What ‘ Local’ holds? And why? In the face of ecological collapse, the fundaments on these two questions cannot be overstated. Confronting how we view the term is paramount in tackling the planet’s environmental crisis.

Photos by Alexandra Mateus

As a non-native resident of Stockholm (I’m from Lisbon), I often reflect on the word’s significance: local. The term represents actions that have many different outcomes, sometimes in unequal ways. Local relates to scale, regional, national, global, planetary. Would it refer to a place close to where you live, where you belong, or both?

When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect. — Aldo Leopold, Environmentalist.

‘ Local’ begins and ends and what significance is, local becomes not so fixed and sited nowadays. Sensing where we may find ourselves now, we start to understand and value how we relate on a larger scale. The current worldwide situation is showing many ways to tie-in remotely. We find commonalities and feel more conscious of how interconnected we are on a planetary scale during uncertain times. It seems necessary that local and global communities develop alternate ways that care about environmental protection, scalability, equity, prosperity and longevity. If we want to ensure our planet’s future health and generations to come, then our governing norms shall have to evolve. We must shift away from our current ‘local’ notion. Change is always resisted, and moving the dial on this matter within the next few decades will be the challenge we would need to face to overcome many circumstances worldwide.

We are all members of the biotic community, and its stability is our safety. We belong to it and not the other way around, and it would be wise not to lose sight of that fact. Knowing where we find ourselves, in the current moment, caring about our humanity’s past and present in the biotic sphere, is about learning how everything relates to everything else. We are than waking up to a whole new relation to our world, to ourselves, to each other: more empathy and more awareness of where and how we live.

Senior UX designer • Traveler • Circular design • Material futures • http://www.alexandramateus.com/