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The art of creating resilient local economies & communities

Putting people first

​Strong local economies are more resilient to external factors, build local ownership and pride, create more jobs, retain local dollars and have a higher rate of community wellbeing and satisfaction.

In this one-day conference we will explore tools to inspire and support local economies and community-led developments.

The conference will explore:

  • the DNA of successful re-localised and resilient communities
  • new models for local investment and local economic development
  • authentic engagement and governance models
  • how to support and facilitate town centre renewal and re-localisation
  • movement and parking strategies that support local economies.


Michael Shuman (USA)
Michael H. Shuman is a US economist, attorney, author, and entrepreneur.

He’s also an adjunct instructor at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, a fellow at Cutting Edge Capital and at the Post-Carbon Institute, and a founding board member of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE).

He has either authored, co-authored, or edited nine books. His most recent book, published by Chelsea Green in May 2015, is The Local Economy Solution: How Innovative, Self-Financing Pollinator Enterprises Can Grow Jobs and Prosperity. One of his previous books, The Small Mart Revolution: How Local Businesses Are Beating the Global Competition (Berrett-Koehler, 2006), received a bronze prize from the Independent Publishers Association for best business book of 2006.

A prolific speaker, Shuman has given at least one invited talk per week for the past 30 years, mostly to local governments and universities.

Gilbert Rochecouste (Founder & Managing Director, Village Well)
Gilbert is recognised both nationally and internationally as a leading voice in placemaking.

He is a sought after speaker, motivator and facilitator, known for his innovative thinking, dynamic engagement processes and inspirational approach to community activation.

His catalyst ideas have regenerated iconic places and enlivened many urban and rural communities.

Gilbert sees the potential of placemaking to inspire a deeper environmental awareness and stewardship where people can make a difference both locally and globally. He has worked with hundreds of mainstreets, developers and businesses over the last 25 years to create more vibrant, connected and resilient communities.

Jude Ellege (Principal, Urban Glue, USA)
An original home grown country Victorian girl, Jude has been working with some of the most dynamic public and private developments around the globe.

She currently resides in Los Angeles, USA, where she has been the Associate Vice President for the Environments & Planning and Urban Design Studio for CallisonRTKL Los Angeles; one of the largest architectural firms in the world.

Jude is a big picture person with a diverse background, taking clients, stakeholders and communities on a vision journey to discover what they desire for their future.

Her expertise lies in trend forecasting, consumer psychology, user experience journey mapping, retail design, inspirational educational global tours, keynotes speaking, workshops, collaborative conversation roundtable discussions, community outreach, brand strategy and city identity. Her passion and enthusiasm is infectious and on demand. 

Max Hardy (Max Hardy Consulting)
Melbourne based, Max has been consulting for 17 years, specialising in deliberative processes, collaboration and local capacity building.

Max Hardy works with leaders and organisations to achieve results through collaboration. He focusses on their toughest and most complex projects while building their ongoing capacity to collaborate and engage - across their organisation - with other organisations/stakeholders, and with their communities of interest.

Working as a coach, facilitator, process designer, trainer and strategic advisor, Max’s approach is to work with people where they are at, understand their unique, and not so unique, challenges, and to co-create new ways of responding to those challenges.

Steven Burgess (MRCagney)
Steven Burgess is one of Australia’s leading contributors to the planning, design and development of liveable cities.

A principal with boutique Australasian transportation consultancy MRCagney, Steven brings 25 years’ experience as an engineer and urban strategist to the development of long-term relationships between urban form, mobility and vitality.

Steven has worked on many village, town and city transformation projects in Australia, New Zealand, Africa and the Middle East.

Steven authored Complete Streets: Guidelines to Urban Street Design (2010) and is currently preparing a new manual for the City of Auckland.

Steven’s unique, laid back speaking style has made him a popular speaker throughout Australasia and at speaking engagements in the USA, Canada, and the Middle East.

When: Tuesday 8 March 2016 9:30AM - 4:00PM
Where: Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Conference Centre, 250-290 Spring Street, East Melbourne, 3002