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Catalyzing Localism Beyond Expecations with Mickki Langston | Mile High Business Alliance

“…As we look at the opportunities we have to make a positive difference that actually feels like we’re doing something, food just seems like a very relevant and immediate option.” – Mickki Langston

Mickki Langston founded Mile High Business Alliance in 2007. For the past 8 years, she and her team focused on organizing local business owners in working together to build a more resilient, connected and healthy Denver economy. MHBA worked with thousands of business owners to launch Denver’s ‘localism’ movement, including campaigns focused on local food, energy efficiency, independent retail, transit, and more. Their work changed the way people think about local businesses, local food, and building local capacity to fulfill on Denver’s needs and create economic opportunity.

In fact, Mickki and MHBA was so successful in catalyzing localism that since Mickki and I spoke in July, MHBA has ceased operations! According to a post on their website, “Our community has embraced the ‘local first’ mentality in a way we never expected. What started off as an idea in my basement has now become a movement ingrained in Denver’s business community, and I could not be more proud. It’s rare for an organization to be able to reflect on its accomplishments and say, ‘that’s enough for now.'”

Mickki will continue her work with the Denver Sustainable Food Policy Council and the 4th Annual Local Food Summit this winter, among other things. She was recently named a Top 25 Influential Young Professional by ColoradoBiz Magazine.

Despite the end of Mile High Business Alliance, this is still a great interview and I’m happy to share Mickki’s message with you!

Correction to the episode: BALLE is not actually a chaptering organization. They are a non-profit based in Oakland, CA that leads localist conversations throughout North America, notably through their annual conference and fellowship program. Mickki is a “Local Economy Fellow” through the BALLE organization.


  • What all Coloradans have in common
  • What localism is, in food and business in general
  • How the way we buy things like coffee, even though coffee isn’t locally produced, can still impact our local economy
  • How our spending choices contribute to deciding how humans live together on this planet
  • How Denver’s demand for local food outstrips our current production capacity and what we can do about it


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Thanks again for listening to Mile High Locavorist! Until next time, wherever you are, eat local!

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