Middlebury

May 6 workshop to focus on Vermont values in age of climate change

April 27, 2005

MIDDLEBURY, Vt.-Representatives of a variety of social and economic sectors of Vermont, from business and agriculture to education and religion, will gather on Friday, May 6, at Middlebury College to participate in a discussion titled "Finding Common Ground: An Exploratory Workshop on Vermont's Future in the Age of Climate Change."  The event, which is free and open to the public, will take place from 12 to 5 p.m. in Kenyon Lounge in the Middlebury College Kenyon Arena on South Main Street (Route 30). 

The workshop was organized by representatives of Middlebury College, Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility, and the Vermont Natural Resources Council.  Middlebury College students will oversee and facilitate the event.

Workshop attendees will represent eight sectors of Vermont life: agriculture, business, education, environment, fraternal organizations, outdoor recreation, religion and social justice.  Middlebury College Assistant Professor of Economics Jon Isham, one of the organizers of the workshop, said, "This event will be an opportunity for Vermonters to offer their visions of our state's future, and then to share ideas about how to achieve these goals."  Participants will also hear a talk on current concerns related to climate change issues and how they are relevant to Vermont.  The rest of the day will be spent discussing possible strategies to combat climate change and build a clean-energy economy.

The Middlebury students who helped plan the event completed this work as part of a service-learning course taught by Isham, "Conservation and Environmental Policy."  "The students, along with many citizens in the new climate movement, feel a need to refocus their environmental concerns towards a broader vision.  They see this workshop as a first step in that direction for Vermont, providing an open forum for public discourse," said Isham.

The event is free, but reservations are required.  To make a reservation or for more 

information, contact Diane Munroe, event coordinator, at dmunroe@middlebury.edu or (802-443-5925).  

  To follow is the workshop agenda:

"Finding Common Ground: An Exploratory Workshop on Vermont's Future in the Age of Climate Change"

 

Co-conveners: Middlebury College, Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility, and the Vermont Natural Resources Council

 

Friday, May 6

Kenyon Lounge, Kenyon Arena, Middlebury College, South Main Street (Route 30)

 

Agenda

 

12-12:30 p.m.

  Welcome and luncheon

 

12:30-1:30 p.m.

  Break-out sessions and plenary discussion on "Sharing Hopes and Dreams for Vermont's Future."  Break-out session groups will include Middlebury College students and representatives from each of eight sectors of Vermont life: agriculture, business, education, environment, fraternal organizations, outdoor recreation, religion and social justice

 

1:30-2 p.m.

  Talk/presentation: Why climate change is a crisis that requires urgent action  (Speaker TBA)

 

2-2:15 p.m. - Break

 

2:15-3 p.m.

  Student presentations: Middlebury College students will present research findings on six of Vermont's key sectors: agriculture, business, fraternal groups, outdoor recreation, secondary and higher education, and social justice.

 

3-4 p.m.

  Discussion groups: Middlebury College students and other attendees will discuss the building of clean energy awareness and economic opportunities in six other states: New Hampshire, Nebraska, New Jersey, Oregon, Texas, and Wisconsin.

 

4-5 p.m.

  Discussion: Discussion of clean energy strategies and economic opportunities for Vermont

  Closing comments: Middlebury College Assistant Professor of Economics Jon Isham

 

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