When Yes! Magazine co-founder Sarah Van Gelder polled the 250 attendees at the Economics of Happiness Conference held recently at Fort Worden on the question of whether they thought the transition to a sustainable economy would be rough or smooth, only one hand went up for “smooth”. Everyone else expected a pretty rough road ahead. Which is probably the reason they were all there for the weekend-long event that brought together some of the world’s most prominent thinkers, writers, and activists in the sustainability and localization movements to “discuss, discover, and devise better systems for now and the future”, as the event’s website put it.
The conference was organized by local activists including Karen Wyeth and Local 20/20 co-founder Judith Alexander, with major support from Swedish visionary Helena Norberg Hodge’s organization Local Futures, which has hosted a number of other Economics of Happiness conferences around the world, including in the U.S., India, Australia, Italy, and South Korea.
Along with Van Gelder, Yes! Magazine co-founder David Korten, and Post-Carbon Institute Senior Fellow Richard Heinberg, Norberg Hodge anchored the keynote panel on the first evening of the conference. This week on the Compass we bring you highlights of that keynote panel.