Voices of Hope in Time of Crisis on 11/8/14
November 6, 2014

VoH_web_bannerincluding the launch of the International Alliance for Localization (IAL)

10am to 6pm (doors open at 9:15 am)

November 8, 2014

The Great Hall, The Cooper Union

New York, New York


Climate chaos, world conflict, species extinction, income inequality, financial insecurity…

All our most pressing crises are connected. And they have their roots in an economy dominated by global corporations.

In our film, The Economics of Happiness, we documented how the global economy is destroying ecosystems, cultures and any prospect of financial security. The economy also deeply affects our personal wellbeing, with rates of depression, alienation, suicide and violence on the rise. We need structural change.

Rebuilding local economies is a solution-multiplier, reducing our ecological footprint while simultaneously increasing our social and economic well-being. Want to help build the movement? Join us for a day of cutting-edge discussion, debate and cultural exchange with inspirational speakers from around the world. Be part of the launch of the International Alliance for Localization, a new forum for global collaboration to support place-based solutions on a planetary scale.

Download pdf flyer


The Coming Local Capital Revolution and the End of Wall Street: Michael Shuman
Localization and Business: Awakening the Heart of the Entrepreneur: Judy Wicks
Driving American Politics Underground: Chris Hedges
Keeping Local Culture Alive in the South: Adebayo Akomolafe
Reimagining Education for Life-based Economies: Manish Jain
Keeping your Cool in a World on Fire: Catherine Ingram
Local Food, Local Economies: Scott Chaskey
Connecting with People, Connecting with the Earth: Charles Eisenstein
Commonomics: Building Strong Local Economies (A project of YES Magazine and GRITtv): Laura Flanders
Trade Treaties and Food Sovereignty: Camila Moreno
The Economics of Happiness: Helena Norberg-Hodge
Climate Justice and Place-based Resilience: Elizabeth Yeampierre
With an introductory talk by Peter Buffet


Adebayo Clement-Akomolafe is a lecturer in the Department of Psychology at Covenant University in Nigeria. He helped create the reality television programme “Kalengo” based on community activity. He and his wife Ijeoma were initiating co-founders of Koru, a trans-local network of cultural creatives who believe another world is possible and he is also a member of the Global Cooperative Forum in Switzerland.

Peter Buffett is an Emmy Award winning musician and philanthropist. He composed the score for 500 Nations, CBS miniseries produced by Kevin Costner and his piece, Spirit: The Seventh Fire, premiered as part of the opening of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington D.C. Together with his wife, Jennifer, he is co-chair and co-president of the NoVo Foundation. He is the author of Life Is What You Make It.

Scott Chaskey, author, poet, philanthropist and farmer, runs Quail Hill Farm in Amagansett, New York, one of the first CSA farms in the country. He is the author of Seedtime: On the History, Husbandry, Politics and Promise of Seeds and This Common Ground: Seasons on an Organic Farm.

Charles Eisenstein 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. His background includes a degree in mathematics and philosophy from Yale, a decade in Taiwan as a translator, and stints as a college instructor, a yoga teacher, and a construction worker. He currently writes and speaks full-time. He lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and four children.

Laura Flanders is a broadcast journalist and author. She hosts GRITtv with Laura Flanders, and is a regular contributor to Yes! Magazine (“Commonomics”), The Nation and MSNBC. Her books include, Blue Grit: True Democrats Take Back Politics from the Politicians and Bushwomen: Tales of a Cynical Species, a study of the women in George W. Bush’s cabinet. Follow her on twitter at @GRITlaura

Chris Hedges is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and foreign correspondent who writes a regular column for His books include, War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning, Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt (with Joe Sacco), Death of the Liberal Class, and American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America.

Catherine Ingram  is the author of Passionate Presence, In the Footsteps of Gandhi, and A Crack in Everything. A former journalist specializing in issues of consciousness and activism, she has internationally led retreats and public sessions of Dharma Dialogues since 1993 and is founder and president of Living Dharma, an educational nonprofit organization.

Manish Jain is founder and coordinator of Shikshantar: The People’s Institute for Rethinking Education and Development and Swaraj University. He has worked with UNESCO Learning Without Frontiers transnational initiative, UNICEF, USAID, and Morgan Stanley investment bank. He has been trying to unlearn what he studied at Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Camila Moreno works with social movements in Brazil and Latin America on social and environmental dimensions of biotechnology and agribusiness expansion in the region. Her main areas of study, writing and activism in recent years has been on the territorial impacts of development policies and emerging schemes associated to the green economy.

Helena Norberg-Hodge is the founder and director of Local Futures – International Society for Ecology and Culture. She is the author of the bestselling Ancient Futures: Learning from Ladakh and producer of the film, The Economics of Happiness. She is a pioneer of the worldwide localisation movement and a recipient of the Right Livelihood Award and the 2012 Goi Peace Award.

Michael Shuman is an economist, attorney, author, and entrepreneur, and Director of Community Portals for Mission Markets in New York City. He’s a founding board member of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) and a fellow of Cutting Edge Capital, and Post-Carbon Institute. He has authored, coauthored, or edited eight books, including Local Dollars, Local Sense: How to Move Your Money from Wall Street to Main Street and Achieve Real Prosperity and The Small Mart Revolution: How Local Businesses Are Beating the Global Competition, which received as bronze prize from the Independent Publishers Association for best business book of 2006.

Judy Wicks is founder of White Dog Café and an international leader and speaker in the local living economies movement. She is co-founder of the nationwide Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) and founder of the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia and Fair Food. She is the author of Good Morning, Beautiful Business.

Elizabeth Yeampierre is a nationally recognized Puerto Rican attorney and environmental justice leader of African and Indigenous ancestry born and raised in New York City. She is Executive Director of UPROSE and a long-time advocate and trailblazer for community organizing around sustainable development, environmental justice and community-led climate adaptation and community resiliency. Her work is featured in several books and a variety of media outlets throughout the United States, Latin America and Europe. Elizabeth was recently named one of the top 100 Green Leaders by Poder Hispanic Magazine.


Student/Low income: $15
Activist: $25
General admission: $50
Supporter: $75
Donor: $100

If you are not able to afford any of the ticket prices, we are offering full and partial scholarships. We also offer group discounts. For more information and to apply, please contact us at

Partner networking evening schedule

7:30 Introduction by Helena Norberg-Hodge (Local Futures)
7:40 Charles Eisenstein
7:45 Rob Kall (Oped News)
7:50 David Levine (American Sustainable Business Council)
7:55 Giovanni Ciarlo (Gaia Education)
8:00 Grace Gershuny (Institute for Social Ecology)
8:05 Colin Beavan (No Impact Project)
8:10 Sane Energy Project
8:15 Isabel Luciano (Participatory Budgeting Project)
8:20 Erik Lehmann (Gamechangers)
8:25 Leah Barber (350NYC)
8:30 Ethany Uttech (ioby)
8:35 Asoka Banderage (author, Sustainability and Wellbeing)

8:40 BREAK

8:50 Moderated discussion
9:30 End

Call for volunteers
If you would like to contribute your time to help make this event a success, please contact us about volunteering opportunities. We need help with postering before the event and many other tasks during it, including checking tickets, A/V set up, selling books and so on. To be a volunteer at the event itself, you will need to be available from 8:30am until 7pm on Saturday, the 8th and also able to attend a volunteer meeting the evening of November 7th. All volunteers receive free entry. Please contact:


Accommodation is not included in the ticket price and, unfortunately, we cannot assist with arrangements. However, there are a number of hotels nearby, some of which offer a discount in association with The Cooper Union. See the full list HERE. The closest hostel is Bowery’s Whitehouse Hotel of NYC. Several nearby options are also offered on AirBnB.

Partner Organizations NYC
American Sustainable Business Council
Beloved Earth Community of Riverside Church
Beyond Oil NYC
Biomimicry NYC
Brighter Green
Brooklyn Food Coalition
Canadian Community Economic Development Network
Care About Climate
Catskill Mountainkeeper
Center For The Advancement Of The Steady State Economy (CASSE)
Citizen Awareness Network
Citizens’ Committee for NYC
Cooperative Development Institute
Eat Local NY
Ethical Markets
Gaia Education
GRACE Communications Foundation
Green Me Locally
Indigenous Environmental Network
Institute for Social Ecology
Interfaith Moral Action on Climate
Jamaica Plain Forum
Mid-Atlantic Transition Hub
Missourians Organizing for Reform & Empowerment (MORE)
New York Passive House (NYPH)
No Impact Project
NY Sun Works
Over Grow the System
Participatory Budgeting Project
Peace Development Fund
Post Growth Institute
Re>Think Local
RSF Social Finance
Sane Energy Project
Schumacher Center for a New Economics
SFU Community Economic Development
Slow Money NYC
Small Planet Institute
Sustainable Tompkins
System Change, Not Climate Change
Waterkeeper Alliance
Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network