Southern Vermont Economy Summit

  • SoVT Economy Summit

Even before the pandemic, rural communities across Vermont were struggling with population decline, inequitable access to services, and lack of investment. Now, more than ever, it's important for rural communities to use this unprecedented time to recover equitably at a community level scale. This summit’s focus is on reconnecting and rural recovery, in the hopes we can come back better than ever.  

The summit features workshops, networking, panel sessions, and special speakers focused on small business development, reimagining wealth-building for our communities, small-scale changes to strengthen communities, and a 3-part New-to-Vermont lunch series. The Summit is anchored by “In Conversation With: Governor Scott and Lt. Governor Gray on Envisioning Vermont’s Future” followed by “The Future Talks Back,” a young professional town hall discussion on the future of our regional economy.

The 2021 Summit will feature two outstanding keynote speakers. We open with Tony Pipa, Senior Fellow of Global Economy and Development at the Center for Sustainable Development at the Brookings Institute, who will discuss the new administration’s approach to federal rural programs and funding, and what this means for our region.

Majora Carter, a real estate developer, urban revitalization strategy consultant, MacArthur Fellow and Peabody Award winning broadcaster, will close out the Summit on Friday, applying her corporate consulting practice focused on talent-retention to reducing Brain Drain in American low-status communities.  Carter is quoted on the walls of the Smithsonian Museum of African-American History and Culture in Washington D.C.; "Nobody should have to move out of their neighborhood to live in a better one”.

Lastly, our featured speaker, Xusana Davis serves as the State of Vermont’s Executive Director of Racial Equity. Since 2019, Davis has been working with state agencies to identify structural solutions to structural barriers to equity, which she will discuss at the Summit. Xusana applies an "equity lens" to look at three key areas: fiscal impact, equity impact, and operational impact.

We really hope you'll join us!