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5th BALLE Conference Business Alliance for Local Living Economies

BALLE: Business Alliance for Local Living Economies 





Help us put on the best BALLE conference ever! And get great exposure!

BALLE has tripled in size over the last 15 months, now representing 45 local business networks and more than 12,000 companies and community organizations.

We expect more than 500 prominent business and community leaders from across North America to attend. The event will sell out.

Learn about sponsorship opportunities and download our sponsor form.

Check out our current sponsors here!

Pre-Conference Seminars:

1.  “Economic Development in the 21st Century: How Local and State Governments Can Help Spark Sustainable Business Innovation”

Wednesday, May 30th, 8:30am-4:00pm.

This workshop is a sequel to our successful October 2006 conference held in Hollister, CA entitled “Redefining Economic Development in California.” Business owners, city/county/state government officials, economic development professionals, researchers, and business association leaders are encouraged to attend. Maximum number of attendees: 250.

2.  “Buy Local First Campaigns: Proven Strategies and Tactics”

Thursday, May 31st, 8:30am-4:00pm. 

This will be the second annual training for those who lead “Buy Local First” campaigns. Practical tools and resources. Inside tips from the most successful campaign coordinators in the BALLE network. Small-group strategy sessions. You’ll leave this workshop knowing exactly what you need to do next. Maximum number of attendees: 200. 

3.  “From Skateboards to Toilet Paper: Revolutionary New Business Models for Manufacturers & Branded Consumer Products Companies”

Thursday, May 31st, 8:30am-4:00pm. 

A small gathering of 20 company founders and CEOs will discuss how the principles of Local Living Economies are driving the development of entirely new approaches to doing business today. By invitation only.

4.  “Money for Local Living Economies: Lessons From the Field”

Thursday, May 31st, 8:30am-4:00pm.

Speakers and practitioners from around the world will represent diverse efforts and best practices in the field of complementary currencies. Join for a day of learning, collaborating and practical application in support of your current or anticipated community development efforts. Contact ariggs@comcast.net for more information.

All pre-conference seminars will take place in or near Pauley Ballroom on the UC Berkeley Campus. Registration can be found on the same page as general conference registration. Please note the rates will go up for each of these conferences – so get in early!

Breakout Sessions:

•       Sustainable Cities

•       Growing Local Food Systems

•       Manufacturing and Distribution Challenges for BALLE Companies

•       Ownership Structures & Succession

•       Financing Your Community-Based Business 

•       Renewable Energy: Distributed Solutions

•       The Role of Government in Economic Development

•       Buy Local First Campaigns

•       Health Care for Small Business 

•       Green Building & Design

•       Big Box Stores, Jobs, and Politics

•       New Vehicles for Local Investing

•       Fundraising Strategies for BALLE Network Leaders

•       Economists Speak: The Many Virtues of Localization

Main Conference Timeline:

Thursday – May 31

4:00pm Berkeley/Oakland Community and Business Tour
           (optional for conference participants)

6:00     General Registration and drink reception

7:00     Welcome, Dinner and Keynote Session

9:00     Social reception featuring local wine and jazz

Friday – June 1

8:30am  Morning Keynote Panel

10:30     Breakout Sessions

12:00     Lunch

1:15      Keynote

2:30      Breakout Sessions

7:00      Dinner and Keynotes

8:30      Plaza Dance

Saturday – June 2

8:30am  Morning Keynote Panel: Local Food Systems

10:30     Breakout Sessions

12:00     Lunch

1:00      Keynote

2:30      Small Group Discussions

6:30      Dinner & Closing Keynotes

8:30      Talent Show and Closing Celebration

10:00    Conferences Closes

Please watch for updates on local activities, other optional tours (before and after the conference), and the emerging West Coast Bike Tour (BALLE ON!).


Please note: this year we will not be running housing registration.  We will, however, be offering hotel discounts, registration information for UC campus housing, and information about homestays/hosting. Watch here for details!


Early-bird (before April 1): $365

After April 1: $395

At door: $445

(Prices include 7 organic meals, all main conference keynotes, breakout sessions, and evening activities.)

BALLE is a growing alliance of businesspeople around the US and Canada, who join local BALLE networks dedicated to building local living economies. BALLE comprises 46 such business networks with more than 15,000 business members overall. It is our mission to catalyze, strengthen, and connect these local business networks.

BALLE networks respond to the unique needs of their communities and share ideas throughout the alliance of networks.

  • In Bellingham, business leaders created a “Local First” campaign to encourage citizens to buy from locally owned businesses whenever possible to keep money circulating within the community.
  • In Vermont, members of the network employ 8 percent of the state’s workforce and lobby for increased support for renewable energy and healthcare.
  • Through its Social Venture Institute, the Philadelphia network trains new social entrepreneurs in the business skills they need to be successful.

In community after community, BALLE networks are proving that a coordinated group of locally owned companies can stand up to some of the harmful effects of globalization and foster the health and vitality of a region.

Read the Principles of a Living Economy and find out how we define local. Check out some of the entrepreneurs who are members of our local networks to get an idea of the businesses that networks support.

Learn about who we are.

Learn about what we do.

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