Thursday, 12 May 2016

Schumacher: Is Small the next Big?

On BBC Radio 4 this week, the idea put forward by many commentators is that EF Schumacher, of "Small is Beautiful", is making a come-back:
BBC Radio 4 - EF Schumacher: Is Small the Next Big?

Many labelled Schumacher a crank, observes one of his former editors. He happily agreed. What, after all, is a crank? “It’s a small element in a machine that makes revolutions.”
EF Schumacher: Sure I’m a crank: “a small element in a machine that makes revolutions” - MoneyWeek

Instead of the worship of the big, we must realise that small-scale is more efficient business-wise ... and people-wise:
The big business of small companies (2015-03-04) - ISO

Anders Bouvin of Handelsbanken in London agrees:
The Swedish bank boss who likes to do things differently - BBC News
No marketing? No plan? How Handelsbanken hit 200 branches in the UK - Telegraph
Swede talk: Interview with Anders Bouvin, CEO of Handelsbanken UK – Jessica Furseth

The Brixton Pound is one example:
The Brixton Pound - Money that sticks to Brixton - B£

Totnes is the birthplace of the Transition Town movement: 
Matt Harvey talks of Totnesterone:
F – Page 2 – TEDxExeter

Rob Hopkins speaks about the local economy, the 'multiplier effect' and reweaving communities:
Local multiplier effect - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Multiplier Effect of Local Independent Businesses | AMIBA

Good Energy working with the  Easton Community Team in East Bristol believes "the supplier becomes obsolete":
Become part of the green energy future | Good Energy
East Bristol Bakery (@EastBrisBakery) on Twitter
Green dream: Innovative Community project could provide low carbon heating | Bristol Post
Easton Energy Group | “A community group to help individuals reduce energy use in the home organised by a group of Easton residents who are working in the energy and sustainability field”

At Ashton Vale Primary, they are working with the Soil Association's Food For Life programme:
Good life film - Food for Life
Uploads from Soil Association Food for Life - YouTube

The Soil Association is one of many organisations founded by Schumacher:
Resurgence • The Schumacher Circle

Urban migration was the future in the 1970s - but one way of coping with it could be small-scale technology. Nick Hughes of M KOPA explains how this can now help in Kenya:
Lightbulb moment for M-Kopa - FT.com
About | M-KOPA Corporate

The Maker Movement is getting big in the United States:
Maker Movement 2016: Let's Do This Together | Make:
What Is the Maker Movement and Why Should You Care?

And one of the big ideas is 'distributed manufacturing':
Distributed Manufacturing: 7 Advantages over Traditional Manufacturing

Another significant book Schumacher wrote was 'Good Work'. 
Good Work, by E F Schumacher | Make Wealth History

The co-founder of Schumacher College talks about the problem of disconnection:
Satish Kumar | Schumacher College
Collapsonomics: Making a good job of living through difficult times | Schumacher College

The former head of the Financial Services Authority states that we can't continue to simply maximize GDP growth:
Adair, Lord Turner

Van Jones wrote Green Collar - very influential in the White House:
The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems: Van Jones: 8601402425617: Amazon.com: Books
The Green Collar Economy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

And this is all a challenge to the usual understanding of economics:
Mutualist Blog: Free Market Anti-Capitalism: Vulgar Libertarianism Watch, Part 1

See also:
Futures Forum: LOCALISM restated >>> "Power should be decentralised down to the lowest appropriate level - to councils, to community groups and to individual taxpayers"

Futures Forum: We are all truck-drivers now ... The free movement of goods, increased carbon emissions and the destruction of manufacturing industry
Futures Forum: Decentralized Manufacturing

Futures Forum: "The quiet realization of Ivan Illich's ideas in the contemporary commons movement"

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