Community Wealth Building is a growing movement. Originally surfacing in the United States, it has more recently taken hold in UK – Rochdale Stronger Together being a key example!
A key driver of this movement is the Democracy Collaborative, a US based research centre, founded in 2000. The centre is dedicated to the pursuit of democratic renewal, increased civic participation, and community revitalization. Its President (and a co-founder) is Ted Howard.
Ted is the architect of the Evergreen Co-operatives programme in Cleveland, Ohio, based in part on the Mondragon Co-operatives in the Basque Region of Spain and widely nicknamed “The Cleveland Model”. The programme since 2009 has been creating low carbon industry jobs in low-income neighbourhoods by using the spending power of local anchor institutions (hospitals, universities, etc.) to create local worker co-operative businesses.
The Democracy Collaborative set up the Community-Wealth.org online platform in 2005 which today is a widely used and highly reputable web-based resource for practitioners and policy makers working to build community wealth. For almost a decade, it has served as a central library for key research and reports from the field, cutting across traditional community development silos and offering a comprehensive guide to local wealth building strategies.
Rochdale Stronger Together is largely founded on the approach used by Cleveland’s Evergreen co-operative programme and the community wealth building principles championed by the Democracy Collaborative. Furthermore, since 2018 Rochdale Stronger Together has been receiving advice and support from the Democracy Collaborative’s Director of European Programmes, Sarah McKinley. Sarah has provided vital information about community wealth building techniques, lessons learnt in the US as well as much appreciated encouragement.
It is a real honour therefore for Rochdale Stronger Together in Ted Howard’s February Community Wealth Monthly Newsletter, which is read internationally, to have been recognised as an “emerging collaborative…in the historic birthplace of the co-operative movement” and be given an international shout out!
Community Wealth Building relies on community involvement – therefore sharing the message with as many people as possible, as widely as possible is really important! So a MASSIVE THANK YOU to Ted and the Democracy Collaborative team in America. And thank you for all the great work you have been doing since 2000.
We look forward to collaborating with you in the years to come!