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Localism

There is a growing tension between globalism and localism. In today’s world, the rise in power of nationalism is visible and palpable. Nationalism disguised as localism is so prevalent that a senior advisor at Nomura spoke on Bloomberg TV about the role of nationalism in the current global crises and in governmental policies from the Middle East, Ukraine, Hong Kong, France, Sweden, and the UK.6

This same tension is being felt within business organizations. “My region is different. I am accountable for my market. I will develop and implement my plan for my market.” These are common attitudes fighting against common goals.

In the issue, The World in 2015, The Economist suggested, “nationalism is the most enduring of the -isms that begat so many wars in the 20th Century.” “Democratic countries that wish to preserve their unity would be wise to devolve and decentralize.” Spain, Canada, and Scotland are the ones mentioned.7

When the world becomes shaky politically, economically, and socially, it affects global businesses. Organic farmers in Russia are experiencing more interest in locally grown food and food provenance now that global sanctions against Russia have raised prices for regularly grown foodstuffs: “The main thing which the sanctions have already changed is in people’s minds—in government, in business and on the streets, they have started to think more about where their food comes from,” Boris Ackimov, artisanal cheese maker and founder of Russia’s farm-to-table movement.8

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