Show #292 – Helena Norberg-Hodge: Planet Local – A Quiet Revolution


Love our new show tune in the intro/outro? It’s talented Australian independent artist Melanie Horsnell’s song “Birds”. So proud to support this wonderful Aussie artist and have her grace the show with her wonderful words and song!

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If you want to feel more certain and more hopeful about the future of food and our planet, this book is for you – Order yours today!

And on this week’s show!

This week I am sharing a powerful show with thought leader and localisation champion, Helena Norberg-Hodge. I have invited Helena back, given it’s just been World Re-Localisation-Day, to discuss the practicality, possibility and benefits of localising economies, and to tackle the big topics today such as polarisation as a profit-making reality that keeps us from holding big industry accountable and changing the system that’s causing further and further economic divide and despair world wide – it’s a show to make you THINK rather than perpetuate the ‘what team are you on’ arguments we all seem forced into today. Polarisation is the enemy of true progress and today’s show focuses on the benefits of what true progress are. Can’t wait to hear what you think. 

Questions I asked Helena:

  • Globalisation – is it all bad? Some countries with not enough food to sustain their growing populations being able to share in other countries food? Medicines for critical care etc? 
  • Is it not quite naturally human to want to trade/export/import as we’ve been doing it ever since we could travel across land and sea ore and more throughout history? 
  • So is it a case of 80/20, therefore, being enough? Ie we really focus on simply making the majority of our food and goods sourcing local and let the odd thing be in the mix whether it’s your favourite chocolate or crackers? 
  • A just transition is often talked about in climate for people who’ve worked in fossil fuels/petroleum industries – what about a just transition for ultraprocessed food workers, supermarket workers, etc if we really do change the system and re-localise our food system? 
  • Case studies and examples of this working around the world in a couple of different types of communities. 
  • Practical everyday examples of relocalization that we can all get on board with starting right now, regardless of background, location, budget…
  • How do we make a case for change with our politicians? Micro actions that keep us finding solutions up the chain while we also work on our grassroots efforts?

About Helena Norberg-Hodge

Helena is the founder and director of the international non-profit organisation, Local Futures, a pioneer of the new economy movement, and the convenor of World Localization Day. Local Futures has produced a community guide, sharing practical actions for systemic change.

Helena is the author of several books, including  Ancient Futures (“the inspirational classic” — Random House), an eye-opening tale of tradition and change in Ladakh, or “Little Tibet”.  Together with a film of the same title, Ancient Futures has been translated into more than 40 languages and sold half a million copies. 

Her latest book is Local is Our Future: Steps to an Economics of Happiness (“Localization is the only hope for the future. Read this book!“ — Iain McGilchrist).  Other publications include Bringing the Food Economy Home and From the Ground Up: Rethinking Industrial Agriculture.

Helena is also the producer of the award-winning documentary The Economics of Happiness, which has been described by the media-activism site Films for Action as “truly one of the most important and useful films for inspiring change that has been made in a generation”.

Educated in Sweden, Germany, Austria, England, and the United States, Helena specialized in linguistics, including studies at the University of London and with Noam Chomsky at MIT. Her work, spanning almost half a century, has received the support of a wide range of international figures, including Jane Goodall, HH the Dalai Lama, HRH Prince Charles, and Indira Gandhi.

Helena has lectured in seven languages and appeared in broadcast, print, and online media worldwide, including MSNBC, The Times, The Sydney Morning Herald, and The Guardian. She has written numerous articles and essays, and her work has been the subject of thousands of articles worldwide. Most recently, Helena was profiled in The New York Times, titled ‘What if Local and Diverse Is Better Than Networked and Global?’ 

She has helped to initiate grassroots movements on every continent, particularly in the area of local food, and co-founded both the International Forum on Globalization and the Global Ecovillage Network.  

Helena is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Right Livelihood Award (aka the “Alternative Nobel Prize”) and the Goi Peace Prize for contributing to “the revitalization of cultural and biological diversity, and the strengthening of local communities and economies worldwide.”   The Earth Journal counted Helena among the world’s “ten most interesting environmentalists”.

This week’s sponsors:

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This month, we’re featuring Nordic Naturals Arctic Cod Liver Oil as a great product to have in your tool kit. Talk to your health professional about therapeutic dosage levels or just take what’s written on the bottle for a daily benefit.

When it comes to the benefits of Omega 3s, there are many but I found two studies of interest – one on covid and long-covid that’s worth reading and another on the benefit for brain development and support for children and teens with ADHD. Get your Arctic Cod Liver oil at your local health shop or visit Thera Health Australia ( for stockists. 

About Nordic Naturals –

About the Arctic Cod Liver Oil –

More about Thera Health –

Nordic Naturals Quizzes and Webinars –




Other helpful links:

Local Futures website:
You can also find Helena on Twitter @HelenaNHodge and Facebook and Insta @localfutures



Enjoy the show,

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