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Dreaming of Salmon Economics and Other Splendors

Our printed Schumacher Lecture pamphlets now number nearly eighty. They may be read online for free, purchased as ebooks, and many can be heard in podcast form or through archive.org. The latest appear as videos on YouTube. But there are still those of us who prefer to experience these splendid lectures by turning the printed pamphlet in our hands.

Each year at this time we remind our members that the lecture pamphlets make great presents – as single items or as a group.

Sallie Calhoun, who places Schumacher Lecture pamphlets in the guest rooms at Paicines Ranch, delights when her friends emerge the next morning saying they spent the night reading and dreaming about Salmon Economics (the title of Andrew Kimbrell’s 2003 lecture).

Billy Burns, a recent Schumacher Center summer intern, wrote to say he would be back in the Berkshires for Thanksgiving and would be picking up a set of Schumacher Lecture pamphlets for his University of Chicago dorm library. When a new friend started talking enthusiastically about Wendell Berry, Billy knew he wanted to share all the Schumacher Lectures.

Schumacher Lecture Pamphlets

The Lectures cover universal subjects by visionary authors and activists whose voices resonate today as strongly as the day their lectures were delivered. Here are just a few of the many highlights:

Wes Jackson’s 1981 lecture on developing deep-rooted perennial grasses to protect his beloved prairie lands from further soil degradation.

In 1984, Greg Watson explored how a community land trust helped citizens of a devastated inner-city neighborhood shape their own future.

The ecological designs described in John Todd’s 1985 lecture are still being explored and expanded for site remediation applications.

In 1995, Cathrine Sneed described starting an organic farm within the walls of the San Francisco jail—giving skills, hope, and healing to inmates —a model for prison reformers despite the many early naysayers

Arthur Zajonc spoke in 1997 of transforming the cold impact of technology through consciously engaged implementation – honoring craftsmanship, beauty, and the importance of scale.

In 2004, Judy Wicks recounted in Good Morning Beautiful Business her decision to forego franchising her successful White Dog Café, instead leaning into its unique character and a deepened sense of place.

In his 2004 lecture, Oren Lyons warned The Ice Is Melting.

Leah Penniman’s 2018 lecture spoke of Black farmers’ deep roots in cooperative farming, and of those practices’ newfound recognition and renewal.

And of course, there are many more! We invite you to explore the full list of printed Schumacher Lectures and choose carefully as gifts for friends at $5 each. A set of seventy lectures for a returning student or an institutional destination is available for $250, including shipping within the US. Our staff would be pleased to add gift cards as instructed.


The Forty-First Annual E. F. Schumacher Lecture, “Felled by Beauty: Guam and the End of American Empire” by Julian Aguon is now online in video and podcast format.

A group of islanders from Lamotrek in the Federated States of Micronesia, who are known for their ancient tradition of canoe building and lineage of wayfinding navigators (Photograph by Douglas Varchol)

To Hell With Drowning: for people living in Oceania, climate change is the fight of our lives, and we need more than science to win. We need stories.

To those grateful for the picture Julian Aguon paints in his lecture about Guam, its culture, its beauty, and what the Chamorro people are facing with US military occupation of this island, his recent article in The Atlantic, “To Hell with Drowning,” will give you a broader picture of the impact of climate change on the communities of Oceania together with a glimpse of their unique and beautiful island cultures.

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