"We have before us an incredible opportunity to transform our economy. The disastrous turn our fiscal health took in 2008 has forced us to really think about the way our country creates and distributes wealth. One positive outcome of the recession is a zeal and enthusiasm around the idea of community wealth building, a sustainable approach to building and developing successful, sustainable and vibrant local economies.
Community wealth building is premised on the idea of broadly-shared ownership that is locally-rooted and directed toward the common good. Ownership can take place in many different forms, chief among them:
- Employee stock ownership plan (ESOPs) companies;
- Municipal enterprises;
- Non-profit social enterprises;
- Community development corporations; and
- Community development financial institutions.
The Democracy Collaborative at the University of Maryland, is pioneering the vision and strategy to address the chronic problems our economy faces, from high unemployment, to industrial cities that have been left to decay, to dangerously high levels of wealth inequality and the destruction of our environment. Led by Gar Alperovitz, the Democracy Collaborative is creating new concepts for how to solve these seemingly intractable problems. Much of the excellent work done by the Collaborative in now available in “Growing a Green Economy for All,” by Deborah B. Warren and Steve Dubb"