Common Wealth

Common Wealth designs ownership models for a democratic and sustainable economy.

Our goal is simple but ambitious: the steady, irreversible replacement of today’s unequal and extractive economy with institutions that share the wealth we create in common, and where freedom, solidarity, and dignity are a universal inheritance.

We cannot get there by tinkering. We have little more than a decade to rapidly and justly transform our economy in the face of climate breakdown. Stark inequalities of power and reward scar our society. Too few have a stake and say in the wealth we create in common. In the face of these challenges, radical, hopeful ambition is the safest way forward.

Ownership matters, vitally, to an ambitious and transformative agenda. How our economy is owned and by whom fundamentally shapes how it operates and in whose interest. Ownership and the distribution of property shapes flows of income, stocks of wealth, and concentrations of power and control in society.

Concentrated and extractive forms of ownership underpin many of the challenges confronting us, driving inequality, disempowering communities, and causing environmental damage. Designing an alternative future demands reimagining and democratising ownership: the radical broadening of ownership, and the rewiring of institutions to give everyone a stake and a say in decision-making.

Common Wealth exists to design the ownership institutions for the new economy. Radical but pluralistic, we are committed to ownership models that are democratic by design, inclusive in action, and social in purpose. There is no single ownership model that can achieve the deep institutional turn we need. Different models will work best at different scales, from place-based approaches to strategies to democratise capital at scale. Above all, we believe the times require restless experimentalism and deep institutional innovation if we are to overcome the challenges confronting us and make the most of our extraordinary collective strengths.

This may appear radical. Yet we know change is possible. Twice before we have transformed our economy at the speed and scale now required, if not the direction. Public ownership underpinned the post-war consensus; privatisation was vital to its undoing. It is time we owned our future again.