Minutes of 15th Meeting of VINN (Vermont International Nonprofit Network)

Friday April 15, 2005 Institute for Sustainable Communities, Montpelier 4:00 - 6:00 pm

Members Attending
Animals Asia - Andi Mowrer
ECOLOGIA –Carolyn Schmidt
Green Across the Pacific – Peter Lynch
Institute for Sustainable Communities – Barbara Felitti
Peter Ames – Ames Consulting
Project Harmony – Barbara Miller
Salzburg Seminar – Meg Harris
Vermont Council on World Affairs – Carol Casey

Robert Clough, Program Coordinator, The Dickey Center for International Understanding, Dartmouth College

Absent with notification
Chris Donnelly (formerly of Toward Freedom)
Global Community Initiatives – Gwen Hallsmith
Grounds for Health – August Burns
Population Media Center - Bill Ryerson
Rohatyn Center – Charlotte Tate
Vermont Teacher Diversity Scholarship Program – Phyl Newbeck
Volunteers for Peace – Peter Coldwell

Thank you to the Institute for Sustainable Communities for hosting this meeting.

I. Networking / Introductions

Animals Asia – Andi Mowrer, US Director – Animals Asia’s Executive Director, who is based in Hong Kong, will be spending several weeks in the United States, traveling and speaking about the bear rescues, partnerships with Asian organizations, and other activities of Animals Asia. Andi and her colleague in San Francisco are busy planning her agenda.

ECOLOGIA – Carolyn Schmidt, Program Director – Carolyn participated in the First Plenary Session for development of an international standard for social and environmental sustainability (the ISO “SR” standard), held in Salvador, Brazil in March. The process involves representatives from many developing countries, as well as developed ones, and ‘stakeholder’ representatives from industry, government, labor, consumers, and NGOs. Carolyn is optimistic that during the three-year period (2005-2007), the inclusive process will result in a workable set of guidelines for any organization to measure, report to the public, and improve on its ‘social responsibilities’.

Green Across the Pacific – Peter Lynch, Executive Director - GATP is preparing to host a delegation from their partner Chinese high school in Guangdong, this summer in Vermont. Twelve students and four educators will be here, working with their American counterparts on natural resource management questions. Castleton State College is providing support, in exchange for the opportunity for Castleton education students to work on designing the curriculum.

Institute for Sustainable Communities- Barbara Felitti, Executive Director – Barbara summarized ISC’s ongoing work, which includes: the New England Futures Project (identifying and discussing issues of identity and sustainable development planning); Ukraine’s civil society program, developing citizen responsibility by working through NGOs; and ‘localization’ (turning control over to local partner) of programs in Macedonia. ISC is becoming involved with women’s leadership programs in China, through the Institute for International Education. Barbara herself will be moving to Ukraine in August, to assume the directorship of ISC’s programs there.

Project Harmony - Barbara Miller, Executive Director – Project Harmony recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. Barbara is currently working on programs to promote Azerbaijani women’s leadership (participants intern with Vermont governmental bodies), and ‘legal socialization’ in Armenia (education for police and training the public about their rights). Project Harmony works with Ukrainians and Georgians through the Community Connections program (hosted in Vermont), and is working in collaboration with the United Palestinian Appeal to develop similar programs involving participants from the Middle East.

Peter Ames recently returned from two weeks consulting in the United Arab Emirates. The project involved combining and re-configuring 10 museums which had been founded by various royal family members over the past 23 years.

Salzburg Seminar - Meg Harris, Special Projects Coordinator Salzburg Seminar is proceeding with their full program slate for the upcoming year, while awaiting word of the choice of their new Executive Director. The search process is proceeding on schedule, and the announcement of the new leader is expected by the end of May.

Vermont Council on World Affairs - Carol Casey, Program Director
Their programs include


Robert Clough is Program Coordinator at the Dickey Center for International Understanding, at Dartmouth College. In this capacity, he organizes panels on topics such as global health issues and world affairs, and arranges overseas internship programs for Dartmouth students. Previously, he worked on grassroots exchange programs, as Special Assistant to the Director at the Japan Foundation’s Center for Global Partnership (New York City). We welcome him to our network. Bob would like to hear from VINN members interested in the Dartmouth programs. His contact information is: : 603-646-1040 (office phone); e-mail: robert.clough@dartmouth.edu

II. “Vermonters Engage with the World”
Meg reported on decisions made at the March meeting of the Event Planning Committee. We discussed a variety of issues related to each topic.

  1. The Event will be on Sunday October 2, 2005.
  2. Sites in Montpelier and Burlington are under consideration.
  3. The program will include a panel discussion with three or four featured speakers, a question period, presentation of VINN’s Global Citizen Awards, and a reception with refreshments.
  4. Before and after the panel discussion, there will be table displays for VINN and VINN members to present materials. Peter Ames will take donations (on a voluntary basis; there is no set admission charge). NOTE: We will need to update/reprint the VINN brochure before October 2.
  5. Panel Discussion: Confirmed panelists are: Martha Rainville, Adjutant General in the Vermont National Guard, and Madeline Kunin, former Governor of Vermont. Checking his schedule is Steve Delany of VPR. Others under consideration include Jodi Williams (anti-land-mine activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner), Carol Bellamy (outgoing UNICEF head; incoming head of World Learning in Brattleboro), Patrick Brown from the Multicultural Center in Burlington, and someone who arrived here in Vermont as a refugee from a troubled area overseas.
  6. Global Citizen Awards – Erin Gooch and Gwen Hallsmith drafted criteria after the March planning meeting. Carolyn will combine and edit the existing suggestions into a working draft for use at the next meeting. We will work from those to develop our final categories, criteria and nomination process.
  7. Timing and Planning: At the next meeting (May 10), we will split into groups (publicity and event planning). Event planning will select a “selection committee” sub-group responsible for the Global Citizen Award process. For these awards, we set August 15 as the deadline for receiving nominations; Wed. August 24, Middlebury area, 4 – 6 pm for the review committee to select finalists, and early/mid-September for decisions/ notification of winners.

III. Next VINN Meeting: Tuesday May 10, 2005
Institute for Sustainable Communities, 4:00 – 6:00 pm.
Agenda: Planning for the VINN event (October 2).
We will split into two working groups: one for publicity (co-chaired by Justin and Erin) and one for event planning (chaired by Meg). Break-down of specific tasks, creation of sub-groups, and final decisions on some key items will be made at this time.