Sustainable Tompkins is hosting a community conversation on sustainable economy on April 27, 7:00-9:30 pm at Cinemapolis on The Commons.  We’ll be screening the Ithaca premiere of The Economics of Happiness – a film by Helena Norberg-Hodge, Steven Gorelick and John Page, and a project of the International Society for Ecology and Culture (ISEC).  Watch the trailer here.

Relocalization of our economy is essential if we are to buffer ourselves from speculative bubbles and escalating food and energy prices.  How can we transform our personal household economies to build in long-term resiliency and well being? How can we work together to design a local economy that works for everyone and takes advantage of the power of entrepreneurship, sharing, self-provisioning, and local investment? What principles should guide us?

We’ll explore these questions and more with a panel of local community leaders who will outline our progress in creating a more sustainable economy and suggest opportunities to pursue in the next few years. Former Ithacan and LACS graduate, Kristen Elizabeth Steele of the ISEC will be here to introduce the film.  Audience members are encouraged to bring their ideas and to share news on other local initiatives.  Tickets are offered on a sliding scale of $5-$10 at the door, or can be purchased in advance by contacting

The documentary film takes a close look at eight “inconvenient truths” about globalization and its disruptive impacts on billions of people, and contrasts that with the shared well-being and resiliency arising from local economies where people are more accountable to each other.  Kristen Elizabeth Steele, former Ithacan and Lehman Alternative Community School graduate, works for the ISEC in London and will introduce the film and share results from the global conversation it is inspiring.

After the screening, a panel of local community leaders will outline our progress in creating a more sustainable local economy and suggest opportunities to pursue in the next few years.  Panelists include Kristen Elizabeth Steele, International Society for Culture and Ecology; Kirtrina Baxter, Southside Community Center; Jemila Sequeira, Whole Community Project, Cornell Cooperative Extension- Tompkins County; Shira Golding, Share Tompkins; McKenzie Jones-Rounds, Share Tompkins; Jan Rhodes Norman, Local First Ithaca; Linda Holzbaur, Tompkins County Workers’ Center; Dee Gamble, Southern Tier EnergySmart Communities; Jackie Mouillesseaux-Grube, Tompkins Workforce NY; Joe Marraffino, Democracy at Work Network; Fred Schoeps, Sustainable Tompkins;  and Gay Nicholson, Sustainable Tompkins.

Hosted by Sustainable Tompkins, and co-sponsored by Alternatives Federal Credit Union,Green Resource Hub, Sustainable Enterprise & Entrepreneur Network, Share Tompkins, Local First Ithaca, Tompkins County Workers Center, Social Ventures, Southside Community Center, Tompkins Workforce NY, Tompkins County Climate Protection Initiative, Interfaith Action for Healing Earth, and Ithaca Hours.

The Economics of Happiness describes a world moving simultaneously in two opposing directions.  As governments and big business continue to push for “growth” in the form of increased global trade, we’re seeing an increase in climate chaos, senseless war, fundamentalism, financial volatility, income inequality, and the consolidation of corporate power.  At the same time, people around the world are resisting those policies, demanding a re-regulation of both trade and finance.  And, far from the old institutions of power, communities are coming together to re-build more human-scale, ecological economies based on a new paradigm – an economics of localization.    (International Society for Ecology and Culture)