Coming of Age

The Schumacher Center for a New Economics is recognized for its work modeling community-based systems for holding land, issuing currency, and engaging citizens in supporting their regional economies. That work is now growing, reflecting a "coming of age" for a new economics that considers what is just and equitable for all Earth's citizens while caring for our shared ecosystem.  2013 was a great year for the Schumacher Center, with exceptional lecture events, remarkable media attention to our BerkShares program, and the launch of several initiatives reconsidering how land is accessed.  

For 2014 we will continue this strong growth by expanding existing programs, including the introduction of a model loan program in BerkShares, the convening of an international conference titled "Sharing the Commons," and the rollout of Community Supported Industry (CSI), which is an expansion of the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) concept.  To achieve all of this we are partnering with foundations and sister organizations, highlighting the successful programs and resources that together form the building blocks of a new economy.
 
Staff and Board of Directors welcome your generous support for 2014 programming.  Your tax-deductible contribution can be made online or by sending a check to Schumacher Center for a New Economics, 140 Jug End Road, Great Barrington, MA 01230 USA.
 
Warm wishes for the winter season from all of us.

Additional details of what's ahead for 2014
 
BerkShares:  B$ continues to receive almost weekly national or international media attention.  Under the leadership of the Schumacher Center's Alice Maggio, who is working with a local non-profit board of directors, B$ presents a transparent, regionally based alternative to troubled national currencies. A 380,000 Euro grant from the DOEN Foundation of Amsterdam will support the strengthening of this model community-issued currency and will support the development of the related Community Supported Industry initiative.  (berkshares.org)
 
Community Supported Industry: One of the inefficiencies of building diverse regional economies is the time spent creating business plans for the multiple, interrelated small businesses.  We are taking a page from the Mondragon bank in the Basque region of Spain to engage citizen "social entrepreneurs" in compiling an online library of business plans, including financial statements, from successful regionally scaled businesses. Our focus is on the basic necessities of food, clothing, shelter, energy, and transportation. See our CSI strategy paper and instructions for submitting business plans.  (centerforneweconomics.org)
 
Sharing the Commons:  Shaping a new economy that is appropriate for people and planet will take transformation in multiple spheres. The question of how we treat land, water, air, and minerals—our Natural Commons—in a new economy is at the core of this transformation. Should they be commodities traded on the market to the highest bidder, allowing those with ownership to benefit from our common need and common heritage?  If not via the market, how might the Commons be allocated? The Winter 2014/2015 conference, "Sharing the Commons," now in the planning stage, will draw on the experience of cultures around the world, including those of indigenous peoples, to suggest methods for fair and sustainable allocation of use.
 
Agrarian Trust:  Concerned that productive farmland should be transferred to a new generation in a way that is secure, equitable, sustainable, and diverse, our board member Severine von Tscharner Fleming has initiated the Agrarian Trust project modeled on Terre de Liens of France.  (agrariantrust.org)
 
Organizational Development:  With IRS approval of our status as a 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt organization now in hand, we will expand the board and hire new colleagues who can help us guide the 33-year legacy of the E. F. Schumacher Society through another 33 years as the Schumacher Center for a New Economics.
 
Collaboration with other Organizations: A 2014 strategy of the board of directors calls for strengthening the multiple ways we partner with sister initiatives, supporting them and directing attention to their work to bring about economic change regionally, nationally, and internationally.  A new economics "speakers bureau" will point out the range of interrelated initiatives needed to transform a failing system and showcase those developing practical solutions. 
 
Kindle/Kobo: The collection of Annual Schumacher Lectures continues to inspire a new generation with a sense of what can be done by engaged citizens. Available to read on-line at no cost or to listen to at archive.org, the lectures will soon be available in ebook format on both Kindle and Kobo.  Still like the old-fashioned pamphlet form?  You can order online for your gift giving or by calling our office (413) 528-1737.