New Alchemy: ecological design ‘Mecca’

April 25, 2022

Starting in 1969, one future-thinking group pioneered new avenues in bio-technology research and design. The New Alchemy Institute in Falmouth, MA on Cape Cod was founded as a research center to pioneer organic agriculture, aquaculture, and bioshelter with minimal reliance on fossil fuels. Its work was to discover and model greener, self-sustaining systems. Founders John Todd, Nancy Jack Todd, and … Continued

The radical roots of CSAs

April 4, 2022

Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) is one of those rare ideas which combine transformative potential with an elegant simplicity. The CSA model of funding and sustaining locally-rooted agriculture has grown exponentially around the globe over the past four decades. Since the first formal CSA at Robyn Van En’s Indian Line Farm in South Egremont, Massachusetts in the … Continued

Local Money Goes Mobile in Beta Version

March 21, 2022

The local currency program of the Schumacher Center is focused on the research and development of place-based, non-profit, democratically controlled currencies that can serve as resources for the support of strong regional economies. BerkShares paper currency first issued in 2006 is an on-the-ground initiative in the Berkshires to create such a model. To respond to … Continued

Justice Knows No Such Law

March 20, 2022

“Antigone” is the last play in the Oedipus trilogy by the ancient Greek writer, Sophocles. In the drama Antigone’s brothers challenge and kill each other in battle at the gates of Thebes, both wishing to be its future ruler. Creon, their uncle, who assumed the throne upon the downfall of their father Oedipus, buries one … Continued

Why Is The Babe Weeping?

March 14, 2022

    Some refer to Dostoyevsky’s The Brother’s Karamazovas the greatest novel ever written.  It is the story of three brothers – the brilliant and cold Ivan, the dashing impetuous soldier Dmitri, and the gentle Alexey whom all love. Their profligate father is found murdered and all evidence points to Dmitri.  He is apprehended at an inn … Continued

Small Change

December 31, 2021

Jane Jacobs never disappoints. I’ve been reading from the 2016 book Vital Little Plans: The Short Works of Jane Jacobs, a gift from a colleague, and from The Nature of Economies. The latter is a facsimile copy of Jacobs’ original type-written manuscript with handwritten corrections. It was sent to me in 1999 ahead of publication … Continued

Mankind is my Business

December 25, 2021

In the Preface to the 1843 publication of A Christmas Carol, made available online courtesy of the University of North Carolina, Charles Dickens writes: I HAVE endeavoured in this Ghostly little book, to raise the Ghost of an Idea, which shall not put my readers out of humour with themselves, with each other, with the … Continued

Welcoming the Future

November 29, 2021

Rapid change has characterized the past few years. Climate-induced disruption, Covid variants, social upheavals, political paralysis, supply chain dysfunctions, the widening wealth gap. We barely learn to adjust to one situation as individuals, communities, or nation-states when a whole new set of circumstances emerges. At the Schumacher Center we are taking the stance of welcoming … Continued

Dreaming of Salmon Economics and Other Splendors

November 22, 2021

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 … Continued

Radically Loving

October 21, 2021

Author, lawyer, and activist Julian Aguon, a native of the island of Guam, will deliver the 41st Annual E. F. Schumacher Lecture—Felled by Beauty: Guam and the End of American Empire. The date is Sunday, October 24th at 3PM EDT New York City, 9PM CEST Amsterdam, 5AM ChST Guam. The free event will be held … Continued

Leopold Kohr – An Invaluable Teacher

September 7, 2021

The announcement of David Cayley’s new book Ivan Illich: An Intellectual Journey, reminded me of Cayley’s 1989 interview of Leopold Kohr for the Canadian Broadcasting Company’s “Ideas” program. Both Illich and E. F. Schumacher credit Kohr as a major influence on their thinking. Illich’s 1994 E. F. Schumacher Lecture honored Kohr. Kohr was in Great … Continued