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 23 2013: Culture is dynamic; but in the times when the means of tranport are not as fast as they are now, the dynamism takes a longer time.
    I think that what is called global is the culture promoted by the big media organisations. It is good to look at the bigger picture; but the more we look at the bigger picture, the more we realise that he interaction of cultures is not creating a homogenous global identity.

    The good thing is: we are more open-minded than before; we are more willing to learn about other places and hence more willing to travel to new places. These are good times for the tourism and hospitality business (and the best is yet to come).

    Local areas may transform and become cosmopolitan in their outlook; but the interaction of the so-called global and the local, will birth a new thing that is neither of the two.

    Different and beautiful.
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      Feb 23 2013: I think the word 'global' is used in problematic ways too. It suggests that something is everywhere and covering our whole planet. In the UK the mobile communications company Everything Everywhere has a name that reads like a definition for 'global', but they are not everything everywhere. I struggle to think of anything human that is truly global, but the word does give us an idea of scale, influence and/or intent. That said, 'global' brands, systems and organisations are changing places and many are becoming more similar.

      "the interaction of the so-called global and the local, will birth a new thing that is neither of the two"

      What do you think this will look like?

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