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Vermont Connected: Envisioning the Future of Vermont's Economy

Description of the Day's Events

When you register, you’ll select the sessions you’d like to attend – no need to stay in the same track or topic area all day. You can see the full agenda here and the list of committed speakers and presenters here. We only have room for 300 attendees, so please register now to make sure that there’s a spot for you. Registration is $30 per person.

In the Morning: Celebration of the Digital Economy

On-site check-in will begin at 8 am on the day, and the summit will start out at 9, with an address from Governor Peter Shumlin and a look at the work of the Vermont Digital Economy Project as told through the voices of Vermonters throughout the state. Attendees will then break into smaller groups to hear stories of those who have led in the transformation of businesses, nonprofits, municipalities, and other organizations through the innovative use of digital tools. The next sessions offer eight workshops that will teach best practices and offer other hands-on learning opportunities, ranging from how to work more effectively with individuals without digital skills, to analyzing your digital presence, to attracting tech firms to your town, and much more. We will then break for lunch in the cafeteria, which features local foods as much as possible. If it's a nice day, take a boxed lunch outside and picnic on the State House lawn.

In the Afternoon: Envisioning the Future & Committing to Action

The afternoon will begin with our Keynote Address, by Julie Lenzer-Kirk, who was recently appointed to lead the Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIE), an office within the Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA). (Her full bio can be foundhere.) She’ll speak to us about “Infusing Innovation & an Entrepreneurial Mindset to Fuel Economic Growth.” Following the Keynote Address, participants will break into eight groups to consider questions about the role that the Internet and other advances in technology can play throughout Vermont. The final session in each facilitated discussion will hone in on specific ideas for action to ensure that Vermont's future is strengthened by a healthy and fully optimized digital economy. These eight discussions include questions about the role of technology in supporting civic life, the value of broadband, and solutions for the Digital Divide, among others. There's also an "un-conference" opportunity for attendees to create another topic that will be selected during the morning and announced after the keynote speech.

Conclusions, Ideas, and Next Steps

After our discussions, the summit will reconvene as a large group to participate in an edited presentation of the day's ideas, stories and next steps. This will be followed by a closing reception, complete with beverages and appetizers.