute
    7:00pm, October 16, Vermont Law School, South Royalton

The complete schedule of New Economy Week events across the state is available online at

New Economy Week is a project of the New Economy Coalition, with more information available at In Vermont, the Donella Meadows Institute is spearheading event organization across the state. Sponsors for Vermont’s New Economy Week include the Donella Meadows Institute, Clean Yield Asset Management, Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund, Vermont Bioenergy Initiative, Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility, Merritt & Merritt & Moulton, and King Arthur Flour.


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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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