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September 21, 2020
Democratising Ownership

Democratizing knowledge: Transforming intellectual property and research and development

We need to apply democratic ownership and control principles to intellectual property and research and development, so th2interconnected and entwined systems are used to build a more equitable, sustainable, and democratic 21st-century economy.
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People’s Power: taking control of the energy transition

Dawson suggests something like the strategy outlined the Democracy Collaborative for bringing the oil and gas sector into public ownership. Governments would prepare the way for socialisation by undermining the sector’s market value through the removal of the subsidies it currently receives, and

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Reclaim Public Medicine for Public Health

A statement released Thursday by a group that includes Next System Project director Dana Brown calls for redesigning our pharmaceutical sector so that it is accountable to the public to meet public health needs, rather than to the profit demands of corporate shareholders. “Medicines were long

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The profit maximizing corporate model must evolve

The Democracy Collaborative’s vice president Marjorie Kelly says that in the radically altered COVID-19 landscape, talk is especially cheap, and that it’s past time for the dominant corporate model to radically change. It’s also time to take dramatic action to stop the evisceration of the small

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The COVID Vaccine “War”: Screws Loose in our Moral Framework

The Democracy Collaborative proposes a publicly owned pharmaceutical industry, the purpose of which would be to develop lifesaving medication for all rather than maximizing shareholder profits. Decisions that put people first would make sure medications were developed to treat rare diseases and that

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‘People need broadband’: Internet projects are taking place or in pipeline, but some concerned about their closed structure

As some recognize, internet access in the U.S. is generally far slower and more expensive than in most other advanced countries. According to The Next System Project, a democratic collaborative, nearly 133 million Americans don’t have internet connection speeds of at least 250 megabits per second

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July 7, 2020
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Building the democratic economy, from Preston to Cleveland

In June 2018 The Laura Flanders Show released a special report, “Building the Democratic Economy, from Preston to Cleveland ,” co-produced with The Democracy Collaborative. The documentary features the exciting trajectory of a new model of inclusive, democratic local economic development in what had

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July 7, 2020
The Preston model

The Preston model: An overview

The “Preston Model” is helping inspire a new conversation about the role of local government in catalyzing locally-driven economic revitalization and transforming patterns of ownership towards democratic alternatives.

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Cooperative Ownership: A Covid Recovery Strategy

COVID-19 has created economic hardships that have created severe business challenges for local small businesses, but broad based participant ownership structures could be the solution to supporting these local businesses. Schneider writes, “[B]ack in 2018, President Trump (whether knowingly or not)

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Cities Reclaim Privatized Utilities as Public Ownership Proves Itself – Thomas Hannah

Next System Project research director Thomas Hanna, in an interview with Paul Jay for, discusses the growing global opposition to privatization of public services. “All across the world …people are reacting against the deficiencies of privatization and austerity and neoliberalism

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May 18, 2020
Digital infrastructure panel

Democratic digital infrastructure

The global spread of Covid-19 has shone a bright spotlight on both the vital need for reliable high-speed internet and the inadequacies of the for-profit, corporate model in delivering it. This paper, the first of four modules on democratic public ownership in the United Kingdom and the US, explores

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Ownership futures

If the 21st century is to be one of genuinely shared prosperity that is democratic and sustainable by design, new, more democratic models of public ownership will be needed for the commanding heights of the next economy, including our digital and natural resources. read more
May 13, 2020
The future is public

The Future is Public: Towards democratic ownership of public services

The COVID-19 crisis has demonstrated that public services and the people who operate them are truly the foundation of healthy and resilient societies, This book explores a growing international (re)municipalization movement that is helping redefine public ownership for the 21st century.

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April 20, 2020
An empty street in the UK, with a road sign encouraging people to stay home, protect the NHS

Owning the Future: After COVID-19, a new era of community wealth building

The COVID-19 pandemic could become a moment of crystallisation, with communities and governments working together to build a genuinely inclusive economy. But to do so, we need ambitious interventions, both at the national level and at the level of a new common sense, built upwards from community.

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April 3, 2020
An array of prescription medications on shelves

Vaccines: A Case for Public Pharma

Vaccines are critical to safeguarding public health as one of the most effective ways to prevent disease, including highly contagious diseases that can cause pandemics. But the for-profit pharmaceutical industry is neither prepared for nor incentivized to tackle growing public health challenges, like global pandemics.

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February 17, 2020
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Ownership Futures: Towards democratic public ownership in the 21st century

The Democracy Collaborative and Common Wealth is undertaking a 2020 project to explore the frontiers of public ownership in the 21st century, particularly in the areas of digital infrastructure, data and platforms, intellectual property, and land and natural resources.

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November 4, 2019
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A History of Nationalization in the United States: 1917-2009

Introduction Climate change is an unprecedented global social, political, and economic crisis. Without drastic action, the United States will likely experience rising sea levels that will regularly flood major cities, more intense weather patterns that will destroy homes and businesses, longer and

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September 19, 2019
British Digital Cooperative

The British Digital Cooperative: A New Model Public Sector Institution

Introduction The information technology sector broadly defined is now at the leading edge of the capitalist system. Material production and distribution, enterprise and professional management, finance, insurance and real estate are all increasingly dependent on digital technology. In the second

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An array of prescription medications on shelves

Medicine For All: The case for a public option in the pharmaceutical industry

Democratic, public ownership of pharmaceutical development, production, and distribution in the U.S. is necessary to combat the increasingly harmful impacts of Big Pharma which decades of regulation have failed to counteract.

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100 Years Ago, Farmers and Socialists Established the Country’s First Modern Public Bank

For In These Times, Adam Simpson and Thomas Hanna write about how North Dakota’s radical history carries valuable lessons for today’s public banking movement. One hundred years ago July 28, a bank in Bismarck, N.D., opened its doors for the very first time. This would have been an unremarkable event

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The book cover for The Making of a Democratic Economy, on a field of raised hands

The Making of a Democratic Economy

The Making of a Democratic Economy is a clarion call for a movement ready to get serious about transforming our economic system. Illuminating the principles of a democratic economy through the stories of on-the-ground community wealth builders and their unlikely accomplices in the halls of institutional power, this book is a must read for everyone concerned with how we win the fight for an economy that’s equitable, not extractive.

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Economic Update: Worker Co-Ops Rising

Prof. Richard Wolff interviews John Duda, Director of Communications at the Democracy Collaborative and one of the founders of Red Emma’s bookstore and coffeehouse, a 30-member worker cooperative in Baltimore.
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June 12, 2019
Democratic Ownership Funds

Democratic Ownership Funds: Creating Shared Wealth and Power

A combination of concentrated wealth, the primacy of shareholder interest in shaping company behavior, and the institutional weakness of labour has helped turn many companies into engines of wealth extraction for external owners, institutional investors, and senior management, often at the expense

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Mission-led employee-owned firms: The Best of the Best

Mission-led employee-owned firms embody a powerful model of enterprise design for a new era of environmental sustainability and social equity. This report shares the story of this emerging model, embodied in 50-plus firms that are employee-owned B Corporations and benefit corporations, plus dozens

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Right to own

Right To Own: A Policy Framework to Catalyze Worker Ownership Transitions

Our new report explores the “right to own”—giving workers the right of first refusal anytime their workplace is up for sale—as a strategy to massively scale up employee ownership in the economy. We outline the major provisions and legal changes necessary to enact this right, and the ecosystem of

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March 28, 2019

Marjorie Kelly on employee ownership and community wealth

The Democracy Collaborative’s Marjorie Kelly on how we create a democratic economy.

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February 27, 2019
Energy Democracy - Taking Back Power

Energy Democracy: Taking Back Power

Executive summary Electric utility (re)municipalization is gaining popularity as a strategy to shift away from a reliance on fossil fuel extraction in the context of combating climate change. Across the world—from Berlin to Boulder—communities have initiated campaigns to take back their power from

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Johanna Bozuwa: The People Should Own the Power (Utilities)

Johanna Bozuwa, Democracy Collaborative research associate, comments on the responsibility that PG&E holds for the deadliest wildfires in California’s history and for climate change.
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Revolution at the Federal Reserve - Nomi Prins and Thomas Hanna Screenshot

Revolution at the Federal Reserve: Nomi Prins and Thomas Hanna

Laura Flanders speaks to former Goldman Sachs managing director Nomi Prins, author of “Collusion: How Central Bankers Rigged the World,” and the Democracy Collaborative’s Thomas Hanna believe that banking, and development, could be very different.
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Our Common Wealth cover

Our Common Wealth: The return of public ownership in the United States

This book is the most comprehensive and up-to-date analysis of the scope and scale of U.S. public ownership, debunking frequent misconceptions about the alleged inefficiency and underperformance of public ownership and arguing that it offers powerful, flexible solutions to current inequalities.

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Hundreds Disrupt Global Climate Action Summit, Demand Climate Justice

Civic and business leaders convened at California Governor Jerry Brown’s Global Climate Action Summit, but protestors decried their “false solutions” to the climate crisis. Johanna Bozuwa offers thoughts on the public voice’s power against large corporations.
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September 3, 2018
Public Ownership for Energy Democracy

Public Ownership for Energy Democracy

Energy democracy—a new idea from the ranks of community organizers, labor, and renewable energy advocates who see our current energy system as broken and destructive—seeks to take on the political and economic change needed to tackle the energy transition holistically.

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Community control of land and housing

Community Control of Land and Housing: Exploring strategies for combating displacement, expanding ownership, and building community wealth

This report seeks to broaden awareness, discourse, and adoption of community control of land and housing strategies among various stakeholders who have a genuine desire to see stable, healthy, equitable, and sustainable local communities flourish.
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How Marginalized Communities Are Getting Control over Development

In Next City, a look at how the Maggie Walker Community Land Trust is working to keep housing permanently affordable in Richmond, Virginia, and why for The Democracy Collaborative’s Jarrid Green, efforts to promote community control of land and housing have to be situated within the long history of

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Energy democracy: Goals and policy instruments for sociotechnical transitions

Matthew J. Burke explores just economic transitions and long-term strategies for energy democracy in the journal Energy Research & Social Science. In his article, Burke highlights the thought leadership and guidance of the Democracy Collaborative: Energy democracy is an emergent social movement

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Wealth inequality

Democratising ownership to address wealth inequality

The Democracy Collaborative’s testimony to the U.K.’s leading progressive think tank on how to bring about a thoroughgoing democratization of our political economy. In the fall of 2017, Institute for Public Policy Research reached out to The Democracy Collaborative requesting evidence from the U.S. on broad-based ownership strategies and recommendations for how wealth can be generated and shared more equally.

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Civic Engagement School #3: How To Build Community Wealth

Writing for 1812, Sarah Al-Khayyal writes an introductory article on Community Wealth development. In 1812, the article highlights the different strategies proposed by The Democracy Collaborative: “Community wealth building is ‘a systems approach to economic development that creates an inclusive

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October 12, 2017
Next System Media

Next System Media: An Urgent Necessity

A personal introduction In the interest of full transparency, this essay is personal. When it comes to journalism, I’ve been on a career-long search for an effective, sustainable alternative to corporate mono-speak. In all that time, regular people have never had more communications capacity than we

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August 3, 2017
Reversing inequality

Reversing Inequality: Unleashing the Transformative Potential of an Equitable Economy

Introduction The US economy’s deep systemic inequalities of income, wealth, power, and opportunity are part of global inequality trends, but US-style capitalism and public policy make inequalities more acute. Their observable and felt harm to our civic and economic life is corroborated by research

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June 1, 2017
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Opportunities for impact investing in employee ownership

A new report by Mary Ann Beyster, president and trustee of the Foundation for Enterprise Development (FED), published by the Fifty by Fifty initiative of The Democracy Collaborative, examines the investing landscape for potential opportunities in employee ownership. The report, Impact Investing and Employee Ownership, reports on the results from six months of research, showing that the opportunities for impact investors to support employee ownership are limited, but that an investing infrastructure is beginning to emerge across asset classes.

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A Conversation on Employee and Community Ownership

Matt Cropp, Associate Director of Vermont Employee Ownership Center and Marjorie Kelly, Executive Vice President of Democracy Collaborative, discuss employee and community ownership, with a specific discussion of the Keep BT Local Campaign.
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Impact investing and employee ownership: Making employee-owned enterprises part of the income inequality solution

This report by Mary Ann Beyster, president and trustee of the Foundation for Enterprise Development (FED), discusses the investing landscape for potential opportunities in employee ownership.

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The role of impact investors in taking employee ownership to scale

While employee-owned businesses have historically used a wide range of financial tools, the role of private equity and impact investors has been limited to date. In a meeting convened by the Fifty by Fifty Initiative, the Foundation for Enterprise Development, and the Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations, participants took a deeper look at barriers, opportunities and resources for connecting the gaps between investors and employee-owned firms.

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December 16, 2016
A Socialist Economy for the 21st Century

A Socialist Economy for the 21st Century

In Next System Project Report 3, author and Tellus Institute co-founder Richard A. Rosen explores the changes he deems necessary for a modern definition of “socialism”, and describes key concepts and issues that arise when aiming to restructure the American economy to include social and

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A Powerful, Under-Used Tool for Addressing the Roots of Inequality: Inclusive Ownership

In this blog for the Stanford Social Innovation Review, our Executive Vice President and Senior Fellow Marjorie Kelly delves into some of the groundbreaking models for inclusive ownership that are increasingly making an impact on the lives of workers and community members. Kelly offers these

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The Pluralist Commonwealth

The Democracy Collaborative’s co-founder Gar Alperovitz sketches out the major institutions of a systemic alternative based in plural forms of democratic ownership, oriented around community at various scales — what he has called “The Pluralist Commonwealth.” Visit for more
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Strategies for financing the inclusive economy

This report from The Democracy Collaborative explores ways in which impact investors can help build an inclusive economy by accelerating the growth of broad-based ownership models — worker cooperatives, social enterprises, employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs), hybrid enterprises, and municipal enterprise.

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Conversations on Community Wealth Building

Drawing on a decade’s worth of conversations with key leaders in the growing field, from cooperative developers and community activists to impact investors and social enterprise innovators, this book of interviews from the Democracy Collaborative dives into the front lines of the movement to build community wealth.

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July 11, 2016

Co-ops Gain Ground in Communities of Color

Originally published in Rooflines: The Shelterforce blog on July 7, 2016. Since 2010, 60 percent of new cooperative worker-owners are people of color and more than two thirds of total worker-owners are women. These are some of the findings from Cooperative Growth Ecosystem: Inclusive Economic

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"Building Community Wealth" Forum featuring Sarah McKinley

"Building Community Wealth" Forum featuring Sarah McKinley

In partnership with Northland College’s Center for Rural Communities and WITC, a League Forum features Sarah McKinley, Manager of Community Development Programs at the Democracy Collaborative. She presents on her research and travels around the US visiting cities who noted for their innovative
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Taking employee ownership to scale: Learning + design session

On June 13 and 14, 2016 in Washington, DC, many of the nation’s leading experts in employee ownership, sustainable business and finance, community and economic development, and philanthropy came together in a Learning + Design session. The purpose of the session was to discuss how to achieve unprecedented scale of employee ownership by focusing on achieving an audacious goal: 50 million U.S. employee-owners by 2050. This report summarizes and expands upon the meeting.

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Rochester’s Market Driven Community Cooperatives Corporation: A feasibility analysis and implementation plan

The City of Rochester’s Office of Innovation has been coordinating a project to develop worker-owned cooperative businesses as part of a comprehensive wealth building strategy for Rochester, New York. The Democracy Collaborative completed this study in February 2016, which documented the incredible potential for the project, a high degree of community support including local Anchor Institution buy-in, as well as several potential business niches for future worker-owned businesses.

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Evergreen Cooperatives program to help worker-owners purchase homes in their community highlighted by PBS & CNBC's Nightly Business Report

The Nightly Business Report visits a company that’s turning its employees into home owners. For more information on the home-buying program at the Evergreen Cooperatives, see this article from Yes! Magazine.
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February 5, 2016

Municipal leaders share visions for cities that build community wealth

How can cities redeploy their economic development resources to focus on building a more inclusive economy grounded in broad, local ownership? How can policymakers get strategies like worker cooperative development the support and resources needed to reach truly meaningful scale? How can

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September 23, 2015

From New York to Oakland, CA, city governments support worker coops

This blog post highlights groundbreaking municipal involvement in worker cooperative development.

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How Economic Development Can Build 'Community Wealth'

Journalist Anne Field unpacks The Democracy Collaborative’s new publication Educate and Empower: Tools for Building Community Wealth, highlighting the eleven case studies from the original report. “Too often, economic development efforts pit communities against each other or fail to help large

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How Communities Can Build Wealth by Knocking on Doors

In Next City, Oscar Perry Abello looks at how our new report Educate and Empower highlights key strategies for building stronger community wealth building initiatives. “’People know that there are door-knocking campaigns and community organizers do it all the time, but have they thought of this

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April 29, 2015
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Converting businesses to worker cooperatives—real world lessons learned

A recording of our April 28th, 2015 webinar on converting businesses to worker cooperatives, organized to highlight the lessons learned in Project Equity’s new report Business Conversions to Worker Cooperatives: Insights and Readiness Factors for Owners and Employees. Featuring: Rob Brown
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January 28, 2015
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Scaling Up the Cooperative Movement

In the years since the financial crisis and Great Recession of the late 2000s, growing numbers of people in the United States have come to the realization that the current economic and political system is profoundly dysfunctional. Public concern continues to grow over increasing disparities of wealth and income, deteriorating social and environmental outcomes, and the dangers of vesting power in large hierarchical organizations – whether private corporations or government agencies.

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Forget Venture Capitalists—This Scrappy Composting Co-Op Found Another Way to Get Startup Money

At age 60, when many of her friends are considering retirement, Josefina Luna is chair of the board of CERO Cooperative Inc. CERO is a five-member worker-owned cooperative on a mission to encourage composting and create jobs in the hard-up Boston neighborhoods of Roxbury, Dorchester, and East Boston

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Policies for Community Wealth Building: Leveraging State and Local Resources

This report showcases some key emerging best practices in state and local policy-making to support community wealth building — designed to support economic inclusion goals, create quality jobs with family-supporting wages, address generational poverty, stabilize communities and the environment, and address growing wealth inequality.

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Scaling Up the Cooperative Movement

How can we scale up the cooperative movement without losing our cooperative values? That is the question contributors seek to answer in this collection of essays. Contributors include Hilary Abell, Michael Johnson, Joe Guinan and Caitlin Quigley, along with contributing editors Thomas Hanna, Andrew McLeod and Len Krimerman.

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Hilary Abell talks with Laura Flanders about scaling worker cooperatives

Hilary Abell, author of the Democracy Collaborative report “Worker Cooperatives: Pathways to Scale”, talks with Grit TV’s Laura Flanders about the policies and best practices that can help grow the worker cooperative sector in the United States.
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July 24, 2014

Kentucky City Begins Operating New Municipally-Owned Gas Station

Earlier this month, the small city of Somerset, Kentucky drew national attention when it opened a municipally-owned and -operated fuel center in an effort to drive down gas prices for local residents. As a result of its proximity to Lake Cumberland, a popular tourist destination, the city of 11,000 residents has long struggled with high fuel prices—especially during the summer months between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

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July 17, 2014
Hilary Abell and Kali Akuno talk with The Real News about scaling worker cooperatives Screenshot

Hilary Abell and Kali Akuno talk with The Real News about scaling worker cooperatives

Hilary Abell, author of our new report Worker Cooperatives: Pathways to Scale, talks to the Real News Network about New York City’s $1.2 million investment in workplace democracy.
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July 10, 2014
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How Much Outside Help Do Worker Co-ops Need to Get to Scale?

Though they end up as owners and decision-makers, workers in low-income communities often don’t start off doing all the work of developing and growing a worker-owned cooperative themselves. This is even true for the Mondragón Cooperative Corporation, the world’s single largest worker cooperative network and a leading source of inspiration for efforts to build worker cooperatives to scale in the United States.

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July 8, 2014
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Press Release: New Democracy Collaborative Report Highlights Key Policies and Strategies To Grow The Worker Cooperative Sector

The new Democracy Collaborative report, Worker Cooperatives: Pathways to Scale, aims to help build the field of U.S. worker co-op development by providing a current view of the cooperative landscape and by analyzing factors that inhibit or promote cooperative development. The report is authored by

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July 1, 2014

Worker Cooperatives Address Low-Wage Work and the Feminization of Poverty

Seattle‘s minimum wage ordinance is one step toward lessening inequality and poverty compounded by low-wage work. But there are still many challenges ahead. Cooperative development is one tool in the community wealth building strategy toolbox that can help lift low-wage workers, and especially women, out of poverty.

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Worker-Owners Cheer Creation of $1.2 Million Co-op Development Fund in NYC

In These Times talks to Hilary Abell, author of the Democracy Collaborative report “Worker Cooperatives: Pathways to Scale,” about New York City’s move to invest $1.2 million in worker cooperatives.

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June 23, 2014

City governments building community wealth and cooperative local economies

The past few weeks have seen a flurry of impressive activity at the level of city government, all around policies designed to build community wealth and encourage the growth of cooperative local economies. It’s encouraging to see that the work of grassroots developers, local foundations, community activists, and field builders (like ourselves here at the Democracy Collaborative) is beginning to gain a foothold in the world of municipal policy.

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June 4, 2014

Seizing the Moment

Today, corporate profits are at an all-time high and employee wages are at their lowest ever as a percent of GDP. Worker cooperatives embody the hope that we can reverse the downward spiral in wage stagnation, wealth distribution, and concentration of ownership to build an economy that truly serves people and communities. But what will it really take to create a more cooperative economy?

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June 2, 2014

Building Community Wealth across the Pond

The broad appeal of the ‘Cleveland Model’ and of community wealth building in general is becoming evident in a growing number of communities around the country, and—increasingly—overseas as well.

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Worker Cooperatives: Pathways to Scale

This paper aims to help build the field of U.S. worker co-op development by providing a current view of the cooperative landscape and by analyzing factors that inhibit or promote cooperative development. Although informed by the cooperative giants in Europe, this analysis highlights lessons learned through the development and growth of worker co-ops in the U.S.

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May 30, 2014
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Worker Cooperatives: Origin Stories and Development Strategies

Worker cooperatives are an important part of the community wealth building toolbox, and our new report Worker Cooperatives, Pathways to Scale, authored by Hilary Abell, assesses the state of worker cooperative development in the United States and suggests key strategies and policies for scaling up its impact.

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May 27, 2014

Boulder Sets Sights on Climate Change and Xcel Energy with Formation of Municipal Utility

Since our last posting on Boulder’s municipalization efforts, the city has taken another big step forward and succeeded in creating its own power and light utility. Through the continued efforts of an informed, engaged, and environmentally conscious citizenry, Boulder is moving closer to its goal of significant emissions reductions through local control of its energy system.

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Democratic Wealth: Building a Citizens' Economy

Democracy Collaborative senior fellows Marjorie Kelly and Joe Guinan and senior researcher Thomas Hanna each contribute chapters to a new free e-book, Democratic Wealth: Building a Citizens’ Economy. The authors discuss economic institutions, alternative economic system designs, and forms of

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March 17, 2014
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Infographic: Community Land Trusts

Community land trusts are a key strategy for helping low-income communities build assets through home ownership while mitigating the destructive consequences of irrational, speculation-fueled housing markets. Our new infographic highlights the mechanism behind the community land trust.

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Economic Democracy

Democracy Collaborative Research Director Steve Dubb along with Executive Director Ted Howard and Research Associate Sarah McKinley contributed the chapter “Economic Democracy” to the two-volume encyclopedia, Achieving Sustainability, now available courtesy of Gale Publishing. They outline the history of the economic democracy movement, highlighting community wealth building strategies such as community development finance institutions and cooperatives.

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December 5, 2013

Converting Existing Businesses to Worker Cooperatives

Melissa Hoover is the Executive Director of the United States Federation of Worker Cooperatives (USFWC), the national membership organization for worker cooperatives, founded in 2004. She is also a founding director of the nonprofit Democracy at Work Institute, which provides technical assistance resources to worker cooperatives.

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December 2, 2013
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Boulder Residents Defeat Xcel Again

On November 5th, residents of Boulder, Colorado went to the polls to decide whether or not the city should continue on its path towards a locally controlled public utility devoted to expanding renewable energy and reducing carbon emissions. At issue was ballot question 310, an initiative backed by the existing corporate provider Xcel Energy that would have crippled the city’s municipalization efforts by placing severe debt and other restrictions on the process.

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November 6, 2013
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The Union Co-op Model

There’s a groundswell of activity among labor unions exploring worker cooperatives as a way to create and preserve jobs, and one of the most exciting efforts in this growing movement is the development of the “union co-op model.”

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What Then Can I Do?: Ten ways to democratize the economy

Democracy Collaborative co-founder Gar Alperovitz and community development associate Keane Bhatt provide 10 concrete action steps that individuals and groups can take to foster democratic economies and build community wealth. Using on-the-ground examples, they show how to engage credit unions, build employee-ownership structures, work with hospitals and universities to forge community partnerships and more.

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CW Interview: Kate Sofis

See below for an interview with Kate Sofis, founding Executive Director of SFMade, interviewed by Steve Dubb, Research Director of The Democracy Collaborative. Kate Sofis is Founding Executive Director of SFMade, a non-profit organization launched in 2010 to support the building of a local

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The Possibility of a Pluralist Commonwealth and a Community Sustaining Economy

This essay by Democracy Collaborative co-founder Gar Alperovitz and Research Director Steve Dubb opens the academic symposium journal issue on “Alternatives to Capitalism.”

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April 15, 2013

Ellen Macht on the Atlanta Wealth Building Initiative

Last week, The Democracy Collaborative’s Stephanie Geller had the opportunity to chat with Ellen Macht, President and CEO of the Atlanta Wealth Building Initiative, about an exciting new project launched by The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta to bring quality jobs, assets, and sustainable economic growth to Atlanta’s most marginalized neighborhoods.

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Free Market Mythologies and the Future of Public Ownership

“I’m a free market guy. But I’m not gonna let this economy crater in order to preserve the free market system” – George W. Bush, December 17, 2008 At the heart of the present debate on how to address the continuing political stalemate and economic decay in America are some fundamental misconceptions

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March 6, 2013
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Ted Howard on Building Community Wealth Through Cooperative Ownership

The Democracy Collaborative’s executive director Ted Howard was invited to talk about the community wealth building paradigm, cooperative ownership, and the Evergreen Cooperatives (of which he is the founding member of Board of Directors) at the Alleviating Poverty Through Entrepreneurship Summit in
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The New Alliance: Organizing for Economic Justice, Building a New Economy

This working paper by Gar Alperovitz and Steve Dubb examines how “new strategies of worker ownership within a community framework can function as the linchpin of an approach capable of uniting economic justice organizers, progressives, labor, and environmental activists.”

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C-W Interview: Rob Witherell

A March 2013 interview with Rob Witherell, representative with United Steelworkers (USW), by Steve Dubb, Research Director of The Democracy Collaborative. Rob Witherell works for the United Steelworkers union at its headquarters in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In addition to working on contract

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October 11, 2012

Owning Your Own Job Is A Beautiful Thing

The Democracy Collaborative’s Ted Howard was invited to give a presentation about the Evergreen Cooperatives to the Cleveland TEDxCLE conference. The topic: “Owning Your Own Job Is a Beautiful Thing.”
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October 5, 2012
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Shift Change: Putting Democracy to Work

This new documentary highlights the work of the Mondragon Cooperatives as well as companies across the United States, such as the Evergreen Cooperatives, which are owned and governed democratically by their employees. The film, which aired on PBS stations across the country in the summer of 2014
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Owning Our Future: The Emerging Ownership Revolution

To understand emerging ownership alternatives, Marjorie Kelly reports from a community-owned wind facility in Massachusetts, a lobster cooperative in Maine, a multibillion-dollar employee-owned department-store chain in London, a foundation-owned pharmaceutical in Denmark, and other places where a hopeful new economy is being built. Along the way, she finds the five essential patterns of ownership design that make these models work.

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"Worker-Owners of America, Unite": Will Cooperative Workplaces Democratize U.S. Economy?

As the Occupy Wall Street movement continues to protest record levels of wealth and income inequality, we turn to an author who says the U.S. economy might be becoming more democratic. Gar Alperovitz argues in an op-ed in today’s New York Times that we may be in the midst of a profound transition
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America Beyond Capitalism

How thousands of co-ops, worker-owned businesses, land trusts, and municipal enterprises are beginning to democratize the deep substructure of the American economy, with a new introduction by the author, Gar Alperovitz, and a new foreword by James Gustave Speth. More info and ordering at www

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Growing a Green Economy for All: From Green Jobs to Green Ownership

This report provides the first comprehensive survey of community wealth building institutions in the green economy. Featuring ten cases, the report identifies how policy and philanthropy can build on these examples to create “green jobs you can own.”

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January 11, 2010
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UN Declares 2012 International Year of Cooperatives

The United Nations General Assembly has declared 2012 as the International Year of Cooperatives, highlighting the contribution of cooperatives to economic development, in particular recognizing their impact on poverty reduction, employment generation and social integration. The United Nations uses the “International Year” designation to draw attention to major issues and encourage action.

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Keeping Wealth Local: Shared Ownership and Wealth Control For Rural Communities

Resources do not represent community wealth unless communities own and control them. This handbook looks at various kinds of shared ownership, including cooperatives, employee ownership, community land trusts, municipal ownership, local and tribal ownership, mission-controlled ownership, and

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