Will the shift from Globalisation to Localisation help resolve societal problems?
If there is one thing on which most of us agree it is that the world seems to be in pretty big trouble just now. Covid still hangs over us, climate change is a very big threat and in the background wars and conflict are widespread…
Great minds are coming up with answers and world leaders are getting together to try to find a way to a better future.
But an equally important movement in our search for a better world which gets much less publicity than the much-heralded international conferences is the localisation movement.
Even the Queen centred her Christmas broadcast last year on the fact that the pandemic has brought communities closer together. (see blog post The Power of Volunteering on 21st January)
There is a worldwide network of individuals who have a vision of and are moving towards a new way of living. A new human story based on connection and diversity is emerging which rarely hits the headlines but which is growing rapidly in the spite of powerful forces intent on maintaining the globalised status quo.
To celebrate this, World Localization Day will be held on June 20th when people from more than 20 countries on six continents will be putting on events in their own languages and regions.
Helena Norberg-Hodge, founder of Local Futures which hosts the Day, makes it very clear that localisation doesn’t mean turning our backs on the rest of the world but that it is …
‘…. a process that enables communities, regions and nations to take more control over their own affairs. It does not mean encouraging every community to be entirely self-reliant; it simply means shortening the distance between producers and consumers wherever possible, and striking a healthier balance between local markets and a monopoly-dominated global market.’
The localisation movement doesn’t idealise the past but learns the lessons of history: the importance of local knowledge and embedding culture in our local place; how community is strengthened by local economic interactions; how community forms the basis for strong individual identity and self-esteem.
If you’ve any doubt that localisation is really taking off big time take a look at the website of Carbon Copy which lists schemes all over the country where people are coming together and acting locally.
Closer to home, we have our very own Transition Town initiative, Southend in Transition, where people are coming together to enjoy co-operative, low-energy living.
And, of course, our very own Healthy Life Essex is a celebration of all things local.