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Metro East Kickoff – Local Community Investment and Funding Strategies – May 27 2020

Presenters and Panelists

A million thanks to our keynote presenter and our panel of experts!

Listen to author and economist Michael H. Shuman discuss local community investment strategies.  Michael Shuman is an economist, attorney, author, and entrepreneur, and a leading visionary on community economics. His Books include The Local Economy Solution and “Put Your Money Where Your Life Is.” Here we learn about re-defining value and how to think before you buy or invest. Many local options have better returns than traditional investing options. It’s a unique time and an opportunity for a transition that can be beneficial for all, but we have to think local. We can nurture local businesses, then diversify to meet local demands. We can develop an agenda to support local business through the six p’s: planning, people, partners, purse, purchasing and policy-making. He talks about Solo 401k’s, investing in yourself, your family and neighbors, your community cooperatives, your local bank or credit union, your city, your favorite local business, direct public offerings, crowdfunding, local community investment funds, and more.

Additional Links:

Listen to a panel of experts discuss the opportunities for local community investment and funding in the St. Louis Metro East area. We identified needs like a team approach, connectivity between people and communities, having a positive can-do attitude to lead the charge, and entrepreneurship for youth. “This crisis calls on us to think big.” It’s a unique time and if we’re going to succeed in this transition, we need local resilience. We need education, financial literacy, and a way for every voice in our communities to be heard.


  • Michael Shuman – economist, attorney, author, and entrepreneur, and a leading visionary on community economics; Books include The Local Economy Solution and “Put Your Money Where Your Life Is”
  • Connie Frey Spurlock, Ph.D., SIUe Successful Communities Collaborative
  • Derissa Davis, Educator at James Avant Elementary, Inspirer, Leader, Visionary, Creator of Gardens
  • Stephanie (Bush) Taylor, President/CEO, Community Development Sustainability Solutions, East St. Louis
  • David LeZaks, Ph.D., Senior Fellow at the Croatan Institute, scientist and financial activist whose work is centered around developing innovative mechanisms for financing the transition to agroecological farming and food systems
  • Cindy Winland, Senior Fellow, Just Transition Fund, focusing on technical assistance and planning in communities impacted by the transition away from coal assets

Event Organizers


Main Sponsor

The Just Transition Fund is dedicated to helping coal-affected communities build strong, resilient, and diversified new energy economies.

Metro East Community Sponsors

Energy Resources Group