Finding Your Global Citizen Practice

What Kind Of Global Citizen Are You? - The Local Economist

written by Ash Shah

Generally speaking, there are six areas in which the individual can contribute, no matter where they are in the world. You might resonate with one or more of these areas at a time, there’s no pressure to only pick one! In this article, we will talk more about global citizenship in the area of the local economy and how you can make a difference.

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By far the biggest benefit of the rampant hipsterism of our times is a pervasive need to shop local. We know that the local economy is the pulse of each city, the canary in the coal mine that is snuffed out first when danger arises. By nourishing local businesses, we circulate wealth within the community rather than sending it out. By investing in our community, we put money back into the place we call home, we share our resources with those that are around us. By purchasing a coffee at an independent coffee shop over a big chain, we support the education of the owner’s children rather than lining the coffers of some business magnate. By buying a novel from a local bookstore, we help a local buy new dancing shoes for their daughter, instead of adding mere drops into the ocean of Bezos’s wealth.

Small businesses are the heart and soul of the local economy - enterprises that emerge from local talent, that fuel the creative industries that drive change and innovation and are vital to the larger cause of global citizenship. They empower the people, the visionaries, the young start ups, the platforms that push for social change.

As a global citizen, there are many ways in which you can support the local economy. If this is the cause you feel most strongly about, then here are some ways in which you can contribute at a local, national and global level.


Check your most immediate surroundings for small, locally owned businesses. Try to get what you need from there rather than making purchases from larger overseas corporations. This could be getting coffee or beer at local cafes, ordering cakes from a local baker or supporting the tiny art shop that is locally run. It is also valuable to look deeper at the supply chain and see if the goods are locally produced. When it comes to food especially, this has lasting consequences. Rather than succumbing to the temptation of only picking up tasty imports for your kitchen, you could try to ensure that fifty per cent of your groceries come from a 100 km radius. You’ll be surprised at how much fun it is to learn about where goods come from!


There are several goods that are produced and distributed within a nation. Your purchase decisions make a difference here as it puts medium businesses at a better position within their own country. Why buy highly processed milk from a neighbouring country when you can buy it from a dairy within your country? Why spend money on imports when there are comparable goods produced in your country? Why support unethical sweatshop-based fashion when your country offers more humane alternatives?


Even when you are away from home, even when you are travelling or on a business trip, it helps to live by the aforementioned principles. No matter where you are in the world, you can act like a local there and help to boost the economy of that place! Buy local produce, dine in local restaurants, purchase locally made souvenirs and try to support the local art or fashion industry!

UN Sustainable Development Goals

that the Local Economist supports


Decent Work And Economic Growth

Supporting shops and cafes in your neighbourhood and community.


Sustainable Cities And Communities

Circulating the wealth within the city by buying local.


Responsible Consumption And Production

Creating awareness and supporting businesses that value sustainability and equality.

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