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 27 2013: It is both ironic and line between global and local are thinning. The reality is that we are battling for the same thing, resources. As our population now heads towards the 8 billion mark, the need for resources escalates; as global competitiveness increases so does the need for those resources. And as the desires of the human population (along with other animal species) grows, the need to meet those desires must exploit more of the natural resources-- the very resources we prize the most, land air and water. I call this the new L.A.W.©

    It is not likely that the Intercontinental hotels are going to create an research and development depart to invest hundreds of millions of dollars to develop a super environmentally friendly concrete rather than using Portland cement for their construction projects, or increase the cost of constructing a hotel uses 100% recyclable materials, But they should. The externalities (the real costs of production. [contact me if you have further questions] ) are not something we take into account when development is concerned, to the degree that we should. Our system and decisions are based on monetary values and the ability to ensure that such values, like a river, have current, thereby creating currency.

    We must take into greater consideration, true thresholds rather than short term and perceived thresholds of resources. Such thresholds should also be paired with transparency to reveal the nature of myths so that they too are not perceived, with the goal of making them less arguable

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