Vice President, Theory, Research and Policy & Executive Director, Next System Project
The Case for Community Wealth Building in Ireland
[Cleveland] boasted very large quasi-public institutions such as the Cleveland Clinic, Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals – known as anchor institutions because they are rooted in place and aren’t likely to up and leave. Together these three institutions had a combined spending power of around $3 billion dollars per year – very little of which was going to the local community.
The Democracy Collaborative worked with the anchors, the city, and the Cleveland Foundation to pursue a strategy to localise their procurement spending in support of a network of purposely-created green worker-owned businesses – the Evergreen Cooperatives – tied together by a community corporation.
These include an industrial scale ecologically advanced laundry, a large urban greenhouse, and a renewable energy company. A fund has recently been added to pursue employee ownership conversions of existing businesses.