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As someone who goes to too many conferences and is disappointed more often than not, the BALLE conference that was held in Burlington this weekend exceeded all of my expectations. This is an organization that is full of hope and possibility, passion and commitment, a movement at a time where few pursuits rise to that level.
Discussions at the conference focused on the type of positive future we not only want to create but will create. Not what is wrong, but what is right. Not what we want less of but what we need more of. Not about the depressing level of apathy, cynicism and negativity in our society but on stories of success, community and new possibility.
While there was no shortage of amazing speakers, Michael Shuman, whose new book is The Small-Mart Revolution (check it out), John Abrams, author of The Company We Keep) and Bill McKibben were among my favorites.
Buying locally is a hugely important idea. It's an idea that we can all be part of, and it's one we can be part of today.