Your Ticket to Real Prosperity
A few nights ago, I was spending some time with my friend Rob McCarty, discussing the success of the Uptown district. I was expressing how satisfying it has been to redevelop our neighborhoods according to sustainable principles. Not just urban restoration, sustainable redevelopment using a triple-bottom-line business model.
Looking back, the sustainable reconstruction of Uptown was not enough. I wanted to make sure the businesses and community would thrive. One could hardly sell the virtues of our urban storefronts without considering their sustainability. As a community, we needed something to assure this success would stick. Soon an idea emerged that would carry us forward.
I remember attending a Social Venture Network (SVN) gathering at the Mohonk Mountain House in Upstate New York 10 years ago. Being a member of SVN since its inception, I have often found the annual meetings to be inspirational and regenerative. The concept of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) was presented as a breakout session. Judy Wicks and Laury Hammel introduced the idea of a Local Living Economy which fit nicely with our triple-bottom-line approach to revitalization. The SVN experience delivered again. The conference session prompted me to gather a group of local business and social entrepreneurs to launch a BALLE Chapter in Grand Rapids. This was the start of Local First for West Michigan.
Fast forward 10 years, Local First of West Michigan is hosting the 10th Annual BALLE Business Conference in Grand Rapids! Our Local First organization is the third-largest of its kind in the country. It is delivering a business conference to Grand Rapids which is typically reserved for US coastal cities.
You will hear from the entrepreneurs who inspired the Local First movement including: Judy Wicks, of White Dog Cafe, Laury Hammel of the Longfellow Clubs, Ben Cohen of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream, Paul Saginaw and Ari Weinzweig of Zingerman’s, and Michael Shuman, author of Local Dollars, Local Sense. Conference attendees will have a unique opportunity to learn the secrets of revitalizing your community through supporting a Local Living Economy.
I urge you to attend this inspirational event!
As the tagline says:
REAL PROSPERITY STARTS HERE
REGISTER NOW! http://www.livingeconomies.org/conference-2012