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Creative Enterprise In A New Economy | 34th Annual E. F. Schumacher Lectures

Judy Wicks was advised by friends to franchise her popular White Dog Café but she rejected the suggestion. The White Dog was shaped by its Philadelphia neighborhood, by Judy’s hosting style and tastes, by the regional farmers who supplied the restaurant, by the staff drawn to work there, and by the culture of its customers. It was a business deeply embedded in place. She could not replicate the White Dog, but she could encourage other entrepreneurs to look to the people, streets, and shops of their own community to shape the business of their passion.

Judy understood that it is not just recycled packaging, open hiring practices, fair benefits and wages, or green sourcing that makes a socially responsible business. All of these are important, but something else is needed to define a business that truly builds community, and that missing element is “local.” 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.

The theme of the 34th Annual E. F. Schumacher Lectures, “This Must Be the Place: Creative Enterprise in a New Economy,” reflects this understanding. Our speakers are Matt Stinchcomb and Caroline Woolard. The Lectures will take place on November 15th at Judson Memorial Church on Washington Square Park in New York City.

Matt Stinchcomb is 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. Matt has worked at Etsy since its earliest days 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.

His talk is titled “The Nature of Work: How ecosystems can teach us to build lasting and fulfilling business.”

Caroline Woolard is an artist and the co-founder of resource sharing networks OurGoods.org, TradeSchool.coop, and BFAMFAPhD.com. She 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. Caroline is now focused on raising awareness about the impact of rent, debt, and precarity on culture and on creating and supporting truly affordable, community land trusts for cultural resilience in New York City. Her talk is titled: “What is a Work of Art in the Age of $120,000 Art Degrees? A lecture about the impact of rent, debt, and precarity on culture and imagination in the 21st century”.

Please join us on November 15th at the Judson Memorial Church in New York City for this year’s E. F. Schumacher Lectures. Doors open at 9:30 AM. The lectures begin at 10:00 AM and conclude at 3:00 PM. Standard tickets are $35 and student tickets are $25, including lunch. Pre-registration is required, as tickets will not be sold at the door.

We hope to see you there.