The New Economy: Creating Thriving Local Economies
Take a snapshot journey through the inspiring ways local communities are creating a new economy
that prioritizes the well-being of people and the planet as presented by Mayor Scott Griffiths, Alliance Board President Christine Kelly and Northland College’s Regional Sustainability Coordinator Nathan Engstrom. Their presentations shares over 30 new economy innovations ranging from local currencies and local investment funds to freecyle. Each new idea represents one of the thousands of ways people around the world are restoring thriving local economies are emerging from every corner of the world.
Local Living Economy Summit 2012
The above word cloud reflects the main themes that emerged as over 65 people gathered on the WITC Ashland campus on June 21, 2012 to take part in the Local Living Economy Summit. The summit was created in response to a need for more time and space to further the ideas and discussions emerging from our annual Pie and Politics event. This year's summit explored the question “how can we create a thriving local living economy in the greater Chequamegon Bay region?” The desired goals and outcomes of the summit were to:
- Help uncover existing synergies among the local economy initiatives already underway
- Help connect people to one another
- Asses the strengths and weaknesses of existing local networks that can support a local economy
- Discover and build interest in localization as a means of sustainable economic development
- Determine/development effective indicators of localization and sustainable economic development
- Build momentum and take action on creating a strong, vibrant and local economy in the Chequamegon Bay region that builds on the unique gifts and assets already in our region AND fosters a shared vision of a sustainable future
The summit used an Open Space approach for hosting gatherings -- which focuses on a specific and important purpose but has no formal agenda prior to the start of the event. During the first 30 minutes of the summit the participants defined what conversations they wanted to have. This year's conversations included:
- Part-time Farming
- WI Local Food Summit Planning and Enrichment
- Ideas for Downtown Ashland Co-op Building
- Local Investment $ to Local Businesses
- Measures/Indicators of a Thriving Local Economy
- Economic Development Corporations as a Resource
- Localization as Economic Development
- What Business Models are Needed/Working in a Local Living Economy?
- Poverty and Local Food: Foodshare as a Local Food Subsidy
- Chicken and Egg Dilemma: Farmers, Eaters, Economy
The impact of the summit has lead to the creation of two community spaces.
The first is a facebook forum page “Chequamegon Bay Local Living Economy” for EVERYONE to connect and post activities related to creating our thriving local economy. The second is a“Living Local in Chequamegon Bay” asset map. This online map will help highlight places to eat local, shop local, or enjoy local beauty and will celebrate our local wisdom, our ecological assets, or our local arts, music and culture. It will also be used to identify places and people who are making great things happen so that we can help make these places even greater. Finally the hope is this map will become a community resource for locals and visitors alike who are seeking other ways to help support our local beauty, wisdom and economy. Everyone is encouraged to contribute to this map.
Below is a link to the full Local Living Economy proceedings that reflect the thoughts, ideas and discussions captured as a part of the Alliance for Sustainability’s Local Living Economy Summit.