A Note from the New Executive Director, Ken Linge

I feel extremely honored and fortunate to have been chosen to lead NC3 in the years ahead, and I look forward to working with the amazing people who selflessly and tirelessly serve as board members, advisors, and partners. I also look forward to working with the allies around the country who share the NC3 vision of a more inclusive, equitable, and democratic economy.

Having grown up in Pittsburgh during the collapse of the American steel industry, I’m very aware of the fragility of regional economies overly dependent upon remote corporate governance and the fickle winds of the global marketplace. And having spent much of my adult life engaged in community building in rural New England, I’m also very aware of the challenges confronting small towns experiencing declines in community capital and local ownership while dollar stores and other extractive enterprises undermine local economics, culture, and public health.

Yet I see exciting opportunities ahead! Community capital innovators have been bringing community stakeholders together and engaging neighbors as partners in new ways. They’ve been developing opportunities for folks to take greater ownership of the institutions that shape their lives, and they’ve been establishing replicable examples. Collectively, what’s emerging is a grassroots groundswell that I believe has the potential to usher in a new era of shared and durable prosperity the likes of which we’ve never seen before.

There are of course some challenges ahead for the community capital movement. Though the excitement is palpable, and it’s growing. Inspired individuals and small groups of dedicated people in cities and towns across the country are innovating and inspiring one another, and awareness of the potential for a more inclusive and democratic economy is spreading. And I look forward to celebrating with you in the years ahead as we witness the tangible outcomes like the rise of cooperative grocery stores, locally owned businesses, and community loan funds as well as the less tangible (but no less important) outcomes like elevated pride, community cohesion, and growing senses of ownership, agency, and belonging.