World Localization Day is an annual celebration of the worldwide localization movement.
It's more than just a day: it’s an invitation to see the world in a new way. To gain an awareness of place by participating in small-scale, local economic exchanges. To create change locally as part of a global movement for healthier communities and economies.
What is localization?
Localization is bringing the economy home – back to a human scale.
It is the process of building economic structures that allow the goods and services a community needs to be produced locally and regionally whenever possible.
Localizing economies can strengthen community cohesion and lead to greater human health and material well-being, while reducing pollution and the degradation of the natural world.
It is not about isolationism or putting an end to international trade. It is simply about rebuilding human-scale economic structures by producing what we need closer to home.
From community gardens to credit unions, from alternative learning spaces to small business alliances and co-ops, local economies create networks of place-based relationships that affirm our human desire for connection to each other and to the earth.
It's the economics of happiness.
By creating this structural basis for community, local economies turn caring for one another and for the land into guiding principles of daily life.
That's why localization provides common ground for people as diverse as H. H. the Dalai Lama, professor Noam Chomsky, environmentalist Jane Goodall, presenter Russell Brand, journalist Naomi Klein, and Dr. Gabor Maté, along with hundreds of grassroots movements around the world.
How World Localization Day began
In 2020, at the start of the pandemic, Local Futures had to place its ambitious Economics of Happiness Conference Series plans on hold. This pause in place-based work led us to dream: what would it look like to to bring together – even if only online – as many voices as possible from the worldwide movement for place-based economies?
World Localization Day was born.
In 2020, our first year, we created a recorded program with more than 100 voices from around the world sharing messages of hope, as well as successful localization initiatives.
In 2021, more than 80 organizations across 30 countries held World Localization Day events. Local Futures also created a short video, Local Food Can Save the World, and encouraged people to connect with farmers and raise awareness of food systems by hosting Local Food Feasts. Our week-long 2021 online program featured perspectives on localization from around the world.
In 2022, we focused on illustrating the worldwide grassroots movement for localization through our new film Planet Local: A Quiet Revolution, released on World Localization Day. 90 groups across 30 countries hosted events, many of them film screenings.
Millions of individuals and groups, large and small, in every corner of the world and every area of work, are recognizing the need to live more within the means of our local ecologies and communities. To localize the transactions and relationships that form the webs of our lives. To localize our economies. Our hope is that World Localization Day will be a beacon to unite these initiatives under a common understanding, and provide the resources and inspiration for you to create change in your own community.
Who we are
World Localization Day is stewarded by Local Futures, an international nonprofit organization dedicated to renewing ecological and social well-being by strengthening communities and local economies worldwide.
In 1975, founder Helena Norberg-Hodge went to Ladakh, in the Indian Himalayas. She was profoundly influenced by the happiness and community solidarity she encountered, rooted in a place-based agrarian economy. Bearing witness to this thriving culture, and the social and ecological devastation that followed as Ladakh was opened up to modern "development" and the global economy, inspired her to start Local Futures.
Today, our team works from four continents: we have main offices in the USA, UK, and Australia, and continue to run projects on the ground in Ladakh. We produce books, films, campaigns, tools, and events to illuminate and explore the systemic root causes of our current global crises. And we promote economic localization as a strategy for change that simultaneously addresses them.
Somewhat counterintuitively, establishing thriving local economies requires cross-cultural dialogue and global cooperation to address issues that affect us all, like the climate crisis and trade treaties. As Helena says, "Our work is not about putting a wall around cultures. On the contrary, it is about establishing closer contact between the most and least industrialized parts of the world. We have found that this contact is genuinely empowering, and can help to strengthen communities in both North and South."
Learn more about us at localfutures.org.
Our support network
World Localization Day's success relies on not only our partners hosting events and creating change around the world, but also from a host of dedicated volunteers and helpers. We are indebted to our volunteer translators:
Ines Vanlangendonck, Stella Sage, Elena Fedina ( Елена Федина ), Christine Sander, Daniel Franco, Briseida Ayala Rodriguez, Areti Mathioudaki, Erato Triantafyllidi, Seojin Park, Yeran Son, Robert Zelnik, Veronika Knihova, Rodrigo Almeida, Ana Dmar, Monja Tchoren Carvalho, Giovana Umbuzeiro Valent, Anna Halpers, Sabiha Sharmin Shimi, Hasmin Dela Pena, Tomas Hajzler, Sergio Scudery, Wulandari Anindya Kana, Kunzang Deachen, Joyce Razakaratrimo, and Jane Ricketts Hein.
Many thanks to design studio Hey Low for creating this site.
Inspiring voices and stories of localization from around the world.
Check out our partners' 2022 events.
Learn how you can get involved in World Localization Day.