(Sunday) Shrinking Our Economic Footprint: Beyond the Paradigm of Growth

Continued growth of any finite system is an impossibility. The planet Earth is one such finite system. Within our Earth's finite set of resources, lies the human economy, and within the human economy, lie a series of absurd principles based on models of continuous growth. What if the goal was not for economic growth, but rather degrowth to a steady state? What might that world look like, and how might we go about creating it? These are some of the questions to be addressed in this panel discussion regarding the state of our current economies, and the state of our minds.

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Gwendolyn Hallsmith, the founder and Executive Director of Global Community Initiatives (GCI), has over 25 years of experience working with municipal, regional, and state government in the United States and internationally. She has served as a City Manager, a Regional Planning Director, Senior Planner for the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy Resources, the Deputy Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, and as an international specialist on sustainable community development. Her international experience has included work with the United Nations Environmental Program, the United Nations Development Program, the Institute for Sustainable Communities, the International City/County Management Association, the Academy for Educational Development, and Earth Charter International.

Steven Gorelick is the Managing Programs Director of the international organization Local Futures, and co-producer of the film, The Economics of Happiness. Gorelick is also the author of Small is Beautiful, Big is Subsidized and co-author of Bringing the Food Economy Home. Steve lives on a small-scale organic farm, with his wife and two children, in Walden Vermont.