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 13 2013: I don't like that I made a product which uses so many resources and travels half way round the world. But was the social value worth it? There are a myriad of ways we can travel. If it's me or something I've created I find myself asking is it even necessary? I've been on trips across the Atlantic & justified it as it's a business trip, though it seems a great hit for the planet . I could just use the internet. Although this isn't a patch on an in person meeting, And you shouldn’t use the internet for a holiday! Or should I just chill out, a lot of people travel so why miss out? I find it astonishing that people fly from the south of England to Scotland when they could get the train, of course it's to save time, for our own convenience, rather than that of this one off little orb we're spinning about on. We're mucking it up, at a great rate, and it will catch up with us. If we can have better local links and less global travel then it will help us in the long run, it will pinch but I wonder if we're out of control on the whole. I'm not asking us all to get on a bike and cycle the planet, although what a world that would be. Some of us often feel they are owed a holiday, and feel the need to escape to somewhere more exotic, when there are undiscovered gems on our own doorsteps that I'd guess a lot of us know nothing about. I'm not against flight, cars etc, but I think if we looked at the amount we use them it would be healthier. I appreciate the UK’s a very small nation and it's different if you live in the US for example. but this old rock don't give a damn about this. I sound like a hobbit that doesn't want to get out of it's hole and travel the world ,experience it's beauty, meet amazing people and be wowed by new customs. If we set up better ways to travel using renewable energy I'm sure it might untwist my twisted instincts. Heck I think I need to relax about it, maybe I'll book a flight to somewhere hot and unwind :)

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.