From Ted Howard, co-founder of the Democracy Collaborative, and Marjorie Kelly, author of The Divine Right of Capital and Owning our Future, The Making of a Democratic Economy is a clarion call for a movement ready to get serious about transforming our economic system. Illuminating the principles of a democratic economy through the stories of on-the-ground community wealth builders and their unlikely accomplices in the halls of institutional power, this book is a must read for everyone concerned with how we win the fight for an economy that’s equitable, not extractive.
Praise for The Making of a Democratic Economy
Marjorie Kelly inspired the B Corp movement with The Divine Right of Capital; now she and Ted Howard have pointed the way toward what’s next. The Making of a Democratic Economy is a must-read. I am blown away by this book.—Jay Coen Gilbert, cofounder, B Lab, the nonprofit behind the B Corporation movement
This book is a timely and important reminder of the urgent need to democratize our economy. The experiments it discusses provide inspiration, and food for thought, for activists and policy-makers alike.—John McDonnell MP, UK Shadow Chancellor, Labour Party
In the face of our climate crisis, dangerous levels of social inequity and the loss of unimaginable biodiversity comes The Making of a Democratic Economy, a critically important book of hope, possibility and solutions. Thorough, thoughtful and full of essential insights, this timely guide is a must read for all concerned about a better future.—Jeffrey Hollender, Co-Founder of Seventh Generation and the American Sustainable Business Council
We call The Laura Flanders Show the place where “the people who say it can’t be done take a backseat to the people who are doing it. ” Howard and Kelly bring us dispatches from places like that all across the US, where people are democratizing the economy and shifting power. This important survey, from two who have been instrumental to much of this work, paints a picture, not simply of a mosaic of experiments but of a newly emerging system that lies within our reach. Can we change our culture to cherish people over capital? It won’t be easy, but it can be done. We need deep long-term thinking and immediate action steps. Lucky for us, this deeply considered book offers both.—Laura Flanders, The Laura Flanders Show
This book offers a practical path of radical hope for system change. Models like those here are being copied across the world. Scores of the ideas here make clear sense, like having the Federal Reserve bail out the planet the same way it bailed out the big banks. if you’re looking for a mix of mind-expanding vision, with ideas and models that are working and ready to be tried in your town, this book is for you.—Kevin Jones, Cofounder Social Capital Markets and Transform Series
Marjorie Kelly and Ted Howard have given us the roadmap toward economic democracy. But they don’t just show the interstates and the major landmarks— they show the byways and small towns where real change comes from. In this moment when greater and greater numbers of people are realizing that the rules of capitalism must be rewritten, the stories in these pages, and the strategies that Kelly and Howard share, will guide our way forward.—Lenore Palladino, Senior Economist, The Roosevelt Institute
The call for an economy that works for all is heard in Washington and even on Wall Street—but how will the change take place? Marjorie and Ted offer a map. They share stories of a different kind of enterprise—one that puts the human interest at the heart of success. These community-based enterprises are not only hopeful, they’re replicable—they illuminate the design for an economy that honors our democratic ideals.—Judith Samuelson, Executive Director, Aspen Institute Business and Society Program
It’s not enough to imagine another world is possible, we need to feel and taste it. Kelly and Howard give us the concrete stories we need to truly believe in this new world.—Naomi Klein, author No Is Not Enough, This Changes Everything, and No Logo
An insightful, moving, energizing book, just what America needs now more than ever. Kelly and Howard enable us to see that indeed there is life—good life—beyond our brutal form of capitalism, and it is already emerging. Bravo!—Frances Moore Lappé, author Diet for a Small Planet, and Daring Democracy: Igniting Power, Meaning and Connection for the America We Want
“A democratic economy should be one with a lot of diversity, reflecting the needs and desires of the people who live there … we need to take on what Kelly and Howard call capital bias—the structures that keep alternatives starved for the resources they need to keep the lights on, while a firehose of financialized money continues fueling the parts of our economy that are creating the problems in the first place, raising rents, extracting wealth, and spewing ever more carbon into the air.”—Aditya Chakrabortty, senior economics correspondent, The Guardian, from the Afterword
Kelly and Howard offer the insight that our democratic principles and our economic vitality don’t need to be in constant contradiction. For the future health of our planet and its citizens, we need to democratize our market-driven economy by creating ownership structures that, by their very nature, lead to more sustainable, generative outcomes. This powerful book shines a light on the practical paths so many are searching for today.—Dan Wolf, Cape Air CEO and former Massachusetts State Senator
Marjorie Kelly and Ted Howard remind us that it’s not enough to fight against an unjust and unsustainable system—we also have to have a vision for the system we want instead, and a plan for building it. The stories they tell in The Making of a Democratic Economy lift up the hard and vital work of the people creating the institutions of the next economy.—Kat Taylor, CEO and Cofounder, Beneficial State Bank
As champions of worker and community ownership, Kelly and Howard remind us that economic democracy is essential to political democracy and a viable human future.—David Korten, author When Corporations Rule the World and Change the Story, Change the Future: A Living Economy for a Living Earth.
This is an important book. It builds on growing recognition that systemic transformation is needed, providing a roadmap to understanding that democracy is at the core of building flourishing economies needed for a flourishing future. We all need to deeply learn from the many examples and lessons of this book and work together to create whole systems change. The Making of a Democratic Economy provides an invaluable guide to how that can happen.—Sandra Waddock, Galligan Chair of Strategy, Boston College
Marjorie Kelly—a huge influence for me as an impact investor and activist—has given us another gem, on the critical need for democracy not just in our political system, but in our economy.—Morgan Simon, founding partner of Candide Group and author of Real Impact: The New Economics of Social Change
October 20th San Rafael, CA
“Beyond Capitalism and Socialism: Inventing the Regenerative Economy”
Ted Howard with Greg Watson, Kali Akuno and Winona LaDuke
October 22nd-25th San Francisco
Ted Howard and Marjorie Kelly with Oscar Perry Abello
More events TBA soon.
If you are interested in bringing Marjorie or Ted to your community to talk about The Making of a Democratic Economy, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
September 23rd Columbus, OH
NCRC’s Reinvest Ohio Summit
September 19th Newark, NJ
Ted Howard and special guests
6PM @ Newark Community Street Team
September 17th London, Ontario
with Ted Howard
September 11th Washington, DC
with Ted Howard and Marjorie Kelly
7PM at Busboys and Poets (14th and V)
RSVP on Facebook
August 19th Portland
with Marjorie Kelly
7:30 PM @ Powell’s on Hawthorne
RSVP on Facebook
August 14th Seattle
with Marjorie Kelly
7PM @ Elliott Bay Book Company
Co-sponsored by Yes! Magazine
RSVP on Facebook
July 25th Boston
with Marjorie Kelly and Chuck Collins
7PM @ Impact Hub Boston
RSVP for event and reception
July 23rd US Book Launch in New York City
with Ted Howard, Marjorie Kelly, and J. Phillip Thompson
7PM @ The Strand
Preordering a copy required to attend
July 10th UK Book Launch in London
with Ted Howard and John McDonnell, MP
6PM @ Royal Society of Arts
News and Updates
How to Make a Democratic Economy
In a plenary session at the annual Social Capital Markets conference, Marjorie Kelly and Ted Howard explore The Making of a Democratic Economy with Next City’s Oscar Perry Abello.
The Laura Flanders Show
How to Make a Democratic Economy
The U.S. economy, weak or strong, is the question at the heart of the election. But it doesn’t get to the reality which is that, whatever else it may be, the U.S. economy is not democratic or good for the planet. But it could be. Marjorie Kelly and Ted Howard of the Democracy Collaborative say how in their new book The Making of a Democratic Economy.
Ted Howard and Marjorie Kelly, Bioneers
The Making of a Democratic Economy: Community Wealth-Building for a Sustainable Future (Book Excerpt)
We haven’t fully confronted the fact that corporations believe they have a fiduciary duty to systematically suppress labor and labor income in order to increase profit for wealthy shareholders. But that confrontation is starting, with an eye toward building a more democratic economy.
Robert O. Zdenek, Shelterforce
August 5, 2019
Building Prosperity—A Review of ‘The Making of a Democratic Economy’
Emerging community wealth-building practices that are occurring throughout the U.S. and U.K. are creating a new vision that shows people living well within the sustainable boundaries of our planet.
Steve Ahlquist, Uprise RI
July 29, 2019
A conversation with economist Marjorie Kelly
Marjorie Kelly talks about The Making of a Democratic Economy at a book event in Boston with Chuck Collins, director of the Program on Inequality and the Common Good at the Institute for Policy Studies.
Eillie Anzilotti, Fast Company
July 25, 2019
7 principles for building a fairer economy
A new book details projects across the U.S. that signal a shift toward a fairer economy—and how communities can work together to implement them more widely.
July 24, 2019
Excerpt: How This Black Entrepreneur Went From Homelessness to Housing Others
With help from a business incubator, Tyrone Poole created a platform to help people on low incomes find housing.
Marjorie Kelly, Porchlight/ChangeThis
July 17, 2019
Redesigning Business for a Democratic Economy
“We find ourselves in a moment of breakdown—but also a moment of unprecedented opportunity. Even as widespread faith in the workings of our economy is falling apart, unsung innovations are quietly arising.”
Ted Howard, Prospect
July 13, 2019