That idea is one of the fundamental values that BALLE holds dear and something that was on display at their annual conference last week. It was my second time attending and I was again inspired, delighted and given hope that the work Local First, and other entrepreneurs around the country are doing is important, and making a difference.
My biggest takeaway from the conference was how important our relationships are. Recognizing that we are all in relationship, not only with each other as humans but with the place we live and the environment as a whole. What happens to one of us, happens to all of us. We all feel the ramifications. The conference highlighted the work that so many people are doing to build and cultivate those relationships. Our relationship with the soil which provides the food that nourishes us daily. Our relationship with our local businesses owners who are creating a unique and sustainable economy and our relationship with our oppressed brothers and sisters around the country who are fighting against injustice for the rights so many of us enjoy.
Building relationships is the most important part of my job at Local First. The conference helped me not only recognize where critical relationship building needs to take place, but also ideas on how to engage and a glimpse of the beautiful world we can create when we do.