The Business Alliance for Local Living Economies, BALLE (pronounced “bahl-ee”), represents thousands of communities and conveners, entrepreneurs, investors and funders who are defying “business as usual.”

Our mission is to create local economies that work for all.

As we scan the horizon, we see gaps across systems. Dots to connect. We spark and deepen relationships among a growing movement of people using business to create healthy, equitable, and connected communities. Fierce love and confidence in our Local Economy Framework drives us.

Creating an economy that works for everyone is challenging, complex and required. While our current systems are breaking down, there is an emergent ecosystem of models and successes to build on. We highlight those stories and the people, places, businesses and organizations that are bringing the new economy to life.

For 15 years we have been imagining, incubating and refining new systems, and then moving beyond them. “Buy local” — once a radical rallying cry — is now mainstream. Sustainable food, green building and renewable energy were visionary tenets of our founding DNA, and today represent the fastest growing segments in their sectors. Cooperatives are on course to be the fastest growing global business model by 2020. The rapidly growing B Corps movement launched at a BALLE conference. The concept of Community Capital, pioneered by visionary investors and philanthropists in our network, has spread to local and global foundations, as well as anchor institutions and individuals. By 2043, the majority of people in the United States will be people of color — making racial justice a moral and economic imperative. Our commitment to prioritize equity informs our Framework strategies.

All of us have a role to play to create a new economy.

It starts with each one of us choosing connection, and developing the capacity to recognize we are all in this together.

Our work equips people with the tools and connections needed to prioritize equity and make well-being possible. Programs include our Local Economy Fellows, Community Foundation Circle, Investors Circle, regular events focused on the Local Economy Framework, and an emerging groundswell of local businesses and communities standing up to Choose Connection.


BALLE Co-Founder Judy Wicks, COO Pamela Chaloult and Fellows Kimberlee Williams and James Johnson Piett with Gloria Steinem at a campaign event for Pennsylvania State Rep.(and former BALLE Fellow) Leanne Krueger-Braneky.

BALLE is shifting dollars from destructive and extractive “business as usual” to models that are healthy, generative and equitable. We believe in building businesses that protect what we love, and inspire each of us to be our best selves.

Within a generation, we envision a global system of human-scale, interconnected Local Living Economies that function in harmony with local ecosystems, meet the basic needs of all people, support just and democratic societies, and foster joyful community life.

You probably still have questions. What is LocalismAm I a Localist? (Hint: if you’re here, you probably are.)