In a lively, quick-paced presentation, a panel of experts will each share their insights on potential solutions to the food, fuel, and finance challenges the world is currently confronting. The presentations will be followed by in-depth discussion with the audience facilitated by Rob Williams. The evening will offer an opportunity to learn about initiatives, ideas, and new ways of thinking to support community, build self-reliance, and increase resiliency.

The panelists will be Gaelan Brown, Gary Flomenhoft, Gwendolyn Hallsmith, Ben Hewitt, Amy Kirschner, and Amy Todisco.

Gaelan Brown has a background in journalism, Internet business development, consulting and values-based marketing along with leadership experience in sustainability-focused non-profits and currently works for 1% for the Planet — a global network of companies committed to financially supporting environmental causes. Prior to 1% he held roles as Vice President of Marketing for national solar power installer groSolar and as Senior Marketing Manager for Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. He also writes a regular column and blog for the news journal Vermont Commons as "An Energy Optimist," and he is co-founder/Board Chair of, which is focused on generating energy as a by-product of compost systems.

Ben Hewitt was born and raised in northern Vermont, where he currently runs a small-scale, diversified hill farm with his family. He lives with his wife and two sons in a self-built home that is powered by a windmill and solar photovoltaic panels. To help offset his renewable energy footprint, Ben drives a really big truck. His work has appeared in numerous national periodicals, including the New York Times Magazine, Wired, Gourmet, Discover, Skiing, Eating Well, Yankee Magazine, Powder, Men’s Journal, National Geographic Adventure, and Outside.

Gary Flomenhoft manages the Green Tax and Common Assets Project at the Gund Institute and supports a new commons-based economy. His current interests focus on steady-state economics, renewable energy, and public banking. He has a diverse background of practical experience ranging from environmental technology and green politics, to aerospace and systems engineering.

Gwendolyn Hallsmith, the Director of Planning and Community Development for the City of Montpelier, is also the Director of Global Community Initiatives and author of a new book with Bernard Lietaer called Creating Wealth: Growing Local Economies with Local Currencies, as well as The Key to Sustainable Cities: Meeting Human Needs, Transforming Community Systems; Taking Action for Sustainability: the EarthCAT Guide to Community Development; LASER: Local Action for Sustainable Economic Renewal. She has more than 25 years of experience working with municipal, regional, and state government in the United States and internationally. She has served as the Town Manager of Randolph, Vermont, the Regional Planning Director in Franklin County, MA, a Senior Planner for the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy Resources, the Deputy Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, and for over fifteen years as an international specialist on sustainable community development.

Amy Kirschner grew up in Vermont and is the founder of the Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility (VBSR) Marketplace, a peer-to-peer mutual credit system to help local businesses increase their local purchasing power and build the new economy. She has worked on various local currency, time bank, and monetary education initiatives since 2003. She was a recipient of a 2010 Rising Star Award from Vermont Business Magazine. She is a coordinator for the Women Business Owners Network (Stowe Chapter), Random Hacks of Kindness (Burlington), and is starting the Vermont Resilience Lab—a social entrepreneur incubator and innovation center.

Amy Todisco is a nationally recognized green living expert, consultant and life coach—in addition to helping Waitsfield farmer Dave Hartshorn expand his organic farm and business. She began her work as a community activist in 1995, where she created community educational events, founded and co-founded several nonprofits; served as executive director for two nonprofits; provided presentations on household toxics; consulted with private and public schools; churches, community groups, local boards of health, and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health; and written on the topic of household toxics for newspapers, newsletters and websites. She served as the technical editor on the book Green Living for Dummies. Amy's latest project is a weekly podcast and blog series called, The Healthy Wealthy Entrepreneur with her colleague, Bob “the Green Guy" Farnham.

Dr. Rob Williams is a Vermont-based musician, historian, consultant, journalist, and media educator/maker who teaches F2F and online media and communications courses at Champlain College and the University of Vermont; serves as publisher of Vermont Commons: Voices of Independence independent newspaper; co-manages Vermont Yak Company in Vermont's Mad River Valley, a farm business raising grass-fed yaks for meat and agri-tourism, and plays "pholk-phunk" music in the three-piece Phineas Gage Project.

View a video of the Food, Fuel and Finance panel. (Missing first half, includes last speaker and Q&A.)

Food-Fuel-Finance poster

Venue: The Big Picture, 7 p.m. start. This event is free and open to the public.