Center for Local Economies

Today, powerful economic forces operating nationally and globally have left regions and localities with little control over their economic future. Many communities have seen their “business as usual” strategies result in increasing and persistent economic instability, social disparities, and environmental degradation. They are feeling the urgency to find answers elsewhere, to change their approach to economic development. But change to what, by whom, and how? Interest in a more decentralized and democratized economy, a locally controlled economy, is on the rise. Although every locality (town, city, county, or region) needs to figure out its own solutions, there are lessons learned, new models and theories that can inform local efforts.

The Center for Local Economies (CLE) is dedicated to the study, refinement, and implementation of strategies that bolster the prosperity of local economies. A growing local economy movement (LE) in this country recognizes that communities can enhance individual and collective wealth by developing local capital, local business, and local labor.  Through research, education, and collaboration, the CLE strives to increase the success of local economy initiatives and share its experiences with all interested communities.

Shift towards New Ownership Models

Shift Change (trailer below) is a new documentary that highlights worker-owned enterprises in North America and in Mondragon, Spain. These cooperatives help localize business ownership, democratize the economy, and build community.