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Author Topic: What is a Living Economy?
Posts: 9
Post What is a Living Economy?
on: May 20, 2011, 11:06

Another one of the amazing organizations doing incredibly important work to help our communities is the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies, or BALLE ( Here is a blog posting from Michael H. Shuman on 20 Measures for a Successful Local Living Economy.

BALLE is putting on the Living Economies 2011 Business Conference: Place Matters from June 14-17 at Western Washington University located at 516 High Street in Bellingham, Washington.

This is a must go conference with anyone who is interested in co-creating a thriving community that benefits all of us.

Here is a link to the blog:

20 Measures for a Successful Local Living Economy
Thu, 03/31/2011 - 12:23

By Michael H. Shuman, Research & Economic Development Director, BALLE

This list elaborates on what could be measured broadly for determining whether or not a community is progressing toward Local Living Economy goals. Admittedly, some of these indicators would be harder to construct than others, but none are beyond the measuring capabilities of most local governments.

Local Ownership - What percentage of jobs in the local economy are in locally owned businesses?
Self-Reliance - To what extent is the community self-reliant, especially in the basics of food, shelter, energy, and water.
Socially Responsible Business - To what extent are businesses present across all sectors of the local economy that are achieving high levels of triple-bottom-line success?
Youth - What is the probability that young people stay in your community once they are graduated from high school (or return to the community after college)? A related question: What's the likelihood that a young person can have fun in your community without breaking the law?
Schools - What's the probability that members of every age group in your community are increasing the amount of time they spend learning this year, compared to last year.
Entrepreneurship - What's the likelihood that an entrepreneur in your community, especially a young person, can find the capital, technical assistance, mentorship, and other support that makes it possible for him or her form a small business that he/she is passionate about?
Relationships - What's the likelihood that every resident knows the names of everyone on his or her block, and that the block throws block parties?
Arts - To what extent are artists, writers, musicians, and other cultural creative drawn to live in your community?
Safety Net - What's the probability that the poorest members of the community find adequate food, shelter, and health care.
Diversity - To what extent does your community have a rich diversity of races, ethnicities, ages, religions, and political viewpoints.
Aging - To what extent has the concept of retirement been abolished and replaced by seniors embracing new personal and community missions as they age?
Volunteerism - What's the probability that a resident has run for office, worked for a government program, or volunteered for a community initiative or an act of civic governance?
Sustainability - What's the degree to which your community meets its needs, present and future, without impairing the ability of other communities to meet their needs, present and future?
Investment - What's the percentage of your residents retirement savings that's invested in local business?
Tourism - The degree to which outsiders come to visit in part because they regard you as a model community?
Walkability - What percentage of your residents can find most of what they need for work, school, purchasing, and play within a 10 minute walk from home? What percent of people living in your community work there?
Subsidies - To what extent is every penny of city money linked to business development is invested exclusively in locally owned business?
10% Shift - What percent of your community's purchasing decisions (including those of consumers, businesses, and procurement agencies) are going to local goods and services?
Celebrations - To what extent are your conferences (like this one) places where solutions to once hopeless problems are shared and celebrated?
Global Self-reliance - To what extent are you sharing your best practices in achieving all of the above with other communities globally? How much time and money are you spending to help other communities worldwide to achieve the level of self-reliance you seek for yourself?

Thanks to Michael H. Shuman

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