People are really getting it that the economic system is rigged against them. This feeling can engender a sense of helplessness and leaves us vulnerable to demagoguery and scape-goating of the wrong culprits. Frankly, I can’t wait until we find an economy that works for all of us. Can a long-time political democracy find a way to support economic democracy?
Our guest, Marjorie Kelly of the Democracy Collaborative, brings us a wealth of examples of ordinary people already bringing democratic principles to different parts of our economy. They’re changing business ownership models, as well as reforming economic development, banking, purchasing, investing, and more, to serve democratic goals and values like: prioritizing the common good; improving the prosperity of all the people, without regard to race, gender, national origin, or wealth; building local communities, while making the economy responsive to the equilibrium of global systems. For example: balancing human consumption with the regenerative capacity of the earth.
Even though all those changing how they do business may not realize it, there’s enough innovation going on to call it an emerging movement for economic democracy. It’s a movement that doesn’t know it’s a movement. Listen for ideas that can be duplicated where you live.
Marjorie Kelly is the Senior Fellow and Executive Vice President of The Democracy Collaborative (TDC) a research and development lab for a democratic economy. And she is the coauthor of The Making of a Democratic Economy: How to Build Prosperity for the Many, Not the Few with a forward by Naomi Klein. Just out from Berrett-Koehler Publishers. She is also the author of The Divine Right of Capital, which changed my view of the world, and Owning our Future, which was the winner of the Silver Nautilus Award. Kelly was previously a Fellow at Tellus Institute, and cofounder/President of Business Ethics magazine. For five years she was a lead consultant on the Ford Foundation’s WealthWorks initiative.