Marjorie Kelly

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= author; researcher; consultant; coined the pair of terms "generative" and "extractive"

URL = (bio on her website)


Marjorie Kelly is the Senior Fellow and Executive Vice President of The Democracy Collaborative, where she heads up a variety of consulting and research projects and serves as a member of the senior management team.

Kelly is lead author of the new report, A New Anchor Mission for a New Century: Community foundations deploying all resources to build community wealth, which profiles an “Innovative 30” community foundations pursuing impact investing and economic development strategies. Kelly is also a consultant with the current “Community Foundation Circle,” a peer learning project for 14 foundations interested in adopting impact investing strategies.

Kelly is Project Director of The Learning/Action Lab for Community Wealth Building, a three-year co-learning project where The Democracy Collaborative with funding by the Northwest Area Foundation, is assisting five Native American organizations launch social enterprises and employee-owned companies. She is also an Associate Fellow at the Tellus Institute, a 35- year old nonprofit research organization based in Boston, serves as a director of Salem Alliance for the Environment in Salem, Mass., and is on the Advisory Boards of Boston Public Bank Working Group, the Donella Meadows Institute, and the Croatan Institute in Durham, NC.

Kelly is author of the book, Owning Our Future: The Emerging Ownership Revolution, released in 2012 by Berrett-Koehler. In it, she explores many experiments with new forms of ownership, which she calls generative: aimed at creating the conditions for life for many generations to come. Kelly reports from all over the world, visiting a community-owned wind facility in Massachusetts, a lobster cooperative in Maine, a multibillion-dollar employee-owned department-store chain in London, a foundation-owned pharmaceutical in Denmark, a farmer-owned dairy in Wisconsin, and other places where a hopeful new economy is being built. Along the way, she finds the five essential patterns of ownership design that make these models work.  And she explores how they may hold the key to the deep transformation that our civilization needs.

She specializes in ownership and financial design for the “mission-controlled enterprise,” a term she devised to define the companies – including many large corporations in both the U.S. and Europe – that maintain a primary focus on social mission, even when they might be publicly traded.

She was a core consultant for the resource team of the Ford Foundation project WealthWorks. As part of that project, she co-authored the reports Keeping Wealth Local: Shared Ownership and Wealth Control for Rural Communities, and Impact Investing for Rural Wealth Creation: Investing for Financial Returns and Community Impact. A

Kelly was co-founder and for 20 years president of Business Ethics magazine. She served as director or advisory board member for Willy Street Co-op, the Center for Corporate Governance and Accountability at George Washington University Law School, the Strategic Corporate Initiative, and the National Board of Advisors for CUNY School of Law’s Community Economic Development Clinic.

Her previous book, The Divine Right of Capital was named as one of Library Journal’s 10 Best Business Books of 2001.

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