Fostering resilient communities and building wealth in today’s local economies is necessary to achieve individual, regional, and national economic security. A community wealth building strategy employs a range of forms of community ownership and asset building strategies to build wealth in low-income communities. In so doing, community wealth building bolsters the ability of communities and individuals to increase asset ownership, anchor jobs locally, expand the provision of public services, and ensure local economic stability.
Community Wealth Building
Fighting inequality with comprehensive and transformative solutions for community economic development.
It is easy to be distracted by what passes for economic news these days, focused as it is on short-term fluctuations and assurances of recovery and revitalization. The simple truth, however, is that year by year, decade by decade, life in the United States is steadily growing ever more unequal.
Developing new models to promote equity and anchor capital in communities.
Public interest in cooperatives has surged since the global financial crisis, as people cry out for an alternative to business-as-usual. In spite of their many benefits for individuals, businesses, and society, however, cooperatives are not well understood in the United States. The field of worker co-op development is just beginning to create the infrastructure and knowledge base needed to increase its scale and impact. Read more about Worker Cooperatives: Pathways to Scale...
Building economic power through community ownership is the antidote to the systemic failures of our current system. Gar Alperovitz's lead article in the new issue of Shelterforce explores a vision for system-changing community economic development.
Connecting the Field
Building a stronger network of practice for community wealth builders across the country.
Our new Learning/Action Lab program helps amplify local capacity to deploy new strategies for building wealth in low-income communities, connecting grassroots leaders with the models and best practices they need for transformative economic development. Our first cohort of Lab participants is bringing together five Native organizations for ongoing training and consultation as they develop new community-owned enterprises.
Vision and Strategy
Helping orient our work today as community wealth builders towards the world we want to see tomorrow.
New book from political economist and historian Gar Alperovitz, the co-founder of the Democracy Collaborative, outlines how we can democratize wealth and build a community sustaining economy from the ground up.
Marjorie Kelly's Yes! Magazine article examines "how cooperatives are leading the way to empowered workers and healthy communities."
Engaging with eds, meds, and other anchor institutions to help them help communities.
This study seeks to introduce a framework that can assist anchor institutions in understanding their impact on the community and, in particular, their impact on the welfare of low-income children and families in those communities.
The Democracy Collaborative’s latest report, Hospitals Building Healthier Communities, provides an in-depth look at six hospitals in five cities that are rethinking their economic and community engagement strategies. These hospitals have recognized that health is more than just treating the patients that come through their doors and are beginning to adopt an “anchor institution mission” that can help build not only more prosperous, but also healthier communities.
Best practices and policy
Resources to advance community wealth building and help it scale.
Our Community-Wealth.org site is an essential resource for practitioners and policy makers working to build community wealth. For almost a decade, our site has served as a central clearinghouse for key research and reports from the field, cutting across traditional community development silos and offering a comprehensive guide to local wealth building strategies.
At the American Association for the Advancement of Science's Summit on Climate Change Resilience and Governance, Democracy Collaborative co-founder Gar Alperovitz offered these 15 closing comments. Read more about Gar Alperovitz: Closing keynote at the AAAS Climate Change Summit...