Transnational Economic Democracy Mel King Community Fellows, 2016-2018

 The 2016-2018 Transnational Mel King Community Fellowship brings together diverse leaders, activists, and practitioners from CoLab’s networks across the Americas to explore innovative models and frameworks for advancing economic democracy and self-determination.

Increasingly, globalization and the interdependence of our national economies demand a transnational perspective in efforts to democratize ownership of the economy and build shared wealth. Rising trends of local experimentation with economic democracy – from efforts to build worker centers and cooperative networks to community banks and solidarity economies – create opportunities to learn, connect, and build across place.

The Fellows

The Transnational MKCF cohort brings together a strategic group of rising leaders nominated by CoLab partners for their work advancing economic democracy and self-determination in their communities. Fellows come from Colombia, Chile, Brazil, Panama, and various parts of the United States, including New York and the US South.

The Program

The 2016-2018 participate in convenings to learn about innovative models of economic democracy in the Americas, as well as to build relationships and transnational collaborations with each other. These include:

  • Medellín, Colombia (Fall 2016), where fellows built a foundation for the learning network and explored “social urbanism” interventions and innovation spaces across the city.

  • Fortaleza, Brazil (Spring 2017), where fellows visited Instituto Banco Palmas to learn about powerful social and finance initiatives focused on shared wealth creation and economic democracy.

  • Mississippi, United States (Fall 2017), where fellows will explore the intersections of Black struggle and shared wealth building in the US South.

  • New York City, United States (Spring 2018), where fellows visited the Bronx and Staten Island to learn about new and ongoing work to build local control and translational prototypes.

Emerging Outcomes

Through these collective learning spaces, Fellows and CoLab staff are developing a framework for economic democracy in the Americas to serve as a dynamic conceptual and practical resource for advancing thinking and practice in the field. Additionally, fellows are beginning to build transnational collaborations in areas between their organizations and institutions.