I am offering a new course this summer on local economies. This course has given me a chance to puzzle through the paradox that confronted me after the completion of Brew to Bikes, that is, what does it mean to have a locally distinct economy in a globalizing world. The course has taken me into the critical-economic geography literature where this questions has gained considerable attention over the last decade. Here is the abstract from the syllabus.
Going Local: Economic Development and Place Distinctiveness
USP 410/510 Summer 2012 Mon-Thur: 2:15- 4:35 URBN 311
Charles Heying, Ph.D.
This course explores the importance of place distinctiveness, self-reliance, and DIY innovation in the economic development of cities and regions. While city leaders pursue high tech, amenity, and relocation incentives to entice new business development, people at the grass roots are developing alternative strategies that build on the unique qualities of place and the willingness of locals to organize and invest in each other. We examine the relevance of these spaces of resistance to what is assumed is the inevitable globalization of economic activity.
Full text here Going Local Syllabus