In Search of Integrity

February 27, 2017

From 1980-1983 I held the envious position of director of education at the New Alchemy Institute.  New Alchemy was an amazing “think-do” tank operating on an abandoned 12-acre dairy farm on Cape Cod. Inspired by the likes of Rachel Carson, Wendell Berry, E. F. Schumacher, and Buckminster Fuller, among others, the institute emerged from the … Continued

History Of Innovation | Sharing Our Common Wealth

December 29, 2016

All of us are joint owners of a trove of hidden assets.  These assets — natural gifts like air and water, and social creations like science and the Internet — constitute our shared inheritance — the Commons.  They’re vital to our lives and are at the heart of all economic activity. A New Land Tenure … Continued

Wendell Berry, Wes Jackson, Mary Berry In Conversation

December 21, 2016

The problem of sustainability is simple enough to state. It requires that the fertility cycle of birth, growth, maturity, death, and decay—what Albert Howard called “the Wheel of Life”—must turn continuously in place, so that the law of return is kept and nothing is wasted. For this to happen in the stewardship of humans, there … Continued

Envision | Apply | Share

December 15, 2016

The pursuit of a new economics has broad implications.  Our Earth is in crisis; our communities are in crisis.  We are all charged with creating solutions.  These solutions will of necessity be citizen-driven, growing from the rich soil of particular places. At the Schumacher Center for a New Economics our work envisioning a just and … Continued

Tin of Cocoa

November 29, 2016

If the raw materials for making cocoa are obtained from plantations on the West coast of Africa which use some form of forced native labour, are carried by vessels on sea routes monopolised or controlled by violence, manufactured in England with sweated labor and brought to India under favourable customs duties enforced by political power, … Continued

What is Civic Synergy?

November 2, 2016

Social innovation appears important because, as anticipated, it indicates viable ways of dealing with [intractable problems]: solutions that break the traditional economic models and propose new ones, operating on the basis of a multiplicity of actors’ motivations and expectations. [1] I vaguely remember civics class in junior high school.  What I do recall is how little … Continued

It’s Time For A New Economics

July 21, 2016

Having worked on and off in the arena of sustainable agriculture for nearly fifty years in both the government and nonprofit sectors, the question I get asked/challenged with most often is “When will the production of locally grown, nutritious food become economically viable?” For years I struggled mightily to find an honest and (very important … Continued

Announcing – Wendell Berry & Wes Jackson At 36th Annual Lectures

June 27, 2016

On Saturday October 22nd at 7:00 pm, award winning author Wendell Berry and The Land Institute’s co-founder Wes Jackson will share the stage at the historic Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in the heart of Great Barrington, Massachusetts. They will hold a conversation about the 50-Year Farm Bill, their work, and their long friendship and collaboration … Continued

Jane Jacobs – Citizen Economist

May 4, 2016

My first introduction to the extraordinary intellect of Jane Jacobs (whose 100th birthday would have been today) was at the 1983 Annual Schumacher Lecture. In her talk, “The Economy of Regions,” she argued for regional economic diversity, complexity, and interdependence. She imagined a myriad of small industries producing for regional markets—industries that depended on local … Continued

Local Currency Helps Communities Decide “Who Tells Your Story”

April 27, 2016

The smash hit Broadway musical Hamilton is careful to remind us that it really matters “who tells your story.” After all, who tells the story also determines which stories get told. On Wednesday last week, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced a plan to redesign the $5, $10, and $20 to include scenes from the fight … Continued

Emergence Of A New Economics

April 20, 2016

There is an argument that the emergence of a new economics based on human dignity and sustainability is a phenomenon that emerged from the environmental crisis and the modern corruption of bankers and financial markets. There is another argument that it goes back to the sinking of the SS Central America, carrying gold from Panama … Continued