TED Conversations

Closing Statement from Daniel Raven-Ellison

Thank you TED community for taking the time to join our conversation. I have been fascinated by the diverse range of contributions that have been made. The stories that have been shared are particularly powerful, with examples of how globalisation is impacting on the communities that we live in, visit and influence.

What is clear is that many of us are working from very different definitions of what 'local' means. Ronald Estrada describes local as "minimal, ecological, and symbiotic" while Iain Ellwood says it is more of "a state of mind not a geographic destination". This idea links well to Dustin Smith's suggestion that technology "changes who we spend time with, and allows us to choose "our own local".

The diversity of definitions of 'local' goes a long way to explain why we have so many different predictions about the future. Steve Knight had the most radical prediction, suggesting that personal air travel "will allow people to re-populate currently remote and unpopulated areas of the world". Pabitra Mukhopadhyay, Dorian Knus and many others share our concern that global forces are damaging local places and raise valid concerns for the future. These worries are met by many points that express the advantages of globalisation, including one by David Rogers who asks "Is the advantage of globalisation the ability to start a conversation anywhere in the world around common experiences?"

There have been a number of engaging solutions, including ways for tourists, travel companies and host communities to act more responsibly and sustainably. The common areas here appear to be high quality research, learning, education, empowerment and participation. Scan through to find some real gems.

Finally, thank you to InterContinental Hotels & Resorts for sponsoring this conversation. This specific discussion is closed, but you can follow the "Future of Local" project via Twitter on #FutureOfLocal. And we'll begin a new conversation on TED.com in the coming weeks.

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  • Feb 22 2013: There is no mistaking that our world is becoming so much more connected globally. Staying in touch with friends I have met from across the globe is as easy as turning on my phone or logging in to Facebook. Every single day, people have access (and are even bombarded by) global influences. I can only imagine how globally influenced everyone will be in the future! Still, people should not ignore the importance of local influence. The people, experiences, and places that are unique to where we live shape who we are. If we begin to only grow and mature based on influences that are hundreds or thousands of miles away, we will begin to lose sight of what makes us culturally unique. While it is extremely important to experience other cultures and ideas, there is nothing more valuable than knowing that there are people close to you that think and act very similarly to you or have some of the same values and experiences. Everyone should get to experience the world and all it has to offer. At the same time, people should not forget to keep learning from the local people and ideas.

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