It is truly okay if you are wondering what the heck is BALLE and why you should care. Please just trust me and read on. You won’t be sorry.

Two or three years ago I am not quite sure I knew what BALLE stood for and even now I have to look it up. It stands for Business Alliance for Local Living Economies. This year I found myself attending a three day “immersion” conference learning about what BALLE is, who is leading the charge to get the word out about BALLE and why it matters so greatly to the future of our country. Pretty bold statement – right? So of course I had to share the excitement with you because what they are doing really does matter to each and every one of us and more and more each and every day. Bear with me.

Some short bullets about BALLE2015 and why, as a consumer, a business owner, a parent, a consciously living human being, as a leader of just about anything, your life will be richer learning what BALLE stands for and why what this organization is doing matters.  I am certain that it does.

  • The BALLE community and its members actively promote an environment that is safe, positive, welcoming, caring, respectful, and open for all.
  • BALLE is a unique learning community composed of the most innovative local economy leaders across North America working together to reshape the economy. (Think we need that?)
  • BALLE members envision a new economy that is both resilient and inclusive, one that values local opportunity and ownership, the natural world and above all else, one where RELATIONSHIPS matter most. (No wonder they had me from hello!)
  • BALLE knows that by connecting leaders, spreading solutions, and attracting investment, we will become a united force for change. And , yes, they believe we truly are better together.

So what actually HAPPENED there for me personally and in my walk as Mrs. Green?  LOTS. I can’t tell you everything because you won’t read it all.  I can share with you a few things that I hope will hit home, deep within your  heart or brain or both, and that  more winds of change will start blowing around in your head.

  1. I learned why being a localist is so important to the future of this country. My purchases have the power to equip Localist leaders with the resources they need to improve our communities through the power of independent, local business.
  2. I learned about local strategies for REAL prosperity – like raising capital to revitalize old buildings, employ more people of color and more women-owned businesses.
  3. I learned about soil and nature and how regenerative agricultural practices can serve the planet and how building a healthy food system is sustainable and climate resilient. (Translation? My fears were assuaged because of all the great work being done on farms all over our county.)
  4. And so so so much more. You get the picture. While I was there I felt as though I was living in a bubble – a bubble filled with hope, possibility and change; a bubble where you could sit down with just about any cluster of people and get excited about their conversation because the concepts, ideas and solutions being discussed were all for the greater good.  I felt happy, I felt unafraid and ready to go back into the real world because I had some new tools, some new ideas, some new friends to join me as we keep the seeds planted during BALLE growing.

I better stop now with just one more high five. High five to the incredible, outstanding, brilliant leadership of Kimber Lanning and her team from Local First Arizona.  I was proud to know them, they made BALLE work on the ground and they made 500 people from around the country feel good about what is going on in Arizona. We made the GOOD news.

vanjones2015-2AND there is MORE good news. We are  celebrating  Local First Arizona Independent’s Week! June 27th through July 5th. It is ALL about supporting locally-owned businesses and why it matters. Hopefully you will want to learn lots more about how you can be a part of it so here is the link to the website. Together, we are changing the world.

P.S And, oh, did I mention I got my picture taken with Van Jones – one of my true living heroes. True that! Don’t know who he is?  #JFGI – Just Freaking Google It!