What are Economies ? Diverse Economies Framework DEF Local Economic Inventory Strengthening Diverse Economies

Diverse Economies

When we think of local development we usually mean economic development--and this usually refers to things like:

  •  increasing business activity
  •  increasing the number of paid jobs
  •  generating growth in output

Ultimately local development should increase the standard of living and quality of life for all community members. But can economic development as we know it guarantee that it will do this?

If we look closely at our communities we find that many of the economic activities that sustain well-being take place outside of the formal business sector and involve unpaid work. There is the work and the transactions that take place in families, households, kin networks, neighbourhoods and communities. These activities include child and elder care, borrowing and gifting, barter and reciprocal exchange. Indeed there are a range of  diverse economic activities that contribute to a local quality of life.

How can we ensure that in the pursuit of economic development as we know it, these diverse economic activities survive and are also strengthened?

A conception of the Diverse Economy helps to focus on what kind of economic development we are interested in promoting.

In this section we introduce a new way of seeing the economy as something that can be built by starting here and now with what you have at hand. The Diverse Economies Framework helps us identify many different starting places for generating local economic development.