The Schumacher Center's online collection of lectures and publications represent some of the foremost voices on a new economics. Included are the Annual E. F. Schumacher Lectures, launched in 1981 with Wendell Berry and Wes Jackson as speakers and continuing annually since then. Learn more...

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Visioning a New Economics
A Sense of Place
Agriculture and Food
Appropriate Technology
Citizen Action
Community Empowerment
Decentralism
Democratizing Money
E. F. Schumacher
Earth Stewardship and Environmental Justice
Ecological Restoration
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Green Building and Design
Human Scale
Indigenous Peoples
Land Access and Community Land Trusts
Local Economics
Ownership and Worker Ownership
Peace and Nonviolent Action
Production and Consumption
Revitalizing Democracy
Robert Swann
Spirituality
The Commons
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    The Commons, Visioning a New Economics
    The Insurgent Power of the Commons in the War...
    anemptytextlline
    In his talk at the Prairie Institute, Bollier discusses how the commons paradigm can help us develop a new social and cultural vision, and new strategies for practical change. Commoning is the social process by which people come together, figure out the terms of their peer governance, learn how to devise fair systems, how to deal with rule-breakers, how build a cohesive culture, and so forth. Bollier believes that we need to start imagining different ways of being, doing, and knowing – and we need to invent new institutional structures to support such a paradigm shift.
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    Community Empowerment, Local Economics, Ownership and Worker Ownership, Production and Consumption
    The Bronx Collaborative: Companies Commit Together to Transform Job...
    anemptytextlline
    Sheila McQueen, owner of Scrub Clean Maintenance, presents to the rest of her cohort at a Business Peer Exchange session. When it comes to economic development, we most often find ourselves measuring the number of businesses started, revenues realized and jobs created. Rarely, however, do we discuss what kinds of businesses are launched, where those revenues go or the quality of those jobs. But in New York City, a new initiative in the Bronx is intentionally adding a qualitative dimension to business development. The Bronx Collaborative is a project of the Business Outreach Center Network (BOC), the Bronxchange and Best for NYC, and was launched with support from the JP Morgan Chase Foundation. Together, the members of the Bronx Collaborative are examining business development through a new lens, asking, “What is best for NYC?” and “How can all jobs be good jobs?” In April, the Bronx Collaborative celebrated the graduation of its first cohort of 11 business owners from a six-m...
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    Agriculture and Food, Local Economics
    Good Work is Membership
    anemptytextlline
    “What will it take for farmers to be able to afford to farm well?” and “How do we become a culture that supports good farming and land use?” These are just a few of the questions that Berry addresses in her talk.
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    Spirituality, The Commons, Visioning a New Economics
    Aliveness as the Heart of Economics, Ecology and Commoning
    anemptytextlline
    In his presentation, Weber challenges the standard Darwinian narrative that sees the economy as a place of individual competition and survival of the fittest. This is “an incorrect image of life,” says Weber, because biological life “is never about winning and losing, but rather an ongoing celebration of reciprocity. Ecosystems are ways to organize giving that allow the whole to flourish and the individuals to take what they need. Only if we understand this desire for mutuality as inbuilt in the living world will we be able to tailor an economic culture that does not destroy life, but mimics ecology, becoming a practice of love.”
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    Agriculture and Food, Production and Consumption
    Growing an Agricultural Economy
    anemptytextlline
    Waring and Derr addressed the Community Land Trust in the Southern Berkshires annual meeting with a talk on the concept of “Growing an Agricultural Economy.” They discussed how Hardwick, Vermont is an example of how farmers, entrepreneurs, citizens, government, and educators, working together, can effectively build a vibrant local economy that respects the region's unique landscape.
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    Ecological Restoration, Gender and Racial Justice, Indigenous Peoples, Land Access and Community Land Trusts
    A Conversation About Land and Liberation
    anemptytextlline
    Many people around the world are suffering the consequences of what it means to live in an extractive, exploitative and polluting economic system, and are seeking to learn from other indigenous communities about what it takes for us to transition into a new way forward based on regeneration, resilience and restoration. If we can get to a place where we understand that first we must restore and regenerate the soul and the land, then we get to heal the planet, and when we heal the planet, we actually get to heal ourselves and each other. And that is part of the task that's before us.
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    Agriculture and Food, Citizen Action, Earth Stewardship and Environmental Justice, Indigenous Peoples, Land Access and Community Land Trusts, Local Economics, Peace and Nonviolent Action
    Prophecy of the Seventh Fire: Choosing the Path That...
    anemptytextlline
    In the folklore of the Anishinaabe peoples of North America, the Prophecy of the Seventh Fire predicts that there will come a time when we must choose between two paths. LaDuke—member of the Ojibwe Nation of the Anishinaabe peoples—says now is that time. For more than twenty-five years she has been a leading advocate and organizer for Native American groups working to recover their ancestral lands, natural resources, and cultures. During last year’s Standing Rock protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline, LaDuke called for us to choose the path that is green. As a Water Protector, she believes that the times we are living in require us to take action and fight for environmental justice, indigenous rights, and a just transition. As a society we must let go of some of "the baggage" we’re used to and work together to understand and respect the natural world as well as the rights of Mother Earth. LaDuke instructs us to “Get someplace, stick there, and fight for it.”
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    Democratizing Money
    Democratizing Monetary Issue: Vision and Implementation in the Berkshire...
    anemptytextlline
    In this essay Witt argues that the current centralized banking and money system in the United States has outlived its usefulness. Since the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, savings have been funneled out of rural areas into the large financial centers, where small businesses must compete with multinational corporations for credit. Monetary decisions are based on the needs of the largest depositors in the largest cities while the needs of vast sections of the country go unmet. With a locally-issued currency circulating in an appropriately circumscribed area or bioregion, credit decisions can be made by people with particular personal knowledge not only of the borrowers but also of the needs of the region as a whole. Launched in 2006, BerkShares, a currency for the Berkshire region of Massachusetts, provides the story of one community working to put vision into practice.
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    Revitalizing Democracy, Visioning a New Economics
    In Search of Integrity
    anemptytextlline
    From 1980-1983 Watson held the envious position as director of education at the New Alchemy Institute. During the construction of an innovative “Pillow-Dome” Buckminster Fuller came to New Alchemy in 1982 and handed Watson a copy of a manuscript of a book he was writing, asking him to look it over. In it was a powerful prose poem entitled “Integrity”. Years later in 2016 very few had ever heard of “Integrity”. In the following essay Watson describes the lessons “Integrity” has to teach us about hypocracy– a hybrid word of democracy and hypocrisy. The text of “Integrity” is also included in its entirety.
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    A Sense of Place, Agriculture and Food, Earth Stewardship and Environmental Justice, Education
    A Conversation Between Wendell Berry and Wes Jackson
    anemptytextlline
    At the 36th Annual E. F. Schumacher Lectures Mary Berry–Executive Director of The Berry Center–moderated a conversation between Wendell Berry and Wes Jackson, during which they discussed the urgent problems that farmers are facing and the deep cultural divide between the inhabitants of urban and rural places. They called for a different kind of education, one that encourages young people to return to the land, dig in, get to know the place, and develop an understanding and affection for the land and the people living on it. There must be a cultural transformation, or cycle, that encourages an unending conversation between old people and young people, thus assuring the survival of local memory, which is rapidly disappearing in the modern extractive economy.
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    Agriculture and Food
    Greening the Desert: Holistic Management in the Era of...
    anemptytextlline
    While viewing the impending threat of climate change, Savory invites the audience to take a global view of the current situation of the world. Pointing out that more than twenty civilizations have failed in different regions of the world because of their agriculture practices over the centuries, he suggests a two-level solution to our problem: new policies and holistic management of ranches and farms. Savory finds it essential that public opinion comes to recognize that land management must be holistic while also acknowledging social, environmental, and economic complexity.
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    Agriculture and Food, Community Empowerment, Land Access and Community Land Trusts
    Ecological Redemption: Ocean Farming in the Era of Climate...
    anemptytextlline
    When the cod stocks crashed back home in Newfoundland, Smith, a fisherman working at the height of the period of industrialized food, found himself on the front lines of the world's climate crisis. He soon began a search for sustainability, and in this lecture he shares his story of ecological redemption. Smith is the founder of the nonprofit GreenWave, which won the 2015 Buckminster Fuller Challenge for sustainability. Smith is creating a hub for the new 3D ocean-farming industry, which will act as an engine for job creation and food justice. He explains that ocean farming will address major issues such as overfishing and climate change while building the foundation for a new blue-green economy and transforming fishermen into restorative ocean farmers.
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    Agriculture and Food, Land Access and Community Land Trusts, Production and Consumption
    Public Voice for Schumacher Center's Sustainable Economic Policies
    anemptytextlline
    Watson, former Massachusetts Commissioner of Agriculture, discusses his role as the Schumacher Center’s Director of Policy and Systems Design as well as his background and views on a variety of issues in this interview with Berkshire Trade and Commerce. Watson is a public voice for sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, new monetary systems, equitable land tenure arrangements, neighborhood planning through democratic processes, government policies that support human-scale development, citizen financing of new enterprises, import-replacement strategies, and other concepts.
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    Production and Consumption
    Local Prosperity
    anemptytextlline
    In her talk for the Centre for Local Prosperity, Witt discusses the building blocks of a responsible new economics—land, labor, and capital. She describes the Schumacher Center's Community Supported Industry initiative and argues that cites and regions become stronger economically when they start to produce for for themselves the goods that they have been importing, in the process creating jobs and increasing economic self-sufficiency.
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    A Sense of Place, Community Empowerment, Democratizing Money, Land Access and Community Land Trusts
    What is a Work of Art in the Age...
    anemptytextlline
    Woolard’s story begins with the decision that she would not put any money into paying rent but rather put every dollar she made into artwork for public places. It is a story of self and a search for places where voluntary reciprocal exchange can thrive. In describing the launch of the community skill-sharing network known as Trade School, her barter and solidarity-economies class at the New School, and the creation of the Exchange Café at the Museum of Modern Arts, Woolard shares her insight on what it means to turn a single initiative into a space of coalition building that supports the solidarity economy. She sees a place for artists in the community land trust movement, envisioning what the first community land trust in New York City would look like. The result: an emphasis on place-based organizing and stronger bonds as artists and policy-makers work together to move beyond creative enterprise.
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    Community Empowerment, E. F. Schumacher, Ownership and Worker Ownership
    The Nature of Work: How Ecosystems Can Teach Us...
    anemptytextlline
    The entrepreneurial spirit of the Internet in the late 1990s drew Stinchcomb into the Internet-business arena, the "maker movement,” and ultimately, the launch of Etsy in 2005. As co-creator of Etsy, he established a highly successful intersection of the market for handmade products and artists looking to sell on a wide-reaching platform. Deeply influenced by E. F. Schumacher’s Small Is Beautiful and Bill McKibben’s Deep Ecology, which emphasized the importance of human-scale and local community economies, Stinchcomb sees the rise of small businesses as paving the way for a new economy. He explores the sustainable-business lessons that can be learned by observing ecosystem dynamics, challenging the audience to view everything in our lives—including our businesses and our choices--as connected rather than fragmented.
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    Ethics, Local Economics
    Building a New Economy: What's Love Got to Do...
    anemptytextlline
    Based on her memoir Good Morning, Beautiful Business, Wicks shares her experiences as a socially and environmentally concerned entrepreneur and leader in the localization movement. She tells the story of her stay in an Eskimo village where she was exposed to a community that operated through sharing and cooperation, co-founding the first Free People store in Philadelphia which sold up-cycled goods, founding the White Dog Café and ensuring its ongoing sustainable business practices. Wicks explains what it means to be an entrepreneur who cherishes the relationships among people, community, and the planet.
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    Earth Stewardship and Environmental Justice, The Commons, Visioning a New Economics
    Economics for the Anthropocene
    anemptytextlline
    Barnes avers that we are no longer in the Holocene epoch, but in the Anthropocene epoch, an era in which humans are "a, if not the, dominant geological force on our planet," and thus we cannot continue with business as usual. Barnes argues that the best means to achieve the goal of an economic system that provides an adequate income for all and functions in harmony with nature is "to 'propertize' some common wealth and share the income from that wealth equally." Through the institutionalization of a common wealth trusts – legal entities that would represent nature, future generations, and society – economic externalities, such as pollution, would effectively be internalized and reflected in the price of the good. The compensation that these trusts would derive from the monetization of externalities could then be used to mitigate income inequality.
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    Ethics, Local Economics
    We're All in it Together: An Economy in Which...
    anemptytextlline
    Long, Executive Director of Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE), speaks at the Schumacher Center for a New Economics Library about the initiatives that BALLE and various communities have taken to strengthen ties between people and place as well as to support the growing local economy movement. She believes that “we’re all in it together” to work towards opening and spreading the innate goodness within us all.
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    Local Economics
    Community Supported Economy
    anemptytextlline
    Transitioning to an economic system that is both equitable and sustainable will require many willing hands, argues Witt. Citizens can no longer stand on the sidelines waiting for the business community to take the lead. She believes that our communities are at stake, our eco-systems are at stake, our very humanity is at stake in how we move forward.
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