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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  • Mar 5 2013: I guess you can go off on verious points with this type of conversation but here are some ideas from me. I have been very interested in identity, relationship, symbols and how they two work together to create reality and thus meaning in our lives internally and externally. The experience of the word "Local" means limited to a particular place. I think a lot of people find comfort in things they attribute the word "Local" to, its a constant, no change, a well known atmosphere. When i travel, i prefer to experience the "Local" of the region i am travelling to, i find it amazing to experience another culture and likewise i know others from other parts of the world feel the same way i do.

    Its our experience of the other "Local" that creates our relationship to our "Local". The modern world has been changing for a long time now and its done that through the use of Symbols. The symbol is where we derive our meaning just look at the apple with a bite taken our of it, or the modern day heiroglyphs we use in our applications, we all know what the envelope means and the little house on the tool bar. its "local to the global"

    I think Diversity is awesome, you can learn and appreciate others as well as yourself. I think that soon, Globally speaking, we will use and understand the basic universal symbols that make us a community, a large local that is made up of our smaller ones. And i think that a company which, lets face it is an entity, will need to define itself and have relationship with all comunities in this global local. The company's identity will be defined by its relationship to the local community and the global. The employees of this organization should also be identified with the symbol that this organization has and the meaning behind it.
    A Symbol is needed that Supports local artists, musicians, entreprenuers (which keep alive the local but ever changing cultural aspect of the local "Local") & likewise supports Global community. my thoughts...

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