John Tomaney – Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at the Bartlett School of Planning, University College of London, co-author of Local and Regional Development, 2017 – a global authority on the subject. Professor Tomaney has provided expert evidence to OECD on regional development strategies and advised governments in the global north and global south. Professor Tomaney explains that whilst everything happens somewhere, not everything impacts positively on local development. Local economic development means more than investing in a local area, it means purposeful investment in local societies. We discuss how economic theory is often spatially blind and ignores the geographical or territorial dimension, finally Professor Tomaney provides examples of good and bad practices in managing transitions to sustainable local economies.