© Headshots Photography 2011, Joanne Smith Marjorie Kelly is the Senior Fellow and Executive Vice President of The Democracy Collaborative (TDC) a non-profit research organization founded in 2000, and co-author of The Making of a Democratic Economy (July 2019, Berrett-Koehler Publishers). TDC is a research and development lab for a democratic economy. Kelly is cofounder of Fifty by Fifty, a network 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 working with community foundations on place-based impact investing, and leading The Learning/Action Lab for Community Wealth Building, a five-year  project working with Native American organizations to build wealth in Indigenous communities.

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 is author of Owning Our Future: The Emerging Ownership Revolution (2012). Her first book, The Divine Right of Capitalwas 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. Advisory boards have included 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, Emerging ChangeMakers Network, and other projects.

Kelly’s writings and op-eds have appeared in many publications, including Fast Company, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Harvard Business ReviewNew England Law Review, Chief ExecutiveBoston GlobeYes! 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.


Upcoming events

Money Talk - Financial Literacy Conference

October 15, 2016, Roxbury Crossing, MA

Marjorie Kelly joins John Barros (Director of Economic Development for Boston), Melvin Miller (Publisher Bay State Banner), and other experts to discuss building community wealth. Specifically, the panel will focus on concrete strategies for Black families to build wealth in Massachusetts.

Vermont Employee Ownership 2017 Conference

June 2, 2017, Burlington, VT

Marjorie Kelly will keynote the annual conference held by the Vermont Employee Ownership Center. Check back soon for more details.

More Events ...

"Kelly is the foremost authority on ownership design."

— David Korten
BALLE Conference, 2012

“Kelly has a storytelling gift.”

— Frances Moore Lappé
author of Diet for a Small Planet