Localize It: What Resilience Look Like
In October 2017, BALE and its five partners pulled off one of the most important and successful conferences in this field of organizing. It was called Localize It: What Resilience Looks Like. With 60 breakout groups and workshops and a powerful line-up of presenters, this two-day gathering at the Vermont Law School in South Royalton drew 180 people from around the Northeast. Now, we are planning a second Localize It! What Resilience Looks Like for this fall or early spring 2021. Linking first with partners of the 2017 gathering and new ones seeking to join this effort, we expect to follow the dramatic shifts that have occurred in our society, environment and economy since the initial gathering.
The aim of the conference is to elevate the visibility and viability of the localization movement in our local communities, around New England and across the country. For the coming gathering, there will be a major emphasis on strengthening a network of organizations and programs that will continue to connect, share and grow the awareness of “localization” as a powerful systemic model of economic and cultural resilience. We plan to link the many strands of this movement – local food, decentralized renewable energy, place-based knowledge and education, localized paths to health and wellness, local money, banking, art, entertainment and more – together with the many efforts to promote social and environmental justice., including in depth engagement with BIPOC leaders as we build the program’s content.
Our lead 2017 partners were the New Economy Law Center at Vermont Law School, Local Futures (an international organization with local connections in Vermont), Vermonters for a New Economy, New England Resilience and Transition, and the Sustainable Future Fund. Presenters included Frances Moore Lappe (author of Diet for a Small Planet and founder of Small Planet Institute), Jonathan Rosenthal (Executive Director of New Economy Coalition), Sherri Mitchell (indigenous activist and founder of the Land Peace Foundation), Helena Norberg Hodge (founder and Executive Director of Local Futures), Gus Speth (co-founder of the Next System Project and Natural Resources Defense Council), Christine Hanna, Executive Director of Yes! Magazine, and Chuck Collins of the Institute for Policy Studies.