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Summits and Convenings

In line with VCRD’s statutory role in policy coordination, VCRD Rural Summits are designed to convene state and federal leaders and encourage their cooperative goal-setting and mutual investment in response to key rural priorities in Vermont. Each Summit culminates in a report including agreed upon action steps and recommendations for further action.

History of VCRD's Summits

From 1996 to 2003, VCRD Rural Summits were private retreats for state and federal officiates to elaborate common ‘action steps’ that would unite their efforts around topics as diverse as Youth Services, Water and Sewer Infrastructure, and Housing. These early Summits were designed as internal decision-making sessions around practical implementation of common goals.

After 2003, VCRD broadened the invitation to Summits and emphasized their role as “Roundtables”—meetings of equals from across governmental levels, non-profits, the private sector and communities—where facilitated sessions would develop key ideas for responding to issues, build recommendations for action, and serve as a policy review of an area that VCRD defined as of critical importance to the community and economic development of towns, regions, or sectors in the state. In some cases, like “Local Power” and the analysis of the Planning Structure in Vermont, summits have served as key input sessions at the foundation of major policy development convenings by VCRD. In others, the Summit serves as the culmination of an effort (like the Creative Economy Summit) that brings together local leaders, shares best practices and models, and allows all participants to contribute and learn from each other. Results of these sessions are reported to the Governor, Legislature and key stakeholders and often serve as the foundations for next areas of VCRD initiative.

In addition to the menu to the left, VCRD has produced these Summits:

  • Partners in Rural America Conference: State Rural Policy Leadership, An Innovative Roundable - 2013
  • Bridging the Divide: Conflict and Paths to Community Success – 2005
  • Strengthening Rural Communities – 2003
  • Collaborative Work Planning – 1998
  • Rural Development Resources – 1997
  • Housing, Community and Economic Development Programs – 1996


What's New in Summits

2019 Vermont Community Leadership Summit Report
Over 500 leaders from towns throughout Vermont came together at the 2nd annual Community Leadership Summit to learn from each other, connect to potential partners and resources, and support each other’s progress in service to their community, and to... read more
2017 cc:econ Catalysts of the Climate Economy Summit
Over 500 entrepreneurs, investors, and thought leaders attended the cc:econ Catalysts of the Climate Economy Summit - a 3-day national innovation summit in Burlington, Vermont to gear up for the next stage of economic development and prosperity in a... read more
2016 Summit Highlights Video
Talented students from the Emergent Media Center at Champlain College interviewed Summit speakers and participants to capture the spirit of the Summit in video. Their showing of a first draft at the close of the Summit was a huge hit and a great way... read more
2016 Climate Economy Summit Report
Over 420 participants came together on February 22, 2016 for VCRD’s 2nd Climate Economy Summit: IDEAS to ACTION. Participants reviewed PROGRESS FOR VERMONT, the report and action plan of the Vermont Climate Change Economy Council and worked to... read more
VT Climate Economy Summit: IDEAS TO ACTION ~ Feb 22, 2016
The Vermont Climate Economy Summit IDEAS TO ACTION, held February 22, 2016 at the Vermont Technical College in Randolph, brought together over 400 participants - innovative business, non‐profit, and community leaders, elected officials, public... read more