I will be moderating a session at the upcoming Community Matters'10 conference in Denver, CO, titled "In Local Economies We Trust". The conference is October 5 through 8 and our session will be Thursday morning.
I'm now able to announce the members of the panel. They are:
- Bill Midcap, Director of Renewable Energy Development at the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union in Denver. You can read his bio on the session site.
- Bruce Smith, Director of the Farm to Table Project in Glendive, MT. You can read his bio on the session site.
- Christian Gibbons, Director of Business/Industry Affairs in Littleton, Colorado. His bio is now also available on the session site.
The role of the moderator is to set the stage and then direct a discussion that allows each panel member to share their expertise. This panel has a lot of practical knowledge and experience. I'm going to get them to share a lot of that knowledge in a way that is informative and provocative to those that attend the session. I want people to go home with new ideas and a renewed sense of urgency for building their local economies.
The complexity of our world economy is not built on a series of redundancies in the way that a complex natural system forms. Instead, the world economy is a product of efficiencies of scale, efficiencies made possible by cheap petroleum, quality infrastructure and a strong dollar. We are only now beginning to understand how these systems are brittle by nature, how fragilities in areas we are not even aware of today can threaten supplies, prices and market stability.
In contrast, a collection of strong, local economies is resilient by nature. If one fails, it does not take the entire system down with it. And while something may be lost in efficiency, we can see from the diversity produced by natural systems that real innovation comes from having thousands of local experiments going on across the landscape.
Our homogeneous, monolithic approach to building communities is ending. For America to see renewed prosperity, we need to learn to trust -- embrace -- local economies for the creative force they can be.