Few conferences start with a poem. But for AMIBA’s first-ever Virtual Conference (and the first in the Local Economy Movement to focus on racial equity), Executive Director Derek Peebles’ reading of Oriah Mountain Dreamer’s “The Invitation” set a bold new tone and direction for the event. The poem helped the participants think beyond economics and reconnect with what one participant called “the human-ness of business” through its call to recognize and center the value of human integrity, dedication and collaboration over credentials and bank accounts.

Derek’s opening comments also framed the challenges and opportunities facing the Local Economy Movement at this time, from addressing the immediate crises laid bare by the corona virus pandemic, to developing a renewed and expanded vision for building resilient local economies that values all businesses and all business owners and customers.

Watch Derek’s opening comments about the present and future of the Local Economy Movement, and hear the poem, here:

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