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Creating a Peaceable Economy

The Twenty-First Annual E. F. Schumacher Lectures drew over 550 people to Amherst College to hearAlanna Hartzok, John Todd, and Amory Lovins. Each speaker focused on integrated approaches to addressing ecological and social problems. Audience reaction was enthusiastic. “The speakers renewed my faith in humanity,” commented one attendee. The lectures will be transcribed, edited, and published in pamphlet form. We will notify Schumacher Center members when they are available.

The collected Annual E. F. Schumacher Lectures represent a body of innovative thinking that, taken as a whole, provides a framework for community renewal. Individual lecture pamphlets may be ordered for five dollars each. Ordering information is available online. We would be pleased to fill your gift orders.

Now 83 years old, Schumacher Center President Robert Swann prefers to read the lectures in large type. He has encouraged us to accommodate this requirement for others like himself. As a result, you may order any of the lectures listed on the Publication list. The cost is still $5 each. Please be sure to indicate your preference on the order form.

In his closing remarks at the lectures, Amory Lovins noted that the day had been about connections. It is clear that we ought to understand and harness connections before attempting to design a solution, and for that reason it is important, he commented, to understand root causes as well as linkages:

We are all designers whether we know it or not, and if we do not pay attention, we may design something we do not intend.

Author Wendell Berry explores the root causes of our current world situation in his essay, “Thoughts in the Presence of Fear,” written soon after September 11th. He notes that we now have a clear choice between continuing to promote a global economic system protected by an expensive worldwide police force or:

. . . we can promote a decentralized world economy which would have the aim of assuring to every nation and region a local self-sufficiency in life-supporting goods. This would not eliminate international trade, but it would tend toward a trade in surpluses after local needs had been met.

The Schumacher Center has a twenty-one year history of designing community-based tools to strengthen local economies. Our vision is to create a system of diversified economies that can more equitably provide food, clothing, and shelter to the people of a region, using the resources of their area in an ecologically responsible manner. Your support helps us continue this work of creating a “peaceable economy.” We thank you.