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Why We Do This Work

Fostering the emergence of a new economic system, one that will move our society in a more positive direction, is at the core of our work. It is through gradually displacing failing structures and systems with economic structures that benefit everyone that Localism succeeds.  

The BALLE community is changing how we think about the purpose of business and the economy. Together, we are changing mindsets from “every-man-for-himself” to an understanding that real security comes from community – from sharing not hoarding, from partnership, not domination.

Localism is about building communities that are more healthy and sustainable – backed by local economies that are stronger and more resilient. It means we use regional resources to meet our needs – reconnecting eaters with farmers, investors with entrepreneurs, and business owners with the communities and natural places on which they depend. It recognizes that not one of us can do it alone and that we’re all better off, when we’re all better off.

Here is a list of our values, and if you find yourself nodding - you're a Localist too! 



With local ownership comes local accountability; when you live in the community where your business decisions are felt, you have the understanding to make better decisions. Having a larger density of locally owned businesses results in higher per capita income, more jobs, and greater resiliency in the local economy. Plus more people living in their true vocation, with meaning and purpose, is good for all of us.



Supply chain decisions based on choosing local resources — vegetables, energy, timber, finance, and other locally made goods and services — engender a natural respect for the environmental and human resources in a place. Also, preserving the diversity of our food and different cultures, is not only smart, but so much more fulfilling!



We’re all better off when we’re all better off. With inequality, we miss out on good ideas and relationships, unhappiness increases, and eventually systems collapse. Rather than “everyman-for-himself,” we understand that real security comes from community. We need to rebuild the middle, engage in fair trade, and decentralize power and business ownership.



All wealth comes from nature. Without respecting natural boundaries and renewal rates for the animals, plants, soil and water on which we depend, we will not have wealth or health for our own species going forward. Part of the joy of being awake and alive is also to be in awe of the mysterious beauty of the inter-connected natural world.



It's time to start defining our contributions and success by what really matters. Our businesses need to be profitable, but we are motivated by knowledge, creativity, health, happiness, meaningful work, and the ability to provide opportunity to others.



Only through cooperation will we be able to rebuild local food distribution or make renewable local energy affordable. We must re-connect eaters with farmers, investors with entrepreneurs, and business owners with the communities and natural places on which they depend. No one can do it alone. (And why would we want to anyway?)



Watch this video to see BALLE’s executive director, Michelle Long, explain the localist values.