In our third year as an invitational Summit, we have refined our focus based on what our Network and the broader community of local economy funders, investors, and intermediaries are calling for: replicable models and investable deals for capital to flow into our communities, and accelerate shared work. 

The agenda will emphasize a number of ways to direct financial and social capital to build healthy, equitable local economies, aligned with these themes:

  • Democratize finance and investing
  • Resource women and entrepreneurs of color
  • Invest in rural ecosystem building
  • Prioritize indigenous communities
  • Accelerate cooperative ownership of business and land
  • Incentivize independent business and alternative economic development
  • Regenerate soil and nature


Jump To:
Wednesday Agenda    Thursday Agenda    Friday Agenda    Session Themes    Session Descriptions


BALLE Shift Capital Summit // Wednesday, November 14, 2018 
1:30p – 3:30p Pre-Summit Activities

  • Optional Delegation Gatherings
  • SOLx Storytellers Prep Meeting
4:00p – 5:30p Reception
6:00p – 7:00p Dinner
7:15p – 9:15p Opening Program: Discovering Our Ecosystem
9:30p – 12:00a Hospitality Sweet


BALLE Shift Capital Summit // Thursday, November 15, 2018 
7:00a – 8:00a Morning Rituals
7:30a – 8:45a Breakfast
9:00a – 10:15a Vision Session: The Shift We Need

  • Moving from impact investing to restorative investing
  • Matching the scale of solutions to the scale of challenges
10:15a – 11:00a Solutions Exchange Kick-Off
11:15a – 12:15p Solutions Exchange: Round 1
12:15p – 1:30p Lunch (delegation roundtables available)
1:45p – 2:45p Solutions Exchange: Round 2
3:00p – 4:30p Solutions Exchange: Bringing it Home & Gallery Walk
4:30p – 6:00p Networking Break
6:00p – 7:00p Dinner
7:30p – 8:45p Revolutionary Weavers Ignite!
9:00p – 12:00a Hospitality Sweet


BALLE Shift Capital Summit // Friday, November 16, 2018
7:00a – 8:00a Morning Rituals
7:30a – 8:45a Breakfast
9:00a – 10:00a The BALLE Experience: Modeling Evolution
10:00a – 10:15a Break
10:15a – 11:45a Vision session: Shift Into the Future

  • The new majority
  • Reimagining our political economy
12:00p – 1:30p Lunch (delegation roundtables available)
1:45p – 4:15p Big Picture Challenges: What Can We Take On, Together?
4:30p – 6:00p Networking Break
6:00p – 7:00p Dinner
7:30p – 8:45p Closing Circle
9:00p – 11:00p Closing Night Dance Party
11:00p – 2:00a Hospitality Sweet


BALLE Shift Capital Summit // Saturday, November 17, 2018 
7:30a – 8:45a Breakfast
9:00a – 12:00p Optional Delegation Gatherings


Summit Themes


Democratize finance and investing

Building an economy that works for all requires broader access to and engagement in the worlds of finance and investing for more of us. From providing financial literacy to highlighting products for unaccredited investors, the BALLE community ensures that people can grow their wealth by leveraging all available assets. In this area we will look to explore pathways that activate restorative capital, such as community-controlled funds and move-your-money campaigns.


Resource entrepreneurs of color

As North America moves toward a future where people of color are the majority, we must consider troubling economic trends: as just one lens on race, unless things change, the median wealth of African Americans in the U.S. will be zero by 2053. BALLE is committed to investigating and addressing structural racism in the economy while revealing paths forward. In this area we will look to explore restorative investing to offset systemic oppression and aggregating investment capital for leaders of color.


Resource women entrepreneurs

Although women start 30% of businesses, they receive only 5% of small-business loans and 3% of venture capital. Meanwhile, there are many reasons to invest in their leadership: alongside correcting for structural discrimination, women-owned businesses consistently deliver higher financial returns, lower volatility, and stronger brands. In this area we will look to explore how gender lens investing is closing the pay gap and growing income for women as head of households.


Invest in rural ecosystem building

The challenges of working in places with fewer people and vast resources are unique. A core group of BALLE Network leaders are focused on strengthening under-resourced, talent-rich rural areas across North America, and eager to share timeless and cutting-edge solutions underway to ensure local economies that work for all. In this area we will look to explore ways to address infrastructure challenges, from food security to broadband; bridging the urban-rural narrative divide; and creative use of local assets.


Prioritize indigenous communities

One of our greatest moral failings as a society is the marginalization, exploitation, and extinction of the people who inhabited and cared for North America for centuries. As a network, BALLE is committed to honoring and resourcing indigenous communities to restore what has been extracted and withheld. In this area we will look to explore energy democracy initiatives on reservations; direct, high impact philanthropic opportunities; and the frontlines of climate change.


Accelerate cooperative ownership of business and land

Sustainable, equitable economic development requires pathways to ownership and wealthbuilding for all of us. BALLE’s Network leaders have launched and refined alternative models — from coops and DPOs to land trusts — making it possible for more people to benefit from community assets and enterprises. In this area we will look to explore succession planning for next generation leadership; and securing access to affordable commercial and residential real estate.


Incentivize independent business and alternative economic development

“Business as usual” has produced predictable outcomes: increased concentration of wealth and power. The Summit is where you can discover the many solutions improved over decades that prioritize people, and the long-term financial and physical health of communities. In this area we will look to explore public-private partnerships creating sustainable quality job creation; redirecting procurement policies; and the long-term economic benefits of recirculating dollars in communities by investing in local.


Regenerate soil and nature

Our families, neighbors, businesses, and communities cannot be healthy if the natural resources we rely on are not healthy. BALLE leaders have been identifying and refining ways to strengthen local economies while regenerating our land, water, and air, and using soil health as a climate change mitigation tool. In this area we will look to explore holistic land management; sustainable supply chains; and wealth building through responsible nature-based businesses.


Session Descriptions


Opening Program: Discovering our Ecosystem

As we begin our time together we will learn more about who has gathered to accelerate solutions to Shift Capital, as individuals, organizations, and in the systems we share.


Hospitality Sweet

Night owls and anyone seeking a more relaxed space for conversation about anything and everything are invited to gather in the Directors Cottage. Some principles to remember:

  • The Hospitality Sweet supports radical inclusion.
  • The Hospitality Sweet is open to everyone, but not for everyone.
  • Civility, safety, responsible behavior and moderate drinking is requested. See something, help out.
  • The Sweet is a smoke free environment.
  • The Sweet is a leave no trace event. Drinks are provided, BYO glass.


Vision Session: The Shift We Need

To spark thinking and set the tone for our day, we will bring together leaders who are challenging current models, and creating new pathways for social and financial capital to flow.

  • Conversation: Moving from impact investing to restorative investing. As impact investing becomes increasingly mainstream, we have to constantly question what kind of impact we seek. In this conversation we will consider how investing can heal and celebrate our potential, and the ability to use capital to address wealth inequality, and restore what has been extracted and exploited. Speakers: Morgan SimonAlfa Demmellash, Deborah Frieze, Preeti BhattacharjiStephen DeBerry.
  • Conversation: Matching the scale of solutions to the scale of challenges. The creativity, commitment, and vision required to build an economy that works for all exists today. This conversation will explore how to engage every asset available — leveraging natural, social, and financial capital — to resource solutions that address the scale of problems we all face. Speakers: Anne Marie BurgoyneTomás Durán, Ben Hecht, Dana Kawaoka-Chen, Heather Grady


Solutions Exchange (SOLx)

BALLE Network Leaders and community allies will share up to 32 projects, based on the Summit themes. Solutions Exchange projects will ground the entire Summit in the amazing work that is already happening to shift capital and prioritize equity in our communities, and bring together small groups to consider promising solutions underway and how to move them forward. Unlike a “best practices,” broadcast-style presentation, these co-learning work sessions will be active conversations focused on “burning questions,” and provide insight on how to advance shared work.

View selected SOLx projects here.


Solutions Exchange: Bringing It Home

Participants will come back together to share key insights and actionable takeaways from Solutions Exchange work sessions. Posters from all breakouts will be on display, with the opportunity to connect with project leads to discover learnings that can translate across different communities.


Revolutionary Weavers Ignite!

An annual favorite, this high-energy session will highlight BALLE Network Leaders sharing their most passionate and creative local economy work, in five minutes and 20 slides.


The BALLE Experience: Modeling Evolution

Get a taste of BALLE’s approach to transformational leadership development through this interactive session.


Vision Session: Shift into the Future

Robust conversations will offer a clear understanding of the evolution of our communities, and the stories we are telling, as context for afternoon sessions that consider concrete challenges that impact economic equality.

  • Conversation: The New Majority. What does it look like when the majority of our neighbors are people of color, and have zero net worth, as predicted within the next generation? The precarious economic fortunes of the new majority spells trouble for the entire economy. By investing in solutions that work to build wealth for all, we can accelerate progress for all of our communities. Speakers: Ismael Diaz-Herrera, Rodney FoxworthChancee MartorellAnne PriceEdgar Villanueva.
  • Conversation: Reimagining our Political EconomyMany of the most pressing challenges we face in the 21st century are attributed to our current political economic system. Ideas about how to build the next system – one that serves all of us – are top of mind for many. In this session, we bring together leaders who are reexamining their role in building our current system with leaders who model alternative economic frameworks on the ground today, to prepare us for what it will take to usher in a new paradigm that’s better suited for today’s society. Speakers: Jennifer HarrisMichelle Long, Nwamaka Agbo, Stephanie Gutierrez, Brendan Martin.


Big Picture Challenges: What Can We Take On, Together?

With a shared understanding of restorative investing and what it takes to scale solutions, and a new paradigm that reflects the new majority, we will bring together large groups to identify specific challenges and collaborative solutions within financial, climate justice, healthcare and economic systems. What actions can you commit to — as an individual or organization — as you bring learnings and opportunities back home to your community?