“Wherever something is wrong, something is too big.” ― Leopold Kohr
Most of us reject generalisations. We recognise that the real world is complex, messy and full of contradictions. We’re understandably sceptical of one-size-fits-all solutions, and wary of people who stand on a soapbox saying, “I have the answer!” For these reasons I have found myself in a rather difficult situation as I have travelled the world promoting a simple formula to solve most of the crises humanity faces.
For 40 years, I have been banging the drum for economic localisation. For me, almost all the major problems in the world today – from climate change to uncontrolled migration, species extinction to terrorism – have been caused, or at the very least exacerbated, by economic globalisation. Decentralising economic activity – in other words, reducing the distance between production and consumption – can in one fell swoop begin to turn things around.
The beauty of localisation is that it reflects and celebrates diversity. It is responsive to the needs of different environments, respectful of different cultures. It is life-enhancing, empowering, democratic and ecological. It is organic, place-based, in tune with the infinite fluidity of Mother Earth. It is not one giant solution imposed from above, but countless micro-solutions emerging from below.