Local Food/Economy Lecture Series

Public Lecture Series at CMU, begins Jan. 29 

A four-part lecture series exploring the connections between the food we grow and eat, local markets, the potential for thriving local economies and global social equity will begin in late January and continue, one per month, until April.  After the final lecture in April, a public workshop will be held to frame a strategy for developing capacity and collaborations towards creating a sustainable and equitable economy in the Pittsburgh area with a focus on local food systems, related green business and tools for local economic transformation to a local living economy.

Lecture 1:  James Quilligan, American Coordinator for the Global Marshall Plan and Convention on the Global Commons
Tuesday, January 29, 2008, 5:00-6:30 PM
Connan Auditorium, University Center, Carnegie Mellon

Quilligan has been an analyst and administrator in the field of international development since 1975. He has served as policy advisor and writer for many international politicians and leaders, including Willy Brandt, Jimmy Carter, and Tony Blair. Quilligan is currently the managing director of the Centre for Global Negotiations and US Coordinator of the Global Marshall Plan Initiative. These organizations, along with many partners, have launched a multi-stakeholder consultation process that is focused on global development issues, including food security, sustainable agriculture, and fair trade. They maintain that bilateral policies based on domestic security interests -- such as agricultural subsidies and trade protectionism -- are on a collision course with the interests of the global community for multilateral cooperation, justice, sustainability and peace. A draft report is now being created through an interactive website, incorporating the wisdom of thousands of global organizations, individuals and experts. The partners in this consultation network will also be selecting delegates to an international conference in 2010, Convention on the Global Commons, which will reach a consensus on a final plan. (See www.global-commons.org/)

Lecture 2: Michael Schuman, economist, lawyer and author of Going Local: Creating Self-Reliant Communities in the Global Age (1998) and The Small-Mart Revolution: How Local Businesses Are Beating the Global Competition (2006)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008, 5:00-6:30 PM
Rangos 3, University Center, Carnegie Mellon

Shuman promotes the concepts in Going Local and The Small-Mart Revolution through a variety of projects including: creating a small-business venture capital fund in New Mexico, launching a community-owned company in Salisbury, MD, called Bay-Friendly Chicken, organizing university-government-business collaborations in St. Lawrence County, NY, analyzing the impact of devolution in the former Soviet Union for the United Nations Development Program, preparing a buy-local guide for Annapolis, MD, developing a website to support marketing by family farmers, and building BALLE (Business Alliance for Local Living Economies). (See www.smallmart.org/)  

Lecture 3: Kenneth Warren, Director of the Lakewood Public Library System in the Cleveland area; community activist/member of LEAF- the Lakewood Earth and Food Community 

Thursday, March 27, 2008, 5:00-6:30 PM
McConomy Lecture Hall, University Center, Carnegie Mellon

Warren has authored a practical report in Lakewood Ohio on grassroots alignment efforts of artists, citizen journalists, farmers, local food system activists and public librarians to enact the community and place-making vision of LEAF - the Lakewood Earth and Food Community. He is a student and teacher of the psychographic tool Spiral Dynamics as it relates to local economies and food systems. Warren uses Spiral Dynamics to enable assessment and insight concerning the community's capacity and interest in developing local agricultural, cultural and economic circuits of exchange. (See www.spiraldynamics.org/) 


Lecture 4: Judy Wicks, founder of the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia; founder of The White Dog Café

Tuesday, April 29, 2008, 5:00-6:30 PM
Connan Auditorium, University Center, Carnegie Mellon

Wicks is probably best known for establishing The White Dog Cafe on the first floor of her Philadelphia home in 1983. As the restaurant grew, so did her notion that the strength of her business relied upon the quality and sustainability of its locally grown ingredients. Envisioning how strengthening relationships among independent, community-rooted enterprises could inspire broad and profound cultural change, Wicks joined the Social Venture Network and co-founded the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) in 2001, She is currently writing a book about the White Dog Café and local living economies called Good Morning, Beautiful Business. (See www.livingeconomies.org/)

This lecture series and the public strategy workshop that will follow will build on information and input gathered through three community-based events that have happened recently: the Green Forum on Vacant Land Revitalization (held at the Pittsburgh Project in Nov. 2006), the first Urban Farming Lecture Series in Spring 2006 (Hosted at CMU and organized by the Urban Farming Initiative) and The Cooperate Pittsburgh Grassroots Forum (Held at the Friends Meeting House in Shadyside in May 2007… look for Grassroots Forum's Link on www.holisticpittsburgh.com ).  The co-organizers and co-sponsors of this latest lecture series and workshop include Carnegie Mellon Univ., Office of the Vice Provost and the Heinz School of Public Policy and Management, the Urban Ecology Collaborative, The Urban Redevelopment Authority, Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture, The Penn State Cooperative Ext., Allegheny County, Grow Pittsburgh, The Urban Farming Initiative, The Green Block Farm Project and the Green Bough.

Supporters of the series include the Carnegie Mellon Heinz School of Public Policy and Management, the East End Food Cooperative, the Fay-Penn Economic Development Council, Green Block Farm, Grow Pittsburgh, Penn State Cooperative Extension, the Green Bough Holistic Learning Center, the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture, the Urban Ecology Collaborative, and the Urban Farming Initiative.

To learn more about the lecture series or the workshop, you can email
[email protected]