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Despite globalization, despite online, place still matters. Whether driven by a sense of pride, authenticity, convenience and/or eco-concerns, consumers will continue to embrace “local” products, services and knowledge. Not to mention initiatives that look after their locale.

This “Local Love” was found to be one of four socio-economic “megatrends” identified in a study by Trend Watching (http://trendwatching.com), a leading research firm that monitors consumer behaviors and attitudes all over the world. The study was commissioned by CO-OP Financial Services (www.co-opfs.org) and the results were presented during the opening session of the THINK 15 Conference last month in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Trend Watching found megatrends to include “Betterment” (everybody wants to get better in one way or another, don’t they?), Ubitech (we’re surrounded by technology, have you noticed?), “Helpfull” (two “L”’s for emphasis – the concept that we now have zero tolerance for waiting; please, I’ll get to my point in a second); and, yes, Local Love.

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