- Lectures & Publications
Economics, What's Esthetics Got to Do With It?In her 1984 book Cities and the Wealth of Nations, the remarkable Jane Jacobs writes not about economics, but about economic life. She observes economies in motion, not in stasis, and argues that city regions are the heart of that economic life – pulsing, changing, and engaging in "exuberant episodes of import-replacing."...
Finding Focus Points for Transition
As proponents of a transition to a new economy we have identified the following focus points for our work:
The Local Economy movement is considered by many to be the engine of the new economy. Vibrant, energetic, and self-empowered, it is characterized by the vision and creativity of entrepreneurs...
Creative Enterprise in a New Economy: 34th Annual E. F. Schumacher Lectures
Judy Wicks was advised by friends to franchise her popular White Dog Café but she rejected the suggestion. The White Dog was shaped by its Philadelphia neighborhood, by Judy's hosting style and tastes, by the regional farmers who supplied the restaurant, by the staff drawn to work there, and by the culture of its customers. It was a business deeply embedded in place. She could not replicate the White Dog, but she could encourage other entrepreneurs to look to the people, streets,...
War and Peace, Climate Change & Citizen Responses
The pursuit of a new economics has broad implications. Our Earth is in crisis; our communities are in crisis. At the heart of these twin issues is an economic system that treats land, air, water, and minerals – our common inheritance – as commodities to be bought and sold on the market. An economic system that distributes the income from that inheritance to a relatively few "owners," whose wealth...
A growing number of young people know what must be done to cure our ailing global economy. They are not only protesting a failing system but are also building its replacement. New agrarians are being met by fellow new economists in urban neighborhoods, small towns, and remote villages. They are coming home—a Generation Local. You will find them in farm fields, small-batch manufacturing, local marketplaces, recycling ventures, renewable energy coops, farm-to-table...
Peter Barnes in Great Barrington July 27th
In his new book, With Liberty and Dividends for All: How to Save Our Middle Class When Jobs Don't Pay Enough, Peter Barnes continues the current discussion about wealth inequality. In his argument that the middle class will be unable to sustain their lifestyle on wages alone, he echoes the analysis of Thomas Piketty in Capital in the Twenty First Century, and more recently of Saskia Sassen in her book Expulsions: Brutality and...
Addressing Wealth Inequality - Piketty | Barnes | Paine
Thomas Piketty's book Capital in the 21st Century has placed a proverbial line in the sand for all those concerned with inequality of wealth distribution.
Piketty is an economic historian. In his book he documents the fact that owners of capital assets – including stocks, bonds, and real estate – have historically realized a financial return...
Wendell Berry on Culture and Agriculture
In his presentation at the 1974 Agriculture for a Small Planet Symposium in Spokane, Washington, Wendell Berry remarked:
"Few people, whose testimony would have mattered, have seen the connection between the modernization of agricultural techniques and disintegration of the culture and the communities of farming."
Team Building / Bookstores / New Agrarians / Crypto Currencies
A Revolution in Agriculture
Wes Jackson does not apologize for thinking long-term. He knows such visioning is a practical necessity for achieving a transition to an agriculture that restores and conserves the health of the soil while mitigating the effects of climate change. He is a plant geneticist, after all, trained to consider future generations. At The...
Speaking for Collective Change
What does a new economy built on principles of fairness and sustainability look like? How do we model it; where is it emerging; how do we collectively strategize to fully implement it? These are the pressing questions of our time.
The Schumacher Center's speakers are pioneers in the development of a new economy. Together they are responsible for the creation of...
Cultivating a Farmland Commons
A new generation of young, well-prepared, and sustainable farmers is on the rise, ready to establish themselves securely on the land. Inspired by the opportunity to do meaningful, healthy, and productive work by rebuilding regional food systems, these entrepreneurs form a powerful force for the future of ecologically informed agriculture.
By raising food locally for...
The Fine Art of Pamphleteering in 2014
It was October of 1981 when Kirkpatrick Sale, supported by E. F. Schumacher Society (now the Schumacher Center) Director David Ehrenfeld, recommended that we revive the fine art of “pamphleteering.” Wendell Berry and Wes Jackson had just delivered prophetic talks at the First Annual E. F. Schumacher Lectures at Mount Holyoke College.
In “A Call for a Revolution in Agriculture,” Wes argued for an agriculture based on perennial grains, leaving the fragile prairie...
Pete Seeger: Unreleased Concert Footage
In June of 2004, Pete Seeger attended the Schumacher Center's three day conference at Bard College "Local Currencies in the 21st Century," bringing with him a group of friends from his community in Beacon NY. He felt a local currency might be the answer to empowering Beacon’s regional economy.
Pete called the gathering of 350 people from 12 countries "the best conference I ever attended."
At the request of the event organizer, Chris Lindstrom...
A Parallel Grassroots Political Economy
At a seminar held in the Schumacher Center’s Berkshire Library this fall, Gar Alperovitz provocatively posed the question
"If you don't like Capitalism and you don't like Socialism, what do you want?"
The responses he received indicated both a confidence in solutions initiated by citizens working in their local economies and a distrust of purely political solutions. They also indicated that issues of appropriate scale need...
Necessity and Promise
Coming of Age
The Schumacher Center for a New Economics is recognized for its work modeling community-based systems for holding land, issuing currency, and engaging citizens in supporting their regional economies. That work is now growing, reflecting a "coming of age" for a new economics that considers what is just and equitable for all Earth's citizens while caring for our shared ecosystem. 2013 was a great year for the Schumacher Center, with exceptional lecture events, remarkable...
Van Jones, Judy Wicks, and Otto Scharmer
A perceptible alchemy linked speaker to speaker, speakers to participants, and participants to each other at Saturday's 33rd Annual E. F. Schumacher Lectures in New York City.
Otto Scharmer, Van Jones, and Judy Wicks outlined the emergence of new economic structures that embed social diversity, shared equity, and care for our fragile ecosystems. They described the collective consciousness leading that emergence.
Inspired and visionary,...
America Emerging: Culture and Economics
America's task among the nations is to shape a just, equitable, and ecologically responsible economy. The economic is our realm, our element. As Americans, we move in and through the economic confidently and flexibly.
Even when we have achieved financial stability we do not hesitate to recognize a new spirit, a new direction in the economic, and throw caution and convention aside to support it. Or, we sense when our economic decisions have gone awry and we...
Lindisfarne: Conversations on Culture, Economics, Society, and Technology
In 1972 William Irwin Thompson founded the Lindisfarne Association as an alternative way for the humanities to develop in a scientific and technical civilization. Lindisfarne became an association of scientists, artists, scholars, and contemplatives devoted to the study and realization of a new planetary culture.
Lindisfarne began its activities in Southampton, New York, in 1973, then moved to Manhattan in 1976,...