Requiring a strictly local origin of visible sector phenomenology is perhaps the strongest, most falsifiable condition that one can impose on string theory at the high scale: it at once excludes a vast majority of the string landscape, and yet leads to models that are surprisingly realistic. Yet it is only for local models that gravity can be made parametrically weak while keeping the strength of gauge- and Yukawa couplings fixed. We review the basic toolkit for constructing local models with concrete, realistic examples, and discuss some work in progress which connects M-Theory compactified on a Poincare "homology sphere" with F-theory and Orbifold GUTs.