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 8 2013: if keeping individual cultures in local communities is your aim.. it might be a thought to start endorsing local community research projects.. Often small towns have their own little events, walks through a forest of lights in the night or local festivals for the musicians of local towns. But what if you where to research into the clubs of an area, discover any demographics of people with particular interests. Such as large numbers of musically orientated people in nearby towns, or extreme sports fans, for example you could gather ideas from these communities in what they need to fulfill their desires. i.e a town has a community of skate boarders or free runners; you could hold regular events or training to provide more opportunities, and try something unique and experimental, like integrating architecture that is Parkour friendly in any new developments. Ambitious perhaps but this could potentially support growth of communities within local areas, and also create a lot of diversity between individual areas... All of which will be more accessible when progression in transportation occurs meaning that people could travel around their own countries to experience a diversity in communities, that support all types of people, their hobbies and interests.
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      Mar 10 2013: These are really interesting ideas. Do you have any specific examples that you can share with us? Any case studies?
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        Mar 10 2013: Can offer you a 'case vignette' rather than a case study but might be of interest. Very lucky to live in Royal Borough of Greenwich, London, U.K. Local tourist and arts infrastructure extremely well developed but reported locally in minimal way in local press 'Greenwich Time' which is distributed free to local population because Greenwich Time is focused on local political and social issues and is effectively viewed as 'propaganda' for the local authority now. The local newspapers South London Mercury and South London Press very compromised as need to sell their titles in order to generate operating revenue. Newish publication now available in several local stores as well as local hotels and tourist attractions called Greenwich Visitor. Not everyone wants to be seen accessing an electronic device such as an i-pad and so a newspaper is hugely effective, pictures and words plus a certain anonymity in that it is not overtly a publication to sell a specific organisation but a certain ?lifestyle of things that might attract a certain way of being and behavimg.

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