Wealth for all: Building new local economies
Economic development mainstream is failing to ensure that economic gains and wealth are delivering socially or at scale. Poverty, wage stagnation, underinvestment, low productivity and widening inequalities of income and wealth are now entrenched features of many local economies. To address this failing, a new movement is growing, characterised by an intentional reorganisation of the economy. Local Wealth Building is a practical systems approach to economic development, which is built on local roots and plurality of ownership. In this there is a rejection of liberal economics. In local wealth building, social and environmental gains are not an afterthought, but rather built in as an intentional function of the economy. As such it is a process which ensures a more reliable set of outcomes including jobs and meaningful work, equity, inclusion, economic stability and environmental sustainability. Work by the Centre for Local Economic Strategies with a number of Local Authorities and local anchor organisations is at the vanguard of this movement. This work is bespoke to place and is contributing to a new democratisation of the economy which seeks to provide resilience where there is risk and local economic security where there is fragility.
This article was written for the journal Local Economy: The Journal of the Local Economy Policy Unit. To read the full article visit here.