To envision a just and sustainable global economy; apply the concepts locally; then share the results for broad replication.
Founded in 1980 the Schumacher Center for a New Economics works to envision the elements of a just and sustainable global economy; undertakes to apply these elements in its home region of the Berkshires in western Massachusetts; and then develops the educational programs to share the results more broadly, thus encouraging replication.
We recognize that the environmental and equity crises we now face have their roots in the current economic system.
We believe that:
- a fair and sustainable economy is possible and that citizens working for the common interest can build systems to achieve it
- our natural commons are best held by the regional community
- money issue can be democratized
- ownership should be more diversified and that labor should have a part in the ownership structure
We favor the face-to-face relationships fostered in local economies. We deliberately focus on transformative systems and the principles that guide them.
Annual E. F. Schumacher Lectures — Established in 1981, the collected Schumacher Center Lectures capture some of the most visionary voices that speak to the urgent need to transform our economic, social, and cultural systems in ways that support both the planet and its citizens.
Schumacher Center Library — Housed in a 2,000 square foot building on the side of Jug End Mountain in the Berkshire region of Massachusetts, this research library includes the books and papers of E. F. Schumacher and other new economists as well as collections on worker ownership, community supported agriculture, local currencies, the commons, and appropriate technology. The Library’s catalog is searchable online.
Legacy – Honoring those who paved a path ahead of us including:
- E. F. Schumacher, economist and author of Small Is Beautiful: Economics As If People Mattered;
- Robert Swann, carpenter, founder of the community land trust movement, and founding President of the Schumacher Center for a New Economics;
- MANAS Journal, a publication of independent inquiry capturing voices of intelligent idealism; and
- Lindisfarne Association, whose collection of recordings of conversations about culture, society, technology, and economy offer a vision of a new planetary culture.
Community Land Trusts — Modeling new systems for holding and allocating our Natural Commons—earth, air, water, and fire (minerals and fossil fuels)—in a manner that is just and sustainable. Includes legal documents for Community Land Trusts that ensure permanently affordable access to land for workforce housing, farming, regional manufacturing, local businesses, and the arts.
Reinventing the Commons program describes a versatile social form that is reviving ancient forms of shared stewardship for resources and community, often with modern twists and the use of digital technologies.
Local Currency Program — BerkShares is the best-known contemporary example of a place-based currency. Includes detailed background material and legal documents for BerkShares and other currencies. Also includes information on “Deli Dollars” and “Berkshire Farm Preserve Notes,” predecessors to BerkShares.
Community Supported Industry is a term we use describe a multi-faceted development process characterized by consumers and producers working together as co-creators of their region’s economic future.
SHARE (Self-Help Association for a Regional Economy) was a micro-lending program that offered a simple way for citizens to support import-replacement businesses from 1981-1992 in the Southern Berkshire region. Includes documents for use in establishing a community-based small business loan collateralization program.
Events – The Schumacher Center’s lectures, conferences, and seminars on themes of a new economics.
New Economics Speakers — A compendium of speakers who are pioneers in the development of a new economy.
Curriculum for a New Economics — A new generation is choosing to return home to create jobs that support the landscape, the people, and the community of their region, but they lack many of the tools needed to build thriving, inclusive, and sustainable local economies.
Organizational Status – The Schumacher Center for a New Economics is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization incorporated in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It is heir to the Legacy programs of the E. F. Schumacher Society founded in 1980.
Tributes – Quotes from visitors, supporters, and researchers about the work of the Schumacher Center for New Economics and the Schumacher Center Library.
Opportunities – Job openings and internships.