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Authors to speak during New Economy Summit held April 4-7

BOONE—A New Economy Summit will be held at Appalachian State University April 4-7 to explore local efforts and initiatives being made to transition the High Country to a just and sustainable economy.

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The public is invited to attend all events, which feature addresses by political economist Gar Alperovitz, author of “What Then Must We Do? Straight Talk About the Next American Revolution,” and sociologist Juliet Schor, whose latest book is titled “Plenitude: The New Economics of True Wealth.”

The New Economy Summit will facilitate networking among business owners, local non-profit organizations and the campus community through workshops, panel discussions and information exchanges. It is presented by a group of sustainable development and sociology students who received a competitive grant from the New Economics Institute in Massachusetts.

Gar Alperovitz’s keynote speech begins at 1 p.m. April 4 in Parkway Ballroom in Appalachian’s Plemmons Student Union. He will talk about themes from his newest book, “What Then Must We Do? Straight Talk About the Next American Revolution.” Alperovitz is the Lionel R. Bauman Professor of political economy at the University of Maryland and a former fellow at Harvard’s Institute of Politics, the Institute for Policy Studies, and Cambridge University’s Kings College, and a guest scholar at the Brookings Institution.

Information exchanges will take place April 4-5 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. in Rough Ridge Room in Plemmons Student Union, featuring more than 30 local businesses and non-profits organizations.

Workshops will be held April 4 in the Linn Cove Room of Plemmons Student Union with local artist Tommy Lee on “Business of Art in Boone” from noon to 1 p.m., Dr. Kathryn Kirkpatrick on “Poems for the New Economy” (time TBD) and Marnie Thompson of the Fund for Democratic Communities on the “Importance of Community as Developer in the New Economy” (time TBD).

Workshops on April 5, also in the Linn Cove Room, will be the Seeds of Change Initiative discussing its regional food shed from 1-2 p.m., Richard Boylan from the Watauga Cooperative Extension on “Local Foods’ Role in the New Economy” from 2-3 p.m., and Andy Bratton of Young Americans for Liberty on “Implications of Subsidies on Small Independent Businesses” from 3-4 p.m.

Juliet Schor, a sociology professor from Boston College, will deliver the endnote address that includes highlights from her book “Plenitude: The New Economics of True Wealth” at 5 p.m. April 6 in the Summit Trail Solarium in Plemmons Student Union. Schor previously taught in Harvard University’s Department of Economics. She is a graduate of Wesleyan University and received her Ph.D. in economics at the University of Massachusetts.

A N.C. Convergence Student Organizers Retreat will offer skill building workshops and strategy development April 6 from 2-4 p.m. in the Table Rock Room of the Plemmons Student Union and April 7 from 9 a.m. to noon in the Living Learning Center Great Hall.

The summit concludes with the Howard Street Exchange Pedestrian Fair on April 7 from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., featuring local small businesses, local artists, local food and live music. Free parking is available off Rivers Street in Appalachian’s Raley parking lot.

A High Country Food Tour runs throughout the summit, allowing patrons to submit receipts from participating restaurants for entry into a prize basket drawing. A list of participating restaurants is available at

A summary of events is as follows:

April 4
  • Gar Alperovitz, Keynote Speaker – 1 p.m., Parkway Ballroom, Plemmons Student Union
  • Information Exchange – 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Rough Ridge Room, Plemmons Student Union
  • Workshops – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Linn Cove Room, Plemmons Student Union
  • High Country Food Tour
April 5
  • Information Exchange – 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Rough Ridge Room, Plemmons Student Union
  • Workshops – 1 p.m. – 4 p.m., Linn Cove Room, Plemmons Student Union
  • First Friday Art Crawl, Downtown Boone
  • High Country Food Tour
April 6
  • Juliet Schor, Endnote Speaker – 5 p.m., Summit Trail Solarium, Plemmons Student Union
  • North Carolina Convergence Student Organizers Retreat
  • High Country Food Tour
April 7
  • Howard Street Exchange Pedestrian Fair – 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Downtown Boone on the corner of Depot Street to the end of Wilcox Warehouse
  • High Country Food Tour

Learn more about each event at