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

Tonight: Young Entrepreneurs Present! 5 – 7 Pm

April 12, 2016

Tonight from 5:00 to 7:00, join us at Dewey Hall in Sheffield, where students from this winter’s Entry to Entrepreneurship program will present their business plans to the public. This year’s students, who range in age from 13 to 23, have benefited from a curriculum co-developed with the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center’s Berkshire Regional … Continued

Common Wealth Dividends: The Key to a New Economy

March 18, 2016

There are many visions of what a new economy might look like: more local than global, more sharing than exploitative, more respectful of the earth than of profit.  What’s missing in most of these visions, however, is the sys­tem architecture needed to guide the economy in those directions, and keep it headed there for the … Continued

Crowd-Sourced Entrepreneurship

February 5, 2016

The worth of a local business cannot be summarized by its balance sheet alone. As the Preservation Trust of Vermont notes, “many businesses, especially in… rural areas, play an irreplaceable part in community life that isn’t captured in the daily sales transactions.” Judy Wicks champions the creation of such “beautiful businesses,” the success of which … Continued

Old Friends – New Home

December 22, 2015

The Schumacher Center’s small office is in a big library. Shelves of books greet us in the morning, accompany us through the day, and beckon to be read as we prepare to leave. These are not just any books: Economist Fritz Schumacher’s 4,000-volume personal library with copious margin notes is heavy on philosophy, religion, literature, … Continued

Leading From The Future

December 11, 2015

Transitioning to an economic system that is both equitable and sustainable will require building a network of regional economies, each with a broad spectrum of place-based manufacturers producing for local needs. A strategy to achieve this objective is first to identify, and then replace locally, goods currently imported into a region. This would mean shifting … Continued

A Gift Of Knowledge

December 4, 2015

Every Friday morning for the past 48 years, Bob Geller has hosted a book club in his Fort Collins office. A retired chaplain at Colorado State University, under his care “the place grew thick with new ideas and unlikely relationships – a garden that forgot boundaries.” Searching for an appropriate gift for such a father, … Continued

Managing The Commons

November 12, 2015

At the 35th Annual E. F. Schumacher Lectures, both Bren Smith and Allan Savory advocated for managing the commons, rather than “letting nature just take its own course.” They spoke on behalf of climate-change abatement, food security, job creation, and the health of both land and sea. In describing how he transitioned from a position of … Continued