Schumacher Center For New Economics

To educate the public about an economics that supports both people and the planet. We believe that a fair and sustainable economy is possible and that citizens working for the common interest can build systems to achieve it. We recognize that the environmental and equity crises we now face have their roots in the current economic system.

We combine theoretical research on economics with practical application, deliberately focusing on transformative systems and the principles that guide them.

HISTORY, THEORY, VISION

To create a new economics, we must first fall in love with its vision. Andrew Kimbrell

E. F. Schumacher Annual Lectures — Established in 1981, the collected Schumacher Lectures capture some of the most visionary voices that speak to the urgent need to transform our economic, social, and cultural systems in ways that support both the planet and its citizens.

Schumacher Library — Housed in a 2,000 square foot building on the side of Jug End Mountain in the Berkshire region of Massachusetts, this research library includes the books and papers of E. F. Schumacher and other new economists as well as collections on worker ownership, community supported agriculture, local currencies, the commons, and appropriate technology. The Library’s catalogue is searchable online.

Events – Lectures, conferences, and seminars on themes of a new economics.

Finding Focus Points for Transition

As proponents of a transition to a new economy we have identified the following focus points for our work:

Local Economies

The Local Economy movement is considered by many to be the engine of the new economy. Vibrant, energetic, and self-empowered, it is characterized by the vision and creativity of entrepreneurs partnering with concerned citizens to develop community supported industries. Blossoming out of the local food movement, it is growing to include multiple kinds of local production to meet local needs.

Sharing the Commons

When rights to earth, air, water, and fire (minerals and fossil fuels) – our common heritage – are distributed via the market, private owners collect usage fees, thus profiting from our collective need for access to these rights, contributing to the inequity in income distribution, and encouraging exploitation and environmental degradation. Community land trusts and other new land-tenure methods place the natural world in a commons and allocate its use via a social contract based on ecological principles. The rent paid for use of the commons is then shared for community benefit.

Ownership and Work

When businesses are owned by capital instead of by workers and other stakeholders, profits flow to those who already have capital, furthering the gap between rich and poor. New ownership models – including consumer and producer coops, the Mondragon cooperatives of Spain, the northern Italian flexible manufacturing networks, employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs), and multiple-stakeholder ownership – help address this problem by turning hired labor into co-owners.

Transforming Money

Centralized currency issue serves centralized production whereas regional currencies represent a democratization of currency issue, supporting local businesses and educating consumers about how their money circulates in the local economy.

See:

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

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