The purpose of this guide is to add to the understanding of local economic development in a way that is relevant and insightful regardless of context and circumstance. In so doing it is the intent of this exercise to help local authorities and their partners in the private, public and not-for-profi t sectors to confi dently and eff ectively move forward in their eff orts to foster a more stable and sustainable future for their municipalities. The premise is that all municipalities have the opportunity to shape their own futures in a positive way regardless of circumstance and of the seemingly overwhelming forces of globalization