Growth is a good thing, at least for economic re-localisation. Interest in re-localisation, as well as related notions of de-centralisation and community resilience, has gone viral with new initiatives popping up seemingly every day. With all this new enthusiasm, it’s easy to forget that the roots of these ideas go back several decades, and that this ‘movement’ is just one current of a much broader global movement seeking to manifest economic, environmental, and social justice at every scale of society. No matter, these ideas are beginning to infiltrate the mainstream, even finding their way into EU policy.
There are inspiring success stories unfolding, such as in Totnes, Devon where I live. But many community-led initiatives trying to spark this kind of local economic change fail to reach their full potential, or simply fail, and for many reasons. Some because they jump straight to prescriptions without adequate diagnoses. Others simply fail on project design. Still others cannot reach beyond their core base of ‘usual suspects’ and stand accused of being non-inclusive. Some can’t rally adequate community support to sustain their work beyond a project or two.