100 episodes

At the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, we work to break 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 local economies. This podcast series provides a first glimpse at some of our newest original research and a unique economic perspective on today's most pressing topics.

Building Local Power The Institute for Local Self-Reliance

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0, 65 Ratings

At the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, we work to break 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 local economies. This podcast series provides a first glimpse at some of our newest original research and a unique economic perspective on today's most pressing topics.

    David Dayen Talks America’s Monopoly Problem (Episode 106)

    David Dayen Talks America’s Monopoly Problem (Episode 106)

    On this episode of Building Local Power, host Jess Del Fiacco is joined by Chris Mitchell, director of ILSR’s Community Broadband Networks Initiative, and David Dayen, executive editor of The American Prospect. David discusses his latest book, Monopolized: Life in the Age of Corporate Power, which tells the story of the daily impact of monopoly power on Americans’ lives. 

    • 42 min
    Why Our Best Opportunity to Challenge Corporate Control is at the Local Level (Episode 105)

    Why Our Best Opportunity to Challenge Corporate Control is at the Local Level (Episode 105)

    In this episode of Building Local Power, host Jess Del Fiacco is joined by Zach Freed, researcher with ILSR's Independent Business initiative, and John Farrell, ILSR co-director. The three discuss ILSR's new Fighting Monopoly Power guide, which spells out how local leaders can challenge concentrated corporate power in the banking, broadband, electricity, food and farming, pharmacy, small business, and waste sectors.

    • 29 min
    Is Energy Still a “Natural Monopoly”? (Episode 104)

    Is Energy Still a “Natural Monopoly”? (Episode 104)

    On this episode of Building Local Power, John Farrell, ILSR Co-Director and Director of the Energy Democracy initiative, interviews Scott Hempling, a lawyer and professor with decades of experience working on utility regulatory issues. Scott and John talk about why energy utilities were once considered to be "natural monopolies," and how that assumption is being challenged by new energy technologies and the push for more choice in the energy market.

    Mainers Consider Putting Electricity, Internet in Local Hands (Episode 103)

    Mainers Consider Putting Electricity, Internet in Local Hands (Episode 103)

    On this episode of Building Local Power, host Jess Del Fiacco is joined by Christopher Mitchell, director of ILSR's Community Broadband Initiative, and Representative Seth Berry of Maine. Seth is the House Chair of the Maine Legislature’s Joint Standing Committee on Energy, Utilities and Technology, and he is leading the call for the state to takeover Maine's two largest electric companies ⁠— including Central Maine Power, which has the distinction of being the least popular utility in the United States.

    • 42 min
    Local Compost Enterprise Cultivates a Just and Healthy Community (Episode 102)

    Local Compost Enterprise Cultivates a Just and Healthy Community (Episode 102)

    In this episode of Building Local Power, host Jess Del Fiacco is joined by Brenda Platt, Director of ILSR's Composting for Community Initiative, and Kesiah Bascom, founder of OffBeet Compost. OffBeet is a small-scale, community-minded food scrap collection and composting enterprise in the Lowell, Mass., area. Kesiah and her team have an ongoing mission to connect environmental goals with social justice values.

    • 29 min
    How Cities and States Are Stepping up to Help Small Businesses in Crisis (Episode 101)

    How Cities and States Are Stepping up to Help Small Businesses in Crisis (Episode 101)

    Host Jess Del Fiacco talks with Kennedy Smith, Senior Researcher with ILSR's Independent Business initiative, about efforts at the state and local level to support small businesses affected by the pandemic.

    • 18 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
65 Ratings

65 Ratings

JDelurey ,

Exactly what I was looking for

Critically important answers to unasked and/or overlooked questions. So much of our energy space is captured by inertia. John and the ILSR gang shake things up in all the right ways.

sgilberg ,

Excellent

I am a longtime fan of ILSR's work (full disclosure: I'm a former employee), and this podcast is one of my favorite developments. These guys shed light on issues that others don't, present real solutions to otherwise daunting problems (with the research to back it up), and feature informed and engaging guests and staff. Keep it coming, friends!

Tfayter ,

Topically interesting

I do enjoy this podcast, although sometimes I get sick of the strong liberal bias because I think these issues are relevant for EVERYONE, but it can make an entire sector of the potential audience feel alienated. Also, Stacy Mitchell may be a great leader and advocate, but she does NOT have a good audio voice - she has this droning voice that kind of keeps going and is disturbingly monotone. I like Chris much better.

All told, this podcast has opened my eyes to a lot of the problems with NOT supporting local businesses. It’s drastically changed my approach. I no longer buy from any Amazon-owned businesses and I have gotten to know some really great local farmers and ranchers, so that’s a bonus.

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