Around the Institute

To Invest in the Global Economy, #ChooseArtisan

November 5, 2015  • Aspen Institute Staff

(Photo CreditAlliance for Artisan Enterprise) 

The #ChooseArtisan campaign — presented by the Alliance for Artisan Enterprise at the Aspen Institute with the support of the US Department of State —augments the efforts of the global artisan community through spreading awareness about the value of the artisan sector. The social media campaign includes:

  • #ChooseArtisan Thunderclap that will share 500 unique messages of artisan support with 1.8 million people on November 6, 2015.
  • Messages that: educate audiences about the magnitude of the artisan economy; connect individuals with the artisans who fuel the industry; and inspire new voices to join the movement.

Read below to learn more about the importance of the artisan sector.

The world of commerce has never been more accessible. From online retailers to big box stores, we are a mere drive, walk, or mouse-click away from acquiring what we want, when we want it. But while product convenience is better than ever, the same cannot be said for product quality and ethics. Enter global artisans.

Though perhaps lacking the cachet of name brands, global artisans are nonetheless a prolific, $32 billion-a-year force, with artisanship as the second largest employer in the developing world. The artisan sector sustains communities and creates jobs (especially for women), while preserving cultural traditions and ancient techniques.

Though investing in artisan goods generates jobs, increases incomes, and promotes cultural heritage, most people do not. As a result, the global artisan sector is fragmented and under-resourced, leaving many artisans with supply chain and market information asymmetries, as well as the inability to expand to broader markets.

Each dollar we spend is a choice: a decision to fuel billion-dollar industries, or support entrepreneurs with limited opportunity. Make your choice heard by signing up for the Thunderclap, uniting your voice with hundreds of others who understand the importance of the artisan sector. Then, watch the movement unfold on the #ChooseArtisan Social WallTogether, we can make a difference for the artisan network and our global economy.