Our own Deb Markley has been named to the 2018 cohort of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) Local Economy Fellowship.
She joins 25 leaders recognized as representing some of the most innovative local economic and community development solutions in the U.S. and Canada. These 25 leaders, systems entrepreneurs, and ecosystem builders are pushing the boundaries of economic change and championing locally-based, regenerative rural enterprise. They are visionaries, innovators, and strategic connectors who are supporting and strengthening thousands of rural communities and businesses across 16 states and three Canadian provinces. Together this group represents rural communities and businesses across 16 states and three Canadian provinces.
Not only is Markley joining North America’s only fellowship focused on advancing local economies, she is also now part of a growing leadership network of more than 160 BALLE fellows, local economy investors, and community foundation leaders. For years, the Fellows have been working together to achieve incredible outcomes. Together this network is proving that when seemingly small, local efforts come together, much is possible in transforming our whole economy toward one that works for all people.
“As a Fellow based in Baltimore I experienced the power of BALLE’s work up close, weaving together efforts across our urban ecosystem,” said Rodney Foxworth, the new executive director of BALLE. “I was so inspired to witness what that looks like in rural economies that are coming to life, in our Local Economy Accelerator last fall. A local Fellow was working in deep collaboration with local foundations and place-based impact investors, in communities and regions that are coming together to create a plan, and do the hard work of making progress together.”
The 2018 cohort illustrates the depth and complexity of the challenges facing rural, indigenous, and second-tier urban communities. With energy, creativity, and determination, they are promoting sustainable land use; advancing community development philanthropy; supporting Indigenous social entrepreneurship; helping communities connect to the creative power of artists; advocating for disadvantaged farmers and ranchers; equipping rural entrepreneurs with the tools needed for success; and much, much more. In collaboration with their communities, these Fellows are at the forefront of building healthy, equitable local economies, underpinned by the regenerative capacity of the natural world around us. Learn more about each of our 2018 Fellows here!