David Bollier

David Bollier is Director of the Schumacher Center’s Reinventing the Commons Program. He is an American activist, author, and blogger whose work focuses on the commons as a new paradigm of economics, politics, and culture.

Bollier’s work at Schumacher Center draws on his experiences as co-founder of the Commons Strategies Group, an international advocacy/consulting project (2009-present), and as founding editor of Onthecommons.org (2002-2010).  He has co-organized a wide variety of pioneering international conferences on the commons, strategy workshops, seminars, and public events, especially in Europe.

His mostly widely read book on the commons is Think Like a Commoner:  A Short Introduction to the Life of the Commons (2014), now translated into French, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Greek, and Korean, as well as an upcoming Chinese translation.  Bollier’s other books include Patterns of Commoning (2015) and The Wealth of the Commons (2012), both with co-editor Silke Helfrich; Green Governance (2013), co-authored with the late Professor Burns Weston; and Viral Spiral (2009), Brand-Name Bullies (2005), and Silent Theft (2002).

Bollier has hosted an educational film, This Land Is Our Land: The Fight to Reclaim the Commons; taught “The Rise of the Commons” course at Amherst College as the Croxton Lecturer in 2010; served an expert witness for the “design commons” in a trademark lawsuit; and contributed chapters to more than a dozen book anthologies. For twenty-five years, until 2010, he collaborated closely with television producer/writer Norman Lear on a wide variety of non-television public affairs and political projects. In 2012, Bollier received the Bosch Berlin Prize in Public Policy from the American Academy in Berlin for his work on the commons. 

He was co-founder and board member (2001-2011) of Public Knowledge, a Washington policy advocacy organization dedicated to protecting the information commons, as well as Senior Fellow at the Norman Lear Center at the USC Annenberg School for Communication for many years.  In the 1970s and 1980s, Bollier worked in various policy positions in Washington, D.C.– for a Member of Congress, the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration, People for the American Way, and Ralph Nader. 

Bollier blogs at Bollier.org and lives in Amherst, Massachusetts, a place that knows a lot about commoning and inspires a passionate hometown loyalty.

Email David.

Amelia Holmes

Amelia Holmes is the Librarian at the Schumacher Center. Under her care the physical collections and the online library cataloging system have been reorganized, making the content more easily accessible to students, researchers, educators, and activists. She is expanding the educational outreach programs of the Library to draw new attention to the resources there.

Thinking about the future, Holmes is leading the campaign to renovate the 1,600 square foot ground floor level of the Schumacher Center Library, providing additional archival-grade bookshelves and storage area for the collections of papers from Fritz Schumacher and others.

Holmes is overseeing the creation of a new website for the Schumacher Center, in the process recovering and revitalizing over 400 publications and newsletters, in order to provide viewers with more a comprehensive and visually appealing experience of the Center's rich content and history. She also stewards the Center’s social media accounts, highlighting the lectures and publications as well as content from partner new economy speakers and organizations. She assists editor Hildegarde Hannum with the transcribing and printing of past lectures into pamphlets and has made them available to read online and in eBook form on Kobo in Kindle.

She graduated from Bennington College in 2011 with a BA in Environmental Science and Ceramics. While at Bennington she interned as an archivist at several organizations including the Metropolitan Museum of Art where she worked with the librarians at the Thomas J. Watson Library to organize and catalog books and periodicals in the Objects Conservation departmental library.

Holmes is a voracious reader and young agrarian. She volunteers at nearby Indian Line Farm.

She can be contacted at library@centerforneweconomics.org with questions about the Library, its collections, and the renovation funding Campaign.

Rachel Moriarty


Rachel Moriarty is the Director of Operations at the Schumacher Center for a New Economics, where she manages the organization so it can effectively house both its national and local programs. In the Berkshire region of Western Massachusetts, she helps implement the Schumacher Center's practical applications of new economic thinking.  She works to educate the community in which she grew up about tools for achieving economic justice with BerkShares local currency and the Berkshire Community Land Trust. Through the Community Supported Industry initiative she engages her community members to think about opportunities to produce locally for local consumption as a way of filling in the gaps in the local economy. Her connections with local people and knowledge of local institutions provide a cultural context for establishing meaningful connections and effecting systemic change in the region.

Moriarty received her B.S. in Sustainable Food and Farming from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst with a concentration in community organizing.  Prior to working with the Schumacher Center, she worked with two small non-profits in the Berkshires to engage young people with the local food system, and facilitate connections between local farmers, restaurants, and consumers.

Email Rachel Moriarty.

Greg Watson

Greg Watson is Director of Policy and Systems Design at the Schumacher Center for a New Economics. His work currently focuses on community food systems and the dynamics between local and geo-economic systems.

Watson has spent nearly 40 years learning to understand systems thinking as inspired by Buckminster Fuller and to apply that understanding to achieve a just and sustainable world.

In 1978 Watson organized a network of urban farmers’ markets in the Greater Boston Metropolitan Area. He served as the 19th Commissioner of Agriculture in Massachusetts under Governors Dukakis and Weld from 1990 to 1993 and under Governor Deval Patrick from 2012 to 2014. During the Patrick administration he launched a statewide urban agriculture grants program and chaired the Commonwealth’s Public Market Commission, which oversaw the planning and construction of the Boston Public Market.

From 1984 to 1990 Watson served as Assistant Secretary in the Massachusetts Executive Office of Economic Affairs, where he established and chaired the Massachusetts Office of Science and Technology. In 1988 he presented a paper entitled “Preparing Policymakers To Address the Problem of Climate Change” at the Second North American Conference on Preparing for Climate Change in Washington, D.C.

Watson gained hands-on experience in organic farming, aquaculture, wind-energy technology, and passive solar design at the New Alchemy Institute on Cape Cod, first as Education Director and later as Executive Director. He served as the first Executive Director of the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust and was Executive Director of the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative, a multicultural grassroots organizing and planning organization for which he initiated one of the nation’s first urban agriculture programs.

In 2005 he coordinated the drafting of “A Framework for Offshore Wind Energy Development in the United States” and the following year founded the U.S. Offshore Wind Collaborative. He served on President-elect Barack Obama’s U.S. Department of Energy transition team in 2008. In 2015 he founded the Cuba-U.S. Agroecology Network (CUSAN) following a trip to Cuba to learn about its agroecology system. CUSAN links small farmers and sustainable farm organizations in both countries to share information and provide mutual support.

He serves on the boards of the Urban Farming Institute, Ocean Arks International, Remineralize The Earth, Interactive Institute for Social Change, and Drawdown.

Greg Watson currently resides in Falmouth, Massachusetts.

Watch his lecture 'Shaping a New Agriculture'.
Read his interview in Berkshire Trade and Commerce.
Read his essay In Search of Integrity.
Email Greg Watson.

Susan Witt


Susan Witt is the Executive Director of the Schumacher Center for a New Economics, which she co-founded with Robert Swann in 1980. She has led the development of the Schumacher Center's highly regarded publications, library, seminars, and other educational programs, which established the Center as a pioneering voice for a new economics shaped by social and ecological principles. Deeply engaged with the history and theory of a new economics and its implications for the transformation of our relationship to land, labor, and capital, she has simultaneously worked to turn theory into practice in her home region of the Berkshires.

In 1980 she incorporated the Community Land Trust in the Southern Berkshires (CLTSB)) and has been responsible for many of the innovative financing and contracting methods it uses to create more affordable access to land. The Community Land Trust holds both agricultural and residential land in permanent affordable trust for the Berkshire region. In 2015 she helped incorporate the Berkshire Community Land Trust to partner with CLTSB to expand its reach and capacity.

From 1981 to 1992 she created and administered the SHARE micro-credit program, precursor of BerkShares, and in 1985 worked with Robyn Van En to form the first Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm in this country at Indian Line Farm. In 2006 she co-founded the BerkShares local currency program, which has won international media attention as a model for other regions. 

Her talks and essays draw on stories from her practical experience. Her essays appear in Rooted in the Land, edited by William Vitek and Wes Jackson (1996); People, Land, and Community: Collected E. F. Schumacher Society Lectures, edited by Hildegarde Hannum (1997); A Forest of Voices: Conversations in Ecology, edited by Chris Anderson and Lex Runciman (2000); Environmental Activists, edited by John Mongillo (2001); The Money Changers: Currency Reform from Aristotle to E-cash, edited by David Boyle (2002); The Essential Agrarian Reader, edited by Norman Wirzberg (2003); and What We See: Advancing the Observations of Jane Jacobs, edited by Stephen Goldsmith and Lynne Elizabeth (2010).

Susan Witt speaks regularly on the topic of citizen responsibility for shaping local economies, and counts Jane Jacobs as a valued mentor and important influence on her thinking. Her work has been described in various media venues.

Archive of Susan Witt's articles and essays.

Email Susan Witt.