“Localize It! What Resilience Looks Like” October 21-22, 2017, South Royalton, VT


NERT is collaborating with Building A Local Economy (BALE)  to bring NERT members, affiliates, and aligned groups together in Vermont for our annual in-person gathering.

“Localize It! What Resilience Looks Like“, will be held October 21-22, at the Vermont Law School, in South Royalton, VT.

Registration is now open ~ and there are several opportunities to participate at various levels. Please be in touch: nertnetwork@gmail.com

And spread the word to your networks via the Facebook Event Page

 PANEL Opportunity

One of the panels on Saturday morning is NERT-led:  “Intersectional and Local: What Communities Are Doing Now

Description: Local community organizations in New England are working at the intersections of sustainability, resilience, equity, and social justice. Challenges and opportunities readily present themselves, as systemic approaches to social change have not been the norm historically. In this panel, we share stories and lessons of response to the challenges, invite you to share yours, and we will have a facilitated group discussion about edges and next steps in this work.”

If you and/or your group would like to be one of the panelists, and/or if you would like to have your story and experiences shared and amplified, and/or you would like to recommend someone, please contact us at your earliest convenience.



We as NERT can have  four breakout sessions during the two days of the conference. The ROCkers framed two of them, and the other two are open for proposals from the NERT membership and community.

A. If you would like to host a break-out group, please submit a brief proposal to us, by September 7 at the latest.

B. The two break-out groups already specified are the following:

1) How can regional scale organizing support and amplify the  Localization movement?

2) How can the New England Resilience and Transition Network (NERT) best use its resources to support Localization?


There are also other panels being planned that need more panelists, as of last week:

AMoney and Why Scarcity Reigns (already confirmed: Gwen Hallsmith)

B. Class, Race and Ethnicity: Building Communities of Inclusion (already confirmed: Mark Hughes, Director of the Vermont-based organization Justice for All)

C. “Is This What Democracy Looks Like?”  This is the long view plenary with Frances Moor Lappe and Susan Clark, who is the co-author of the book, Slow Democracy. 

D. Looking for someone who can lead a dialogue on Degrowth; something we want to cover in the conference if possible


​If you would like to participate on any of these, or if you can recommend someone, please be in touch with us at your earliest convenience: nertnetwork@gmail.com


We are working on offering other ways to engage and share resources when we have the opportunity to meet in person in October. Stay tuned!

Building Resilient Communities Training – April 29, 2017; in Portland, Maine


This year’s New England Grassroots Environment Fund RootSkills Training Series will include two in-person training sessions on the theme “Building Resilient Communities,” through Spirit in Action’s Theory of Transformation to collectively transform the world by working with communities to Re-imagine culture, Resist domination, Reform institutions, and Recreate society.

Saturday, April 29, 2017 from 2 PM to 6:30 PM
For more information and to register go here.

Nonprofit leaders and passionate citizens are invited to learn, share & work together to develop actionable, holistic strategies that create more inclusive communities & programs. You’ll be grappling with tough questions and sharing inspiring solutions.

The cost for each training session is $40 for Early-bird registration, $10 for Students.

Multiple scholarships are available. Please get in touch!

Take the Omnivore’s Delight Diet Challenge!

Join members of the New England Resilience & Transition (NERT) Network in piloting the “Omnivore’s Delight” Diet Challenge!

From September 15 – 21,* members of NERT will be following the Omnivore’s Delight as laid out by Food Solutions New England. If widely adopted, this diet would allow New England to produce 50% of its own food here in the region. Read more about what it looks like below.

Pledge to Try the Diet! Here’s what that means:

  1. Eat the dietary guidelines outlined below
  2. Reflect on how it goes! Keep a journal or post your thoughts on Slack. Your reflections are vital — even more so than whether or not you conform 100% to the diet. Reflect on everything that seems relevant — how hard or easy it is, how much it costs, what you miss, what you like, etc.
  3. Give us your feedback! Fill out the online survey by September 23 (link forthcoming) and/or join us for a wrap-up conversation on Monday, September 26 at noon. You will receive more details and links once you fill out the form below.

* These dates are flexible based on personal needs. Your pledge means you will eat the diet for 7 days between Sep 8 and 23.

Read more here (PDF).

The Omnivore’s Delight Diet

Read more about the diet below and in the Food Solutions New England Food Vision (PDF).

Quoted from the Food Solutions New England Vision (PDF), pages 12 – 14

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For a 2,300-calorie diet, the USDA’s MyPlate recommends approximate daily intake of vegetables (3 cups); fruit (2 cups); grain (7.5 ounces); and dairy (3 cups) —with room left over for a small addition of oils, fat, alcohol, and sugar to fill out the calories. The Omnivore’s Delight diet generally follows MyPlate guidelines, with three notable exceptions (discussed below): dairy, fish, and alcohol. For protein, the calculated average intake of 2.1 ounces was applied.

Vegetables. Vegetables are nutrient-dense foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. The USDA recommends 3 cups of a colorful mix of leafy green, red and orange, and starchy vegetables—almost double current consumption

Fruit. Fruits are sources of essential nutrients such as potassium, vitamin C, folic acid, and fiber. MyPlate recommends more than doubling current daily fruit consumption to 2 cups.

Legumes and Nuts. Dry beans and peas are healthy, versatile foods that function as both vegetables and lowfat, fiber-rich protein sources. The Omnivore’s Delight diet suggests more than twice the bean consumption that is typical today. Nuts are also healthy sources of protein and fats (Rebello et al. 2014).

Grain. The quantity of grain in the average American diet in bread, snacks, pizza, pasta, breakfast cereals is close to MyPlate recommendations. Unfortunately, most of these carbohydrates are highly refined and processed. In the Omnivore’s Delight diet, whole grains such as whole wheat flour, oats, and brown rice are half of the grains eaten—triple the current intake (USDA 2013b).

Dairy. Milk provides protein, calcium, vitamins, and fats. The USDA recommends daily consumption of 3 cups per day, a level many nutritionists consider too high (Harvard School of Public Health 2011, Nestle 2006, Peters et al. 2003). Harvard Healthy Plate recommends 1 to 2 cups daily. Omnivore’s Delight keeps consumption at the current 1.5 cups equivalent. Individuals may need to consume more dairy products fortified with vitamin D or take calcium supplements.

Meat and Eggs. Meat and eggs are good protein sources. Overall, Americans eat more red meat than considered healthy or necessary. MyPlate stresses choosing lean cuts of meat, while Harvard Healthy Plate recommends limiting red meat to 6 ounces per week. Omnivore’s Delight reduces average beef intake by two thirds and pork consumption by half from today. More lamb and kid are eaten than currently, but they remain a small portion of the diet. Beef and lamb in the Omnivore’s Delight are raised on pasture, making them higher in healthy omega-3 fatty acids than grain-fed meats. Chickens and other fowl, which convert grain more efficiently than beef and provide relatively healthy meat, dominate the animal protein portion of the Omnivore’s Delight diet. Poultry and egg consumption in the Omnivore’s Delight is unchanged from today.

Seafood. The USDA recommends average consumption of 9.5 ounces of fish a week for a 2,300-calorie diet, triple the current levels. Many fish provide healthy elements, including rich omega-3 fatty acids, but some also contain heavy metals and toxins, so moderation is key (Mozaffarian and Rimm 2006). Even with all depleted stocks recovered, it would be difficult for New England waters to produce enough fish for the region’s residents at the level the USDA recommends. The Omnivore’s Delight diet includes 4 ounces a week, still higher than the current 3-ounce intakes.

Animal Fats and Vegetable Oil. MyPlate and Harvard Healthy Plate recommend only low-fat milk and cheese and place limitations on butter. In the Omnivore’s Delight, New England cows feed mostly on pasture and hay. Grassfed dairy fat may contain higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids or a better fatty-acid profile, making such fat a more appropriate part of a healthy diet (Clancy 2006, Croissant et al. 2007, Ellis et al. 2007, Slots et al. 2009, Benbrook et al. 2013). This diet retains all the butter and cheese that New England’s cows produce as important regional sources of fat and makes up the rest with vegetable oils. Given a reduction in other sources, the Omnivore’s Delight meets the suggested daily limit of less than 300 milligrams of cholesterol and less than 10% of calories from saturated fats. Some Americans get enough oils in the foods they eat, thus the need for added oil varies. Using MyPlate guidelines, the daily allowance equals 5–6 teaspoons of oil per day. In the Omnivore’s Delight, New England butter reduces this by about 15%. Canola and olive oils make up the rest.

Sugar. Sugar and other sweeteners in the Omnivore’s Delight are reduced by two-thirds but certainly not eliminated. A daily teaspoon of honey is included and New England’s signature sweetener, maple syrup, is left at current levels.

Alcohol. For those who drink alcohol, the USDA suggests limiting consumption to no more than one drink a day for women, two for men. For nondrinkers, the calories can be replaced by fats, sugars, or healthier foods.

Sodium. Given minimal reliance on highly processed and savory snack foods in the Omnivore’s Delight, anticipated intakes of sodium could be one-third to half current levels.

Quoted from the Food Solutions New England Vision (PDF), pages 12 – 14

Collective Inquiry: Detailed Schedule

<– Collective Inquiry Registration and Information Page

Collective Inquiry Launch
Monday, August 22, 12pm – 1:30pm

Open Space
Tuesday, August 30, 12pm – 1pm

The “Omnivore’s Delight” Diet Challenge
Thursday, September 8, 12pm – 1pm

The “Omnivore’s Delight” Diet Challenge – Wrap Up
Monday, September 26, 12pm – 1:00pm

The Role of Sustainable Seafood
With Niaz Dorry, of Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance
Thursday, October 6, 12pm – 1pm

Synthesis & Next Steps
Tuesday, October 25th, 12pm – 1:30pm ** NOTE NEW DAY
Anyone participating in the Collective Inquiry may use the Zoom Room to discuss topics of interest. The Zoom Room is generally available. To schedule a call, just contact Nina Smolyar, nertnetwork@gmail.com

<– Collective Inquiry Registration and Information Page

Join Our “Collective Inquiry” on Local and Regional Food

To honor and amplify NERT’s collective wisdom and experience around food, we are launching a “Collective Inquiry” into this topic!

FSNE SquareWe are teaming up with members of the Food Solutions New England (FSNE) network to think about how we can create a resilient, sustainable and equitable food system. Join us online on August 22 at noon as we launch the discussion, and/or join us online on Slack anytime over the following several weeks. Sign up below!

How it will work: We will launch the Inquiry on Monday, August 22 at noon on Zoom (an online platform with video and phone-in options). For the following several weeks, there will be ongoing “text-based” conversations on Slack, an online platform for discussion and collaboration, as well as additional calls on Zoom. See the full schedule hereSign up below! You can then choose how to engage.

Local & Regional Food

Chances are, if you are involved in Transition or community resilience, you are somehow connected to the local food movement. You might shop at a farmers market, be part of a CSA, grow some of your own food, or even work as a full-fledged farmer. We all eat! And there are many ways to be involved. 

We can’t fully predict where our Collective Inquiry will take us. But here’s a taste of what we might explore together:

  • What are the challenges and successes in your local food work — the farmers markets, CSAs, farms, permaculture projects, food forests, and more?
  • As individuals, what are the challenges in securing affordable, nutritious food that squares with our values?
  • What could a regional-scale food system look like, as opposed to the current global system? What would we eat? Who would grow it, and where?
  • FSNE has identified three areas where more work is needed in order to build a regional food system: 1. democratic engagement, 2. a new food narrative, and 3. models for business success for farmers, suppliers and beyond. Let’s dig into these topics to create a regional food system that squares with our values.

On August 22, we’ll be joined by members of the FSNE network who will share a bit about the Vision and System Map for change. Then, we’ll break into small groups on the food-related topics that interest us. Participants will be invited to suggest topics. We’ll then identify what next steps we’d like to take. Are there resources that would be helpful? Other people in the food world we’d like to hear from? NERT can help locate resources and make connections happen over the course of the Collective Inquiry.

If you are in the Boston area, also check out our in-person event on food on Wednesday, August 17.

Sign Up!

To register for Collective Inquiry, sign up here:

After you register you will will receive details on how to join the video/phone discussions and an invitation to join us on Slack, where the food conversation will be ongoing throughout August, September and October 2016.

NERT Online Discussions: Supporting and Connecting New England’s Grassroots Groups

Open Space Call June 22

We know that healthy networks – and healthy ecosystems – are the product of many interconnections and interdependencies. NERT is building connections to create more and stronger relationships among New England’s grassroots groups. As we get to know each other, we will develop ways to support one another and enhance the resilience of our region as a whole. Together, we can accomplish more than we can alone.

We are now offering the following opportunities for connection, conversation, and collaboration. These discussions will use Zoom, a conferencing platform that allows us to break into small groups. You can join via computer, tablet, or phone. Feel free to jump on for part of the call or stay for the whole time.

Open Space Online Discussion

Wednesday, July 13, 12:00 – 1:30pm ET
Jump on for part of the call or stay for the whole time

Add your name and email address to register here

Are you looking for a way to connect with the NERT network and other grassroots groups? Is there an important conversation you are eager to engage in? Do you want to have meaningful dialogue with people who understand the importance of resilience and the Transition? If so, please join an Open Space Online Discussion! Participants suggest topics and then break into smaller discussion groups on the topics that interest them.

In previous calls we have discussed topics such as:

– Getting to know each other
– Helping a brand new energy committee (in a conservative area)
– The Power of Story for Regional Resilience
– Equity and Transition
– How to build resilience in the New England region
– Fundraising
– A Food Vision for New England

We hope you’ll join us – bring your ideas for discussion or just your curious self. Exciting conversations await. Register here.

Online Peer-to-Peer Consulting

Monday, July 18, 12:00 – 1:30pm ET
Jump on for part of the call or stay for the whole time

Add your name and email address to register here

Could your community group benefit from input from fellow grassroots organizers? Do you want to learn more about starting an initiative, outreach, bridging race and class, fundraising, or other topics? Join a NERT Peer-to-Peer Consulting Online Discussion!

In a Peer-to-Peer Consulting Online Discussion you will have a chance to present your group’s situation and challenges. Two of your peers will offer thoughts and input based on their own experiences as grassroots organizers. You’ll then reverse roles and offer suggestions to your peers.

We know that NERT members have much wisdom to share, and we’re excited to put this wisdom in service to the broader New England network. Please join us! Register here.

Contact Nina Smolyar, nertnetwork@gmail.com, with any questions.