Arizona Living Economy Forum

Sunday, September 17, 12:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
YWCA of Southern AZ, 525 N Bonita Ave, Tucson, AZ 85745

Are you part of the local solution? 

The Arizona Living Economy Forum (ALEF) is a signature event for growing prosperity in our community. ALEF is bringing together visionary speakers from around Arizona to talk about what's working locally and share tools to grow a more united, prosperous community. ALEF is creating a template for how we learn from one another and become true change makers in our own communities. 

Brought to you by: 

Keynote Speaker


Kimber Lanning is Founder and Executive Director of Local First Arizona, a statewide organization implementing innovative strategies for new models of economic development that create vibrant local economies. Lanning is an entrepreneur, business leader and community development specialist who works to cultivate strong self-reliant communities and inspire a higher quality of life for people across Arizona. Lanning’s passions, which are seen throughout her work, include fostering cultural diversity and inclusion, economic resilience and responsible growth for Arizona


The Program Will Include the Following Tracks:

Breakout Session 1 | 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Food, Soil and Nature: Investing in soil, local food, and nature-based businesses and infrastructure to increase the circulation of local foods in our economy.


  • Erik Stanford - Pivot Produce
  • Justine Hernandez - Pima County Seed Library 
  • Rani Olson - TUSD Farm to School Chef 
  • Don Guerra - Barrio Bread & BKW Farms
  • Nina Sajovec & Sterling - AJO CSA

Shared Ownership and Community Capital: Cultivating democratic economic models: worker ownership, land trusts, public assets, the commons; diverging from Wall Street to invest communities and using philanthropy to mitigate risk for pioneers.


  • Grace A. Gamez, Ph.D., - Program Coordinator, Re-framing Justice, American Friends Service Committee.

  • Sandra Bernal - Tucson Emerging 2030 District 

  • Jeff Sinleton - SALT 

  • Todd Hanley - General Manager Hotel Congress

  • Chris Curro - General Manager Food Conspiracy C0-Op

Breakout Session 2| 2:15 PM - 3:15 PM

Localism and Localist Policies: Promoting a culture of local, cooperative, and community owned businesses and organizations, and advocating for policies that support these initiatives.


  • Mike Peel - Southern Arizona Director for Local First Arizona 
  • Josh Proctor - Tucson Originals 
  • Nelda Ruiz - Tierra Libertad 
  • Dwight Metzger - Gloo Factory
  • Penelope Jacks - Strong Start Tucson

Sustainable Solutions: Provide the tools to implement sustainability strategies in our daily lives and understand the interconnectedness of green efforts for greater impact and a holistic sustainable economy.


  • John Eisele - Executive Director of Tucson Emerging 2030 District
  • Ann Marie Wolf - Sonora Environmental Research Institute

  • Tres English - Sustainable Tucson 

  • Danielle Fidel - Technicians For Sustainability 

  • Ray Clamons - Natural Building Works 

Breakout Session 3| 3:30 PM- 4:30 PM

Opportunity and Innovation for Engagement: The University of Arizona is leading education, innovation, and intervention in the field of climate change and climate reality.


  • Gina Murphy Darling - Mrs. Greens World

  • Ben Champion  - UA Office of Sustainability

  • Nancy Peterson - UA Program Manager Agnese Nelms Haury Program in Environment and Social Justice

  • Paloma Beamer - UA Assistant Professor, Mel & Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health

  • Courtney Crosson - UA Assistant Professor, School of Architecture: College of Architecture, Planning, and Landscape Architecture

Changemakers Solution Session | 4:45 - 5:15 

Community Discussion about solutions and actions individuals can take in the next month to be part of the local solution.

Cocktail Reception

Begins at 5:30 PM, with ticket purchase.
Featuring appetizers by Corazon Cafe using local produce by Pivot Produce, Coffee provided by Bentley's House of Coffee and Tea, Craft Beer by Borderlands Brewing Co., and local Arizona wine. 

Purchase Your Ticket!

 Tickets $10 in advance | $15 at the door

Thanks to our Sponsors working to build a better Arizona

Visionary Sponsor:


Changemaker Sponsors:

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Grassroots Sponsors:

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If you are interested in sponsoring the Arizona Living Economy Forum email [email protected]

For general questions about the event like program and tickets email [email protected]