Helena Norberg-Hodge: "What if Local and Diverse Is Better Than Networked and Global?" (CSSB OCTOBER 21, 2020)




OCTOBER 21, 2020

Guest: Helena Norberg-Hodge

Topic: Localization vs. Globalization 



This week Cindy welcomes back and catches up with a Soapbox favorite: Helena Norberg-Hodge.


October 12th 2020

The Future Is Local: Working to strengthen local economies that put the well-being of people and planet first

There’s never been a more crucial time for all of us to consider the power of going local. According to a World Bank/OECD survey, over the last six months, a staggering 1 in 4 of all small businesses have reportedly closed around the globe, with 1 in 5 staying closed even after pandemic restrictions are lifted.

Meet Helena Norberg-Hodge, the Executive Director of Local Futures, an international non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness about the power of localization as a systemic solution to environmental as well as economic challenges.

Featured in last week’s, New York Times (Oct. 9th, 2020), Helena is the author of several books including the bestselling Ancient Futures and Local Is Our Future, and the producer of the award-winning documentary The Economics of Happiness. Helena has been featured in publications such as MSNBC, The London Times, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Guardian, Dumbo Feather and Australia’s The Good Weekend. The Earth Journal counted her among the world’s ‘ten most interesting environmentalists’. 

‘COVID-19 has caused a fundamental rethink of the global economy,’ says Helena. ‘Many are now recognizing that the real economy is our living earth. At the same time, people are realizing the vital importance of community. But now we need to translate these shifting values into a tangible shift in economic structures – we need to localize like we’ve never localized before.’ 

Helena explains that localization is about supporting local shops, local farms and farmers’ markets and smaller businesses, not only through our consumer choices but also through strategic policy shifts. ‘It is the process of building economic structures which allow most of the goods and services a community needs to be produced locally and regionally wherever possible. It’s about keeping money within the community and investing in the places where we live.’
The need to localize becomes particularly clear when you consider that, in the global economy, our everyday food is flown around the world before reaching our plates. Fish caught off North America and Europe is flown to China to be deboned, before being flown back again. Argentinian pears are packaged in Thailand and sold in the US. The US imports and exports a billion tons of beef every year. What’s more, none of the carbon emissions from all this trade are accounted for by any country. 

Earlier this year, Local Futures launched World Localization Day, an initiative to inspire awareness about the growing worldwide localization movement. Key participants included Jane Goodall, Brian Eno, Russell Brand, Vandana Shiva, Noam Chomsky, and Bayo Akomolafe, writers Charles Eisenstein and Johann Hari, as well as actors Damon Gameau and Thandie Newton.

Helena believes a collective wake-up is imminent. ‘It’s not too late to find our way back home—towards healthy, interconnected local economies,’ she says. ‘Let’s embrace an economy that rebuilds community and restores the Earth.’ 
A pioneer of the localization movement, Local Futures has bases in the USA, the UK, Australia and India. Their work aims to:
1.   Raise widespread awareness about localization, and about its profound ecological, social, economic and psychological benefits,
2.   Bring together and support localization movements around the world as a means of driving policy change, and
3.   Assist communities in building up local resilience by implementing best-practice localization projects.

Interview opportunity with Helena Norberg-Hodge
Helena Norberg-Hodge is a world-renowned leader in the environmental & new economy movements, and recipient of the Right Livelihood Award (or Alternative Nobel Prize) and the Goi Peace Prize. She is Executive Director of Local Futures, author of the bestselling Ancient Futures and Local Is Our Future, and producer of the award-winning documentary The Economics of Happiness.
 (For fuller bio, see https://www.localfutures.org/about/who-we-are/helena-norberg-hodge)







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