The Democracy Collaborative describes community wealth building as a growing economic development movement that strengthens our communities through broader democratic ownership and community control of business and jobs. Strategies focus on building local talents, capacities, and institutions to strengthen and create locally-owned, family, and community-owned businesses.
At CIE we think the term community wealth means that wealth is more than just dollars. We believe that a community needs relationships, health, food, housing, art, and a sense of purpose to thrive - and that while money is a needed resource to sustain a healthy community, it is not the driving force.
Annie Leonard and the Story of Stuff Project use the acronym G-O-A-L to describe community wealth.
G- Gives people more power.
O- Opens peoples eyes to the meaning of happiness. It teaches that once basic needs are met, happiness doesn't come from buying more stuff. Rather, it comes from our communities, our health, and a sense of purpose.
A- Accounts for all the costs it creates, including the toll it has on people and the planet.
L - Lessens the enormous wealth gap between those who cannot meet basic needs and those who consume way more than their fair share.
Money should support health, community, and purpose, but it shouldn't steal the show. We want to see a community where people have the voice and power to shape their community. Our tool is business, but the goal is much more than money.