By looking at the title of this episode, you may think that ‘oh, once again the old debate about geography and economic development!’ If one is thinking about opening a coffee shop or a restaurant, then location is still an old mantra for businesses. Even in this case, businesses still need to use a well-built website, or social network campaigns to reach out to more customers. For other economic activities, globalization, mainly rapid digitalization, seems to have reduced the importance of locations. Take for example remote work, work from home, and telecommuting.
Yet, dismissing the role of location in influencing access to and use of economic opportunities is hasty. Opportunities aren’t distributed evenly in a region or within countries. Where a person was born or chose to live influences economic benefits. This could be due to the remoteness of a location or arising from the segregation of urban environments leading to urban slums and excluded neighborhoods. People also move – voluntarily in search of opportunities or are displaced due to conflicts or climate change.
RECONOMY considers location-based livelihoods and their consequences for poverty and exclusion.
So for this episode, the podcast host Sabin interviewed three experts on why and how location still matters:
- Jeremy Williams grew up in Madagascar and Kenya, and now lives in Luton in the UK, where he is a writer and campaigner on social and environmental themes. He runs the blog called The Earthbound Report, and his most recent book is "Climate Change is Racist: Race, Privilege and the Struggle for Climate Justice".
- Elene Tkhlashidze is a private sector development practitioner, with 10 years of experience in Swiss development cooperation. Her current work in Moldova focuses on inclusive development, with focus on equal access to opportunities for Moldovan women and men. Apart from the professional experience she has personal connection to the subject of this episode by being internally displaced due to the conflict in Georgia in the early 90s, where she is originally from.
- Asib Zekir is a Roma activist and one of the founders of Roma Entrepreneurship Development Initiative in North Macedonia. There he’s currently serving as a Program Manager, managing the social enterprise called REDI Recycling.
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We have interesting topics coming up, so stay tuned!