The Voice of a New Economics:
A Campaign at a Critical Time
"Humanity will one day need all of the good examples of small scale it can find." - Wes Jackson
Our Economy in Crisis
In the wake of the current economic crisis and the near collapse of world financial markets, the ongoing work of the New Economics Institute is more relevant – and more urgent – than ever.
At this time of uncertainty, people are looking for alternatives to an unpredictable, anonymous global economy – sound alternatives, based on a philosophy of mutual support and trust.
E.F. Schumacher cautioned us, some forty years ago, that a society based on the fundamental goal of feeding ever-expanding markets and promoting lifestyles of endless consumption, would inevitably reach its limit. In Small Is Beautiful, his 1973 classic, he suggests that a strategy of boundless growth is ultimately incompatible with the reality of a finite planet. Eventually, Schumacher posited, this system would have to break down, forcing a return to the principles of logic and a recovery of basic human intelligence.
Schumacher’s greatest legacy, however, lies not in his early forecast of the unraveling of our current economic model, but in his constructive vision for how to shape a sustainable world rooted in strong relationships and economies of place and permanence.
Creating a Library for Economic Sustainability
Part of influencing new thinking and envisioning model programs is having a well-organized and accessible body of fundamental research. In 1991 the New Economics Institute launched the E. F. Schumacher Library, a premiere collection of books and pamphlets that provide an academic resource on the history, theory, and practice of developing sustainable communities based on economic, social, and ecological principles. Since the launch of the library, Institute staff has catalogued over 12,000 books and pamphlets. The electronic catalogue is available on the Institute’s website (www.neweconomicsinstitute.org), where it can be accessed and searched by scholars around the world.
The Library houses Fritz Schumacher’s personal books, papers, and archives -- a unique research collection that offers insight into the underlying philosophies and traditions that informed his thinking and motivated his actions. In addition the Library includes seminal texts on worker ownership, community-supported agriculture, appropriate technology, micro-financing, restoring the commons, community-based schools, and local economics -- gathered over twenty years by the Institute's staff and board members. These texts provide highly practical tools for shaping a sustainable and just economy in keeping with Schumacher's vision. It is the mission of the New Economics Institute to carefully steward this rich material, to make it available for research by engaged activists, and to present it to a broader public audience.
Shaping a Sustainable Future
For almost 30 years, the New Economics Institute has been preserving and building upon life work of Schumacher and others. In addition to the Library, we hold annual lectures and seminars, convene conferences, publish pamphlets, distribute e-newsletters, and maintain a content-rich website. The New Economics Institute is also known for its pioneering programs that demonstrate the practical application of new economics, including community land trusts, micro-financing, community supported farming, and local currencies. But at this juncture in history, we feel an urgency to bring our message into a broader public forum. As various economic experts weigh in on the current financial crisis -- most presenting schemes to stimulate a renewal of unbridled growth -- we feel it is our responsibility to register a message for a sustainable future.
We Need Your Help
To enable us to bring a model of economic sustainability into the mainstream debate, the New Economics Institute proposes to raise a total of $1,400,000. These funds will be allocated as follows:
- $400,000 Renovation & Expansion of the Library
To enhance our in-house research and educational capabilities by renovating the existing 1600 square foot lower level of our of current library building. This would include the creation of an efficient cataloguing section, archival storage capacity, additional bookshelf space, media room, information center, research room, and outdoor reading area.
- $400,000 Library Maintenance Endowment
To ensure ongoing functioning of the library, its exhibits and technology.
- $300,000 Scholars Fellowship Program
To develop promising young leaders in the fields of Sustainable Economics, Environmental Studies, and Community Action. The New Economics Institute owns a nearby residence to house scholars.
- $200,000 Hire Librarian & Archivist
To further our educational efforts. Responsibilities would include annotating reading lists on current topics and hosting visiting researchers (two years @ $50,000/yr. per position).
- $100,000 Program & Outreach
To increase program & outreach by developing special exhibits and innovative material and technology for presenting information from the collection in an accessible manner.
Please join with others to help the New Economics Institute meet its Capital Campaign Goal of $1,400,000. The Board of Directors thanks you for your contribution.
Please send your tax-deductible gift to:
New Economics Institute, 140 Jug End Road, Great Barrington, MA 01230 USA
Go to the secure online donation form (Visa/Mastercard) or use the printable donation form and send by mail.
To arrange a donation of stock or securities, please contact Susan Witt at the Institute's Berkshire office: (413) 528-1737, email@example.com