Sunday, October 25, 2020 is the date of the 40th Annual E. F. Schumacher Lectures. Kali Akuno and George Monbiot will speak addressing the topic “Land as a Commons: Building the New Economy.” The virtual event will take place from 1pm to 4pm Eastern Daylight Time. The two talks and the live-streamed discussion following will be free to all registered.
The topic is land access, the problems generated by a concentration of ownership, and ways of creating a more fair and equitable system. The Schumacher Center’s own response to the inequities in land access is to call for a voluntary gifting of land into regional community land trusts where its use can be allocated through lease agreements in a socially determined manner outside of market forces.
Land is the basis of all economic security. Land is essential to freedom, justice, and equality. Land is essential to true independence.
– Malcolm X, October 11, 1963, in a speech at the University of California, Berkeley
We expect a large international audience for the 40th Annual E. F. Schumacher Lectures, the first to be held virtually. Save the date and preregister here.
About the speakers:
Kali Akuno is co-founder and co-director of Cooperation Jackson, a network of worker cooperatives and community-led programs that support and grow a democratic, just and sustainable economy in Jackson, MS. Among these programs is the Fannie Lou Hamer Community Land Trust, which allows community members to collectively steward the land while creating opportunities for affordable ownership of buildings and enterprises.
George Monbiot is a British writer known for his environmental and political activism. He writes a weekly column for the U.K.’s The Guardian. His June 2019 report titled Land for the Many lays out a series of recommendations to the British government to address inequitable access to land. It includes creating a “Common Ground Trust, a non-profit institution that helps prospective buyers purchase homes. At their request, it will buy the land underlying a house, making the upfront deposit for home ownership much more affordable. In return, the buyers pay a land rent to the Trust. By bringing land into common ownership, land rents can be socialized rather than flowing to private landlords and banks.”
About the Annual E. F. Schumacher Lectures:
The Annual E. F. Schumacher Lectures, represent some of the foremost voices on a new economics. The Lecture series was launched in 1981 with Wendell Berry and Wes Jackson as speakers and has continued annually since then.
Those first lectures emphasized the importance of vibrant regional economies at a time when the focus of the nation was on an expanding global economy. Much has happened since then. The promise of the global economy has faded in face of ever greater wealth disparity and environmental degradation. There is growing interest in building a new economy that is just and recognizes planetary limits. Schumacher Center speakers have been at the forefront, envisioning and applying these concepts worldwide.
Past lectures have been transcribed and edited by Hildegarde Hannum. They are available free online in multiple formats including podcasts and videos. Printed lecture pamphlets are 5 Berkshares or 5 dollars. Order pamphlets here.
Staff of the Schumacher Center