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Posted: July 9 2019

New book from Helena Norberg-Hodge outlines the steps needed to enable ‘economies of happiness’ to spread and flourish, globally.

“There is no more important task than re-localizing our economies, and this book will tell you how it’s done.” Bill McKibben

Poverty, climate change, the erosion of democracy, an epidemic of depression – these and many other social, economic, ecological, and spiritual crises are connected, and one of their primary causes is our global economic system. Local is Our Future, a new book by Helena Norberg-Hodge, draws out these connections and describes how simple steps towards the local can lead to a sustainable and fulfilling future for both planet and people.

In Helena’s words, “For our species to have a future, it must be local. The good news is that the path to such a future is already being forged. Away from the screens of the mainstream media, the crude ‘bigger is better’ narrative that has dominated economic thinking for centuries is being challenged by a perspective that places human and ecological wellbeing front and centre. People are coming to recognise that connection, both to others and to Nature herself, is the wellspring of human happiness. And every day new, inspiring initiatives are springing up that offer the potential for genuine prosperity.”

While humans thrive on connection, Local is Our Future explains how the global economy systematically severs our connections to the natural world and to community – separating us ever further from each other and from nature. Building local economies, the book argues, can allow those ties to be regenerated, while providing profound economic, social, environmental and psychological benefits.

Taking inspiration from a worldwide movement that is already emerging beneath the radar of the mainstream media, Local is Our Future outlines the steps needed to build a world of interlinked and decentralised economies. On every continent, people are coming together to claw back control over their own livelihoods, and in doing so are healing fractured communities, repairing damaged environments, and building a brighter future.

Helena Norberg-Hodge, the book’s author, has been promoting an economics of personal, social, and ecological wellbeing for four decades across the global North and South. Author of the book Ancient Futures, producer of the award-winning documentary The Economics of Happiness, and founder of the non-profit organisation Local Futures, she was honoured with the Right Livelihood Award (often called the 'Alternative Nobel Prize') for her groundbreaking work in Ladakh, India, and received the 2012 Goi Peace Prize for contributing to "the revitalisation of cultural and biological diversity, and the strengthening of local communities and economies worldwide."

In keeping with the book’s message about the importance of connection, Helena would like to encourage readers to join with their community to read Local is Our Future together, as part of a book club or other community group. Local Futures is offering members of these groups a 30% discount on the book - anyone interested should send an email to [email protected].