Hundreds of Entrepreneurs and Thought Leaders Gathering to Build the Emerging New Economy: Community-Based, Green, Fair

CSRwire    Yobo Member
May 6th, 2010

This month the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) is bringing together an international community of business owners and thought leaders fostering the emergence of a new economic system — one based on a network of strong, local economies that are community-based, green, and fair.

Hundreds of socially responsible entrepreneurs, business network leaders, economic developers, sustainability experts, and local government and community leaders will gather at the 8th Annual BALLE Business Conference to explore cutting-edge practices in transforming communities and share tested models for local economic development.

Participants are leaders in emerging movements like green jobs, community capital and “slow money,” sustainable agriculture, green building, renewable energy, independent retail, local manufacturing, and local arts and culture. BALLE’s local living economy approach integrates these disparate economic building blocks within the context of place, such as a city or county.

The conference, themed “Lighting the Way to a New Economy,” will include 100 speakers, 10 plenary and 24 breakout sessions, an intensive pre-workshop, three “living economy” tours, and a variety of networking and social events. It runs Thursday, May 20 to Sunday, May 23 in Charleston, SC.

“Registrants are finding real value in the BALLE conference — in both affordability and content,” says BALLE executive director Michelle Long. “Together we will delve into the most relevant economic issues confronting us today, and learn about practical, effective initiatives emerging from the grassroots for building local living economies using the power of locally owned, independent, sustainable business.”

“Every month, we hear from dozens of communities looking to replicate the economic and community-building successes of local business alliances throughout North America. As local businesses work together, they empower communities to build lasting community health and wealth from the bottom up,” adds Michael Shuman, research director and author of The Small-Mart Revolution and Going Local.

Plenary Speakers include:

  • Lyle Estill, Piedmont Biofuels and author of Small is Possible
  • Jennifer Buffett, NoVo Foundation
  • India Pierce Lee, Cleveland Foundation and the Cleveland Evergreen Cooperatives
  • Eric Henry, TS Designs and Cotton of the Carolinas
  • Woody Tasch, Slow Money Alliance
  • Annie Leonard, filmmaker of The Story of Stuff
  • Ben Burkett, Mississippi Association of Cooperatives
  • Marjorie Kelley, Tellus Institute and author of The Divine Right of Capital
  • Lily Yeh, The Village of Arts and Humanities and Barefoot Artists
  • David Orr, Oberlin College and author of The Nature of Design
  • Judy Wicks, co-founder of BALLE and founder of White Dog Café
  • Leslie Christian, Upstream21 and Portfolio21
  • Kimber Lanning, Local First Arizona
  • Mark Albion, Net Impact and author of The Good Life
  • Glenda Humiston, California Rural Development, U.S. Department of Agriculture

Program Themes include:

  • Increasing the Success of your Triple Bottom Line Business
  • Local Living Economy Business Models: Community Capital, Green Building, Sustainable Agriculture, Renewable Energy, Manufacturing
  • Sustainable Economic Development
  • Building a Thriving Local BALLE Network
  • Think Local First Campaigns and Tools
  • The Power of Business Cooperation

Regular conference rates are: general registrants: $565; BALLE Network Leaders: $515. Walk-ins welcome at onsite registration. Lodging deals start at $35/night. Full conference information can be found at:

The Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) is North America’s fastest growing network of socially responsible businesses, comprised of over 80 community networks representing 22,000 independent business members across 30 U.S. states and Canadian provinces. BALLE networks create local living economies through the building blocks of independent retail, sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, green building, local zero-waste manufacturing, community capital, independent media, and local arts and culture. Founded in 2001, BALLE works to foster vibrant communities, a healthy natural environment, and prosperity for all.

Conference presenters and BALLE leaders are available for pre-conference interviews by phone. Complimentary conference passes are available for credentialed media.

This story originally appeared at CSRwire

Visit CSRwire’s yobo profile here

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