BALLE celebrates New Economy Week

Judy Wicks and others at People's Climate March
BALLE co-founder Judy Wicks joined other Localists in the Sept. 21 People's Climate Walk in New York.

Hello Friend,

Happy New Economy Week!

BALLE is thrilled to be joining thousands of others in celebration of the emergence of a more inclusive and sustainable economy.

The new economy we envision is built around community, sustainability, equity, and will ultimately bring prosperity to all. Check out this powerful article in Yes! Magazine that demonstrates how an economy that works for all must include all communities.

Here in Oakland, we're co-hosting events, and across the continent, we're illuminating the incredible work the Localist community is doing – check out our blog for details.

Locally yours,
The BALLE Team

Upcoming Webinar: Campaigns That Work

October 21, 1-2pm (PST)

"Buy Local: Campaigns That Work" will focus on how leaders are activating consumers around "Local" through messaging, events, and loyalty programs. 
Register Today!

Case Study:
Local First Arizona

The fourth installment of BALLE'sLocalism Case Studies takes a look at Phoenix-based Local First Arizona, which models how local businesses working together can be more effective – and competitive – than those working apart. Download the case studyhere.

Webinar Recording: Measuring Local Impact

BALLE's September Webinar, "Measuring Your Local Impact," featured hands-on case studies and an update on the Quick Impact Assessment for Localists, a new online tool BALLE is piloting in partnership with B Lab. Purchase "Measuring Your Local Impact" here.

BALLE Fellows Win $500k in USDA Local Food Funding
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced $52 million in grants at the end of September, including $500,000 to projects run by or associated with five Fellows. The 2014 Farm Bill significantly increased funding to local food. [Read More]

International Economic Development Council
For the first time ever, Localism will be featured at this event (Oct. 19-22): Kimber Lanning will accept an Excellence in Economic Development Award and join other Fellows in a BALLE-curated panel on how local ownership drives innovation.  [Learn More]
Developing a Localist Policy Agenda
BALLE partnered with Dēmos and the Institute for Local Self-Reliance to host “New Economy Transformation: Creating a Policy Agenda,” a convening in New York City that included seven Local Economy Fellows.  [Read More]

Social Venture Network's Fall Conference
BALLE COO Pam Chaloult and Fellow Nikki Silvestri will lead a session on catalyzing positive social change at SVN's annual conference, Oct. 23-26.  [Learn More]

September Fellows News Roundup
The work of new Fellow Jay Bad Heart Bull was featured in a story about the impacts of creative place-making in Minneapolis; Jamee Haley won a $50k startup award. Get the full roundup of Fellows in the news on our blog. [Read More]
Willits Chamber of Commerce 
Today we spotlight the first Chamber of Commerce to join BALLE, back in 2004. The Willits Chamber celebrates a decade of work in Localism this October! The Willits News is publishing a series of stories following the history of Localism in Willits. [Read More]
BALLE is a unique learning community comprised of local economy leaders across North America who envision a new economy that is both resilient and inclusive.
Oct. 23-26 - Living the New Economy Convergence, Oakland, CA

Nov, 8 - Voices of Hope in a Time of Crisis, New York City, NY

Nov. 10-12 - Slow Money Conference, Louisville, KY

Nov. 11 - Neighborhood Economics, Louisville, KY

Nov. 12-14 - American Sustainable Business Council Business Summit, Washington, D.C. 

Nov. 14-16 - San Francisco Green Festival, San Francisco, CA


Meet the New BALLE Local Economy Fellows!

We are excited to announce the third cohort of BALLE Local Economy Fellows – 17 leaders from across North America chosen as the top pioneers of the Local Economy Movement. They join two previous cohorts, bringing the total number ofBALLE Local Economy Fellows to 42 leaders representing more than 34,000 businesses and reaching over one million people. We are well on our way to our goal of connecting and supporting 250 communities of practice across North America that bolster their local economies in harmony with nature to support prosperity for all over the next decade.

Each BALLE Fellow is selected based on their vision, their leadership, and their role as a strategic connector representing, convening, and influencing hundreds or thousands of community entrepreneurs. Whether leading local social enterprise incubators, community business networks, or regional food labs, they are all pioneering champions of a new economic vision. The BALLE Local Economy Fellowship has already seen profound, lasting outcomes within just a few years, such as $4.28 million in new funding that fellows directly attribute to connections or skills developed through the fellowship.

Please join us in welcoming this inspiring group of Localist leaders! Read their profiles on our website, follow and share our Facebook and Twitterintroductions of each new fellow and their work over the coming weeks, and keep updated on their work and growth through this newsletter and the BALLE Blog.

Visit our website for more information on the Local Economy Fellowship program and for details on how to become or support a fellow.

Bringing Localism to SOCAP14

BALLE was honored to participate in the annual Social Capital Conference in San Francisco earlier this month. BALLE co-founder Judy Wicks, ED Michelle Long, COO Pam Chaloult, and several Local Economy Fellows were featured as speakers, contributing to the Placed-Based Innovations and Meaning tracks of the conference.

Our live Tweeting from SOCAP (and participation in a Triple Pundit TweetChat the week before) got the attention of the Guardian Sustainable Business Blog, who named BALLE one of the 10 top Tweeters on economic transformation!

Watch a clip of Judy's talk on building vibrant communities and what inspired her to set all of BALLE's work in motion, and read Michelle's reflectionsgoing into the conference as featured on Huffington Post.

8 Steps to Real Prosperity

After more than a decade, we have a unique view here at BALLE. We get to work with deeply rooted Localists – people who are working against long odds to build a new economy from the ground up. This gives us a fairly special perch from which to see trends, challenges, and lessons learned. 

"What Works Locally" offers eight stepping stones that together create a pathway to real prosperity. Find solutions, tools, resources, and examples of the work being done across North America.

September 25 - Measuring Your Local Impact Webinar
The latest in our series of webinars for Localist leaders and supporters, this one features learning from BALLE network leaders, hands-on case studies from two BALLE fellows, and an update on a new online measurement tool we're piloting in partnership with B Lab. Spaces are full, but we are working to increase capacity so join the wait list. All of BALLE's previous webinars can be accessed here

We're Hiring!
We're looking for a Systems Associate to support our technology tools and platforms and a Director of Fellowship to work with our team in delivery, evaluation, and recruitment for our fellowship program. Both positions are based out of our Oakland, CA, office.

Sept. 25 - Junto Retreat for Thoughtful Leaders, Philadelphia. Join BALLE co-founder Judy Wicks for a talk and book signing.

Oct. 6-9 - Praxis Peace Institute Conference, San Francisco. BALLE fellows, board members & longtime allies are on the speaker docket for this annual conference.

Oct. 12-18 - New Economy Week, Everywhere. Join online and in-person events that highlight successes, ask tough questions, and give life to the claim that another world is possible.

Oct. 17-19 - Bioneers Conference, San Rafael, CA. An inspirational lineup of speakers, including several Localist leaders, joins Bioneers at their 25th annual conference. 

Oct. 23-26 - Social Venture Network's Fall Conference, Old Greenwich, CT.

Oct. 23-26 - Living the New Economy Convergence, Oakland, CA. BALLE is proud to be a community partner for this convergence, which will feature a number of our staff and fellows.

Nov. 10-12 - Slow Money Conference, Louisville, KY.


12 Steps to Building Strong Local Economies

ReThink Local
Ajax Greene

A recap by ReThink Local in Hudson Valley, NY, of a recent visit with BALLE's Executive Director Michelle Long

The School of Localism is Open!

Greetings Localists! Summer is winding down and kids are heading back to school, but the school of the Localist Movement is always in session. 

We've spent the summer immersed in thought-provoking reading, reflecting on our 12th annual conference and planning for an exciting fall. Find out what all the Buzz is about below. 

p.s. Do you like the Buzz's makeover? If so, drop us a tweet and let us know, and tell your friends to subscribe!



TS Designs Case Study

TS Designs has woven together a North Carolina-based value chain called Cotton of the Carolinas, under the slogan "Dirt to Shirt in 600 Miles." The program impacts 500 jobs in the state in a completely transparent supply chain. The key to success, says the president Eric Henry, is "to keep the soul of the business intact." Learn how TS Designs exemplifies the BALLE principle "Place Matters" - click here to download the case study now.

The pioneering work of the BALLE community, particularly its Local Economy Fellows, is regularly featured in the media. Here's this month's roundup of articles from across North America:

  • Las Cruces Green Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Carrie Hamblin has been introducing readers of the Las Cruces Sun-News to Localism and highlighting the work of Local First Arizona and Buffalo First as two cutting-edge networks making strides to grow the movement. Read her July column and August column.
  • Late last month, Nikki Silvestri's Green For All released a report, Communities of Color & Climate Change, that, timed with EPA hearings on climate change, shows overwhelming support from minorities for carbon emissions reduction, in favor of a greener, healthier future. Articles and editorials expanding on this report have been posted to The Root, Progress Illinois, Madam Noir, Grist, North American Wind Power, and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and Roland Martin interviews Silvestri for NewsOne Now (AUDIO)
  • Local First movement gains pivotal seat at the traditional economic development table: Kimber Lanning is named Citizen Leader of the Year by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) (Local First Arizona)
  • Kimber Lanning, Erica Pederson and Cindy Dach introduce Local First Arizona and the positive impacts to community and local revenue when money is kept local (East Valley Tribune)
  • For AZ Central, Kimber comments on how Arizona grocery stores innovate to feature local produce, packaged foods and goods, and for Salon, she explains the rising tide of local practices and polices, versus giant online companies
  • Elissa Hillary and Grand Rapids-based Local First are stepping up best business practices from B Corporations, providing a forum for sharing wisdom (MLive)
  • Anthony Flaccavento studied the feasibility of creating a food hub for northeast Kansas - his findings point to next steps, challenges and possibilities for establishing a local food economy there (Kansas Health Institute)
  • Anthony also contributed to an analysis of evolving, post-fossil fuel local economies of Appalachia (Yes! Magazine)
  • Malik Yakini listed among the Detroit visionaries to be contributing to the Netroots Nation conference (Deadline Detroit), and he will also be honored by Arise Detroit! this year for his community service (Detroit News)
  • Mickki Langston explains how to build the infrastructure needed to feed Coloradans locally (Good Food Web)
  • Lowcountry Local First, led by Jamee Haley, launches Local Works, a co-working space for small businesses in Charleston (Charleston City Paper). Jamee was also tapped for comment on Piggly Wiggly store closings; the grocery chain had promoted and sold local foods (Charleston City Paper)
  • Andersonville Chamber of Commerce executive director Ellen Shepard co-entertains community and business suggestions to repurpose a landmark defunct school on Chicago's north side (DNAinfo Chicago)
  • FreshStartPA endorses Leanne Kreuger-Braneky's bid for Pennsylvania state representative, citing her extensive experience creating jobs for small and local business (PoliticsPA)
  • Vicki Pozzebon and Delicious New Mexico to release a cookbook of local dishes (Albuquerque Business First)
  • The Hub LA assembled 40 Los Angeles food innovators, including D'Artagnan Scorza, for a Fare Conversations dinner (The Hub LA)
  • Sarita Role Schaffer's Viva Farms was featured in the July issue of Edible Seattle (not online yet). Sarita also wrote a guest blog post for AIGA Seattle about how design can help build a better food system.

Loco BC in Vancouver, British Columbia, was born in early 2009 when local business advocate and sustainable business consultant Amy Robinson convened a meeting of community members, inviting some BALLE staff to join. Loco BC joined the BALLE network in 2010, and Amy became a BALLE Local Economy Fellow in 2013. Check out Loco BC's website to get inspired by the services and resources it offers the local businesses in its network, like the recent local procurement guide for anchor institutions such as hospitals and universities.

Welcome New Localist Members!

Bob Perry, Hundred Mile Market, Waltham, MA

Debra Milam, Little Rock School District, Little Rock, AK

Petra Mutch, Eve-Volution, Toronto, Canada (no website)

Alicia Daniels Uhlig, GGLO, Seattle, WA

Locavores across North America celebrated National Farmers Market Week, Aug. 3-9, with the local bounty of their places. But in rural Ohio, they had even more reason to cheer. The Appalachian Center for Economic Networks (ACEnet), led by BALLE Local Economy Fellow Angie Hawk Maiden, received a USDA grant to support job growth and business development in rural Ohio. Part of grant will go towards giving the Athens Farmers Market a permanent home, reports Athens Ohio Today
ACEnet is also making great strides in its renewable energy work. Angie and her team join Local Economy Fellow Derek Long and his Sustainable Connections team in Bellingham, Wash., as quarter finalists for the Georgetown University Energy Prize. Congrats to both teams and best of luck!

While the "farm to table" movement has grown exponentially over the last few years, one challenge frequently remains: price. To help overcome this problem, BALLE Local Economy Fellow Anthony Flaccavento, who works in Central Appalachia, and his consulting firm SCALE developed two resources: a Local Foods Cost Calculator to more accurately determine the real cost difference when buying local food, and a study – Putting Local on the Menu – that reviewed best practices being used by farm-to-table restaurants and colleges. Both tools will be discussed in a webinar on Sept. 4.

The August Featured Local Economy Fellow is Christine Hanna, director of the Seattle Good Business Network. Listen to her podcast, where she discusses the value of networked local businesses, the mystique of manufacturing jobs and how to build the Localist Movement amid corporate giants like Amazon and Starbucks.

On Oct. 21, as part of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) Annual Conference, in Fort Worth, TX, BALLE Local Economy Fellows Ellen Shepard,  Kimber LanningJames Johnson-Piett, and Matthew Raker will present Growing Local: How "Locally Owned" Drives Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and New Investment.

New Local Economy Fellows to be announced soon! We're gearing up to announce our next cohort of BALLE Local Economy Fellows in September. This will be the third group of visionary Localist Leaders to embark on an 18-month program deeply rooted in shared learning, collaboration and local impact, bringing the total number of Local Economy Fellows to 42. Stay tuned to find out who these pioneers are.

BALLE at SOCAP14. BALLE executives and Local Economy Fellows will lead three presentations at this year’s conference focused on impact investing and social enterprise. Learn more and sign up to attend.

The BALLE team is growing! We're seeking stellar applicants for director of community engagement, director of fellowship, and systems associate. Spread the word!

COCAP, the Community Capital Conference will usher in its second year, Sept. 2, at Impact Hub Oakland. A $25 ticket includes full lunch and fair trade coffee and tea all day!

Hear BALLE fellow, board members & longtime allies speaking at the Praxis Peace Institute Conference, The Economics of Sustainability, Oct 6-9 in San Francisco.

Bioneers celebrates its 25th annual conference Oct. 17-19 in San Rafael, Calif., with an inspirational lineup of speakers.

SVN's Fall Conference will take place Oct. 23-26 in Old Greenwich, Conn.

BALLE is proud to be a community partner for the Living the New Economy Convergence taking place in Oakland Oct. 23-26. Learn more and buy tickets. Early bird discount extended until  tomorrow, Friday, Aug. 22!


EPA Holds 'Clean Power' Hearings; Poll Finds Climate Change To Be A Hot Topic For Minority Voters

Progress Illinois
Ellyn Fortino

Just in time for climate hearings that could inform U.S. 2014 elections, the inclusive green economy advocacy organization, Green For All, led by BALLE Fellow Nikki Silvestri, released a report polling people of color on their views on climate change.

The results show overwhelming support for the reduction of carbon emissions in favor of Clean Power, including the promise of new and better jobs, the improvement of health, and fulfilling a 'moral duty to leave our children a habitable planet.'

Progress Illinois ties these findings into the current EPA hearings.

The Green For All report can be downloaded here (PDF).

We Stand With Communities of Color in the Fight for Carbon Pollution Standards

The Root
Gina McCarthy and Nikki Silvestri

Environmental Protection Agency administrator Gina McCarthy and Green For All executive director / BALLE Fellow Nikki Silvestri show how low-income communities and communities of color are hardest hit by climate change and carbon emissions - including the fact that 3 of 4 African Americans live within 30 miles of a coal power plant, and that African American children have an 80% higher rate of asthma.

McCarthy and Silvestri support the EPA's Clean Power Plan to begin regulating carbon like other pollutants, argue the economic and health benefits of clean power, and offer ways to get involved in the EPA hearings on carbon emissions now underway across the country.

Read the entire article, posted to The Root

Cotton in the South: is a new sustainable textile industry rising?

The UK Guardian
DG McCullough

Article by DG McCullough

The Guardian features Cotton of the Carolinas, an organization of farmers, ginners, spinners, knitters, finishers, cutters, sewers, printers and dyers of T-shirts building a local economy in North and South Carolina, and reviving the local textile industry.

TS Designs and its president, Eric Henry, are long-time friends and collaborators with BALLE, including a prominent role at the 2010 BALLE Conference, held in Charleston, South Carolina.


Divest! - Then What?

Transition Network
Rob Hopkins

Hub key to sustaining local food movement in northeast Kansas

Kansas Health Institute
Jim McLean

Northeast Kansas local food organizations and farmers respond to a report by BALLE Fellow alumnus Anthony Flaccavento on the feasibility of creating a food hub for the region. A food hub would connect ranchers and farmers to distribution and regular supply to customers in the area. Challenges found by the report include establishing buy-in from farmers, as well as efficient organization and operation.

More from the Kansas Health Institute

The Food Hub Feasibility Study can be downloaded here.

Keeping the Momentum



Summer is a perfect time to reflect on what we’ve learned, refine strategies and look ahead for ways to innovate and expand our work towards a healthier, more just future for our places and the world.

One month ago, we had just bid farewell to everyone who gathered in Oakland for three inspiring days discussing Prosperity for All. Get a motivational booster shot by watching our Executive Director Michelle Long's welcome below, and more on our YouTube channel:


The BALLE website offers many tools and resources to help you build off the energy of the conference and implement real change in your place.

  • Here’s a short guide we created with the Center for a New American Dream on creating healthy local economies
  • Manuals for creating local first campaigns and Localist economic development
  • If there isn’t a local business network where you live, create your own! Here are 10 steps and answers to frequently asked questions to get you started.
  • Want to find out what community capital is and how to build it were you live? Check out our jam-packed community capital toolkit.
  • From social enterprise accelerators to independent business networks; worker-owned cooperatives to local venture summits; food enterprise incubators to local manufacturing alliance, there are MANY ways to build inclusive, regenerative local economies where you live. Check out the websites of the BALLE Local Economy Fellows and Alumni to get inspiration.


(PHOTO: Dana Frasz of Food Shift with representatives from St. Vincent de Paul recovering food from the BALLE conference. CREDIT: TR Proz)

  • BALLE’s recent conference sets the stage for this Salon story on the Localist policy movement featuring BALLE Board Member and Fellow Kimber Lanning.
  • Al Jazeera America profiled BALLE Funders Circle Member Sallie Calhoun and Board Members Don Shaffer and Leslie Christian on community investing.
  • After 30 years of business as unusual, Zingerman’s Community of Businesses keeps innovating for the greater good, as recently captured by the New York Times.
  • Meanwhile, the BALLE Local Economy Fellows continue to make headlines. On the BALLE Blog, we go behind the scenes to see how the delicious local Oakland fare at the conference was coordinated, and the leftovers donated


With nearly 2,500 local business members, Local First Arizona (LFA) is the largest independent business coalition of its kind in the United States. They work in every corner of the state to create, advance, and take advantage of the multitude of opportunities for economic development, community building, and place making. LFA Founder and Executive Director Kimber Lanning serves as secretary on BALLE’s board of directors and is a BALLE Local Economies Fellow. And we just got word that Kimber will receive the Citizen Leadership Award by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) in October to recognize the key leadership role she and her organization plays in economic development in Arizona. And we’re thrilled to be co-hosting the 2015 BALLE Conference with LFA in Phoenix next year!

Welcome new BALLE members!


BNN Funding, San Francisco, CA, Birmingham, MI
Bring it Local, Fairfax, CA
InvestNextDoor, Burnaby, BC, Canada


ThincSavannah, Savannah, GA
Florida MMTC, Miami, FL
Sawamish Creative, Shelton, WA
Embrace Health and Nutrition, Oakland, CA
Gunnison Community Capital Group, Gunnison, CO
Lenso Consulting, Oakland, CA
alt.Consulting, North Little Rock, AR
Cynthia Lolik, Corvallis, OR
XL Construction, Milpitas, CA
Posipair, Santa Barbara, CA
Tom Long, San Francisco, CA

Join us!

If you are inspired by our work, please join us! By becoming a BALLE member, you will be joining the fast-growing community of more than 30,000 Localists: entrepreneurs who are re–thinking their industries, funders who are investing in the local economy movement, and network organizers who are mobilizing on a broad scale. Become a Localist today!


Charleston gets a new co-working space with a Localist flair
2011-2012 BALLE Fellow Jamee Haley shares on Lowcountry Local First's (LLF) co-working and professional development space, Local Works, which just opened in Charleston, SC. The space is supported in part by a recent Innovation Grant to LLF from the South Carolina Department of Commerce. (Charleston Regional Business Journal)

Denver Juneteenth festival adds health, environment
2013-2014 BALLE Fellow Nikki Silvestri and Green For All bring a focus of health and environment to Denver's Juneteenth celebration, building on the celebration’s ideals of justice and togetherness. (The Denver Post)


We’re hiring!
We’re still accepting applications for two exciting positions - but don’t delay in sending in your application! Learn more about the openings for a Program and Systems Manager and Administrative Assistant / Scheduler. (Photo: TR Proz)

If Piketty isn’t doing it for you…
While Thomas Piketty's best-selling book "Capital in the Twenty-First Century" is said to be the “most important book of the 21st Century,” one scientist found that no one’s actually reading past page 26. With that in mind, the BALLE team has put our heads together to come up with a summer reading list that you’ll actually want to devour.


The William James Foundation Annual Gathering
Thursday, July 24 – Saturday, July 26 (Washington, DC)

Innovative thought leaders and hands-on engagement are on the program for this global convening. WJF has offered the BALLE community 30% off registration. Use discount code PARTNERAG2014PPC when checking out on WJF's registration page.

SOCAP ‘14: Igniting Vibrant Communities
Tuesday, September 2 – Friday, September 5 (San Francisco, CA)

The annual SOCAP conference is dedicated to increasing the flow of capital toward social good. Learn more here and use our partner code NW30_BALLE for a 30% discount at registration.

We’ll see you again next month – in the meantime stay up on the latest on local, living economies through our Facebook and Twitter, and Be A Localist!