At the 34th Annual E. F. Schumacher Lectures, Matt Stinchcomb and Caroline Woolard reflected on the theme of Creative Enterprise in a New Economy for the 34th Annual E. F. Schumacher Lectures. Both speakers recognized that it takes a strong commitment to a particular place and substantial effort to weave together all the threads of that place – people, land, and community – to create new economies that can counteract the devastating effects of the global economy.
Stincomb discussed 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. 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, he sees the rise of small businesses as paving the way for a new economy.
Woolard shared 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.
Matt Stinchcomb was Vice President of Values and Impact at Etsy, a marketplace where people around the world connect to buy and sell unique goods. The Company’s mission, inspired by the work of E. F. Schumacher, is to re-imagine commerce in ways that build a more fulfilling and lasting world. During his time at Etsy, Matt worked with a focus on giving people the means and desire to minimize harm and maximize benefit for people and the planet. He firmly believes that business can be a powerful and positive force for personal, ecological, and cultural transformation.
Caroline Woolard graduated from the only tuition-free art school in the United States with a strong commitment to the solidarity economy movement and to conceptual art. After co-founding and co-directing resource sharing networks OurGoods.org in New York City and TradeSchool.coop in 50 cities internationally for the past five years, Caroline focused on BFAMFAPhD.com to raise awareness about the impact of rent, debt, and precarity on culture and on New York City To Be Determined to create and support truly affordable, community land trusts for cultural resilience in New York City.
Stinchcomb and Woolard spoke on Saturday, November 15th at the Judson Memorial Church in New York City. Doors opened at 9:30 AM. The lectures began at 10:00 AM and concluded at 3:00 PM.