University of Vermont

UVM to Host National Ecological Economics Conference

US Society fror Ecological Economics

Many of the nation’s experts in the growing field of ecological economics will gather at the University of Vermont, June 9-12.

UVM’s Gund Institute for Ecological Economics and Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources are hosting the seventh U.S. Society for Ecological Economics (USSEE) Conference. Academics, organizational leaders, students and other attendees will engage the theme of “Building Local, Scaling Global: Implementing Solutions for Sustainability.”

The conference’s final lecture will be free and open to the public.

As global concern grows about soil depletion, climate change, overconsumption, population growth, biodiversity loss — and a host of other pressures on planetary systems — ecological economics has been building a powerful body of theory and practice aiming to find ways forward toward a more sustainable future.

The conference will take a critical look at lessons about economic and ecological well-being learned in recent years at local, regional, and state levels--and identify solutions that can be scaled up.

Speakers and sessions

The conference will open Sunday, June 9, at 5:30 p.m., with welcoming remarks by Vermont Agency of Agriculture Secretary Chuck Ross, and Vermont State Senator Ginny Lyons.

On Wednesday, June 12, from 3:30 to 5 p.m., the final conference event will be a lecture and discussion, "Building Our Economy: Moving Past Rhetoric to a Just and Sustainable Future," with Riane Eisler and Nancy Folbre.

The lecture will be held in the Marsh Life Sciences Lecture Hall, Room 235, and is free and open to the public. Tickets are available through phone reservations, (802)-656-2943, or online registration.

Riane Eisler is the co-founder and president of the Center for Partnership Studies and the author of numerous books and articles, including the internationally acclaimed The Chalice and the Blade: Our History, Our Future. Nancy Folbre is professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Her research explores the interface between political economy and feminist theory, with emphasis on the value of unpaid care work. In addition to numerous articles published in academic journals, she is the author of Greed, Lust, and Gender: A History of Economic Ideas.

Additional lectures and discussions during the conference will include international development specialist Robin Broad; environmental governance researcher Ashwini Chhatre; energy expert Cutler Cleveland; Nate Hagens, an authority on "peak oil" and resource depletion; Hal Hamilton, co-director of the Sustainable Food Lab; Cylvia Hayes, first lady of Oregon and leader of the Oregon Prosperity Initiative; UVM soil expert Fred Magdoff; Julie Nelson, a scholar of feminist economics; energy author Greg Pahl; ecological planning expert Bill Rees, who originated the "ecological footprint" concept; and Darcy Winslow a sustainability management expert from the MIT Leadership Center.

Gund leads

"Vermont and UVM are uniquely positioned to host the USSEE Conference," said Taylor Ricketts, director of UVM’s Gund Institute. "Vermont is a leader in alternative economic models and sustainability initiatives ranging from cooperative farming to alternative currencies. At UVM, our world-class academic community conducts research at the interface of ecological, social, and economic systems, and develops creative, practical solutions to local and global environmental challenges. "

“The Gund Institute has been a Vermont hub for transdisciplinary research and education on ecological economics for over a decade,” said Josh Farley, Gund Fellow and professor in UVM's department of Community Development and Applied Economics. “The USSEE Conference is a great opportunity to lay the foundations for an economic system dedicated to shared prosperity on a finite planet.”

The conference will cover more than 60 topics under three major implementing themes: Re-Building the Biophysical Base of Ecological Economics; Bridging Ecological and Behavioral Economics; and, Designing Social Policy and Education for the Anthropocene. The Biophysical Economics Association will hold their fifth  annual meeting alongside the USSEE in support of the theme around Re-Building the Biophysical Base of Ecological Economics.

Information, registration:

For questions, please contact conference organizers at