Key Points About Our Keynotes: GrowSmart Maine’s 2020 Annual Summit

This is the first in a series of blogs providing additional information as we count down the days to GrowSmart Maine’s Annual Summit: Flexing the Power of Home Rule: A Path Toward Regional Solutions, on October 22, 2020. Read on for information about our keynotes speakers and soon we’ll post information about summit’s unique structure, the followup webinar, and other interesting and exciting details!


Today we would like to introduce our two keynote speakers: 

Colin Woodard 

Home Rule in a former Massachusetts colony: The roots of local control in Maine and how it’s shaped our past, present and future

Colin Woodard will tell the story of how Maine came to adopt, prize and defend local control in the centuries following its annexation by Massachusetts and discusses the legacies — positive and negative — of those interlocking experiences.

Woodard is a New York Times bestselling author, historian, and journalist who has reported from more than fifty countries and seven continents. A longtime foreign correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor and The San Francisco Chronicle, he is State and National Affairs Writer at the Portland Press Herald, where he received a 2012 George Polk Award and was a finalist a 2016 Pulitzer Prize. His work has appeared in The New York TimesThe Washington PostThe Economist, SmithsonianPolitico and dozens of other publications. He is the author of American NationsAmerican CharacterThe Lobster CoastThe Republic of PiratesOcean’s End and Union: The Struggle to Forge the Story of United States Nationhood. He lives in Maine.

You can now pre-order signed copies of Woodard’s books — including The Lobster Coast — they can be purchased online from Longfellow Books. You can even request a personalized message when you order and Colin will add that at the store before the books are shipped or picked up curb-side.

Order Colin’s Books Here




Anthony Flint

A Symbiotic View of Regionalism and Local Control

Anthony Flint will explore the involving and evolving interaction between the political and social systems historically founded in New England and the system of local governing bodies often unchecked by state or national control. 

Flint is a senior fellow at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, a think tank in Cambridge, Mass., with expertise in urban planning, housing, climate change and resilience, infrastructure, and global urbanization. At the Lincoln Institute his emphasis is on storytelling and communicating about sustainable urban practices and innovation. He is host of the Land Matters podcast, associate editor and  contributor for the Lincoln Institute’s magazine Land Lines (including the feature Mayor’s Desk, interviews with municipal leaders worldwide); architecture and urban design critic for The Boston Globe; correspondent for CityLab; and a curator and speaker for TEDxBeaconStreet and TEDxTampaBay.

A veteran journalist, serving as a full-time reporter at The Boston Globe 1989-2005, he was also a senior policy advisor on smart growth for Massachusetts state government; a visiting scholar and Loeb Fellow at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design; writer in residence at The American Library in Paris; and a practitioners fellow at The Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center. He is author of Modern Man: The Life of Le Corbusier, Architect of Tomorrow (New Harvest); Wrestling with Moses: How Jane Jacobs Took on New York’s Master Builder and Transformed the American City (Random House); and This Land: The Battle over Sprawl and the Future of America (Johns Hopkins University Press); and co-editor of Smart Growth Policies: An Evaluation of Programs and Outcomes (Lincoln Institute).


As we have done for the past five Summits, there will be 30 minutes of discussion between our keynotes and with our audiences to dig deeper into the issues raised. This is one of the most unique and popular portions of our program!

Interested in hearing these talks? Join us for the summit! Registration is open, and we have COVID compliant choices of 5 satellite sites with limited in-person registrations, or a virtual option, as well as our primary Biddeford location, which will be limited to 50 people.

Register Now