Home‎ > ‎

Workshop Session Descriptions

Workshop Session Descriptions

New Economy 101

Discuss what is wrong with our current economy and learn about an emerging system of values, practices, institutions, policies and laws that support an economy designed to maximize current well-being and social justice without sacrificing the natural world or the resources available to future generations.


  • Emily Kawano, Director of Center for Popular Economics
  • Boone W. Shear, Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Dania Flores, Outreach Coordinator at Co-Op Power

Transforming Money, Alternative Banking Practices

This workshop will attempt to define the potential game or system changing role of public banks, describe potential partnerships with community banks and CDFIs. The five main benefits of a state, municipal, or regional public bank will be discussed, particularly how such a bank would expand credit, redirect current banking system profits to social needs, stimulate local economies and create local jobs, save debt service costs and democratize finance. Alternative public bank models will be presented along with some clarification of what bankers mean when they use the word “capital.”


  • Steve Snyder, Member of the Massachusetts Public Bank Working Group
  • Nancy Goldner, Member of the Massachusetts Public Bank Working Group
  • David Lewitt, Member of the Massachusetts Public Bank Working Group
  • Richard Krushnic, Member of the Massachusetts Public Bank Working Group

Food and Environmental Justice

Learn about the environmental hazards that tend to burden low-income neighborhoods and what is being done about them. We will also discuss ways to increase access to fresh, healthy, affordable food for those who are most food-insecure. 


  • Estefania (Stefy) Narvaez, Northeast Regional Coordinator at Real Food Challenge
  • Casey Burns, Food Justice Program Director, Worcester Regional Environmental Council

Buying Local, The Importance of a Thriving Local Economy

Gain a greater understanding on why supporting local, independent business is important to build the economic strength locally and regionally.  Learn about local Worcester initiatives aimed to enhance the vitality of our city. 


  • MaryBrigitte Hampton, Process Improvement/Web Developer, The Artichoke Food Coop

Alternative Business Ownership and Model for a New Economy

What are the core business values of the new economy? What does it take to start a socially responsible business? Stuart Valentine, founder of Centerpoint Investment Strategies, will discuss different pathways to business success in this workshop.


  • Stuart Valentine, Financial Advisor and Founder of Centerpoint Investment Strategies

The Art of Documentary Filmmaking*

*This session follows the closing note speaker and attendees will be able to attend this session or proceed to the tea & social hour.*

Explores the art of documentary filmmaking by two experienced filmmakers. Micha Peled has documented labor conditions in a jeans factory in China in the film China Blue, and globalization's effects on Indian farmers using genetically modified crops in Bitter Seeds. Also speaking will be Worcester's Matt Feinstein, whose 2010 award-winning debut film Ciclovida: Lifecycle documented Brazilian farmers' voyage across South America in search of natural seeds.


  • Micha X. Peled, Award winning Documentary Filmmaker and Founder of Teddy Bear Films
  • Matt Feinstein, Co-Director of Worcester Roots and Documentary Filmmaker