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Michigan conference on the future Nov. 11-14: energy, economy & environment

The Conference on the Future: Energy, Economy, and Environment: Sustainability vs. Deflation features keynote talks by Nicole Foss, Dr. Joe Tainter, Steve Keen, Richard Douthwaite, David Korowicz, Chris Bedford, and Aaron Wissner.

The conference takes place in Michigan from Thursday, November 11, 2010 through Sunday, November 14, 2010.

In addition to previous conference assumptions that climate change and peak oil exist, this 2010 conference assumes that a debt deflation spiral currently exists, and that monetary reform may be necessary in order to achieve resilient, sustainable cultures.

Keynote presentations will be delivered by the following:

  • Nicole Foss is co-editor of The Automatic Earth (where she writes as Stoneleigh) and former editor of The Oil Drum - Canada. Foss recently completed a speaking tour of North America and Europe where she described the interaction of peak oil and debt deflation. Foss also presents at the 2010 ASPO-USA conference and in late November at the European Biodiversity Conference in Brussels.
  • Dr. Joseph Tainter is author of the book "The Collapse of Complex Societies: New Studies in Archaeology", professor in the department of Environment and Society at Utah State University, and author of an upcoming book on the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Richard Douthwaite of the Foundation for the Economics of Sustainability (FEASTA) in Ireland is the author of the book "The Ecology of Money" and a fellow of the Post Carbon Institute. Mr. Douthwaite will present remotely via a live 2-way video.
  • Steve Keen is Associate Professor of Economics & Finance at the University of Western Sydney and author of the book "Debunking Economics". In 2010, Mr. Keen received the Revere Award from the Real World Economics Review for most cogently warned of the economic crisis, and whose work is most likely to prevent future crises.
  • David Korowicz of Ireland is a physicist and human systems ecologist, the director of The Risk/Resilience Network, a board member of FEASTA, and contributor to the upcoming book "Fleeing Vesuvius: Overcoming the Risks of Economic & Environmental Collapse".
  • Chris Bedford is President of the Center for Economic Security, President of the Sweetwater Local Foods Market, and a filmmaker whose recent movies include "The Next Industrial Revolution", "What Will We Eat?", "The Organic Opportunity", and "Coming Home: E.F. Schumacher & the Reinvention of the Local Economy".
  • Aaron Wissner is President of Local Future, a writer and speaker specializing in money and energy, and organizer of four conferences including "The 2008 International Conference on Peak Oil & Climate Change", "The 2008 and 2009 Conferences on Michigan's Future", and "The 2010 Conference on the Future: Energy, Economy and Environment".

Together, the speakers and participants will study the implications of economic deflation, taking a risk analysis perspective, and especially examining the risks of economic crisis and economic collapse.

Solutions to be studied include community oriented ones including permaculture, transition towns, bioregionalism, local environmentalism, and other efforts to relocalize, increase local resilience, and move towards lasting cultures of sustainability.

The conference invites all those interested in these themes to join as participants, speakers, partners, and sponsors.

Potential speakers may email: papers [at]localfuture.org for more information and an application form.

Those organizations interested in sponsoring or partnering, email: sponsor [at] localfuture.org for details on sponsorship and partnering opportunities.

Potential participants are encouraged to visit localfuture.org for up to the minute details, including final details on the venue, rates, additional speakers, and the first day of conference registration.

"This timely gathering strives to paint a picture of the possible future of debt deflation and continued economic recession, and help individuals, organizations, businesses, and government entities to prepare for an uncertain future," says Aaron Wissner, President of Local Future.


Local Future is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) non-profit educational organization dedicated to the study of energy, economy, environment and solutions for resilience and lasting sustainability. In 2008, Local Future organized "The International Conference on Peak Oil and Climate Change: Paths to Sustainability" and the "Conference on Michigan's Future: Energy, Economy and Environment" (which was repeated and expanded upon in 2009). In 2010, Local Future organized a tour of Nicole Foss for the midwest USA, and is organizing "The 2010 International Conference on the Future: Energy, Economy, and Environment: Sustainability vs. Deflation". Free online videos of featured conference keynotes, as well as MP3 recordings of all presentations, are available at localfuture.org. Local Future is directed by founder Aaron Wissner, Albert Bates, and Thaddeus Owen.

Editorial Notes: Aaron Wissner writes: I'm extremely excited about bringing in several international speakers this year, including Nicole Foss of Canada, Steve Keen of Australia, and David Korowicz and Richard Douthwaite of Ireland. In addition, Dr. Joseph Tainter is available to participate in most of the conference. This is an outstanding opportunity to bring together all those interested in the future, especially those with long term business interests, transition towns members, permaculturist, bioregionalists, community activists, and others who are working in these and similar areas. We are currently selecting from about a dozen venues in Michigan that have provided bids for this year's conference. We are looking very closely at keeping prices as reasonable as possible for participants, including for transportation to/from the conference, lodging options, food options, and registration rates. We hope to finalize the venue by October 12.

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