15th Annual North Country Symposium

“Exploring Sectors That Drive the North Country 's Economy: 
Mapping Systems...Indentifying Gaps”

Eben Holden Conference Center, St. Lawrence University
Held on May 8th, 2017 | 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. (registration begins at 8:30 a.m.)

Supported by St. Lawrence University’s Ellen C. Burt ’42 Endowment
for North Country Education

The 15th annual North Country Symposium will build upon the foundation of the 2016 Symposium by moving from a focus on the entrepreneurial ecosystem to a focus on economic sectors that are strategic to development in the North Country.  At the 2016 Symposium, we explored how entrepreneurial ecosystems can be strengthened across the region and the important role communities play in ecosystem development.  This year's Symposium will build upon that foundation by looking more closely at key sectors in the North Country such as agriculture, energy, arts and tourism.  Using a value chain tool, we will map the system of entrepreneurs and businesses, support organizations and demand partners who work together to create a stronger sector that meets individual interests and drives the broader economy.  We will identify gaps in these systems, including people who are not engaged but should be, and spend time generating ideas about how we can fill those gaps.

Dr. Deborah Markley, Co-Founder and Managing Director of the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship, will return to the Symposium to lead hands-on small group work that will help us better understand these economic opportunities in the North Country.

If you are interested in advancing one of these key sectors of the North Country economy, please mark your calendar and participate in this important convening on May 8th, 2017.

Register here

At last year's 2016 Symposium

Participants worked together to:

  • Consider a framework for an entrepreneurial ecosystem that supports the many faces of entrepreneurship.
  • Understand the region’s development opportunities.
  • Identify key stakeholders, entrepreneurial talent, and resources.
  • Make connections between communities, entrepreneurs, and what is already working within the region.
  • Establish concrete actions that should be taken to create the supportive environment.

The event featured:

  • Dr. Deborah Markley, Co-Founder and Managing Director of the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship
  • A panel of Regional Entrepreneurs providing insights from the field.
  • Spotlight presentations by regional stakeholders on existing initiatives.The schedule for this event, including presenters, can be reviewed here.

Background Information for 2016 North Country Symposium:

  • Dr. Markley and her colleagues at the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship performed extensive background research in preparation for the 2016 North Country Symposium.  Visit this site to review reports, data, stories, and tools.
  • Click here to view Dr. Markley's PowerPoint presentation.
  • Letter to 2016 North Country Symposium Participants - Dr. Deborah Markley
  • Check out this story by David Sommerstein, reporter for North Country Public Radio, about the 14th annual North Country Symposium: Building an ecosystem of entrepreneurs in the North Country.