North Country Symposium to Focus on Economic Drivers

St. Lawrence University will host the 15th-Annual North Country Symposium from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, May 8, in the Eben Holden Conference Center. Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m.

This year’s theme, “Exploring Sectors That Drive the North Country’s Economy: Mapping Systems … Identifying Gaps,” will build upon the foundation of the 2016 Symposium by moving from a focus on the entrepreneurial ecosystem to focusing on economic sectors that are strategic to development in the North Country. 

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 allow participants to better understand these economic opportunities in the North Country.

“We’ll have an opportunity this year to move from talking about individual entrepreneurs to really understanding some of the sectors that are important to the North Country’s economy,” Markley said. “Using the knowledge of Symposium participants, we’ll map each sector so we can see all the players, better understand the system, and identify the gaps that are keeping the sector from performing as well as it could. Once you see those gaps, it’s possible to work together to figure out how best to address them.”

At the 2016 Symposium, participants explored how entrepreneurial ecosystems can be strengthened across the region and the important role communities play in entrepreneurial development. This year’s Symposium will build upon that foundation by examining key sectors in the North Country economy such as agriculture, energy, arts and tourism. Participants will identify businesses and support organizations that work together to drive the broader economy. 

The North Country Symposium is supported by St. Lawrence University’s Ellen C. Burt ’42 Endowment for North Country Education. The Symposium is free to attend, however registration is required. Parking will be available in Lot J off of Park Street. To view a map of the campus, visit

For more information about the North Country Symposium, including registration, visit or contact Symposium Coordinator Ben Dixon at 315-229-5664.