Two meetings this week bring opportunities to review the down side, as well as the possible upside, of our evolving economy.
One, sponsored by the NC Justice Center, focuses on the cost to North Carolina residents of dramatic proposed state budget cuts. Juxtaposted against it: a chance to bring hundreds of conference-goers to town to learn about opportunities for green jobs nationally, a conference sponsored by Durham-based SJF Ventures and being held in the Bull City for the first time.
The NC Justice Center will be holding a town hall in Durham this Wednesday from 6:30-8:30pm in NCCU's Michaux School of Education. Durham legislative delegation members Rep. Larry Hall, Rep. Mickey Michaux, Rep. Paul Luebke, and state Sen. Floyd McKissick, Jr. have all signalled their intention to attend. The event is co-sponsored by NCCU's Institute for Civic Engagement and Social Change.
From the NC Justice Center's description (website):
North Carolina's state government faces a historic budget shortfall- close to $5 billion or more than 20% of the total budget for 2009-2010 alone. It is critical that elected officials hear from folks in their communities about the importance of public programs and services so they can make budget decisions that support communities and families and do not undermine the state's economic recovery.
On a happier note, Durham is this year home to SJF's "Summit on the New Green Economy: How to Make it Work," a national conference expected to draw forty-three national-level speakers, including fifteen CEOs and NC state treasurer Janet Cowell.
The venture capital fund, which provides expansion-stage capital to companies with a focus on clean energy, technology-based services and consumer products, with a focus on firms that are "committed to impacting the world positively." SJF's held clean-tech CEO panels on Wall Street in the past, but now brings this conference to its Durham offices and their environs for the first time.
The conference will be held at the Durham Convention Center downtown. Keynote speakers will touch on successful strategies and markets for green-economy businesses, from entrepreneurship to investment to creating green jobs in communities. Find out more at SJF's website.