The Beyond Bretton Woods Conference at Middlebury College is a 3-day event that will take place at the College's Bread Loaf campus in May of 2024. 

The conference will critically review international financial architecture through the lens of a poly-crisis; the concurrent occurrence of climate change, the global health pandemic, geo-political risks, the advent of next-generation artificial intelligence, social inequality, and racial injustice, excessive financial leverage around the globe.

The world's current global financial architecture emerged from the 1944 Bretton Woods treaty - which shaped institutions like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Over the course of 80 years, these institutions now struggle with balance sheet capacity and legitimacy to adequately tackle the poly-crisis. Additionally, the US Dollar (backed by gold in 1944), was assigned global reserve currency status. That status along with the gold support removed, fiat currency nature, is now under contention due to geo-political developments coupled with the advent of central bank-issued digital currencies and design thinking to link money to the remaining carbon reserve.

The concept of Middlebury convening a Beyond Bretton Woods Conference to reflect on a markedly changed world in the 80 years since that treaty was enacted has the potential to be a unique, transformative, and potentially impactful event. Midd plans to invite upwards of 160 attendees, 90 of whom will be students - and a panel of global experts, practicing in various fields. The conference also intends to host 30 or so students from the Global South who are currently studying in the US (either at Middlebury or US university).  

Through early engagement, the agenda will be designed primarily by students, including Global South students. Students will also be tasked to co-create innovative solutions integrating conveyed deep system think insights.

The conference outcomes - above and beyond providing students and participants with exceptional insights and thought-provoking, timely conversation - - will feature the publishing of a book, contribution to the overall 80th anniversary of Bretton Woods (which will be celebrated at numerous events in 2024) and the creation of new academic courses at Middlebury itself.

The conference will be co-produced by the faculty and staff of Middlebury College in conjunction with See Change Sessions, a Burlington VT-based specialized event producer.  

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