Marjorie Kelly is Distinguished Senior Fellow at The Democracy Collaborative (TDC), a non-profit research organization founded in 2000, and co-author of The Making of a Democratic Economy as well as author of Owning Our Future and The Divine Right of Capital. TDC is a research and development lab for a democratic economy. Kelly is cofounder of Fifty by Fifty, an initiative to catalyze 50 million employee owners by 2050, for which she has led research on next generation enterprise design. For her research on the role of capital in taking employee ownership to scale, she was named the Robert J. Beyster Research Fellow by Rutgers University. Her other work at TDC has included developing the model of the Local Economy Preservation Fund, educating development finance leaders [pdf] on employee ownership finance, and working with community foundations on place-based impact investing.
Previously Kelly was a Fellow at the Tellus Institute, a 40-year old nonprofit research organization based in Boston, where she co-founded Corporation 20/20, a multi-stakeholder initiative to envision and advocate enterprise and financial designs that integrate social, environmental, and financial aims. She has advised private businesses on ownership and capital design for social mission. She served as a member of the resource team of the Ford Foundation project WealthWorks, working for wealth creation in rural communities.
Kelly’s earlier books include Owning Our Future: The Emerging Ownership Revolution(2012) and The Divine Right of Capital, which was named one Library Journal’s 10 Best Business Books of 2001.
She was co-founder and, for 20 years, president of Business Ethics magazine, known for its annual ranking of the 100 Best Corporate Citizens and Social Investing Awards. Among the advisory boards she has served on are Boston Public Bank Working Group, the Center for Corporate Governance and Accountability at George Washington University Law School, the Strategic Corporate Initiative, CUNY School of Law’s Community Economic Development Clinic, Donella Meadows Institute, and Emerging ChangeMakers Network.
Kelly’s writings and op-eds have appeared in many publications, including Fast Company, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Harvard Business Review, New England Law Review, Chief Executive, Boston Globe, Yes! Magazine and San Francisco Chronicle. She holds a bachelor’s in English, cum laude, and a master’s in journalism from the University of Missouri, where she received the Penney-Missouri Award for most promising young magazine journalist.
- Inducted into the honorary portrait gallery of “Americans Who Tell the Truth.”
- Named by Fast Company as one of “15 people at the forefront of reinventing our economic system.” Oct. 26, 2019.
- Divine Right of Capital named “One of 10 Best Business Books of 2001” by Library Journal.
- Owning Our Future winner of Silver Nautilus Award.
“To make the economy more fair, we need to make it more democratic.” Fast Company, Oct. 29, 2019. Profile of Marjorie Kelly and her work with the Democracy Collaborative to foster a more democratic economy—starting with employee ownership.
“Marjorie Kelly: Saving Capitalism from Itself,” by Ken Miller. The Nation, April 2012. A decade ago, the editor of Business Ethics magazine published a blueprint for a new, more humane economy. There has never been a better time to put her visionary plan into action.