Communities Need New Economists Of Their Own

The transformation to fair and sustainable regional economies requires place-based, citizen-driven tools. The principles behind these tools are universal, but their effective application will be shaped by the landscape, the people, the history, and the culture of each particular region.

On September 14, 2015 Schumacher College for New Economists will welcome its first class of students to the Berkshires for the first two months of a nine month program. The program will be unprecedented, involving over twenty partner organizations at multiple locations across the US and UK. The list of partners is still growing, and currently includes:

BerkShares, Inc.
The Berry Center
Business Alliance for Local Living Economies
Capital Institute
Community Land Trust in the Southern Berkshires 
Cutting Edge Capital
Democracy Collaborative
Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative
Indian Line Farm
New Economics Foundation
Paicines Ranch
Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance
Presidio Graduate School
Rural Advancement Foundation International
RSF Social Finance
Schumacher College (UK)
Social Enterprise Greenhouse
St. Catharine College
Sustainable Economies Law Center
Transition Town Totnes

The initiative grows from a common recognition: every local economy will need its own community economists—part visionary theorists, part activists—imagining what can be achieved and organizing to achieve it.  Schumacher College for New Economists was formed to train these new economists.

Program graduates may not have all the answers but they will have the resources and connections to know where to look. They will know, and be known by, their community, and be committed to sharing and applying what they have learned.

They will find allies in the Maker Community who value the hand-crafted over the mono-culture products of an anonymous global economy, in the new agrarians cultivating small lots to produce for a regional food system, in community bankers who still make loan decisions based on face to face interviews, in environmentalists who understand the carbon cost of transporting goods over long distance, and in all those who love the “sidewalk dance” of a vibrant local economy.

They will engage a community process to explore the financing structures, the land tenure structures, the community supported industry structures, and the ownership structures needed to sustain and grow locally-owned businesses that pay a living wage.  

They will need community engagement and support for their training.  See below for more information on how to send a student from your community.

How to Apply

Interested students should request a formal application form. Visit our website for eligibility criteria. Priority will be given to students sponsored by their communities.

Foundations, businesses, and community groups who wish to sponsor a student or students from their communities are encouraged to do so by establishing a scholarship fund for that purpose and setting up a selection process. Scholarships are not available through the Schumacher Center for a New Economics directly.

For questions on this process or to pre-qualify a recommended student, please contact Sam Willsea, Director of College Operations.