Local Living Economy

What Does a Local Living Economy Mean?

In November 2009, a group of community members gathered to explore the concept of a Local Living Economy. The Business Alliance for Local Living Economies has its own definition, but what does it mean to us – citizens of the Monadnock Region? Below is a small sample of ideas shared.

The Monadnock Local Living Economy is a place where:

  • All citizens can have a great quality of life.
  • Our basic needs are met within our community and region.
  • Individuals realize that they are beyond the worth of their jobs.
  • Leadership helps identify common ground and overarching community goals.
  • Citizens are creating a new definition of what our needs really are.
  • Individuals and banks are investing in social capital.
  • We are working cooperatively and collaboratively.
  • All citizens are engaged and feel included.
  • We are celebrating our community.
  • We are thinking of our community as a system.

What are the building blocks of our Local Living Economy?

Past Activities:

October 2012 Fixing the Future

In Fixing the Future, host David Brancaccio (of public radio’s Marketplace and NOW on PBS) visits communities across America highlighting their sustainable and innovative approaches to creating jobs and building prosperity. This film links together a national network of business groups and community-based organizations working to improve their local economies: www.fixingthefuture.org.

Spring 2012 Local Innovators: Leaders in Local & Regional Collaboration

Libby Weiland, as the Collaboration Coordinator, gathered the best practices related to collaboration building.  Her research gleaned from the good work of groups collaborating in our area and from afar, to gather the tools needed to create even stronger, lasting, and effective collaborative efforts: Local Innovators: Leaders in Local & Regional Collaboration.

October 2011 Connect 2011

Michael Shuman, one of the nation’s leading experts on community economics, was Keynote Speaker at CONNECT 2011. Shuman discussed how a community can build a strong network of locally-owned businesses that contribute to a vibrant community and thriving regional economy: Revitalizing Cheshire County From the Inside Out. View CONNECT 2011 Video.

April 2010 Local Living Economy Event

How is our region exploring our strengths and challenges collectively? Could one problem be another’s solution? Attendees at the Local Living Economy Event at Antioch University New England discussed these and other questions. Community members, businesses leaders and organizations were all invited to explore a new and innovative framework for problem-solving highlighted in the video “Restoring Los Angeles: Healing the Nature of Our Cities.” In this video, Andy Lipkis from the non-profit organization Treepeople shares an integrated approach to solving problems – where all stakeholders work together to find sustainable solutions. This approach helped the city of Los Angeles uncover a solution that resulted in better environmental and social benefits at an actual cost-savings for the city.

November 2009 Local Living Economy Event

This event, a collaboration of Keene State College, Cheshire Medical Center’s Vision 2020 Program, and the Hannah Grimes Center, was the next step towards building a stronger community and economy and was part of the Keene State College Biennial Symposium: From Local to Global. The goals of the event were to:

  • Identify common ground and unifying overarching goals among movements within the Monadnock Region (Are they more connecting than we think?)
  • Create an opportunity for open discussion among Keene’s community leaders that inspires creative thinking about the Keene Master Plan process.
  • Encourage participants to develop a plan of action within their existing vision, mission, and isolated work plans that contribute to a LLE (What do you want to come out of the workshop?)

Featured invitees included:

  • Judy Wicks, a pioneering voice in the local, living economy movement over the past thirty years, is the owner of Philadelphia’s celebrated White Dog Café and a founder of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE).
  • Tom Wessels is a terrestrial ecologist and a Faculty Emeritus at Antioch University New England in the Department of Environmental Studies. In his book, The Myth of Progress he writes that, “people with a richness of life created through their connections with community, place and themselves have no need to compulsively consume the ‘frivolous accouterments’ that we tend to think of as making us happy, but which really don’t.”
  • Margaret (Marge) Bruchac, PhD, is an Abenaki Indian with roots in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York, and deep research interests in the Connecticut River Valley of Vermont and Massachusetts.
  • Mike Welsh, PhD, is Keene State College Professor of Political Science and Chair of Keene Master Plan Committee.


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