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EcoCiv Gathers Vermont Leaders at Middlebury College

Vermont leaders gather at Middlebury College to build a long-term vision for sustainable, thriving urban-rural relationships in the state  

For questions, contact Jesse Knapp at

September 12, 2019 – The Institute for Ecological Civilization (EcoCiv) and the Middlebury College Departments of Environmental Studies and Environmental Affairs on September 15 will facilitate a charrette-style forum on the future of urban-rural relations in Vermont. Participants will focus on the connections between rural and urban communities in order to develop a comprehensive understanding of the challenges posed by increasing urbanization and climate change. This dialogue will lay the foundations for a plan entitled “Vermont 2050: Roadmap to the Future, a Bioregional Approach.”

The event will bring together some 70 leaders from across the state of Vermont, including Lieutenant Governor David Zuckerman, Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger and other policymakers, as well as leaders in agriculture, education, non-profit work and small business. Brief talks by specialists will be interspersed with group activities designed to promote collaboration in state-wide, long-term planning. Other participants will include Vermont Land Trust Executive Director Nick Richardson, Abenaki educator Judy Dow, Transition Town Charlotte representative Ruah Swennerfelt, food justice advocate Susan Smiley, environmental economist Jon Erickson and Middlebury professors John Elder and Marc Lapin. 

“This is the beginning of a multi-year effort to understand and rethink the urban-rural relationship globally,” said EcoCiv Managing Director Jeremy Fackenthal. “We are honored to start in Vermont, a state where rural and small-town community and culture are valuable and valued.”

The event is co-sponsored by EcoCiv, the Middlebury College Departments of Environmental Studies and Environmental Affairs, the Center for Process Studies and the Tse Foundation. 

About EcoCiv

The Institute for Ecological Civilization works internationally to support systemic approaches to long-term sustainability by developing collaborations among scholars, activists, and policy makers. The Institute conducts academic research, provides education through courses, conferences, and social media, and supports concrete projects in local settings based on the principles of an ecological civilization.

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For questions, contact Jesse Knapp at

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