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  • Catalyzing a movement to build community wealth
February 7, 2020

Catalyzing a movement to build community wealth

Community wealth building (CWB) is a system-changing approach to community economic development that works to produce broadly shared economic prosperity, racial equity, and ecological sustainability through the reconfiguration of institutions and local economies on the basis of greater democratic ownership, participation, and control.

The traditional local economic development paradigm, based around using public resources to attract corporations designed to extract wealth and real estate capital designed to displace communities, has been fundamentally broken for some time—but for too long many local policymakers believed this broken game was the only one to play. 

A signature achievement of the Democracy Collaborative has been the effective introduction and amplification of the idea that a real alternative exists: community wealth building.

With multiple cities now institutionalizing this paradigm in dedicated offices, and many more incorporating the term and frame into their planning and work, we have created a new sense of radical possibility at the level of local economic development. 

Visit our comprehensive resource portal for community wealth builders:

Cities Building Community Wealth screenshot

Cities Building Community Wealth

In an era of persistent urban inequality and chronic unemployment disproportionately impacting historically marginalized communities and communities of color, new alternatives to the traditional economic development strategies are clearly needed. This report responds to this challenge by highlighting best practices in inclusive innovation from twenty cities across the country, and offering a unified vision of the underlying new paradigm of community focused economic development.

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Community Wealth Innovators

Working with leading practitioners in the field to document the inspiring new models and critical lessons learned in on-the-ground efforts to build more inclusive and equitable local economies. read more
A New Anchor Mission for a New Century screenshot

A New Anchor Mission for a New Century: Community foundations deploying all resources to build community wealth

This report offers an overview of how 30 representative community foundations, large and small, urban and rural, are working toward adopting this new anchor mission.

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Conversations on Community Wealth Building screenshot

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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HAN Anchoring Resilience: Aligning supply chains and impact purchasing for community health summit

The Healthcare Anchor Network (HAN) convened the “Anchoring Resilience: Aligning Supply Chains and Impact Purchasing for Community Health” summit to spark collaboration in the healthcare sector around onshoring and localizing production of PPE and other supplies, with an emphasis on equity, sustainability, and supply chain resilience.

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August 7, 2020
Next City Local Economy

How localities can save small businesses through local economy preservation funds

Dramatic interventions are necessary to preserve local businesses at risk of failure due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Local economy preservation funds can purchase and hold these enterprises and prepare them to flourish in the recovery.
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September 8, 2021
Revisiting community control of land and housing (Photo: Derek Liang/Unsplash)

Revisiting community control of land and housing in the wake of COVID-19

As our housing crisis worsens during the COVID-19 pandemic, we urgently need new approaches and institutions that center permanent affordability, community ownership and control, and the long-term goal of decommodification.

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October 5, 2020
Democratic by design

Democratic by Design: A new community wealth building vision for the British economy after COVID-19

Ee must work to ensure that the response to the COVID-19 crisis ushers in a new era of community wealth building as the basis of new local economic transformation plans to create the kinds of democratic, inclusive, and community-based economies we need.

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