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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    Jun 5 2013: You mean like McDonald's? They're everywhere. Not sure I fully understand your question. What is the benefit of having said relationship? Increase profit? I think if you want a global brand to be part of a local experience, then you would need a local PR office for the company in every major city and a volunteered liason for the company in smaller communities. However, in order to have such a relationship requires money. A fulfilling relationship is one in which one party has something to offer the other and vice versa. By giving the local customer something, in turn you hope they buy your product or service. For example, bread and circus events in Rome acquired votes for the politicians. These offices and liasons would be responsible for providing services and products for the local community on behalf of and sponsored by the company. Nike Fun Run this Saturday in the downtown district, offering free shoes to children 6 and under! Come see the opening of the Jared Smith Microsoft Memorial Park in Chesterfield tomorrow! Companies already do this to an extent, but it would have to be on a larger scale/more involvement.
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      Jun 6 2013: Something deeper than PR, that's for sure. There are lots of different marketing and PR gimmicks to drive sales, but what can global businesses do to create lasting and meaningful positive relationships that make sure local communities and places properly benefit from them being present? This question is about going deeper than sponsorship or fun events.

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