Global to Local

Local Futures' wide-ranging Global to Local educational and advocacy program focuses on shifting direction away from further globalization of the economy towards diversified and decentralized economic structures tailored to the social needs and ecological particularities of place.

Today, the centerpiece of our Global to Local work involves The Economics of Happiness.  The film of that title was completed in 2011; since then it has won numerous film festival awards and accolades, and has already been translated into 15 languages.  There have also been thousands of community screenings worldwide, each one organized by local NGOs, church groups, civic organizations, teachers, students, activists, or committed indviduals.  These screenings are usually followed by panel discussions or audience conversations, in which themes from the film are viewed from a local context and localization initiatives discussed and debated.  In this way, the film acts as a mobile conference, bringing voices from around the world to rural villages, small towns, and big cities alike.

We have also organized three international Economics of Happiness Conferences, with a fourth planned for 2015.  The first was held in 2012 in Berkeley, California, the second in Byron Bay, NSW Australia in 2013, and the third in Bangalore, India in 2014.  At each conference, participants were able to engage with prominent localization thinkers and activists from every continent during three days of deep dialogue, discussion, and workshops.  (For more information, as well as audio and video clips from the conferences, go to the Economics of Happiness website.)

These projects continue a long tradition for Local Futures.  For over three decades we have organized, hosted and delivered hundreds of lectures, film screenings, workshops and international conferences across the world – from high on the Tibetan plateau to the UK, from Australia to South Africa, Japan and the USA. Local Futures staff have participated in events ranging from informal community meetings to large international gatherings. We have also produced books, articles, reports, pamphlets, films – even educational comic books. These materials are used in high school and university classrooms internationally and have been invaluable resources for individuals and NGOs in every corner of the world. In total our books and films have been translated into nearly 50 different languages.

The aim of these many Global to Local initiatives is to catalyze and promote the emerging movement towards localization. As a next step in this effort, we are working to form an International Alliance for Localization.