Local First AZ Brings Localism Conference, Local Economy Leaders to Phoenix


WHAT: The 13th annual BALLE (Business Alliance of Local Living Economies) Conference is a three-day event that explores how locally rooted economic systems solve environmental, financial, and social problems. Approximately 700 local business leaders, social entrepreneurs, community funders, policymakers and local economy leaders of all kind from across North America and beyond are expected to attend this year’s BALLE Conference.

The theme, “What’s Working Locally,” will inform this year’s conversation around practical solutions and wisdom that attendees can take back to their own communities to advance the emergence of a new economy that is just, fair, and healthy for people, place, and planet. 

WHO: The 2015 BALLE Conference is hosted by BALLE and Local First Arizona. BALLE is a non-profit organization focused on creating real prosperity by connecting leaders, spreading solutions, and driving investment toward local economies. BALLE equips entrepreneurs with tools and strategies for local success, and provides a national forum for the most visionary local economy leaders and funders to connect, build their capacity and innovate.

Local First Arizona (LFA) is a statewide non-profit organization working to strengthen communities and local economies through growing, supporting, and celebrating locally owned businesses throughout the state of Arizona. LFA seeks to promote, support, and celebrate a vibrant and sustainable Arizona economy by educating consumers, stakeholders, business leaders, and policymakers about local business ownership, social equity, cultural diversity, environmental kinship, and collaboration.


WHEN: June 10 - 12, 2015

WHERE: The 2015 BALLE Conference will be hosted at a variety of venues in downtown Phoenix. Optional excursions before and after the conference will take attendees to different areas of the state including Cottonwood and Arcosanti. 

WHY: Studies consistently show that communities with higher density and diversity of local, independently owned businesses have more wealth, jobs, and resiliency. The BALLE Conference offers an opportunity for local economy leaders from around the globe to come together and share best practices for advancing strategies and policies that support local businesses and local economies. By sharing this knowledge, these leaders can return to their communities to grow and support their own local economies, thus working towards creating prosperity for all. 

The BALLE Conference has chosen Phoenix as its host city for a number of reasons. Since the Great Recession, Phoenix has transformed into a beautiful, new city that now embraces Localism, innovation, entrepreneurship, and diversity. With an eye towards the city's core and a special focus on adaptive reuse, hundreds of new local businesses have established themselves in the heart of downtown Phoenix over the past five years, and they're thriving. Ridership on the recently constructed Light Rail line has exceeded all expectations, and is further spurring economic development in Phoenix's central corridor. For the last two years, Phoenix has received a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign's annual Municipal Equality Index.

In a dramatic shift based on these factors, an increasing number of young people are choosing to start their lives and careers in Phoenix, where the cost of living is low and the quality of life is high. Arizona is home to a thriving Localist community and Local First Arizona, the largest BALLE member and local businesses coalition in the country with over 2,600 members across the state.

REGISTRATION & COST: Registration is now open with an advanced discount rate of $450 per person. On February 23, registration will increase to $550 per person for the early bird rate. On May 3, registration will increase to the regular rate of $650 per person. Registration includes attendance at all BALLE Conference activities, including regular conference programming, six meals, evening parties, and more. Registration, programming, and more information is available at bealocalist.org/conference

WATCH: Watch the 2015 BALLE Conference video to get excited about what's in store for this year's event!