TED Conversations

Closing Statement from Daniel Raven-Ellison

Thank you everyone who has taken the time to contribute to this important question. Reading all of the comments, it's impossible not to think deeply about how relationships between global businesses and local communities are developed.

It's easy to think of global business and local community as two different things. This question is perhaps guilty of leading the conversation into such an easy binary. Of course, "global businesses" are made by multiple and interconnected local communities and many local communities are created by large businesses. Neither local or global are innately better than each other, they are so inextricably linked through uncountable or quantifiable relationships that one cannot exist without the other.

Aju made this point well by saying "global business creates a community of beneficiaries such as employees, contractors, vendors and even customers in the local geography. Except for a thin “live wire” of control that runs to the global headquarters, global business in each region have a very local existence."

Issues of supply and demand are woven through the whole of this conversation. What do people want, what is available and what is on offer are all vital questions, but interlaced through all the comments are issues of power. Who controls what is available to people and what decisions do those people make when consuming an idea, product or place? Mitchell started to address this by asking us to turn the conversation's question on its head by asking "How does a community create a fulfilling relationship with a global business?"

Candy shared a way forward by suggesting "Every community requires collaborative partnerships among business owners/operators engaged in facilitated discussion for the good of the community. This requires a common goal. Whether it is education, social culture...". A practical note that is all about a relationship of working together.

The conversation continues at www.thefutureoflocal.com. Please join us.

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  • May 20 2013: Isn't local just a perception? A perception of what your destination will and should be as prescribed by media, or hopefully more so byword of mouth, a photo or just the hope of escaping your local reality?

    If the brand is smart they will ingrain themselves in what is local. They will be an integral part of what is local. They will be able to provide insight and knowledge on what is local - like a great concierge. The brand should be responsible to the local community and care for it like it's their child. Help it to grow and flourish whilst the brand does in this foreign place.

    If travellers are smart they should be responsible as they travel, do not spoil it for those who come behind you. Take care to leave it better then how it was found. Upon their return they can spread the word or hold that place scared, for it will always be just their perception of what that place should be...
    • May 21 2013: So McDonalds is just a perception ... I wish.

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