• An Interview With Transition Towns
    May 15, 2014   Blog Posts   1 comment

    One of the most influential drivers of localization worldwide is the Transition Towns movement, launched by Rob Hopkins in the United Kingdom, which has inspired initiatives in literally thousands of communities.  “The Transition Network,” according to its web site, “is a charitable organisation whose role is to inspire, encourage, connect, support and train communities as they self-organise around the Transition model, creating initiatives that rebuild resilience and reduce CO2 emissions.  Read more

  • We’ve Won! Now What?
    May 2, 2014   Blog Posts   2 Comments

    Last week, I gave a lunchtime talk to the board of the Fresh Sound Foundation in New York City, where I was asked to help this small family philanthropy think about how it could best assist the local economy movement. I thought this was a really interesting question, because depending on one’s perspective, it meant critiquing the movement or identifying great opportunities for it. My basic message was that we Read more

  • Lawyer-Free Crowdfunding in Maryland
    April 21, 2014   Blog Posts   1 comment

      I’m pleased to report that crowdfunding reform has just reached an important milestone in the state where I live—Maryland.  Legislation just passed by the state legislature and signed by Governor Marty O’Malley now allows every Maryland resident to lend up to $100 to any local business with virtually no legal hassles whatsoever.  The fact that neither expensive legal documentation nor a cumbersome intermediary “portal” is required is, frankly, revolutionary. Read more

  • Wanted: Creative Localistas for State Legislatures
    March 15, 2014   Blog Posts   2 Comments

    Over the past year probably a dozen current or aspiring state legislators have asked me for advice on what kinds of legislation they might advocate that could support local living economies.  While there’s a long list that comes to mind, here are my top ten items.  (I’ve excluded from this reforms related to community capital and investment, which I will post in a separate blog piece.)  In case you don’t Read more

  • Strategic Crowdfunding
    February 10, 2014   Blog Posts   1 comment

    Over the coming weeks, the long-awaited green light from the Securities Exchange Commission will usher in a new era of crowdfunding in the United States.   But a surprising new development in the field  is that many companies may turn to crowdfunding, not just for to raise capital, but to raise their profile. My friend Jason Brown, based in Seattle, is a classic serial entrepreneur.  He has several successful small natural Read more

  • My Nominee for the Next Nobel Prize in Economics
    January 17, 2014   Blog Posts   No Comment

    This past November one of three Sveriges Riksbank Prizes in Economic Sciences went the Professor Robert Shiller of Yale.  After years of giving its award to various University of Chicago Neanderthals, the Nobel Prize Committee finally made an inspired choice, picking a scholar whose work has shown that the returns from mainstream stock markets have historically been significantly lower than what the hype-sters on Wall Street claim.  As the Committee Read more

  • Welcome to Loca-Topia
    January 14, 2014   Blog Posts   1 comment

    Thanks for dropping by.  Chances are you “surfed” here because you are interested in local economies.  And that’s the core of what you’ll find on this site: news, events, books, studies, legislation, people, conferences, and trends concerning local economies.  This is a place for anyone who believes in the power of local ownership, locally owned business, and self-reliant communities.  You’ll find compelling stories of investors, consumers, and businesspeople who are Read more