Recap of the Spring 2012 NELBF Regional Gathering

Michael Shuman address the NELEN

The 2012 Spring Gathering of the NELEN (our eighth Gathering) was our most successful yet. Over 65 attendees representing five states, 15 local networks, and representatives from key partner industries were engaged in a series of dynamic presentations and conversations about how we can grow the regional and local economy in New England. We want to give a shout-out to representatives from three new local business networks in Massachusetts–Brookline Local First, Watertown Local First, and Needham Local First and Westbrook Buy Local from Maine who attended their first NELEN gathering this Spring.

We’d like to thank our Co-Sponsors, The New England Independent Booksellers Association and our keynote speaker, Michael Shuman, and all our presenters and panelists for their spectacular contributions to the day.

Here are a just a few examples of the ideas and action items that resulted from this dynamic gathering of local business leaders:

  • Michael Shuman kicked off the Gathering with a presentation that offered in a cogent and inspiring manner, the key points of his latest work–Local Dollars, Local Sense. He made the case with indisputable evidence for why we need to grow a strong regional/local economy and the importance of moving capital from multi-national corporations and into the hands of local entrepreneurs.
  • We were joined by key industry partners in the American Booksellers Association and The New England Booksellers Assocition, as well as the Mass Retailers Association.
  • Local business owners, trade association leaders and local network leaders identified new strategies and approaches to grow the local economy movement, including the idea of Shift Themes to be used throughout the year, proposed by Dave Boynton of Seacoast Local.
  • We discussed eFairness, and are excited to see the momentum for this important change grow. Check out the op-ed written by Massachusetts Treasurer, and SBN Sustainability Leadership Summit Keynote Speaker, Steve Grossman on the issue.
  • We continued to plan for the New England Shift Your Shopping campaign for 2012, and this will be one of the major themes at the coming fall Gathering.

The NELEN Steering Committee is currently working on creating another breakthrough NELEN Gathering this fall (our 9th Gathering), and we couldn’t be more enthusiastic about the potential to build the Local Economy Movement and to grow the New England Economy. See the Save the Date announcement here.

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