In this article, McKibben envisions a decentralized future where multinational corporate solutions are replaced by small-scale, locally-serving producers of food, energy and healthcare. The difference between the cottage industries of the past and the farms, renewable energy generators and local clinics of the future? They will all be connected by grids of ideas and energy.

The Era of Small and Many: Reversing the trend of generations
by Bill McKibben, Orion Magazine

…Last year the USDA reported that the number of farms in America had actually increased for the first time in a century and a half… And what works on the farm works elsewhere too. Think about our energy future—the phrase that engineers like to use now is “distributed generation.” Since our old fuels were dense in BTUs and concentrated in a few locations, it made sense to site a few giant generating stations where coal or uranium could easily be brought and burned. But the logic of sun and wind is exactly the opposite: millions of rooftops and ridgelines producing power… an interconnected grid where everyone brings something and takes something away. A farmers’ market in electrons.