Local Sustainable Economies Conference



Registration | Agenda | Speakers | Objectives | Vital Practices | FAQ’s

Please join us for this immersive experience of learning, collaboration, action and celebration, with participants from across the US and Canada.

Now, more than ever, our work – and our world – need the vision and impact that are created when business aligns with community.  

These times call out for a powerful new narrativeenacted by courageous pioneers who are equipped with practical tools and methods.

Our goal is to write the next chapter in the story of local business. Bring your stories, insights and burning questions as we work together to ignite a movement for economic transformation that was previously unimaginable.  

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The Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts is excited to present the Local Sustainable Economies Conference at Northeastern University in Boston, MA from June 7 until June 9, 2017.

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Sponsorship Opportunities

Who is this Conference for?

If you care deeply about growing local business and you’re putting that
passion into action, then
this conference is for you.

We define an entrepreneur as anyone who does something to create magic, whether that takes the form of a business, a non-profit organization, or a community initiative.

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What are the objectives of the Local Sustainable Economies Conference?

The Conference is designed to have 3 levels of impact for local network leaders and entrepreneurs committed to building local, green and fair economies:

Energize Local Enterprise
A powerful line-up of luminaries in the local sustainable economies movement will share stories of what works and what they’ve learned along the way, highlighting real, attainable solutions to issues facing our enterprises, our communities and our planet.

Cultivate Community
Through targeted conversations and peer coaching, participants will collaborate and learn from each other, discovering courage and inspiration and developing invaluable, lasting relationships.

Mobilize the Movement
Together, we will explore the shifting role of local business in the larger social, economic and environmental context, identifying what’s coming up next, what’s needed and what we are called to do, both individually and collectively.

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Every aspect of the agenda has been carefully planned to deliver lasting impact for you and your work, as well as for our communities, our movement and the planet.  

Following is a list of the Conference’s Core Programs, Vital Practices and Key Mindsets that cut across every activity.

Detailed Conference Agenda
Coming soon!

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Opening Workshops
Gear up for the journey ahead in this diverse selection of workshops led by local impact entrepreneurs and change agents. Scheduled during Wednesday morning and afternoon, these workshops are designed to teach, train, engage and introduce you to a specific topic, community, or program related to one or more of the 8 Vital Practices of Local Sustainable Economies. Get “down and dirty” early on at one of the Opening Workshops!

Stories of Impact by Keynote Speakers
Our Conference features high-intensity presentations by leading speakers who have made a major impact on their communities and our movement. At three different points within the conference, you’ll enjoy 6 back-to-back, nine-minute keynotes, in which speakers will share the essential aspects of their most impactful stories. This is a fantastic way to get inspired by Stories of Impact that are all game-changers!

Learning Conversations with Keynote Speakers
Keynote speakers’ Stories of Impact will be brought to life in a series of concurrent 75-minute, small-group Learning Conversations. In these interactive sessions, you will uncover behind-the-scenes details, discover answers to your specific questions, and engage with other participants so your learning will be both relevant and maximized. Go deep and get the real scoop!  

Knowledge & Resource Exchange
Over 2 rounds of conversation and exchange, you’ll be able to take your pick from a range of topics offered by “been there, done that” hosts. If you have a special request or you want to offer to host a topic yourself, let us know. Our conference has resources galore, so don’t be shy!

Connection, Collaboration and Contribution
Throughout the agenda, we’ve integrated strategic moments of interaction, collaboration and collective contribution. Here’s why:

  • The hundreds of participants from all over North America bring a wealth of knowledge and life experience. We want to make sure there’s plenty of opportunity to share, listen and learn from each other.
  • We have important work to do together. If we’re going to take our movement to the next level (as the world needs us to), then we’re going to need every bit of our collective intelligence and shared commitment.
  • It’s just more fun this way! We all want to experience more aliveness, spontaneity and deep engagement. It’s how human beings were designed to live.  

“Beantown Buddies”
For those coming from out of town, we’ll pair you up with a “Beantown Buddy.” Your special local Bud will answer questions, help you find your way, and let you in on Boston’s little known secrets. Grab your own Beantown Buddy now – supplies are limited!

Hanging Out & Sharing Local Meals
Most meals will be provided on-site by Basil Tree Catering and will be super delicious and nutritious and as local and organic as possible. Thursday night we’ve arranged for Beantown Buddies to hold tables at several local restaurants. Or you’re welcome to explore on your own. Eat local, drink local, and be merry!

Book Signings
Don’t miss your chance to meet acclaimed local economy authors Judy Wicks, Michael Shuman, Deborah Frieze, Michelle Holliday, and Michael Jones. Take a moment to “book it” in your schedule – you’ll be glad you did!

Activities for Extra Credit
After the Conference there are a few special events that you might want to participate in!

Business Alliance Resource Development Workshop Sponsored by the American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA)
AMIBA is offering an intimate post-conference workshop designed for representatives of local business alliances and networks that have been doing this work successfully for many years. For more information, please contact Jennifer at AMIBA at  jennnifer@amiba.net.

Hyper Local Craft Brewfest
You’re invited to a frolicking SBN Hyper-Local Brew Fest Saturday, June 10, at Arts at the Armory in Somerville! Enjoy libations from local brewers made with exclusively local ingredients! 

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The conference will provide both expertise and open exploration around these 8 Vital Practices of Local Sustainable Economies:Screen Shot 2017-03-05 at 7.30.11 PM

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Refund Policy – Registration is transferrable but not refundable. If you need to many any changes to your order, please e-mail amy@sbnmass.org

Member Discount – Sustainable Business Network & Local First Members, please contact josh@sbnmass to redeem your 20% discount

Housing – Dorms are available for rent for $76/night and are a 5-10 minute walk from the Curry Student Center where the majority of programming will be taking place. Suites have adjoining rooms with a shared bathroom.


Via public transportation:

Northeastern is accessible by subway via the Green Line of the MBTA. From downtown Boston, take an “E” train outbound to the Northeastern stop, the first stop above ground. The campus can also be reached from downtown via the Orange Line by taking any train going outbound to Forest Hills and getting off at Ruggles Station. Commuter rail lines connect with the Orange Line at Ruggles Station, Back Bay Station, and North Station.

Driving from the north (via Route I-93 or Route 1)
Take the Storrow Drive exit, and proceed to the Fenway exit. Follow signs for Boylston Street inbound, and bear right onto Westland Avenue. Turn right onto Massachusetts Avenue, proceed to the third traffic light, and turn right onto Columbus Avenue. The Renaissance Parking Garage is at 835 Columbus Avenue.
From the west (via Route I-90, Massachusetts Turnpike)
Take Exit 22 (Copley Square), and bear right. Proceed to the first traffic light, and turn right onto Dartmouth Street. Take the next right onto Columbus Avenue. The Renaissance Parking Garage is at 835 Columbus Avenue.

From the west (via Route 9)
Proceed east on Route 9; it will become Huntington Avenue. Turn right onto Ruggles Street. At the fourth traffic light, turn left onto Tremont Street. At the second set of lights, turn left onto Melnea Cass Boulevard, and then turn left onto Columbus Avenue. The Renaissance Parking Garage is at 835 Columbus Avenue.

From the south (via I-93, Route 3)
Take Exit 18 (Massachusetts Avenue/Roxbury/Frontage Road). Turn left at the third light, staying in one of the two left lanes. Proceed straight onto Melnea Cass Boulevard. Continue for approximately two miles and turn left onto Columbus Avenue. The Renaissance Parking Garage is at 835 Columbus Avenue.

From Logan Airport
Exiting Logan Airport, merge onto Route I-90 West/Mass Pike/Ted Williams Tunnel. Proceed about 1.5 miles, and then take Exit 24 toward Route I-93. Merge onto Route I-93 South via the exit on the left. Take Exit 18, Massachusetts Avenue, toward Andrew Square. Bear right onto the Massachusetts Avenue connector. Proceed straight on the connector, which becomes Melnea Cass Boulevard. Continue for approximately two miles and turn left onto Columbus Avenue. The Renaissance Parking Garage is at 835 Columbus Avenue.
From Manchester (NH)-Boston Regional Airport

Via automobile:
Exiting the airport, follow the signs to I-93 South, then follow driving directions to campus from the North via I-93.

Via public transportation:
The Manchester Airport Shuttle is a regularly scheduled bus service offered free of charge for Manchester-Boston Regional Airport’s ticketed airline passengers. All passengers must show an airline ticket, boarding pass, or printed travel itinerary into or out of Manchester to be eligible to use this free service.
Buses depart from the outer curb adjacent to the main entrance walkway of the terminal. The bus service operates every two hours, 24-hours a day, seven days a week (including holidays), between the airport and the Sullivan Square MBTA Subway Station.
At the Sullivan Square station, take the MBTA Orange Line (Inbound towards Forest Hills), getting off at Ruggles Station.

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