Now Online: Schumacher Lectures Featuring 2010 and 2015 Challenge Winners!
2015 Winner Bren Smith and 2010 WinnerAllan Savory advocated for managing the commons, rather than “letting nature just take its own course.” They spoke on behalf of climate-change abatement, food security, job creation, and the health of both land and sea. Watch the 35th Annual Schumacher Lectures online!
The first Annual E. F. Schumacher Lectures were delivered in 1981 by Wendell Berry, Wes Jackson, and Hazel Henderson. They emphasized the importance of vibrant regional economies at a time when the focus of the nation was on an expanding global economy. This year’s Lectures featured the two Fuller Challenge Winners and were titled: “Cattle and Kelp: Agriculture in a New Economy”.
SUMMARY FROM THE SCHUMACHER CENTER FOR NEW ECONOMICS:
“Both Bren Smith and Allan Savory advocated for managing the commons, rather than “letting nature just take its own course.” They spoke on behalf of climate-change abatement, food security, job creation, and the health of both land and sea.
In describing how he transitioned from a position of excluding grazing animals from grasslands to a position of inclusion in a rotational grazing system for which he is now famous, Allan Savory said: “Looking at the erratic results I realized the fault was mine… what I hadn’t looked at was the social side of it, the cultural side of it. I hadn’t looked at the economic side of it. You cannot in any management do anything that avoids social, environmental, and economic complexity and I hadn’t brought them all together.”
Echoing this perspective, Bren Smith called for fisherman to transition from the mindset of hunters to that of farmers of the oceans. “This is our first chance in generations to grow the right way, to provide good middle class jobs, restore ecosystems, and feed the planet. This is the new face of environmentalism. This is our chance as our food system gets pushed out to sea to block privatization, to protect our commons, to spread the seeds of justice. We can invent new occupations, and shift entire workforces out of the old economy and into the restorative economy. This is our chance to recruit an army of ocean farmers growing a new-climate cuisine that is both beautiful and hopeful so that all of us can make a living on a living planet.”
From ocean farms to rotationally grazed grasslands to model dairies to performance spaces to manufacturing sites, a managed commons requires active citizen oversight. It will mean hard work through an open democratic process, relying on local knowledge and imaginative philanthropy. Such citizen-initiated and citizen-managed commons are the cornerstones of a new economy that makes possible climate-change abatement, regional food security, sustainable job creation, and the health of both land and sea.”