Programs

  Community Land Trust Program

The Community Land Trust Program is a multi-year education and outreach initiative advocating for adoption of the CLT model through a process of civic engagement, networking, needs assessment, grassroots organizing, project development, technical support and administrative oversight.  A broader knowledgebase, model documents, best practices and other resources will support and empower community land trusts in the Berkshire region and nationally.

Read more about the history of Community Land Trusts and current examples of the model.

  The Commons

The commons paradigm is a versatile social form that is reviving ancient forms of shared stewardship for resources and community, often with modern twists and the use of digital technologies. Contemporary commons can be seen in open source software and Wikipedia, community land trusts and local currencies, seed-sharing cooperatives and co-housing, art collaborations and open textbook projects. 

Read more about the Commons.

  Local Currencies

Commonplace during the early 1900s, local currencies are once again being recognized as a tool for sustainable economic development.  In the early 1970's, Schumacher Center founder Robert Swann worked with Ralph Borsodi to issue a commodity-backed currency on an experimental basis in Exeter, New Hampshire. The Schumacher Center furthered that work in the Berkshires with development of SHARE Micro-credit program, Deli Dollars, Berkshire Farm Preserve Notes, and BerkShares.

Read more about the history of BerkShares and about the history of local currencies.

  Community Supported Industry

The goal of Community Supported Industry is to engage citizens in creation and support of local businesses producing goods now imported into the region -- businesses that also provide living wages and employ sustainable manufacturing processes.

Read more about the goals of Community Supported Industry.

  Curriculum for a New Economics

The effects of our current economic system often have the greatest negative impact on communities marginalized by geographic location, wealth, race, ethnicity, or lack of human capital. By sharing our work with all types of communities, we aim to place new economic tools in the hands of the next generation, so that they may help define and shape our collective future.

Read more here.