Produce locally what’s physical, export what’s virtual

John Robb on building resilient communities in a still fairly mainstream way:

[Jane Jacobs showed that a city produces wealth] by finding ways to locally produce the things it is currently importing. Within a global environment where physical distance is becoming increasingly expensive (fuel and overhead) and virtual distance is becoming increasingly free (bandwidth and scale factor), the imports to replace will increasingly be food, energy, and manufactured products.  Produce these locally.  The most valuable exports will be virtual.

…These communities should be specifically designed to attract two types:

  • the globally competitive telecommuter that will draw in wealth from global sources and
  • the food, energy, and micro-manufacturing entrepreneurs/workers that will build the innovative economic ecosystem required for local production.

Fascinating take on how “glocalization” should work. Wondering and how would this apply within a sector – such as food, where one of the biggest questions now is what the right combination of local and global systems should be – and for those communities where the vast majority are in food production and wealth comes from exporting food?

[via David Hodgson of IFF]

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