The Community Economies Collective (CEC) was originally formed in the 1990s by Katherine Gibson, the late Julie Graham (aka J.K. Gibson-Graham), and a group of scholars committed to theorizing, representing, and enacting new visions of economy. Members of the CEC were mostly based in academic contexts in Australia, Europe, New Zealand and the US. Their action-research engagements were, however, spread across the globe.

A network of over 200 scholars, activists and artists are members of the Community Economies Research Network (CERN) with representation from Africa, Australasia, Europe, Latin America, and North America.

In 2019, the members of the Community Economies Collective agreed to establish the Community Economies Institute as a formal organization to support Community Economies research and practice

Members of the CEC launched the Diverse Economies and Livable Worlds book series in 2015 with the University of Minnesota Press.