The Schumacher Society promotes the wisdom and insight of E.F. Schumacher to inspire a new generation who are seeking relevant and practical solutions to heal a world in crisis and build a sane, humane and ecological society. To do this the Society:
- Embodies the principles and values in the thoughts and writing of E.F Schumacher
- Optimises the output of the Schumacher Society, its lectures, conferences, and briefings
- Seeks to coordinate and support the Schumacher Circle of like-minded organisations
- Maintains and builds direct contact with cutting edge thinkers
- Enlists the energy of youth and media of the 21st century
At the centre of our activities are the Schumacher Lectures, which attract inspirational speakers from all over the world. In recent years they have included Christopher Alexander, Fritjof Capra, Herbert Girardet, Zac Goldsmith, Brian Goodwin, Patric Holden, Ivan Illich, Satish Kumar, R.D. Laing, Michael Meacher, George Monbiot, Ann Pettifor, Jonathan Porrit, Susan Roaf, Anita Roddick, Vandana Shiva, John & Nancy Todd.
The Schumacher Briefings are carefully researched, clearly written booklets on key aspects of sustainable development, published approximately twice a year by Green Books on behalf of The Schumacher Society.
The Schumacher Award is presented annually at the Bristol Schumacher Lectures. It honours people and grassroots organisations in the UK whose work is making a significant contribution to human scale sustainable development in the Schumacher tradition. It symbolises coutless other unsung heroines and heroes who are working to transform society, often with little or no support.
The emergence of ever remoter structures of political governance and corporate power has been an overwhelming trend in recent years. Economic globalisation has expanded everywhere to the detriment of local democratic self-determination. Local ecosystems, economies and communities have been gravely undermined by these trends. Even sustainable development, a concept that has become prominent in recent years, has tended to ignore the concerns of people in their neighbourhoods and communities.
The Schumacher Society exists to challenge such developments and to propose alternatives. It provides a unique forum for promoting human scale solutions to the social and environmental problems facing us. We seek to address the growing unease many people feel about the global economic and political structures over which they have little control. It is apparent that many people are seeking human scale solutions for themselves and their communities.
The Schumacher Society is named after economist and philosopher Dr. E.F. Schumacher, author of ‘Small is Beautiful’, ‘The Guide for the Perplexed’, ‘Good Work’ and ‘This I Believe’. Schumacher is widely acknowledged as the originator of many concepts on the theory and practice of sustainable development.
In the shadow of economic globalisation, an extraordinary variety of creative voices have emerged to challenge and reverse the dominant trends. It has been our purpose to identify and host leading edge thinkers and practitioners and to help amplify their voices. Our primary function is to promote, generate and distribute concepts and processes that enable individuals and communities to take steps towards creating a sustainable future.
The Schumacher Sociaty is above all else engaged in educational work. Tangible expressions of this are the Schumacher Lectures, Schumacher Briefings, the Schumacher Book Service, Resurgence Magazine, Green Books Publishing House and Schumacher College.
The Society is based at the Create Centre in Bristol. It is non-profit-making: any surplus revenues are used to further the aims of Schumacher UK. For much of our work we have been relying on voluntary help. The Schumacher Society and seven other Schumacher-inspired organisations form the Schumacher Circle: Practical Action, the Soil Association, the New Economics Foundation, Schumacher College, the Schumacher Institute, Green Books, the Centre for Alternative Technology and Resurgence Magazine.