Our wide-ranging projects highlight the root causes of today’s many crises — from unemployment to climate change, from ethnic conflict to loss of biodiversity — while promoting grassroots and policy-level strategies for ecological and community renewal.
We have worked in countries all over the world, including the UK, USA, Spain, Australia, India, Thailand, Bhutan, Korea, and Japan. We currently run projects under three main ‘umbrellas’: Global to Local Projects, Our Work in Ladakh, and The Economics of Happiness.
Our Work in Ladakh
Ladakh, also known as ‘Little Tibet‘, is a beautiful desert land in the Western Himalayas, with few natural resources and an extreme climate. Yet it has been home to a thriving culture in tune with nature for over a thousand years. When Ladakh was opened up to ‘modern development’ and the forces of the global growth economy, centuries of ecological balance and social harmony came under threat.
Local Futures was founded in Ladakh in 1978. Since then, we have been providing Ladakhis with information about the history and impact of conventional development in other parts of the world, while exploring more sustainable patterns of development in Ladakh itself based on the use of local knowledge and resources.
The Economics of Happiness
Our award-winning film The Economics of Happiness (2011) explains the social and spiritual impact of economic globalization on local communities and economies, and highlights the many benefits of shifting towards the local. A trailer for the full-length version of the film, plus a 20-minute abridged version, can be watched here.
As part of our commitment to supporting the growth of the localization movement, we invite individuals and groups to host a:
- Community screening of The Economics of Happiness or one of our other films;
- DIY Economics of Happiness workshop for activists and others who want to kick-start effective action in their community or within an existing group. The DIY Workshop Toolkit and the Discussion Guide and Companion (PDF 10mb) to the film are both free of charge.
International Economics of Happiness Conferences
Since 2012, Local Futures has also been organizing an ongoing series of international ‘Economics of Happiness’ conferences in the USA, South Korea, Italy, India and Australia. The conference series is focused on kick-starting broad critical debate about the global corporate economy, and exploring alternatives that benefit society as well as the environment.