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Expert says localism is today's emerging economy

Mariano Avila

Deborah Frieze, a national name in the localist movement, told the audience at GVSU’s Loosemore Auditorium that local isn’t just a shopping campaign. It's the new and emerging economy.

“What’s at the heart of localism is local production for local consumption. We care about the places in which we live and we want to circulate goods and services among us, and I think about place as the geographic area that supports and sustains our communities.”

Frieze says a lack of sustainability is bringing down the form of capitalism that we’ve had for the last three hundred years.

“What we call our extractive economy—the economy that’s trying to pull as much resource out of the planet as well as as much resource out of people. To exploit labor and extract natural resource, that economy is causing all types of turbulence and disruption in our society today.”

So what does this new and local economy look like?

“The alternative to that economy is one that is more holistic and regenerative—everything gets reused or transformed into something of additional value.”

Frieze suggests that this localist alternative is already visible.

“And what’s emerging today are all kinds of experiments that are more holistic and regenerative, like the shift from industrial agriculture to local and organic food. Or the shift from the fossil fuel to a renewable energy economy, which is a cyclic economy.”

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