Submit Content
Get the latest delivered to your inbox
Privacy Policy

Visionary Business Leaders and Social Change Agents Join Local Economy Leaders in Phoenix for Annual BALLE Conference

Van Jones, America’s Most Famous Farmer Joel Salatin, Dansko's Amanda Cabot, Etsy's Matt Stinchcomb, and CODEPINK's Jodie Evans among luminaries to speak at Localist Movement event of the year

Published 05-28-15

Submitted by Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE)

The 13th annual BALLE (Business Alliance of Local Living Economies) Conference is a three-day event that explores how locally rooted economic systems solve social, financial, and environmental problems. More than 500 local business leaders, social entrepreneurs, community funders, policymakers and local economy leaders of all kind from across North America and beyond are expected to attend this year’s BALLE Conference. 

The theme, “What’s Working Locally,” will inform this year’s conversation around practical solutions and wisdom that attendees can take back to their own communities to advance the emergence of a new economy that is just, fair, and healthy for people, place, and planet. 

Soil is Life vision session: America’s most famous farmer (Joel Salatin) will join an investor and rancher, a food business entrepreneur, and a BALLE Fellow to explore what’s working to reconnect with and restore our soil. 

A Convergence of Social Movements: Van Jones joins other visionary leaders at the forefront of current social movements in a discussion on the importance of convergence. 

Financing for the Future We Want: An all-female finance vision session 

Launch of 20th anniversary edition of classic international bestseller When Corporations Rule The World: Author and founding BALLE board member emeritus David Korten returns to BALLE to share reflections on the past two decades and the path ahead to a living economy for a living Earth that meets the needs of all.

First-of-its-kind micro MBA for place-based impact investing: A consolidation of a three-day place-based workshop conducted by Presidio Graduate School’s Vanessa Fry, the course will build upon the fundamentals of finance and economics, offering a peek into the financial marketplaces that play central roles in the local and global economy.

WHO: The 2015 BALLE Conference is hosted by BALLE and Local First Arizona. BALLE is a non-profit organization focused on creating real prosperity by connecting leaders, spreading solutions, and driving investment toward local economies. BALLE equips entrepreneurs with tools and strategies for local success, and provides a national forum for the most visionary local economy leaders and funders to connect, build their capacity and innovate. 

Local First Arizona (LFA) is a statewide non-profit organization working to strengthen communities and local economies through growing, supporting, and celebrating locally owned businesses throughout the state of Arizona. LFA seeks to promote, support, and celebrate a vibrant and sustainable Arizona economy by educating consumers, stakeholders, business leaders, and policymakers about local business ownership, social equity, cultural diversity, environmental kinship, and collaboration.

WHEN: June 10 - 12, 2015

WHERE: The 2015 BALLE Conference will be hosted at a variety of venues in downtown Phoenix. Optional excursions before and after the conference will take attendees to different areas of the state including Cottonwood and Arcosanti. 

WHY: Studies consistently show that communities with higher density and diversity of local, independently owned businesses have more wealth, jobs, and resiliency. The BALLE Conference offers an opportunity for local economy leaders from around the globe to come together and share best practices for advancing strategies and policies that support local businesses and local economies. By sharing this knowledge, these leaders can return to their communities to grow and support their own local economies, thus working towards creating prosperity for all. 

The BALLE Conference has chosen Phoenix as its host city for a number of reasons. Since the Great Recession, Phoenix has transformed into a beautiful, new city that now embraces Localism, innovation, entrepreneurship, and diversity. With an eye towards the city's core and a special focus on adaptive reuse, hundreds of new local businesses have established themselves in the heart of downtown Phoenix over the past five years, and they're thriving. Ridership on the recently constructed Light Rail line has exceeded all expectations, and is further spurring economic development in Phoenix's central corridor. For the last two years, Phoenix has received a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign's annual Municipal Equality Index.

In a dramatic shift based on these factors, an increasing number of young people are choosing to start their lives and careers in Phoenix, where the cost of living is low and the quality of life is high. Arizona is home to a thriving Localist community and Local First Arizona, the largest BALLE member and local businesses coalition in the country with over 2,600 members across the state.

Registration, programming, and more information is available at

# # #

Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) logo

Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE)

Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE)

The Business Alliance for Local Living Economies, better known as BALLE (pronounced bolly), equips entrepreneurs with tools and strategies for local success and provides a national forum for the most visionary local economy leaders and funders to connect, build their capacity, and innovate. Among the transformative communities of practice that BALLE hosts are a Local Economy Funders Circle, the Community Foundation Circle, and the nation’s only Fellowship program dedicated to cultivating the emergence of a new economy. Within a generation, we envision a global system of human-scale, interconnected local economies that function in harmony with local ecosystems to meet the basic needs of all people, support just and democratic societies, and foster joyful community life.

More from Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE)

Join today and get the latest delivered to your inbox