A key trend is that for the first time in human history people can participate in the global economy from anywhere. Communities are using the Internet in different ways – but we are starting to see the notion of Gross Domestic Local Product (GDLP) becoming increasingly relevant as a tool for policy makers at regional and national level, given that communities will increasingly become key drivers and providers of employment. Innovation in the availability of microfinance also represents a significant opportunity for successful community development and local entrepreneurship.

Public libraries in Chile have helped small businesses get online so that now they selling products that they used to sell in courtyards to a national and international market. Community libraries in Nepal have empowered local women to sell honey which serves to sustainably fund both the public library and support local community infrastructure projects.