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Economic Symposium Monday


Published January 30, 2009 at 12:55 p.m.

I suspect that I'm not the only one who's developed a new habit lately — worrying about the economy. Honestly, I never delved too deeply into financial matters. I was an English major. But that was before the sub-prime mortgage crisis started in earnest, and I began to realize that I didn't really understand what was going on, and I needed to.

Consequently, over the past couple months, I've been paying close attention to economic news, and trying to learn as much as I can about how our economy works. To that end, I'll be attending Monday's "Compete or Retreat" symposium, hosted by Vermont Tiger.

The day-long conference includes two panel discussions titled "Getting it Done: From the Inside, Out" and "Getting it Done: From the Outside, In." St. Albans Messenger Publisher and Editor Emerson Lynn moderates the first one, which includes Lt. Guv Brian Dubie, Treasurer Jeb Spaulding, Jeff Lewis, the Exec. Director of the Brattleboro Development Credit Corp., and Mary Evslin, Chari of the Vermont Telecommunications Authority (and wife of blogger Tom Evslin).

WDEV host Mark Johnson moderates the second panel, which includes Emily Kaminsky, CEO of Comunity Capital of Vermont, Mary Powell, CEO of Green Mountain Power, Matt Jacobson, president of Maine & Co., and Brian Knight, president of Country Businesses, Inc.

The real draw, for me, though, is econo-blogger Megan McArdle. I started following her blog at the Atlantic during the run-up to the election. I've been reading Andrew Sullivan religiously for a couple years now, and it's usually all I can do to keep up with him and his prolific posting. But this fall, I was so eager for news that I got through his entries and went looking for more blogs on the Atlantic site, which is how I found McArdle. I don't always agree with her, and frankly, some of what she writes is over my head, but I've found her perspective helpful in my quest to learn more about finances, and the state of our economy.

That's why I'm excited to hear her speak on Monday. Her talk is entitled: "(Blogo)Spheres of Influence." Fitting, since she's speaking at a conference sponsored by a blog. Incidentally, there's a rumor out there that McArdle is under consideration to replace Bill Kristol at the New York Times...

The other two outside presenters sound interesting, too. Carl Guardino, President and CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, is talking about "How Silicon Valley Competes … And Wins." And Alain E. Kaloyeros of the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, The University at Albany-SUNY, is talking about "Thinking Big About Thinking Small."

Sounds like fun, right? It's Monday, February 2, at the Sheraton in South Burlington, 8:30 a.m. - 6 p.m. It costs $75. I'm attaching the PDF here (see link below) if you want more info or want to register. I'm going to try to blog about it if I can get wi-fi. Download Xxcompete