Invitation July 14th: Michelle Long at Schumacher Library

In her opening address at the 2014 BALLE conference held in Oakland, California in June, Michelle Long set out 12 steps for building strong local economies that serve both people and planet.

  1. Promote a culture of local, cooperative and community ownership
  2. Build entrepreneurial capacity to meet local needs and to innovate for the greater good
  3. Align workers, labor, independent businesses and anchors around a path to shared prosperity
  4. Divest from Wall Street and invest in Community
  5. Cultivate shared ownership, land trusts and the protection of public assets
  6. Eliminate systemic barriers and build opportunity for people historically oppressed
  7. Build shared infrastructure that provides small businesses with ‘economies of scale’
  8. Use philanthropy to mitigate risk for the pioneers
  9. Invest in soil and nature-based industries, energy and infrastructure, and divest from fossil fuels
  10. Advocate for Localist policies that level the playing field for local businesses, people and nature
  11. Invest in ‘backbone organizations’ that strengthen community entrepreneurs and real prosperity
  12. Use magic, soul and inspiration to convene entrepreneurs and to catalyze the courage of their hearts

She is the kind of woman who will spend the rest of her life focused on implementing these steps.  She is the kind of woman who will draw legions of others to help her.

You are invited to join a discussion with Michelle Long about BALLE and about transforming our economy, our society, and our culture on Monday, July 14th, at the Schumacher Center’s Library, 140 Jug End Road, South Egremont, Massachusetts.

5:00 – 6:00 PM  Drinks, hors d’oeuvres, and introductions
6:00 – 6:30 PM  Remarks by Michelle
6:30 – 7:30 PM Discussion
7:30 PM– Optional Leave for dinner at John Andrews. Dinner is “Dutch Treat.”

Please RSVP  for both the reception at the Library and the dinner following by Friday, July 11th.

Michelle Long is one of my most favorite people.  I hope you can join Schumacher staff and invited friends to see why.



Michelle Long is the executive director of BALLE.

Founded in 2001, BALLE is amplifying and accelerating the enormous awakening energy directed toward local economies. Seeing local, independently owned businesses as the key to solving our communities’ toughest challenges and to creating real prosperity, BALLE connects visionary local leaders so they can find inspiration and support. With a growing network of 30,000 local entrepreneurs spanning 80 communities, BALLE is leveraging the collective voice of this movement to drive new investment, scale the best solutions, and harness the power of local, independently owned business to transform the communities where we work and live.

Before going to BALLE, Michelle co-founded and was executive director of Sustainable Connections in Bellingham, Washington—one of BALLE’s first member business networks. Its membership, now comprised of 700 locally owned businesses, has made Bellingham into what NPR Marketplace called the “epicenter of a new economic model.” Michelle was named one of the West Coast’s “top five leading ladies of sustainability” by the Sustainable Industries Journal. A regular keynote speaker, she is also the co-author of Local First: A How-to Guide and the author of the new Building a Community of Businesses: A BALLE Business Network How-to Kit.