Summit Agenda

The agenda for the 2017 BALLE Leadership Summit was developed by a program committee* including BALLE Leadership Network participants, Summit facilitators, and BALLE staff. Beyond the programming itself, our agenda includes a balance of focused time with cohorts and peers as well as time for reflection, play, and relationship building.

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Wednesday Agenda     Thursday Agenda     Friday Agenda     Session Descriptions     Pre-Summit Offerings


Pre-Summit Events // Wednesday, November 15, 2017
8:30a – 3:30p Equity in Rural Economies Tour // Pathways to Farm Business and Land Ownership
Additional Fee & Registration
9:00a – 3:00p Equity Training // Cultivating Leadership for Racial Equity
Additional Fee & Registration


BALLE Leadership Summit // Wednesday, November 15, 2017 
4:00 – 5:30p Opening Reception
6:00 – 7:00p Dinner
7:15 – 9:15p Opening Ritual & Program // Choose Connection
9:30 – 12:00a Hospitality Sweet


BALLE Leadership Summit // Thursday, November 16, 2017 
7:00 – 8:00a Yoga or Guided Meditation
7:30 – 8:45a Breakfast
9:00 – 10:30a Vision Session // Building an Economy That Works for All
10:30 – 11:45a Interactive Session Breakout:
Next Generation
Local Business,
Local Justice
Talking About Social Equity Back Home
12:00 – 1:00p Lunch // Regional Roundtables BALLE Fellows &
Foundations Cohort
1:15 – 2:00p The BALLE Experience: Modeling Evolution
2:30 – 3:15p Vision Session // Visioning Beyond Breakdowns
3:15 – 4:30p Interactive Session Breakout:
Seeding & Growing Healthy Funding Relationships Investors
for All
Shake the Foundations: Aligning Philanthopy for Collective Impact
4:30 – 6:00p Networking Break
6:00 – 7:00p Dinner
7:30 – 8:45p Revolutionary Weavers Ignite!
9:00 – 10:30p Fireside Chat // The Role of Media in the New Economy
9:00 – 12:00a Hospitality Sweet


BALLE Leadership Summit // Friday, November 17, 2017
7:00 – 8:00a Yoga or Guided Meditation
7:30 – 8:45a Breakfast
9:00 – 10:15a Vision Session // Connecting the Dots: Local Economy Ecosystems
10:15 – 11:45a Interactive Session Breakout:
Rural Ecosystems in Evolution: Biofuels in the Arkansas Delta Systems Approach
to Local Food
Private Business in
Public Policy
12:00 – 1:00p Lunch // Regional Roundtables
1:30 – 4:45p Local Economy Open Space
4:45 – 5:45p Networking Break
6:00 – 7:00p Dinner
7:30 – 8:45p Closing Circle // Looking Back, Looking Ahead
9:00 – 11:00p Dance Party
11:00 – 2:00a Hospitality Sweet


Post-Summit Workshop // Saturday, November 18, 2017
9:00a – 5:00p Advanced Media Training with Laura Flanders
Participation Very Limited


Pre-Summit Events

Equity in Rural Economies Tour // Pathways to Farm Business and Land Ownership
Wednesday, November 15 | 8:30a – 3:30p
Additional Fee: $45, select tour option during Summit registration or add later

This is not your typical farm tour. California’s beautiful Central Coast region – where we’ll visit an organic farm and a thriving food hub – is known for its abundance of strawberries, vegetables, and cut flowers. Less widely advertised and important for the context of our tour, the counties we’ll visit – just inland from the wealthy, tourism-driven coastal community where Asilomar and the BALLE Summit is located – are majority Latino/Hispanic (60%) and, in a state where the median farmworker income is around $10k, one in four households in this region rely on income related to agriculture.

Visiting JSM Organics and Coke Farm with BALLE Fellow organizations Kitchen Table Advisors and Project Equity (who work with these farm businesses), we’ll explore racial equity in rural economies, farm succession planning and cooperative development, a successful food hub model that aggregates and markets for more than 50 local farms, alternative finance solutions that are working to grow low-resource farm businesses across California, and more. Participants will be invited to share their own perspective and experiences from their home communities to bring depth, discussion, and shared learning to our tour.

With our feet grounded on the land and our lungs filled with fresh air, we’ll consider:

  • What does an inclusive and equitable food system look like and how is it being built?
  • Who are the players in a local economy ecosystem that is growing low-resource farms into economically viable business that can also steward the land?
  • How can Baby Boomers and visionary entrepreneurs implement cooperative and member-owned models in their succession planning to keep their local economies strong?
  • How can lenders, nonprofits, and foundations leverage a variety of financial tools to shift capital to immigrants and farmers & workers of color to support their vital contributions to our food systems?

Our tour includes lunch and transportation from Asilomar. Be sure to pack shoes that can get muddy and layers so you’re prepared for a wide range of temperatures throughout the day. Scholarships for this tour are available.

Register for the Tour

This tour is part of the invitational BALLE Summit.
Please find the password to register in your email invitation.


Equity Training // Cultivating Local Economy Leadership for Racial Equity
Wednesday, November 15 | 9:00a – 3:00p
Additional Fee: $45, select workshop option during Summit registration or add later

As local economy leaders, we constantly aim to expand ownership, wealth-creation, localism, and community control and participation to serve all people. We’re often challenged in our efforts by historically entrenched inequality across race, class, gender, immigration status, geography, and other divisions. In particular, many of us see the way institutional racism impacts our organizations and our communities. While many of us embrace racial equity as a guiding principle, many also struggle to operationalize equity in our work. This workshop will provide a racial equity framework and help local economy organizers develop a stronger sense of their own blind spots and arm them with strategies to integrate racial equity on an everyday basis in their leadership, organizational culture, and local economy programs. Scholarships for this workshop are available.

This workshop is facilitated by Esteban Kelly, director of the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives, co-founder of AORTA (Anti-Oppression Resource & Training Alliance), and co-chair of the Philadelphia Mayor’s Food Policy Advisory Council.

It was made possible by the generous support of Good Work Institute and Rising Tide Capital.

You should attend if…

  • You’re interested in continuing conversations about the intersection of racial equity and local economy work.
  • You’re actively looking to expand your understanding of how to live into your personal and professional commitment to make racial equity a priority.
  • You’d like more education and practice to gain more comfort and skill at engaging conversations around equity in a local economy context.
  • You seek to support or lead more equity conversations in your community.

Register for the Workshop

This workshop is part of the invitational BALLE Summit.
Please find the password to register in your email invitation.


BALLE Leadership Summit Sessions

Opening Ritual & Program // Choose Connection
Wednesday | 7:15p – 9:15p
As we begin to weave our time together, initial threads will invite connection in its many forms: connecting with BALLE’s roots and vision, through founder Judy Wicks; connecting with the future, through Executive Director Rodney Foxworth; and connecting with one another and within ourselves over the days that follow.  Featuring: Rodney Foxworth, BALLE; Gibran Rivera, Evolutionary Leadership; Tuesday Ryan-Hart; Judy Wicks, BALLE co-founder.

Vision Session // Building an Economy That Works for All
Thursday | 9:00a – 10:30a
As we move toward the future, many things are possible and some are certain – and we believe in learning from patterns and the past. How do we create an economy that works for all, based on all we know now? From disruption through automation and technology, to massive shifts in what work looks like, what kind of new economy is taking shape? What is your role, as an individual and organization, to accelerate progress in our shared efforts? We will consider BALLE’s founding vision of a global network of living local economies as we forecast what local economy ecosystems of the future look like. Speakers: Alfa Demmellash, Rising Tide Capital; Laura Flanders; The Laura Flanders Show; David Korten, author. 

Interactive Session Breakout
Thursday | 10:30a – 11:45a

Next Generation Leadership
If you’re considering, undergoing, or imagining a leadership transition in your organization, you’re in good company. This interactive session is designed for participants who want to explore strategies and tactics to transfer power and leadership to leaders who come from and reflect the communities we serve. How do we identify and nurture future leaders in our communities? How do we ensure they are fully equipped to step into new roles? What are common missteps to avoid? What are best practices and lessons learned from transitions we’ve experienced before? We don’t promise answers, but we do promise rich discussion! Featuring: Anthony Chang, Kitchen Table Advisors; Jenice Contreras, Northeast Ohio Hispanic Business Center; Jess Daniel, BALLE.

Local Business, Local Justice
What does it look like for business to engage in the pressing issues of our times, from ownership and management structures to fair labor practices? This session will explore business models that explicitly align social, health, and equity goals. Featuring: Tomas Duran, Concerned Capital; Yscaira Jimenez, LaborX; Emily Kawano, Wellspring Cooperative Corporation; Esteban Kelly, US Federation of Worker Cooperatives, Aaron Tanaka, Center for Economic Democracy.

Talking about Social Equity Back Home
It’s one thing to spend a few days in like-minded community talking about what social and racial equity looks like. It’s a different thing to go back to our individual worlds and try to create a shared understanding about barriers and possible paths forward. What language opens minds and hearts? What turns people off? Skilled translators working in a range of communities will offer tested messaging and tools to help bring solutions home. Featuring: Lisa Pinckney, Foothill Foundation; Angela Zusman, Story For All

The BALLE Experience: Modeling Evolution
Thursday | 1:15p – 2:00p
Step into BALLE’s approach to transformational leadership development through this interactive session. Facilitated by: Gibran Rivera, Evolutionary Leadership; Tuesday Ryan-Hart. 

Vision Session // Visioning Beyond Breakdowns
Thursday | 2:30p – 3:15p
Our investment infrastructure has gaps and bottlenecks, blank spots and dead ends. How do we eclipse our current system to create what is possible? A brief, very funny representation of investing in today’s world will provide context for breakout sessions on redefining who is an investor, and building relationships that lead to regenerative investments. Featuring: Brendan Martin. 

Interactive Session Breakout
Thursday | 3:15p – 4:30p

Investors for All
Building an economy that works for all requires an evolution of how we view investing and who engages as investors. How do we create a broader shift in awareness and invite non-accredited investors into shared solutions? What are instruments available today that democratize investing and shift capital to solutions that our communities need? Leaders in the field share about lessons learned and unique ways to take action. Featuring: Alfa Demmellash, Rising Tide Capital; Nia Evans, The Boston Ujima Project; Brian McKeown, Kiva; Jessica Norwood, The Runway Project; Michael Shuman, author.

Seeding & Growing Healthy Funding Relationships
Looking for visionary leaders to invest in? Seeking values-aligned capital? This is an opportunity to directly connect with each other. Anyone who is building healthy, equitable local economies and looking for ways to use financial and social capital to make that possible will discover other leaders in local economy ecosystems who offer possibilities for collaboration. Featuring: Rodney Foxworth, BALLE; Brendan Martin, The Working World.

Shake the Foundations: Aligning Philanthropy for Collective Impact
How do funders facilitate productive conversations in their organizations to move toward alignment of capital, mission, and values? Shake the Foundations provides peer support and guidance for modeling humility and advancing principles of non-extractive finance. If you are exploring ways to accelerate positive impact in philanthropy, Shake the Foundations will challenge and encourage your inquiry. Featuring: Christine Ageton, BALLE; Jennifer Near, Shake the Foundations; Regan Pritzker, The Libra Foundation. 

Vision Session // Connecting the Dots: Local Economy Ecosystems
Friday | 9:00a – 10:15a
Building healthy, equitable local economies isn’t the work of a single leader or organization: an ecosystem of individuals and institutions must come together, understand their relationships to each other, and choose to collaborate. In this session we will help you understand your unique role in the local economy ecosystem and your connection to others in the room, as we create an economy that works for all. Speakers: Rodney Foxworth, BALLE; Gibran Rivera, Evolutionary Leadership.

Interactive Session Breakout
Friday | 10:15a – 11:45a

Rural Ecosystems in Evolution: Biofuels in the Arkansas Delta
Communities across North America have been struggling for decades, especially ones cut off from the infrastructure and resources that come with density in urban areas. Yet there is also incredible growth happening, such as in De Witt, AR, where an application of the WealthWorks value chain has helped to create new ventures based on confirmed demand. Discover how local adoption of an alternative crop is creating markets, quality jobs, and cleaner fuel for this rural Delta town. Featuring: Ines Polonius, Communities Unlimited.

Systems Approach to Local Food
Building an inclusive and systemic food economy does not only focus on how to get “food” into communities, but how to get healthy and local foods into a system that provides for all residents in many ways. This session will explore barriers and solutions to integrating inclusive food economies as fundamental community and economic development practices that root locally-owned economic strength in the people, neighborhoods, and existing assets in communities of color and historically marginalized communities. Featuring: Trisha Chakrabarti, Mandela MarketPlace; Dana Harvey, Mandela MarketPlace.

Private Business in Public Policy
Most would agree that business can be a force for good. What does that look like in terms of municipal policy? How do we create a level playing field through regulation – from supporting co-ops to incentivizing local procurement – that equips businesses for success? We will explore the best ways to approach policy that supports long-term sustainable local economy growth. Featuring: Steve Dubb, Nonprofit Quarterly; Richard Eidlin, American Sustainable Business Council; Kimber Lanning, Local First Arizona; Vicki Pozzebon, Prospera Partners; Ana Uruza, Santa Ana Building Healthy Communities. 

Local Economy Open Space
Friday | 1:30 – 4:45p
What do you want to learn more about – or share? This is your opportunity to determine part of the agenda. Using Open Space Technology, a simple way of self-organizing around issues that are most meaningful, you get to choose your local economy adventure. There is nothing to prepare other than to consider: Given your unique context, what do you need to talk about? What are the conversations you need to have as a local economy leader to do your work? Facilitated by: Gibran Rivera, Evolutionary Leadership; Tuesday Ryan-Hart.

Closing Circle // Looking Back, Looking Ahead
Friday | 7:30 – 8:45p
Our final session provides an opportunity to reflect on the past few days and consider the days to come. What do you want to hold onto? Which connections will help inform the next months and years? The closing circle will help your transition from the inspiration and wisdom of this gathering as you consider ways to bring it all home. Facilitated by: Gibran Rivera, Evolutionary Leadership; Tuesday Ryan-Hart.


Special Programming

Revolutionary Weavers Ignite!
Thursday, November 16 | 7:30 – 8:45p
This lively session will highlight BALLE Network Leaders sharing their most passionate and creative local economy work with just 20 slides in five minutes or less!

Fireside Chat // The Role of Media in the New Economy
Thursday, November 16 | 9:00 – 10:30p
Join us for a fireside chat where thought leaders and publishers will consider the role of media in the new economy. After a full day and inspiring Ignite! presentations, this will be an evening of conversation with current and prospective authors and speakers along with media-makers including Yes! Magazine, Judy Wicks, Conscious Company, Oscar Abello, Laura Flanders, The Media Consortium, and New Economy Coalition’s Reporting Project.

Hospitality Sweet
Evenings starting at 9:00p
Night owls and anyone seeking a more laid-back space for conversation about anything and everything, bring a glass and join us in the Director’s Cottage. Some principles to remember:

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


Post-Summit Workshop

Advanced Media Training with Laura Flanders
Saturday, November 18 | 9:00a – 5:00p

We’ve partnered with the New Economy Coalition to offer this hands-on, day-long media training immediately following the BALLE Summit. Led by broadcast journalist Laura Flanders, the training will focus on message refinement and on-camera delivery. This focused training is limited to ten leaders at the intersection of BALLE & NEC’s networks. If you are interested in applying to participate, please contact Amy Hartzler.



* Program Committee members included: Anthony Chang, Steve Dubb, Rodney Foxworth, Emily Kawano, Joann Lee, Leslie Lindo, Michelle Long, Gibran Rivera, Lisa Pinckney, Aaron Tanaka, Sarah Trent.