How do low-income communities learn to advance economically and build wealth? Low-income communities and communities of color, in challenging structural economic and social inequality, have historically grappled with tensions inherent to development. Who participates in, directs, and ultimately owns the economic-development process? In creating and sustaining new, inclusive economic institutions, how do community members cultivate and pass on skills, commitment and knowledge—especially among those who have long faced barriers to education and employment? And how should communities strike an appropriate balance between utilizing local knowledge and accessing outside expertise? This report draws on case studies of 11 different community economic development initiatives from across the United States to highlight a diverse set of powerful answers to these critical questions.
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 that have failed to bring broad and evenly distributed prosperity to America's cities are clearly needed. The Democracy Collaborative's new report, Cities Building Community Wealth, 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.
How can ordinary community members begin catalyzing a local conversation around building a stronger, more equitable local economy? How can you leverage volunteer power, public resources, and in-kind sponsorships to convene a community wealth building summit? In this new whitepaper from the Democracy Collaborative's Community Wealth Innovators Series, Justine Porter maps out how she and her grassroots team pulled this kind of powerful event together in Poughkeepsie, New York—and highlights the lessons learned so that you can benefit from their experience in planning your own community wealth building summit in your community.
What will an anti-imperialist, economy look like? What will it take to decolonize economic structures in pursuit of liberation? After introducing frameworks for building a movement for sustainable business, community and worker ownership, workplace democracy, and thriving family businesses, we go local. We hear lessons from Boston, where grassroots organizations, small businesses and investors are working together to model an alternative to the capitalist economy at a local level. Participants learn from leaders of the Boston Ujima Project about their efforts to fight poverty and displacement through the formation of a community capital fund, a Good Business Certification, and an alternative local currency. Participants learn about Boston's unique new economy project and engage in the opportunities and limits of this community development strategy.
View the recordings of these online discussions, organized by Local Futures, which address key issues in the debate around economic globalization and localization - from food and energy to education, trade, and the role of activists. Guests include Bill McKibben, Charles Eisenstein, Richard Heinberg, Manish Jain, Michael Shuman, and more.
Which kinds of renewable energy production really build community power? Rather than prescribe a single vision of what "energy democracy" might mean, this resource lets you explore and remix the basic elements of an inclusive and sustainable energy system, grounded in the agency of communities to shape their own ecological and economic futures.
This paper, released in the wake of the 2015 Paris climate talks, argues that globalization, the deregulation of trade and finance through free trade treaties, is the driving force behind climate change. As a result, the climate problem can only be tackled effectively if governments stop subsidizing globalization, and pursue localization instead.
This toolkit is a do-it-yourself tool for those who want to kick-start effective global-to-local action in their community or within an existing group. The toolkit uses the award-winning documentary film The Economics of Happiness as a springboard to discuss the broad impacts of the global economy and localization as a strategy for systemic change.
This shortened version of the award-winning documentary spells out the social, spiritual, and ecological costs of today's global economy. Importantly, the film also highlights the many benefits of a shift towards the local and showcases some of the steps people are already taking worldwide.
Planet Local is Local Futures' project to highlight and catalog the diverse examples of localization springing up all over the planet. Our examples listed range from local business and finance to local food, health, community rights, place-based education, energy, eco-communities, and more.