From BALLE, one of my favorite local economy organizations:
And The Pioneers That are Leading the Way – Part 1
As we are preparing for our annual 2013 BALLE conference in June, I am reminded of one of the main reasons people are drawn to BALLE: to learn how to create a strong and vibrant local economy in their own communities. Knowing that not all of you will make it to Buffalo in June, and as I reviewed our incredible list of speakers and conference agenda, I was inspired to share this list of key ingredients in hopes that it will inspire you, even in some small way, towards action in your community.
Because there are SO many juicy things to share with you – and because we know your free reading time is precious – we’re breaking this down into two parts. And for those that will be joining us for #2013BALLE Conference in Buffalo, we’ve highlighted some of the incredible pioneers who will be speaking on these subjects at our upcoming conference.
Here are five ingredients of thriving local economies. (Hint: the next five might arrive on Monday for you…)
To grow, process and distribute healthy nutritious and affordable food:
We need to know the people that grow and make our food and to have systems in place to get fresh, affordable food into underserved areas. When we support a localized food system, we keep our dollars in the local economy and lessen our dependency on external food sources that can be damaging to both people and our environment.
James Johnson-Piett, Urbane Development: Vision speaker
Nikki Henderson, People’s Grocery: Vision speaker
Sarita Role Schaffer, Viva Farms: Rethinking Investment
To unleash the talents and creativity of the whole community:
We’re not okay unless we’re all okay. Job access, skills training, business ownership and cooperative models serve so many purposes. They build community wealth and keep money circulating locally; they empower people through personal ownership; and they harness the collective energy of the entire community and channel it towards a greater good.
Mark Brand, Save on Meats: Vision speaker
India Pierce Lee, Cleveland Foundation and the Evergreen Cooperatives: Vision speaker
Gar Alperovitz, The Democracy Collaborative: Community Ownership Revolution
To make things again:
We need to bring back local manufacturing and to be able to meet some of our needs locally. If we start using regional resources – local people, local businesses, local products – to meet our regional needs, we support all the people that contribute to our vibrant, local economy.
Kate Sofis, SFMade: Local is the New Global
Mike Pearson, Union Packaging: Vision speaker
Michael Peck, Mondragon: Local is the New Global
To use new technologies to connect people:
Central to a vibrant local economy is having strong relationships with each other, and new technologies are creating more opportunities to get connected. We can connect makers and growers with buyers and with each other. People can now share spare bedrooms, services and yard tools at the click of a button. Technology will never replace personal relationships, but it’s a wonderful way to get introduced.
Matt Stinchcomb, Etsy: Pardon the Disruption
Benzi Ronen, Farmigo: Pardon the Disruption
To foster an ethos of generosity:
At the center of everything, we need to create communities that want the best for each other. Developing personal relationships and establishing trust is one of the most important elements of a vibrant, local economy, and leading with generosity can be powerful way to start.
Otto Scharmer, Presencing Institute: Integrated Capital & Connections
Judy Wicks, Author, White Dog Café: Vision speaker & Entrepreneurs in Love
Nipun Mehta, Service Space: Vision speaker
In the words of our Executive Director, Michelle Long, “There is a new economy emerging – one that will gradually displace our destructive and failing economy with a system that supports the health, prosperity and happiness of all people, and that regenerates the vital ecosystem upon which our economy depends. The Annual BALLE Conference is the place where we stitch together the pioneering leaders, ideas and local economies. Together, remarkably creative entrepreneurs are building real prosperity from the ground up.”
– Jill Epner, BALLE
Register for their 2013 conference here: