Gwendolyn Hallsmith, is the founder and Executive Director of Global Community Initiatives, a non-profit organization established in 2002 with the intention of working with communities to implement the Earth Charter, the first international document in human history to recognize the connections between respect and care for the whole community of life, ecological integrity, social and economic justice, democracy, non-violence, and peace. She is the author of several books and workbooks: The Key to Sustainable Cities: Meeting Human Needs, Transforming Community Systems; Taking Action for Sustainability: The EarthCAT Guide to Community Development; LASER: Local Action for Sustainable Economic Renewal; Creating Wealth: Growing Local Economies with Local Currencies; Community Currency; and Vermont Dollars, Vermont Sense.


Gwendolyn has over 35 years of experience working with municipal, regional, and state government in the United States and internationally. She has served as the Planning and Community Development Director for the City of Montpelier, the Town Manager of Randolph, Vermont, the Regional Planning Director in Franklin County, MA, a Senior Planner for the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy Resources, and the Deputy Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources.


Her international experience has included work with the United Nations Environment Program, the United Nations Development Program, the Institute for Sustainable Communities, the International City/County Management Association, and Earth Charter International. She has a Master’s degree in Public Policy from Brown University and studied theology at the Andover Newton Theological School, exploring the links between our wisdom traditions, spirituality, and work at the community level.  


Gwendolyn’s lifelong commitment to environmental, social, and economic justice has led her to question many of our current core economic systems and assumptions. She works to bring our human systems into alignment with key spiritual insights about how we are one human family and that we need to live within Earth’s carrying capacity. She lives in an ecovillage she founded in Cabot, Vermont called the Headwaters Garden and Learning Center with her husband Michael Taub and several other families. She and Michael perform topical songs about economic issues in a small singing group called The New Economistas.


Mediterranean Stuffed Vegetables

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.



Olive oil

1 large zucchini , cut in half lengthwise, inside scooped out and diced

1 large summer squash, cut in half lengthwise, inside scooped out and diced

2 Asian Eggplants, cut in half lengthwise, inside scooped out and diced

3 large Poblano peppers, cut in half lengthwise, seeds removed

1 onion, chopped

1 pint cherry tomatoes

2 carrots, diced

1 stalk celery, diced

2 cups green beans

1 purple pepper, diced

1 bunch collard greens, stem removed, and chopped

2 cups kale, stem removed and chopped

2 tsp. chopped garlic

1 Tbs. dried oregano

½ cup white wine

½ cup Fresh Basil, chopped

1 tsp. salt

½ t. pepper

2 Tbs. chopped parsley

4 cups cooked brown rice

½ cup organic calamata olives, sliced

¼ cup capers

½ cup pine nuts


  1. Cut squash, zucchini, eggplants and peppers in half lengthwise. Brush with olive oil. Lay face down and roast in 375 degree oven for 15 minutes. When soft, remove from oven and let cool.
  2. Sauté the onions in olive oil till translucent. Add carrots and celery, and cook for 5 minutes. Add garlic and oregano.
  3. Meanwhile, blanch the green beans in boiling water, just until tender, and then remove into an ice bath to cool. Pat dry on towel.
  4. Dice the inside of the squash, zucchini and eggplant, and add it to the wok. Saute for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the purple pepper and collard greens to the wok, and continue cooking.
  6. Add the white wine and kale to the wok, and continue cooking.
  7. Cut the green beans in half or thirds, depending on their length, and add to the wok. Continue cooking for 5 more minutes.
  8. Add the cherry tomatoes and basil.
  9. Add the brown rice, parsley and pinenuts. Taste and adjust salt and pepper to your liking.
  10. Fill zucchinis with vegetable mixture.
  1.  Bake at 375 for 15 minutes. Remove to platter and serve.