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Joel Benson

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Joel has worked in a variety of fields, primarily community and regional planning, economic renewal, and natural resource management. He has helped develop agricultural policy with the state of Kentucky, the Town of Buena Vista, Holistic Management International, Savory Institute, Horizon Organic Dairy, Marksbury Farm, Nestle, and others, both nationally and internationally. In Colorado, he ran the Buena Vista Roastery, served four years as a trustee for his town and eight as mayor. He is particularly interested in incorporating Holistic Policy Design and Analysis into town decision-making. He teaches Science and Spanish and serves as Senior Policy Advisor for Buena Vista. He enjoys raising his daughter, jogging, and kayaking.

Plenary Panel

Big Eyes, Big Ears, Small Mouth: Blending Holism and Government

In his presentation, Joel Benson will share some of his experiences as Mayor of a small Colorado town and owner of a small business where he successfully integrated principles of Holistic Management into strategy and policy. Since he was first trained as an Educator in Holistic Management in the mid 90s and later trained in Communal Land and Livestock Management in Zimbabwe, Joel has had to learn to adapt key principles into non land-based situations, including helping to economically sustain a community through the Great Recession and to transform a government rife with mistrust and questionable integrity into a vibrant and more unified community. He will speak about holistic policy and outline how lessons can be applied across various situations, including agriculture, business, and government.