Executive Vice President
Building the Inclusive City
The Stanford Social Innovation Review features our new report, Cities Building Community Wealth, emphasizing that the innovative collaborative approaches to economic development highlighted by author Marjorie Kelly are truly seeing results.
Traditionally, municipal economic development was a play with two actors: private business and government. Cities, with few options besides trying to attract business by offering subsidies, had the weaker role. But with the advent in recent decades of community benefits agreements, living wage laws, and ordinances blocking big-box stores, a third actor has stepped up, changing the dynamics of the process. The community—led by nonprofits, foundations, and civic organizations (and including large “anchor” organizations rooted in place such as nonprofit hospitals and universities, which together account for about seven percent of GDP)—is increasingly bringing its economic power and potential to bear.