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New from The Democracy Collaborative's Ted Howard and Marjorie Kelly: The Making of A Democratic Economy

New Book Proposes Bold Solutions To Deep, Systemic Economic Inequality
Society’s Most Difficult Problems are Linked, Say Authors—and Answers Begin in Community
WASHINGTON, DC – (July 23, 2019) – In virtually every corner of society, our economic system is failing us, assert Marjorie Kelly and Ted Howard, authors of The Making of a Democratic Economy (Barrett-Koehler Publishers, July 2019). Yet from Cleveland and New York City to Portland, Oregon and South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, a new vision for a better economic future is being forged: grassroots solutions that foretell an imminent, potentially historic change in the way we create and distribute wealth.
The innovations in The Making of a Democratic Economy demonstrate that an economic system can be equitable, instead of extractive. Howard and Kelly combine real-world examples with powerful intellectual arguments to establish that an economy can, by its fundamental design, meet the essential needs of individuals and families at every level of society, while balancing human consumption with the regenerative capacity of the planet.
After more than a century, our capitalist system has led to a massive concentration of wealth among a tiny, powerful elite. This dangerous result has come at the expense of the middle class and the marginalized, as well as many of our earth’s most precious natural resources, say Kelly, a senior fellow at Washington think tank The Democracy Collaborative, and Howard, the organization’s president and co-founder. Answers won’t be found in corporate capitalism OR in state socialism; instead, an entirely new system is called for—a democratic economy founded on the principles of inclusion, community, sustainability, and mutual benefit.
The Making of a Democratic Economy describes a number of practical and repeatable examples of this better economic future that are currently thriving in the United States and the United Kingdom. Successes include:

  • Cleveland’s Evergreen Cooperatives, a pathbreaking project connecting the purchasing power of local hospitals and universities to worker-owned businesses built to empower deeply disinvested communities.
  • Cooperative Home Care Associates, the nation’s largest worker cooperative, helping its immigrant women owners find work with dignity in a sector rife with exploitation and precarity.
  • Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation’s Regenerative Community, a Native-led effort to create affordable housing while catalyzing an economic and cultural renaissance in the Pine Ridge reservation, one of the poorest places in America.
  • Preston, Lancashire, U.K., where an against-the-odds attempt to rethink the local economy from the ground up has turned the former suicide capital of England into a celebrated national model for equitable, democratic urban revitalization.

This vitally important book explores the underlying shared dynamics and common beliefs that allow models like these to move from exception to norm. It makes the case that governments, philanthropists, and impact investors, as well as activists and entrepreneurs, must move quickly to begin our economic transformation before the next crisis hits.
The Making of a Democratic Economy features a Foreword by well-known activist, author and filmmaker Naomi Klein, and an Afterword by Aditya Chakraborty, columnist and senior economics commentator at The Guardian.
NOTE: To request a review copy of The Making of a Democratic Economy or to arrange an interview with the authors, please contact Stephanie Jimenez, Jill Schmidt PR / (224) 661-3373 /
Book Website:
Marjorie Kelly is the executive vice president and senior fellow at The Democracy Collaborative. She co-founded Business Ethics Magazine, and her work has been featured in Harvard Business Review, New England Law Review, Chief Executive, Stanford Social Innovation Review, and San Francisco Chronicle. She is the author of The Divine Right of Capital and Owning Our Future.
Ted Howard is the cofounder and president of The Democracy Collaborative (, a research and development lab for the democratic economy. It works for a new economic system where shared ownership and control creates more equitable and inclusive outcomes, fosters ecological sustainability, and promotes flourishing democratic and community life.
John Duda, Director of Communications                  
The Democracy Collaborative                                                  
(202) 559-1473, x102                                                
(847) 946-0162 (cell)

Stephanie Jimenez
Jill Schmidt Public Relations
(224) 661-3373 (office)
The Making of a Democratic Economy: Building Prosperity for the Many, Not Just the Few
By Marjorie Kelly and Ted Howard
Foreword by Naomi Klein
Afterword by Aditya Chakrabortty
Barrett-Koehler Publishers
Hardcover (ISBN 9781523099924)
PDF eBook (ISBN 9781523099931)
ePub (ISBN 9781523099948)
Audio Book (ISBN 97815230999)
On Sale: July 23, 2019

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