Philanthropy and the End of Geography - a Response to Seth Godin

On January 31, 2015 Seth Godin published a short blog entitled the End of Geography.  In this post he points out how companies and technologies have removed the geography barrier and that localized markets are no-longer limited to kilometers and miles.  He ends his post with, "If you are still betting on geogrpahy, on winning merely because you are local, I hope you have a special case in mind." 

Here's where the special case comes in - On April 18-19, Dexterity Ventures Inc. in partnership with REAP Calgary's Down to Earth Week will be hosting Michael Shuman a leading-edge economist and lawyer who talks about local investing and impact investing.  You can find more information about this event here

I agree with Seth's commentary that geography no-longer matters when looking at manufacturing and shipping from a 30,000 foot view, but in today's hyper-localized world where we are interested in tracking our dollars and the power of the consumer influence, I think geography does matter.

I am in the process of changing the windows on my house.  I could have gone the conventional route, found a supplier and a contractor and had the windows replaced.  To me, geography matters. Instead, I found a company, Max Green Windows, that also thinks that geography matters.  So much so, that they calculate the carbon footprint of the production, shipping and installation of my windows and offset this with planting trees.  I know there is a lot to be said about how effective tree planting is for offsetting carbon, that's not the point.  The point is, that more businesses and consumers want to know the geography of the stuff they are acquiring and want to ensure that they are supporting the local market.

While TV and the Internet might have flattened the marketing world, consumer demand and access to information has rejigged it to being niche-focused and demanding.