SCALE, inc.



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Our Team


  • Anothony Flaccavento (President)

  • Megan Williams (Director of Research)


  • Michael Shuman


We’re excited to announce a new arm of SCALE — “Bread & Butter Rural Progressivism.” This new arm weaves together bottom up economics, communications and messaging, and new strategies for community outreach and engagement.


The field of local economy has some great practitioners, great thinkers, and great writers, but rarely can one find all those skills in one person. Anthony Flaccavento is that one-in-a-million talent. We should thank the locavore Gods that he’s on our side.
— Michael Shuman, Author of The Small Mart Revolution and Director of Research and Economic Development at the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies, Washington, DC

What is “SCALE”?

The near collapse of Wall Street in 2008 precipitated a global economic recession that put millions of people out of work and forced local and state agencies into widespread cutbacks. The economic decline also demonstrated just how vulnerable most communities have become. At the same time, mounting evidence of climate change surrounds us, from rapidly melting glaciers and Antarctic ice sheets, to prolonged droughts and other severe weather. And the problems aren't just in the atmosphere: over the past 100 years, the amount of productive land available per capita has shrunk dramatically, from 14 acres per person worldwide to just over 3.5 acres.

Can we simply grow our way out of this, or do we need a new approach, a new vision of prosperity?

SCALE — Sequestering Carbon, Accelerating Local Economies — combines a new vision for economic prosperity and resilience with tested skills and strategies to help us get there. Based on over 25 years of hands-on experience in sustainable community development, SCALE focuses on three core elements:

  • Building diverse, resilient economies at the local and regional level, based on local assets and better meeting local needs

  • Growing local “capital” and wealth, in food and farming and other natural resource-based economic sectors, that also rebuild ecological health

  • Catalyzing networks, of entrepreneurs, farmers, consumers and advocates that accelerate and deepen healthy local economies

The central purpose of SCALE is to catalyze and accelerate economies which increase community wealth and restore or sustain the ecosystem. The services are designed for community leaders, farmers, small businesses and nonprofit practitioners who are engaged in working towards sustainable economic development initiatives.

SCALE offers the following Consulting services:

  • Facilitating the process of generating ideas, setting priorities and launching initiatives

  • Identifying community assets, gaps and needs, and building local capacity

  • Technical assistance in organic and sustainable farming, season extension and farmer training

  • Building more localized, healthy food systems, including farmers markets, CSAs, restaurant marketing networks

  • Development of "field to table" value chains for healthy food systems, forest products and other natural resource based economies

Some of SCALE’s recent clients include the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture (Iowa), Sustainable Edible Economic Development (Racine and Kenosha, Wisconsin), Farm to Table (New Mexico), the Central Appalachian Network (five state organization in central Appalachia), Local Food Hub, Charlottesville, VA, blue moon fund, Charlottesville, VA, and the New Appalachian Farm and Research Center (West Virginia).

In addition to consulting services, SCALE offers Public Speaking and Workshops on a range of topics including:

  • Creating Alternatives to "Big Boxes"

  • Increasing food access for lower income and working people

  • Sustainable Development, sustainable living

  • Rural Development and Ecological Economics

  • Building an Alternative, Asset-based Economy

  • Community-based Strategies for Healthy, Sustainable Economies

  • Creating Healthy Food Systems

  • Organic and Sustainable Farming

  • Health and Ecological Benefits of Organic and Grass-based Farming

  • Transitioning tobacco and other conventional farmers to Sustainability

Recent public speaking engagements include launching of the Community Voices series in Blacksburg, Va, and key note presentations at the West Virginia Sustainability Summit in Morgantown, WVA, the Appalachian Farmers Market Association annual conference in Bristol, TN, and a presentation on local food systems at the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars in Washington, DC.

Experience and Qualifications

Anthony Flaccavento has 25 years of hands-on experience in sustainable community development, along with a BS degree in Agriculture and Environmental Science and a Masters degree in Economic and Social Development. Additional experiences and capabilities include:

  • 24 years experience in community development, 15 years in sustainable economic development in Appalachia

  • Built a nationally recognized, entrepreneurial non-profit - Appalachian Sustainable Development - that provides a model for asset based, sustainable economic development

  • Have launched three non-profit organizations and numerous initiatives in economic development, sustainable agriculture, sustainable forest products, healthy foods for low income people, and more

  • Organized, built and helped manage farmers markets, CSAs, and other local foods systems.

  • Designed, organized and built integrated value chains in organic/sustainable foods and sustainable forest products

  • Certified organic farmer for past 15 years, raising nearly 50 types of fruits and vegetables

  • Have written and published nearly 100 articles, along with several radio commentaries and book chapters on sustainable development, organic and sustainable farming and foods, economics, ecology and related topics

  • Noted public speaker and workshop provider at conferences and seminars around the nation

  • Author of "Healthy Food Systems Value Chain Tool Kit", a practical manual for building value chains.

  • Bachelors degree in Agriculture and Environmental Science, Masters in Economics and Social Development

  • Kellogg National Food and Society Policy Fellow (2007 - 2008) and Ford Foundation Leadership for a Changing World awardee (2004 - 2005)

  • Designed and taught undergraduate courses in rural development and sustainable economic development at Emory and Henry College and the University of Virginia, Wise