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building-local-power-podcastAt the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, we are constantly working (along with our strong allies) on breaking the chains of monopoly power in all sectors of our economy. From challenging incumbent cable monopolies in order to promote better Internet connectivity to pointing out how Amazon pushes local retailers out of the market, our researchers develop positive policy prescriptions to improve our local economies.


That’s why we’ve developed our latest podcast series detailing the work our staff is doing in an easily digestible interview format. You’ll get a first glimpse at some of our newest original research and a unique perspective on today’s most pressing topics. Podcasts are published every other Thursday at Noon, eastern time, BUT be on the look out on “off-week” Thursday for Building Local Power episodes with special guests from ILSR allies and partners.


We at ILSR are Building Local Power.


Subscribe to the podcast feed: iTunes, Stitcher, or RSS/XML.  New episodes are published bi-weekly on Thursdays. Sign up for new podcast notifications and monthly email updates from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance.


Podcast Episodes

Every episode page contains a detailed introduction of the interviewee as well as deep analysis of the issues discussed in each episode.

Podcast Number: Podcast Name: Interviewee(s): Description: Date Published:
20 Tech Startup Allows Communities to Support Local Businesses

Katrina Scotto di Carlo, Co-Founder of Supportland and Placemaker

In this episode, di Carlo speaks with our podcast to discuss how a number of northwestern communities are supporting local, independent businesses via a new tech startup. FULL TRANSCRIPT ->  May 18, 2017
19 Creating Community Wealth Through Compost Sophia Hosain, Civic Works’ Real Food Farms & Guy Schaffer, BK Rot In this episode, community composters Sophia Hosain and Guy Schaffer sit down with us to discuss the impact community composting has in under-served communities struggling with food insecurity and lacking economic opportunity. FULL TRANSCRIPT -> May 4, 2017
18 Policies That Make Markets Work, Hello Antitrust Gary Reback, Author and Lawyer in Silicon Valley In this special re-broadcast of an episode in our Broadband Bits feed, Silicon Valley lawyer and author Gary Reback discusses the need for antitrust policy in our concentrated economic market. FULL TRANSCRIPT -> April 27, 2017
17 How America’s Cities Are Fighting Preemption Andrew Gillum, Mayor of Tallahassee, Florida In this episode, Mayor Andrew Gillum of Tallahassee, Florida joins us to detail how state-level preemption is harming his local community and many others across the country and what we can do about it. FULL TRANSCRIPT -> April 20, 2017
16 Small Banks, Big Benefits Justin Dahlheimer, President of the First National Bank of Osakis In this episode, Justin Dahlheimer of the First National Bank of Osakis discusses the benefits of community banking and why localities benefit from their lending. FULL TRANSCRIPT -> April 13, 2017
15 Thanks To Your Local Economy, Renewables Aren’t Going Anywhere John Farrell & Karlee Weinmann In this episode, Farrell and Weinmann discuss what national energy policy actually means for local renewable energy and for the transition to renewable jobs. FULL TRANSCRIPT -> April 6, 2017
14 Breaking Through Partisanship: Left-Right-Local John Farrell, Stacy Mitchell, & David Morris In this episode, top ILSR staff members have a free-form discussion on the growth of political partisanship and how ILSR’s work cuts across many of those barriers. FULL TRANSCRIPT -> March 23, 2017
13 America’s Major Market Power Problem Stacy Mitchell In this episode, Mitchell runs down the reality that large, consolidated competition has extremely negative effects on the small business culture of the United States. FULL TRANSCRIPT -> March 9, 2017
12 The Power and Perils of Cooperatives Hannah Trostle & Karlee Weinmann In this episode, Trostle and Weinmann discuss the benefits of cooperative ownership as it relates to our community broadband and renewable energy initiatives. FULL TRANSCRIPT -> February 23, 2017
11 Bolstering Waste Recovery Through Model Legislation Brenda Platt In this episode, Platt gives a short history of the zero waste movement and discusses model legislation currently up in Maryland to increase the percentage of waste diverted from landfills. FULL TRANSCRIPT -> February 9, 2017
10 Preemption, Local Authority, & Municipal Broadband Christopher Mitchell & Lisa Gonzalez In this episode, Mitchell and Gonzalez give an overview of our Community Broadband Networks initiative and detail the challenges localities face when they just want to have high-quality Internet service. FULL TRANSCRIPT -> January 26, 2017
9 The Perils of Privatization David Morris In this episode, Morris discusses how our economy has transitioned from valuing public works as a cornerstone of local power to far away infrastructure projects. FULL TRANSCRIPT -> January 12, 2017
8 The Year in Building Local Power Olivia LaVecchia, Chris Mitchell, Nick Stumo-Langer, & Karlee Weinmann In this episode, the group discusses a myriad of different issues around building local power in our economy. They discuss corporate concentration, energy monopolies, and citizen-sponsored initiatives. FULL TRANSCRIPT -> December 29, 2016
7 Composting Cultivates Economic Development Linda Bilsens In this episode, Bilsens explains how producing compost from food scraps builds local economic development, fights climate change, and cultivates community. FULL TRANSCRIPT -> December 15, 2016
6 Amazon’s Growing Stranglehold Stacy Mitchell In this episode, Mitchell details the main points from the recent report including the startling fact that nearly $1 of every $2 spent online are spent on Amazon.  FULL TRANSCRIPT -> December 1, 2016
5 Broadband Boosted at the Ballot, An Election Wrap-Up Lisa Gonzalez  In this episode, Gonzalez delves into the election results coming out of Colorado regarding the two dozen communities who voted to reclaim their broadband connectivity future. FULL TRANSCRIPT -> November 17, 2016
4 Powering a Political Revolution, North Dakota’s Non-Partisan League David Morris In this episode, Morris goes into detail on the League’s political influence and how their policies set North Dakota on a trajectory of local ownership and a tradition of fighting concentrated economic power. FULL TRANSCRIPT -> November 3, 2016
3 Energy Democracy: Customer Control over Renewable Energy John Farrell In this episode, Farrell discusses the renewable energy economies of scale and how, oftentimes, who owns the energy system matters more than its size. FULL TRANSCRIPT -> October 20, 2016
2 The True Value of Recycling and the Waste Stream Neil Seldman In this episode, Seldman discusses the benefits of ILSR’s recycling work and responds to comments critical of the economic benefits driven by recycling. FULL TRANSCRIPT -> October 6, 2016
1 The Dark Store Tax Dodge of Big-Box Retailers Olivia LaVecchia In this episode, LaVecchia discusses the tactic that big-box retailers use to cheat their local communities out of adequate property taxes. FULL TRANSCRIPT -> September 22, 2016