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.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Mar 11 2013: In 2003 two friends and myself wished to make a political statement and create a forum for discussion about a global subject. We took the subject of the War on Terror and subverted the traditional family board game. We thought it would be a good way to get people talking around a table about an issue that at the time many considered, or where being told by a global media, was too taboo to discuss. We were repeatedly being told we should live in fear and follow the party line. We couldn't afford to make the board game locally in the UK and decided it was worth our while to get the game made in China. If we didn't use the global market then it would have only been an idea. Some criticised us for not making a home grown product. Some criticised us for making it at all. Some people even made death threats, such was the sensitivity of the subject. But we took a gamble and thought the cultural value would be worth it. Since making the game we have been shunned by many 'reputable' business's for tackling this subject in this form, often calling us sick, one quote that still bemuses me made by the Essen toy fair organiser was that it was 'beyond satire'. On the other hand we've received messages and actions of support which have been extremely moving, serving US and UK troops questioning why they are involved in the war, educational establishments putting the game on their syllabuses, art galleries exhibiting the game and families being able discuss the subject of terrorism comfortably in their own home have thanked us. One survivor of a terror attack said "You have turned terrorism into a theme that can be toyed with. And for the first time since my evacuation from the tube 7th July 2005, I have been able to do just that, without having it crawl under my skin. You have no idea how grateful I am." So we used the global market to tackle a global issue. The upshot is, when previously I was sceptical, now I strongly believe both local and global markets have their place.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.