BALLE Conference 2014
Last week I attended the annual BALLE Conference in Oakland, CA. BALLE (Business Alliance for Local Living Economies) is a growing network of local businesses, community networks and local economy investors. The organization's theme is "Prosperity for All" and they focus of what they call the "Core Four" impact strategies: Local First, DIY Entrepreneurs, Community Capital and Better Together. The conference brought together over 600 localists from all over the world to dive deeper into topics surrounding localism. I heard talks from brilliant and tenacious people about entrepreneurship, finance, leadership, ownership, policy and food. Conversations centered around the next steps for the localist movement. Now that "local" is a trend, where do we go? Otto Scharmer, who spoke on a panel at the closing session, says that we need to broaden and deepen.
Broadening means broadening the scope from buying locally to investing locally, focusing more on policy changes, more on empowering marginalized communities, and more on cross-sector collaboration (linking business, government, and civil society).
Deepening means creating room for the interior dimension of leading profound change: expanding the conversation about transformative leadership, mindfulness, compassion, sources of well-being, creativity, and spirituality. It means asking, Who are we today -- and who do we want to be tomorrow?
Read his post BALLE summary at Huffington Post: Eight Acupuncture Points for Transforming Capitalism
Thank you to all that made this trip possible! I had a fabulous time and made some great connections. Next year the conference will be in Phoenix, AZ and I would love to have more Orlandoans there! Check out some photos and a conference highlight video below.