[P2P-F] Fwd: Applied Craftsmanship

Michel Bauwens michel at p2pfoundation.net
Sun Feb 23 23:53:41 CET 2020

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From: Schumacher Center for a New Economics <
schumacher at centerforneweconomics.org>
Date: Sat, Feb 22, 2020 at 9:48 PM
Subject: Applied Craftsmanship
To: <michel at p2pfoundation.net>

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BerkShares posters line the hallway of the newly renovated Schumacher
Dear Michel Bauwens,

In a January 2020 article for *Craftsmanship Quarterly,* “Could Small Still
Be Beautiful?”, Bryce Bauer writes of the continuing influence of economist
E. F. Schumacher. In the process he captures the forty-year sweep of the
work of the Schumacher Center for a New Economics.

An excerpt of his article is reprinted below with permission of the
publisher. You can read the full article here
and, on The Craftsmanship Initiative’s website
become a follower of the magazine at no fee.

On February 3rd the contractors completed their 10 months of work renovating
the Schumacher Center’s Library
and Offices.
cleaning crew worked all day on the 4th to make everything sparkle. Then
that Thursday it was all hands on deck to move books and archival
collections into their new climate controlled environment; unpack dishes
and place them on shelves in the new kitchen; wash linens covered in
sawdust and set them in order in the two new bathrooms; arrange the
librarian’s workspace downstairs; hang paintings; unroll rug, table, and
chairs for the video conferencing room; and re-arrange the “big” room
upstairs now with more space for convening. Team Schumacher was up to the
task, even adding a new flowering jasmine in celebration!
Painters and carpenters from left to right:
Dan Ferron, Kealan Rooney, Tim Seddon, Steven Seddon Sr., Bob Hartman,
Devon Guy
All just in time for a group of twenty-two persons arriving from around the
country on that Friday for a two-day gathering to discuss the cultural
roots of the climate crisis and how philanthropists could best engage in
creating solutions.

It was a perfect setting for the discussion facilitated by Otto Scharmer
and Arthur Zajonc. The conversation moved from inside the library to the
walking trails outside and uphill on Jug End Mountain with stunning views
across the Berkshire valley. Break out groups found plenty of corners in
the stacks of books downstairs, and the office spaces upstairs for one on
one conversations.
Gathering in the "big" room at the Schumacher Library
It is a building meant to serve the next forty years of the Schumacher
Center’s work. Our thanks to the many friends of the Center that donated to
make Bob Swann’s original vision for the building a reality.

Schumacher Center Staff
View photos of the renovation on our website

>From the January 2020 edition of Craftsmanship Quarterly
By Bryce Bauer

*Located in the undulating hills of the Southern Berkshires, off the
charmingly named Jug End Road near Great Barrington, Massachusetts, the
Schumacher Center is a living emblem of Schumacherian modesty and elegance.
When I arrived there for a visit of several days, to check up on what has
become of Schumacher’s ideas in the four decades since his death, Witt, the
center’s director, began her answer by touring me through two of the
center’s buildings — its library and her own house. Both had been designed
and partially built by the center’s co-founder and her late partner Bob
Swann, a carpenter who had previously worked on houses designed by Frank
Lloyd Wright. And both displayed the famous architect’s human-scale
gracefulness. The grounds feature a large garden, surrounded by an
extensive apple orchard. After “Small Is Beautiful” came out, Swann helped
organize Schumacher’s 1977 tour of the United States; Schumacher, in turn,
asked Swann to help carry out his ideas in America. Originally designed to
be the forum for a Schumacher-inspired lecture series, the scope of the
organization grew over the years, as did the intellectual spheres from
which it drew. Critical among the ideas it subsumed were those of the great
urban development theorist, Jane Jacobs, who spoke at the center in 1984.
In one of her books, “The Economy of Cities,” Jacobs argued that places
develop when they start to produce products locally that they previously
imported from far away. Following her speech, Jacobs became a supporter of
the center and wrote about its projects in her later books. When I asked
Michael Shuman, an economist and consultant who has written several books
on local economies, how he viewed the center’s work, he said, “I think the
Schumacher center under Susan’s leadership has been the most important
laboratory for social invention that serves the local economy in the
world.” Shuman credits the center with helping to push forward ideas that
have now become mainstream, like crowd funding, and for keeping work on
local economies anchored in an intellectual context. Today, the Schumacher
Center operates primarily as a library and think-tank, focused on three
broad areas: helping communities gain greater control over their land;
supporting businesses that provide products and services for local
consumption, so that profits stay at home; and fostering face-to-face
relationships to offset, or even reverse, the harms of scale that
Schumacher identified. Much of this work is focused on the Berkshires, the
center’s local proving ground of sorts.*

Read the full story here.

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*Schumacher Center for a New Economics 140 Jug End Road, Great Barrington,
MA 01230 | (413) 528-1737*

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