Environmental group focuses on economics, presents new documentary

Vashon Earth Care has combined forces with the Backbone Campaign and Transition Vashon to foster dialogue about strengthening Vashon’s local economy.

This weekend, Vashon Earth Care — an ecumenical group of Islanders devoted to environmental stewardship — will host a showing of “The Economics of Happiness” at Vashon Theatre. Released in January, the documentary presents the problems associated with globalization and highlights communities around the world that are working to build resilient local economies. 

Following the film, a panel of local and national activists will facilitate a community conversation on the documentary and how the ideas it presents could apply on Vashon.

Panelists will include David Korten, co-founder of YES! Magazine and author of “Agenda for a New Economy,” and John de Graaf, co-founder of the Seattle Happiness Initiative and co-author of “Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic.” 

Local panelists include Bill Moyer, director of the Backbone Campaign and board member of the Puget Sound Cooperative Credit Union, Cathy Fulton, organizer of Vashon’s Food Summit, and Rev. Carla Pryne, priest at the Church of the Holy Spirit and co-founder of Earth Ministry.

Julia Lakey, co-founder of Vashon Earth Care, said she heard about the documentary when it was presented at a similar event at a town hall in Seattle. She believes it will be well-received on the Island, where may have already expressed interest in working towards a local economy that is less dependent on importing food and other items. 

“We’re working our way toward that on Vashon,” Lakey said. “I got excited about moving that conversation along.”

Lakey is looking forward to hearing from what she said is a strong and diverse panel of speakers. She, along with representatives from the Backbone Campaign and Transition Vashon, which have helped sponsor the event along with Sustainable Vashon, have already formulated questions to direct the conversation about strengthening Vashon’s economy.

“It’s not going to be talking heads. ... This is really about having a conversation about how Vashon expands its local economy,” Lakey said.

She is also looking forward to hearing from Islanders who show up with their own questions and ideas.

“It’s going to be a lively dialogue,” she said. “I can’t wait”


“The Economics of Happiness” will show at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, April 16, at the Vashon Theatre. A community discussion will follow at 3 p.m. at the Vashon Presbyterian Church. 





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