There are many organisations that owe their existence to, or have been greatly inspired by, E. F. Schumacher. His books and other writings are still thought-provoking – in particular Small is Beautiful, which was first published in 1973. The range of his thinking is reflected in the diversity of the organisations that recognise him as their inspiration: they share a vision of social development that is sustainable and benign to both people and the environment. Green Books has also published a wide-ranging collection of artcles which he wrote for Resurgence magazine, entitled This I Believe and Other Essays.
The Schumacher Circle comprises The Centre for Alternative Technology, Intermediate Technology, Jeevika Trust UK (formerly the India Development Group, The Soil Association, The New Economics Foundation, Resurgence magazine, Schumacher College, The Schumacher Society and Green Books. It is an informal network of organisations which in their different ways all build on Schumacher’s legacy. They have a common concern with developing ideas and approaches to the ecological, technological, social and spiritual predicament which is faced by the world’s population.
Here are brief details of the other members of The Schumacher Circle. Please visit their websites for more information.
We offer solutions to some of the most serious challenges facing our planet and the human race, such as climate change, pollution and the waste of precious resources.
We demonstrate practical ways of addressing these problems. Leading by example, we aim to show that living more sustainably is not only easy to attain but can provide a better quality of life.
Our Visitor Centre is open seven days a week. Interactive displays show global issues such as energy generation and transport, and practical, everyday solutions for everyone.
CAT also runs a free information service, answering enquiries on a massive range of topics by phone, letter or email, five days a week. For bigger projects, there is also a consultancy service.
CAT is a great place to learn new things, for all ages. We run a range of residential courses – from weekends to a year-long MSc. Our dedicated Education Department arranges school trips to CAT, which can be tied in with the National Curriculum.
We publish books on various ‘green’ topics, and sell eco-books and products through a shop and mail order service.
There is a small community living at our Centre, experimenting with different ways of living, putting cooperative and environmental ideas into action. We take the same approach with our work, looking at the environmental impact of everything we do from start to finish.
We hope that through our positive example and promotion of effective solutions, people will be inspired to lessen their impact on the world in the same ways we have for more than 30 years.
To find out more about what we do, why not visit the Centre for Alternative Tehnology, and change your life for the better?
Everyone in the world uses technologies of some sort and is affected by them. How much control and choice do we have over them, and just how appropriate are those technologies? Practical Action (founded by E. F. Schumacher in 1965 as The Intermediate Technology Development Group) aims to expand technology choices by promoting the appropriate technology approach, which focuses on people and the environment, and by encouraging the responsible use of technologies by the powerful.
Practical Action can tell the human stories behind the development projects and communicate the lessons, learned from working alongside people in rural areas of Bangladesh, Kenya, Malawi, Nepal, Peru, Sri Lanka, south India, Sudan and Zimbabwe.
There is an extensive range of projects, with particular emphasis in specific technological areas. A publishing company (Practical Action Publishing) and a consultancy company (Practical Action Consulting) help to disseminate experience and knowledge. With a huge amount of technological and cultural knowledge and understanding, Practical Action has an international reputation for its work on the appropriate technology approach and its practice.
Regular newsletters and local group activities keep our supporters in touch with our work, and an active schools education programme promotes the concepts of appropriate technology in British schools.
Reg. Charity No: 247257
People who are really poor, powerless and without hope are now a global problem . . . and it is rural INDIA that remains the world’s biggest poverty trap. One third of a billion people are trapped below the absolute poverty line.
Governments have failed them, the media largely ignore them. Who cares? Mainly the ‘voluntary sector’ – organisations like ours which depend on your support.
We work with people on the margins of rural society – low-caste and tribal people, especially disadvantaged women – to help them build and sustain their individual, family and community livelihoods.
The scale of rural poverty across India is daunting. A population larger than America (more than 370,000,000 people) living, and dying, on less than a dollar a day. Is this global economic justice, in our time?
The degree of rural poverty in India was memorably expressed by E. F. Schumacher, author of Small is Beautiful:
"The starting point of all our considerations is poverty, or rather, a degree of poverty which means misery, and degrades and stultifies the human person."
Entrusted with these words, our task is to embark on actions which will make, or trigger, a perceptible impact among that one-third of the world’s absolute poor who happen to live in India. We support campaigns for global economic justice, fair trade and other valuable causes. But we believe the best way we can tackle poverty in India is at its roots, through hands-on rural development projects, aimed at perceptibly touching human lives and revitalising village communities.
Don’t you ever wonder why the world works as it does?
How people in the rich countries can die of heart disease while those in poor countries are dying of hunger? How those in jobs can be overworked and stressed while others want the chance to be useful and are denied that right? How our throw-away society can waste so much and still want to plunder the Earth’s resources? And don’t you ever wonder if there’s an alternative?
The New Economics Foundation (NEF) works to explore and promote an alternative vision of ideas and practical schemes based on the needs of people and the environment.
Current initiatives include Well-being, Social Policy, Valuing What Matters, Connected Economies, Democracy and Participation, Finance and Business, Climate Change and Energy, and Natural Economies.
Reg. Charity No: 294874
Resurgence magazine is a bimonthly magazine of vision and action, published by The Resurgence Trust (registered charity no. 1120414). Resurgence magazine brings its readers a unique blend of news and views on a range of topics that includes ecology, development, education, health, science and politics, together with art, culture and spirituality.
In a world of unchecked materialism, Resurgence stands for an environmentally and spiritually sustainable future. The magazine has been in publication for over 40 years.
In each issue you will find:
Feature articles from some of the most original thinkers of our time, including:
- spiritual and philosophical teachers such as the Dalai Lama and Thomas Moore,
- activists for peace and social justice such as Wangari Maathai and Scilla Elworthy,
- environmental theorists such as Wendell Berry, Wolfgang Sachs and Richard Heinberg.
Regular features within the magazine include:
- Frontline – reports from the grassroots
- Sensible solutions – offering information on green living
- Slow Travel – inspirational journeys that respect the Earth
- Poetry, gardening, recipes and an extensive book reviews section.
Subscriptions & website: http://www.resurgence.org
Schumacher College is based in the beautiful surroundings of the Dartington Hall Estate in South Devon. In a very short time it has become internationally renowned as one of the few institutions exploring the fundamental problems now facing the world, and since its opening in January 1991 it has attracted over 1,200 participants from 45 countries to oits courses.
Whether the approach is via science, ecology, economics, spirituality or the humanities, its intent is to explore the foundations of a more balanced and harmonious world view.
The programme of forthcoming courses is given on the website: http://www.schumachercollege.org.uk
All over the world individuals and organisations are working to bring practical solutions and creative new approaches to our ecological and spiritual predicament. Their work includes new economics, human-scale education, permaculture and organic cultivation, intermediate technology and green spirituality.
Many of these groups and individuals who are working towards a holistic and ecologically sound society draw inspiration from the life and work of E. F. Schumacher, the great economist and philosopher, and author of Small is Beautiful, Good Work, A Guide for the Perplexed and other works.
Together with his deep spiritual vision and his rejection of western materialism and economic exploitation, Schumacher saw the need to give societies, communities and individuals practical tools for change.
His ideas live on in the Schumacher Society (founded in 1978), which is at the heart of a network of allied activities, playing a major role in encouraging the spread of ecological and spiritual values. The Society works to support and bring together the many strands of the world view which is currently emerging. This vision is informed by a sense of the whole, the connectedness of the parts, a commitment to sustainability, and a reverence for the sacred.
The Schumacher Society builds on Schumacher’s legacy: it has been the seedbed for many initiatives that include Green Books, the Small School at Hartland and Schumacher College. Through the annual Schumacher Lectures, our newsletter, book service, lecture service and our wide range of contacts and networking, including links with Schumacher Societies in other countries, we help to spread the ideas and values that are needed to bring about a truly sane and ecologically sound society.
Do you care about the quality your food and the way farming affects our countryside?
Since the war, farming has become increasingly intensive. Government policies have encouraged farmers to increase production of both crops and livestock, creating a system that relies heavily on chemicals.
The Soil Association has been at the centre of the fight for safe, healthy food, an unpolluted countryside and a sustainable farming policy in Britain and worldwide, since its formation in 1946. Key areas of work include:
- Promotion of organic food and farming
- Agricultural reform
- Certification of organic standards
- Responsible forestry programme
- Joining forces with other organisations involved in conservation, the environment, food quality and animal welfare.
Members of the Association receive the magazine Living Earth (our magazine with in-depth coverage of organic issues), regular newsletters, information on regional groups, and expert advice. By joining the Association, you can add your voice to the many who are concerned for the future of their food, the countryside, and the Earth they will pass on to their children.
Reg. Charity No: 206862