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 communities. Fierce love and confidence in our Local Economy Framework drives us.

Creating an economy that works for all 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.

Each one of us has a role to play, to create a new economy that works for all.

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 BALLE Fellows, Foundation Circle, Investors Circle, partnering on and convening events focused on the Local Economy Framework, and an emerging groundswell of local businesses and communities standing up to Choose Connection.


Left to right: Local Economy Fellow Kimberlee Williams; Pennsylvania State Rep. and BALLE Fellow Leanne Krueger-Braneky; former COO Pamela Chaloult; Gloria Steinem; BALLE co-founder Judy Wicks; and BALLE Fellow and board member James Johnson Piett.

BALLE is shifting dollars from destructive and extractive “business as usual” to models that are healthy, equitable, and generative. We believe in building businesses that protect what we love, and that 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.)