How to finance our future

Lavinia Steinfort
Red Pepper

Wealth can be built from the ground up by restructuring the way that institutions and the people relate to one another. 

The anchor institution strategy, developed by the US-based Democracy Collaborative, creatively expands the potential of procurement through working with anchor institutions, such as hospitals and universities, to maximise their social contribution through spending, employing and investing locally. This strategy captures, circulates and builds community wealth. In the US City of Cleveland, it has resulted in the successful Evergreen Cooperative network and the strategy was also picked up by Preston in the UK.

Grit City Greens? Lincoln Park project could spark economic boost

Dan Voelpel
South Sound Business

Tacoma is looking to model a community wealth and development program after the greenhouse built in Cleveland through Green City Growers. 

“Plain and simple, it works,” Ted Howard, a Clevelander, told Tacoma’s anchor institution representatives last September. Howard now serves as president and co-founder of The Democracy Collaborative, which provides research, support, and evangelism around this idea of institutions pooling their power for their communities.

A Boost for the Worker-Owned Economy

Frank Korten
YES! Magazine

As small-business owners retire, their employees may lose their jobs. New legislation, though, encourages that retiring small-business owners sell to their employees in the form of ESOPs or cooperatives. As Marjorie Kelly, Executive Vice-President and Senior Fellow at the Democracy Collaborative points out, many business owners would prefer to ensure that their employees remain secure. 

Miss. project builds on cultural strengths to develop economy

Gabe Schwartzman
The Daily Yonder

The Delta Creative Business Challenge granted a local business owner/artist a cash prize with which he can further his business. The contest aimed to begin building community wealth, which builds ownership at the local level to allow individuals to control their own future. 

The Green New Deal Must Put Utilities Under Public Control

Jackson Koeppel, Johanna Bozuwa and Liz Veazey
In These Times

The Green New Deal presents the opportunity to reclaim public ownership of the energy sector in a way that would not only be more cost efficient and equitable but would also protect the environment by incentivizing people over profit. 

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal Should Nationalize Utilities

Caroline Haskins
Vice Media

The Green New Deal bill stands against a daunting task: to produce net zero emissions by 2050. Johanna Bozuwa explains how privately-owned utilities are incentivized only for profit and not to care for the environment. 

“So being pushed towards taking climate change seriously and shifting towards renewables… those are all things that are contrary to the investor-owned utility model that makes money specifically off of what they call capital infrastructure and guaranteed rate of return.”

New Haven wants to buy $900K building for ‘business development’

Mary O'Leary
News Times

New Haven is following the lead of the Evergreen Cooperative under the Cleveland Model. It hopes to secure finding to buy a building with the intention to spark local economy. 

New Cleveland Fund Will Acquire Businesses and Sell Them Back to Workers

Zoe Sullivan
Next City

The Fund for Employee Ownership, funded by the Democracy Collaborative, is jumpstarting employee ownership for employees of the Evergreen Cooperative. 

Typically it can take many months, even a year or more, to train employees before they’re prepared to purchase a business from its existing owner. The Fund offers to buy-out owners when they’re ready to sell or retire, and then get to the hard work of converting to employee ownership.

“We’re excited about the opportunity to accelerate that process of developing more employee-owners,” Rose says.


One Of America’s Poorest Cities Has A Radical Plan To Remake Itself

Jordan Heller

The Evergreen Cooperative in Cleveland, OH is featured as an example of the benefits of employee ownership. The Democracy Collaborative's Jessica Bonanno Rose, also a strategy advisor for Evergreen Cooperative, discusses what the goals of the Cooperative are. 

The Public Ownership Solution

Thomas M. Hanna

The US has a surprisingly large amount of public ownership. But in order for it to truly serve the social good, it must be expanded — and democratized.

Health Anchor Institutions Investing in Community Land and Housing

Bich Ha Pham and Jarrid Green
Build Healthy Places Network

Many anchor institutions are also major landowners in their communities, and many are already engaged in housing programs such as employer-assisted housing. Anchor institutions can and should employ CLTs to maximize the impact of their long-term investments in housing for their workforce, and utilize and support CLTs to help build more inclusive communities around their institutions more generally. 

Big Tech’s Affordable Housing Push Doesn’t Let Them off the Hook

Gregory Scruggs
Next City

In the face of Microsoft's announcement of a large allocation for loans to help middle- and low-income families meet the costs of housing. People working in affordable housing across the country, including John Duda, have called attention to the fact that this is not a long-term solution. 

Is Nationalization an Answer to Climate Change?

Kate Aronoff
The Intercept

In a discussion of the UK's considerations to nationalize or renationalize many services, a report by Carla Santos Skandier, Research Associate for the Next Systems Project with the Democracy Collaborative, is featured explaining the path that nationalizing fossil fuels might take in the U.S. The deprivatization of the fossil fuels industry is especially important as it would have large effects on climate and environment policy, as well. 

The Woman Aiming to Get 50 Million Americans Into the Worker-Owner Economy

Fran Korten
YES! Magazine

Marjorie Kelly is interviewed about the Fifty by Fifty Network, with the goal of reaching 50 million employee-owners by 2050. The aim of this Network is to expand democracy into the workplace in a way that will transform the economy. 

The NHS as an anchor – taking forward the long term plan

Sarah Reed and Dominique Allwood
Health Service Journal

The Democracy Collaborative is working with the Health Foundation and the Center for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) to research the role that the National Health Service (NHS) may play as an anchor institution in local communities.  

The Typical Workplace Is a Dictatorship. But It Doesn't Have To Be.

In These Times Editors
In These Times

A discussion on ideas for bringing democracy to the workplace commends the Democracy Collaborative's work in promoting comprehensive economic change. 

To make companies moral, make the employees the owners

Marjorie Kelly
Fast Company

Having stockholders can offer confusing incentives for business owners with a mission–but not if those stockholders are employees who believe in the mission, too.