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Hazel Henderson and Juliet Schor in Conversation

Since the early 1980’s Hazel Henderson’s name has been synonymous with impact investing. Probably more than any other person, Henderson has been responsible for creating and promoting a set of social and environmental indicators by which to judge the real health of an economic system including the well-being of its citizens and its ecosystem. These indicators are then widely used to guide business practices and investment decisions.

A prolific commentator and critic of contemporary economics, Henderson launched Ethical Markets Media to provide a platform for discussion of these issues and to showcase examples of a well-being approach.

In the introduction to her 1989 E. F. Schumacher Lecture, Nancy Todd described her this way:

Futurist, development-policy analyst, and much sought-after consultant, Hazel Henderson is a major player in the global arena. Like her late mentor and friend E. F. Schumacher, she balances an extraordinary intelligence with an equal measure of down-to-earth common sense, which she brings to bear with great effectiveness on the present critical state of human affairs.

We are proud to honor over four decades of collaboration with Hazel Henderson with this Conversation.

Juliet Schor is both a sociologist and an economist. That unique combination leads her to ask what the citizen/consumer can do to affect a more just and regenerative economy and conversely explores the impact of our current economic system on our daily lives.

The titles of her books speak to this dual interest:

The Overworked American: The Unexpected Decline of Leisure
The Overspent American: Why We Want What We Don’t Need
Born to Buy: The Commercialized Child and the New Consumer Culture
Plenitude: The New Economics of True Wealth

Publishers Weekly named her just released After the Gig: How the Sharing Economy Got Hijacked and How to Win It Back, one of the Big Indie Books of 2020. In it Schor examines how the platform economy which promised flexibility and new opportunities for workers instead became exploitive.

Her carefully researched book goes on to offer strategies for how citizens can take back these platforms so that they are tools for a better way of working leading to a more regenerative economy. Not surprising, one of the problems she points to is corporate for-profit ownership of the platforms themselves. She instead recommends a cooperative ownership by the users on the platform.

On Thursday, September 24 at 2pm Eastern, Juliet Schor and Hazel Henderson will engage in a live, virtual conversation on Zoom moderated by David Bollier. They will be reflecting on their original talks given current political, economic, and social realities, with comments on each other’s work. Registration is free. A question and answer period will follow initial presentations. If you are unable to attend, a recording of the event will be available.

About our speakers:

Juliet B. Schor studies trends in working time and leisure, consumerism, the relationship between work and family, women’s issues, and economic justice. Since 2011 Schor has also been researching the sharing economy, including both non-profit community initiatives (makerspaces, timebanks) and for-profit platforms like Airbnb, TaskRabbit and Uber.

She was a fellow at the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation in 1995-1996 for a project entitled “New Analyses of Consumer Society.” In 1998 she received the George Orwell Award for Distinguished Contributions to Honesty and Clarity in Public Language from the National Council of Teachers of English. In 2006 she received the Leontief Prize from the Global Development and Economics Institute at Tufts University for expanding the frontiers of economic thought.

Schor has served as a consultant to the United Nations and the World Institute for Development Economics Research (part of the United Nations University). She is a former trustee of Wesleyan University and a former fellow of the Brookings Institution.

She is co-founder and co-chair of the Board of the Center for a New American Dream, co-founder of South End Press, and the Center for Popular Economics.

Schor has lectured widely throughout the United States, Europe, and Japan to a variety of civic, business, labor and academic groups. She appears frequently on national as well as international media, and profiles on her and her work have appeared in scores of magazines and newspapers. Schor offers models for action—from what the individual family can do to initiatives that put pressure on corporations. In Plenitude she presents an innovative vision for how to shape a new, sustainable, and ultimately more fulfilling economy.

Juliet Schor received her undergraduate degree from Wesleyan University and her Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She has taught at Williams College, Barnard, Harvard, and currently Boston College, where she is Professor of Sociology. She is an occasional faculty member at Schumacher College.

Hazel Henderson (D.Sc.Hon) is founder of Ethical Markets Media. She is a world-renowned futurist, evolutionary economist, a worldwide syndicated columnist, and author of award-winning Ethical Markets: Growing the Green Economy (2006) and eight other books. She created the Ethical Markets TV series, the EthicMark® Awards, the Green Transition Scoreboard® and co-created Ethical Biomimicry Finance®.

Henderson’s first book Creating Alternative Futures (1978) has been republished by the University of Florida Digital Library. Her editorials are syndicated globally by Inter Press Service, and her book reviews appear on SeekingAlpha.com. Her articles have appeared in over 250 journals, including Harvard Business Review, New York Times, and Christian Science Monitor as well as journals in Japan, Venezuela, China, France and Australia.

Since becoming a full-time media executive in 2004, Henderson has stepped down from many of her board memberships, including Calvert Social Investment Fund, the Social Investment Forum, and the Social Venture Network. She served as Regent’s Lecturer at the University of California-Santa Barbara, Horace Albright Chair in Conservation at the University of California-Berkeley, and advised the U.S. Office of Technology Assessment, the National Academy of Engineering, and the National Science Foundation from 1974 to 1980.

Henderson remains on the International Council of the Instituto Ethos de Empresas e Responsabilidade Social, Sao Paulo, Brasil; is a fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science and the World Business Academy; and is an Honorary Member of the Club of Rome. She shared the 1996 Global Citizen Award with Nobelist A. Perez Esquivel of Argentina. In 2007, she was elected a Fellow to Britain’s Royal Society of Arts.

In 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014, she was honored as one of the “Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business Behavior” by Trust Across America. In 2012, she received the Reuters Award for Outstanding Contribution to Development of ESG & IMPACT Investing. In 2013, she was inducted into the International Society of Sustainability Professionals Hall of Fame. Her 2014 monograph, Mapping the Global Transition to the Solar Age, published by ICAEW and Tomorrow’s Company, UK, is available for free download.

Robert Swann (who later founded the Schumacher Center), Ian Baldwin (who later founded Chelsea Green Publishers), and Henderson arranged E. F. Schumacher’s first lecture tour in the USA in 1974. Schumacher—Henderson’s mentor and friend—once stated, “Mrs. Henderson’s essay—every one of them—have more “reality” than almost any other writings on societal problems I know.”

Past lectures by our speakers include:

Juliet Schor:

2011 – The New Economics of Plentitude

Hazel Henderson:

1989 – Development Beyond Economism: Local Paths to Sustainable Development

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