Helena Norberg-Hodge


Everything tells us that we need fundamental change in society. For all of us around the world the most pressing issue is fundamental change to economies – moving away from globalisation, to localisaton. Localisation reduces energy use, waste, societal degradation, environmental degradation. it can create meaningful jobs and rebuild the fabric of community. Norberg-Hodge told of the opening up to the global economy of Ladakh and the resulting devastation that ensued. Similarly Bhutan is an example of the perilous impacts of globalisation.

Governments are pursuing an economic model that is simply outdated – one that simply chases more trade as a formula for economic prosperity. Economic failure is a direct result of the “distancing” of economies and communities. The distance creates a blindness and a heartlessness that lessens humanity, compassion and empathy.

Worldwide there is a move towards localisation that displays multiple benefits – witness the local food movement, permaculture, school gardens, farmer’s markets. It recreates the connections between producers and consumers and more closely ties our basic needs to those who can fulfill them. Studies have shown that people who shop in farmer’s markets have 10 times the number of conversations from those who shop in supermarkets.

Localisation isn’t about isolationism, but will come about once we look up and see the bigger picture and collaborate internationally to bring about this new vision.