Think Globally, Act Locally

We all want to create a life sustaining future for our children and grandchildren.

To truly serve the needs of the earth and humanity at this time, we need to transition from the unjust neoliberal capitalist economic system and move towards collaborative local economies that work with Nature to empower local people, communities, livelihoods, culture, and wellbeing to thrive. 

The stark social inequalities inherent in the global economic system are evident all around us. A system that favours the super rich, today a handful of billionaires own as much wealth as half the global population, while billions of people can barely feed themselves.

This economic system serves to place the wealth in the hands of the few, while pillaging the earth, and oppressing countless people and communities worldwide.  

There is enough land and foot to meet everyone’s need, but a child still starves to death every 10 seconds.  Our current economic system also fails to meet the majority of peoples basic housing and wellbeing needs, at home and all around the globe.  

The worldview of the capitalist economy is based on the idea that profit is the primary goal of economic activity, and that there is limitless material growth – even limitless “green growth!” 

 It’s central premise is based on the idea that nature is not living. Instead, it views the living earth as a mechanistic free resource, that human beings can extract from at will. 

The neoliberal economic system has its roots in colonialism. Oppression and domination are inherently built into the very fabric of the model.

This mind-set has brought us to the brink of ecological collapse, global warming, immense inequality, war, and societal unrest. 

If we continue to allow this ‘business as usual’  – then we will only serve to accelerate the suffering of billions of people, animal, and wildlife species across this beautiful planet. None of us want that. 

The collapse of this economic system is inevitable. No-one knows what the future will hold, but it is common sense to realise that any system that systematically destroys people and planet, has to eventually crumble. 

It is my hope that more of us take a proactive and regenerative approach now to help create resilience in our local communities, before it is forced on us to do so by necessity as the effects of the climate emergency and wars put more pressure on the global economy itself. 

In the past few decades, various forms of the “Green Economy” and “Green Capitalism” have been presented to us as a solution.  This model is a form of green washing – still part of the ‘business as usual” because it is still part of the human-centric paradigm that puts individualistic values at the centre. 

Green capitalism is still only concerned with the sustainability of our Western privilege and lifestyles, rather than the meeting the basic needs of every single village and community in the East and in the West.

It does not honour the sovereignty and rights of the Earth and the more than human natural world.  

A real response will first require us to re-evaluate the central aspects of our growth-based global economic system and our materialistic culture.  

We need to be asking who our businesses are here to serve. 

Is my business/career offered in service to the dignity, real needs, and genuine wellbeing of the whole circle of life? 

Or, is service to my own personal gain at the centre? 

Let’s look at the facts:

1. We have inherited a highly dysfunctional human-made global economic system.

2. A full economic-systems change is the only solution.

3. A full economic system change is not only do-able – it is already existing and fully available.

I wholeheartedly believe that if Mahatma Gandhi were alive today, he would be leading the movement for the worlds local food sovereignty and local business empowerment movement, and calling on our leaders to change our policies to empower our local economies and communities to flourish locally and globally.

Here are some initial steps that I’m persuaded are needed to help create a globalised local network of thriving local economies:

1. Economic Transition

We need to transition the structure of economics to live within the rights and limitations of the environment.

A three-tier economy can support with this transition: 

1Small-scale private businesses — such as family farms, bakeries, restaurants, arts, and crafts businesses, etc. 

2. Corporations invited to transition their business model into becoming employee-owned cooperatives. 

3. Key industries such as large-scale energy, water plants, infrastructure, and public education to be run by national, regional and local governments and boards on a no-profit, no-loss basis. This would prevent the concentration of wealth and the exploitation of natural resources.

Our local and global governments need to ensure universal access to livelihoods – and empowering the local business resilience movement is a solution for that. 

2. Empower Local Economies

Only a few decades ago, local economies were evident throughout our communities: people grew food in their backyard, local agriculture was thriving, and small niche trades professionals served the local peoples needs.  

Communities across the world are already demonstrating grass-root initiatives that can be replicated and adapted to local culture, ecology and communities worldwide to help our communities transition to a life sustaining future for our children, grandchildren and future generations of wildlife.

They include local farmers markets, community supported agriculture, renewably energy schemes, local business co-operative alliances, and much more. 

These networks are found at the town, regional and national state level and they are designed to operate within ecological and ethical limits, while also maintaining the integrity of cities. 

Within a local economy, the community becomes more resilient to meet ones food, water, energy, shelter, education, health and other basic needs in ways that reaches towards self reliance, and where possible self-sufficiency.

Nutritious food is produced for local people while offering a decent livelihood to farmers. This means providing the support and the environment for every region to produce grains, vegetables, meat, dairy and essential local energy needs. 

When these local needs are first met, then local finished products are exported. Items that cannot be sourced locally, such as tea bags, coffee, etc are imported.

Local economies are also a real response to the climate emergency. Local economies produce less carbon emissions, and there would be much less transportation of international products which is a massive polluter.

Diverse, local, organic ago-ecology forms of agriculture can help communities to be more resilient to thrive through the inevitable global economic shocks and crises.

On account of the long-term effects of colonisation; soil degradation from mono-cropping; climate emergency; wars and violent unrest; there urgently needs to be a model of redistribution of resources to helps everyone in our one human family worldwide to meet their basic human and dignity needs.

3. National and Global Limits on Human Greed

One of the most destructive aspects of the neoliberal global economy is that there is no limit to what one individual can own.

By accumulating much more than they need, the worlds billionaires are unknowingly stealing from billions of others who have nothing, or very little.

To best serve the souls of the few super rich, and the bellys of the oppressed masses, a national and global cap on wealth accumulation is needed, as well as a maximum and minimum income, to balance the global inequality crisis.

Yes, government leaders hold the real responsibility to unite together and call for limits to be placed on greed and ownership.  

While we call for that, what can we do to put limit on human greed at a local, regional and national level?

Let’s take the housing crises we have today – corporate landlords that control dozens, or even hundreds, or thousands, of rental units, block a key resource that is fundamental for peoples survival.

We don’t tolerate this for healthcare, so why are we tolerating this when it comes to housing? 

There needs to be a limit on how many houses people own. 

People with excess housing units can be invited to sell their surplus properties, or invited to integrate them with a social housing scheme, co-operative housing scheme, or refugee housing scheme. 

This would allow for an influx of housing onto the market, which would drive down house and apartment prices, making it more affordable for people to buy a home, and making it more affordable for governments to expand public housing opportunities. 

This would also make public and private rental properties more affordable. 

4. National and Global Policy Changes To Support Local Economies 

Policies are meant to be serving the welfare of local people and planet. We need our leaders to put in place policies that support an entire national ecosystem of localized economies that are rooted in local culture and right relationship with the land. 

We need our leaders to negotiate new trade agreements that are subject to democratic purposes, and shift subsidies, taxes and regulations that currently favour global multinationals to support local businesses, farming, and local co-operatives.

The neoliberal global economic system has led government leaders worldwide into subsidising large corporate multinationals and allowing local food to be flown across the world, processed, flown back, re-imported, and sold.  

This is a result of ‘free trade’ agreements, and the billions of dollars in supports and subsidies that serve the neoliberal capitalist economy.  

This un-necessary trade wastes resources and undermines the livelihoods of millions of small scale producers worldwide. 

In some places around the world, local growing and farmers markets are making a return, but local farmers and business are not getting adequate government support to compete with cheap food offered in supermarkets.

The majority of people cannot afford to pay for the nutritious organic food sold in our farmer markets. 

Our policies need to enable local communities – and the small farmers, retailers and other businesses that support them – not only to survive, but to thrive.   

We need policies to increase the speed of circulation of money between local producers, suppliers, institutions and the public. We also need policies to protect our land, water, forestry, energy and our internet. 

5. Decentralized local economic planning – globally

Operating a cooperative local economy today is challenging due to competition from the corporate capitalist globalised economy.

We need deliberate global, national and local planning and investment to help support local people to grow local sustainable solutions. 

Strong planning and coordination is needed for local co-operatives and economies to thrive.

Governments can fund the development of agro-ecology farms, allotments, food gardens in urban areas, and in suburban areas. 

The produce could be sold at affordable prices through community centres in our neighbourhoods. 

6. Tax the Super-Rich

Increasing tax on the worlds multi-millionaires and billionaires would raise billions of people out of poverty. Our government leaders nationally and internationally need to increase taxes on the super-rich, including capital gain tax, inheritance, property, land and net wealth taxes. 

7. Global Climate Justice and De-Growth in Rich Nations

It is the Western focus on economic growth that helped lay the foundation for inequality and conflict in the rest of the world.

We need to radically cut global emissions to stay under 1.5 degrees, and global climate justice requires richer nations to de-carbonise much quicker given the disproportionate amount we have contributed to the crisis. 

Rich nations have a moral duty to significantly reduce form of economic activity that are not necessary to human needs, such as fast fashion, private jets, SUV’s and the military industrial complex. 

We cannot reduce global emission to 1.5 degrees unless rich countries embark on planned de-growth projects such as these. It is the only way that will allow us to meet the needs of all people within the means of the living planet. 

We need political leaders with moral conscience to drive these initiatives. We also need more courage from our social movements to support our political parties to gather the collective will and momentum for planned, just de-growth.

This is not only about climate justice – this is about peace, and a life sustaining future for everyones children, and grandchildren.

8. Economies of Wellbeing

We need new measures of economic wellbeing, new ways to help generate dignified livelihoods for all in ways that honour our living relationship with the natural world. 

The current consumerist agenda wants us believe that happiness is derived from increased wealth and consumption.

But time and time again we see that once our basic needs are taken care of, activities that foster personal wellbeing, family time, community and cultural activities are what help to foster sustainable happiness and wellbeing.


There is an innate impulse in the human spirit to want to be a good ancestor to the next generation.  

Some of us to our detriment deny this natural impulse, and present power structures may well continue with ‘business as usual’ – ensuring that the planet and oppressed people suffer most.

I see more and more of us  awake to the wisdom of serving the next generation – and more of us are uniting together to plant seeds for a liveable healthy future for them.

I look forward to working side by side in unity with every one who is working for peace, restorative justice, and regeneration.