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Slow Living Summit explores the future of farm and food entrepreneurship

May 22, 2018

Vermont Business Magazine

The eighth annual Slow Living Summit will take place in Brattleboro on May 31 and June 1, 2018. Presented by the Strolling of the Heifers Windham Grows, this year’s Summit asks – “How can you create and grow a resilient food business that affects your community in a positive way?” With a focus on growing conscious food and agriculture businesses, the Summit aims to give current and aspiring entrepreneurs the tools, resources, and mentorship needed to evolve businesses, create positive change in the community, and revolutionize the future of food.

Orly Munzing, Executive Director of Strolling of the Heifers commented, “Developing conscious businesses that give back to the community is one of the foundations of what we call ‘Slow Living’.”

The Summit uses downtown Brattleboro’s River Garden as the location for all its keynotes and plenary sessions, with breakout sessions there, and in other downtown locations; Brooks Memorial Library, The Brattleboro Food Coop, and the Latchis Theatre.  The Summit’s interactive sessions and events are designed to give entrepreneurs access to leading entrepreneurs, businesses leaders and investors.

Jim Verzino, Windham Grows Director and Entrepreneur-in-Residence, said “a great entrepreneurial ecosystem is built on relationships and knowledge sharing. The Summit is designed to give attendees the opportunity to connect one-on-one with thought leaders, fellow  farm and food entrepreneurs and investors.”

Showcasing local and global experts in their fields, the speaker lineup will provide resources and expertise across three summit tracks including Farm to Table Business Models, Entrepreneurship Tools & Tactics, and Financing Your Conscious Business.

Featured speakers include:

Philip Ackerman-Leist Philip Ackerman-Leist(link is externais Professor of Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems at Green Mountain College, where he established the college’s organic farm, sustainable agriculture curricula, and the first online graduate program in Sustainable Food Systems in the United States. His newest book is A Precautionary Tale: How One Small Town Banned Pesticides, Preserved its Food Heritage, and Inspired a Movement. He is also the author of Rebuilding the Foodshed: How to Create Local, Sustainable, and Secure Food Systems and Up Tunket Road: The Education of a Modern Homesteader.
Ackerman-Leist will present the Keynote: The Role of Organic Communities in the Future of Food at the River Garden on Thursday, May 31.

Chuck Collins Chuck Collins(link is externais a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies where he co-edits Inequality.org. He is a leader in the transition movement in building economic and ecological community resilience. He is author of several books about inequality including Born on Third Base: A One Percenter Makes the Case for Tackling Inequality, Bringing Wealth Home, and Committing to the Common Good. He is co-author, with Bill Gates Sr., of Wealth and Our Commonwealth: Why America Should Tax Accumulated Fortunes. His previous books include, 99 to 1: How Wealth Inequality is Wrecking the World and What We Can Do About It.

Collins will present the Summit’s opening Keynote: Bring the Wealth Home! Shifting Money from the Global Casino Economy to Invest in Resilient Communities and Reduce Inequality at the River Garden on Thursday, May 31.

Charles Eisenstein Charles Eisenstein(link is is a speaker and writer focusing on themes of human culture and identity. He is the author of several books, most recently Sacred Economics and The More Beautiful World our Hearts Know is Possible.

Eisenstein will present the opening keynote for the second day of the Summit: The Gift: Ecology to Economy at the River Garden on Friday, June 1.

“We hope this year’s Summit inspires farmers, food entrepreneurs, food system specialists, teachers, students, artists, business leaders, educators, government officials, foundation and nonprofit leaders, community leaders and engaged citizens to attend.” said Munzing.

The full Summit schedule, biographies of speakers, and registration information can be found at the Summit website, www.slowlivingsummit.org(link is external).



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