News Release

Sustainable Island Living Conference to feature national experts

Economic development, leadership and civic engagement to be highlighted

at the Island Institute’s three-day event held in Rockland on October 14-16


For Immediate Release: August 26, 2011

Contact: Nancy McLeod Carter, (207) 594-9209, ext. 133


The fourth annual Sustainable Island Living Conference, hosted by the Island Institute in downtown Rockland on October 14, 15 and 16, 2011, will feature a trio of nationally known experts along with informative sessions on economic development, leadership, and civic engagement.  Each year, the conference brings year-round island and coastal residents together with regional and national experts to discuss strategies for sustainability and economic vitality in remote communities along the Maine coast.


Bill McKibben, one of America's best-known environmentalists and authors, is the conference’s keynote speaker on Friday, October 14 at 6:30 p.m.   Bill’s global grassroots nonprofit organization has revolutionized the dialogue around climate change and political action.  A seasoned and inspirational speaker and author of two best-selling books, The End of Nature and Deep Economies: The Wealth of Communities, Earth, and the Durable Future, Bill is in great demand world-wide – his talk on October 14 will be his only appearance in Maine in 2011. 


Ben Hewitt, author of The Town That Food Saved: How One Community Found Vitality in Local Food (Rodale) will open the next day’s activities at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 15. Ben speaks on issues relating to localized food systems and economies, and is known for his thoughtful, inspiring, and occasionally hilarious presentations.  The rest of the day will feature several workshops and discussions designed to give participants the chance to share knowledge and skills in a variety of topical areas.


New to the SIL conference this year, on Sunday, October, 16, a Leadership Summit will feature Rick Gilkey, professor of organization and management at Emory University. Dr. Gilkey has served as an editorial consultant to The New York Times and Fortune Magazine as well as a consultant to such organizations as Coca-Cola, General Electric, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, CARE, and the U.S. Department of State.


There are several options for registration.  The fee for Friday evening and Saturday is $40 per person for island residents and $60 for non-island residents.  The Sunday leadership summit is $10 per person.  It’s also possible to purchase tickets for Friday evening’s keynote presentation for $10 per person.  Online registration is located at 


For more information, please contact Sally Perkins at


The Island Institute partners with Maine’s year-round island and working-waterfront communities

to ensure that they remain vibrant places to live, work, and educate children.