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For Immediate Release
October 19, 2006
Schumacher Briefings 12:
New Frontiers for Sustainability
By Jonathan Dawson
Contact:Jon-Mikel Gates, (802) 295-6300, ext. 111, email@example.com
Tracing the Threads in the Ecovillage Tapestry
In the last twenty years ecovillages—local communities which aim to minimize their ecological
impact while maximizing human wellbeing and happiness—have been springing up all over the world.
They incorporate a wealth of radical ideas and approaches which can be traced back to Schumacher,
Gandhi, and the alternative education movement. This Briefing describes the history and potential of the
ecovillage movement, including the evolution of the Global Ecovillage Network and current developments
in both North and South.
Ecovillages explores the cutting edge of a
movement that seeks to understand human activity
not in terms of productivity and income, but by
looking at our quality of life and our relationship
with the world–natural and human–around
us. These intentional communities and living
laboratories seek to institute the best practices from
across the green living movement; they improve
their own lives and provide a model for conscious
living to others who would do the same.
The threads that are brought together in
• learning from the best elements in traditional and
• alternative economy: community banks and currencies,
and voluntary simplicity
• designing with nature: using permaculture design,
eco-building, small-scale energy generation, wastemanagement,
low-impact transport systems, etc
• organic, local food production and processing
• reviving small-scale participatory governance,
social inclusion and inter-generational community
• creating a culture of peace and holistic, wholeperson
In an age of diminishing oil supplies, the Briefing examines the lessons that we can learn from ecovillages
to show us how to live in a more ecologically sound and sustainable way.
Jonathan Dawson is Executive Secretary of GEN-Europe (the Global Ecovillage Network). He is also a
storyteller and sustainability educator and lives at the Findhorn Foundation community in Scotland.
E. F. Schumacher (1911-1977) was an internationally influential economist and educator, best known for
his book Small Is Beautiful, a critique of Western economies and a series of proposals for sustainable,
“human-size” development. The Schumacher Society was inspired by, and continues, his life’s work.
The Schumacher Briefings are 80–160 page booklets on key issues of our time, based on the analysis
of Schumacher Lecturers and other leading-edge thinkers, which form a major part of the Schumacher
Society’s work. The aim is to make them essential reading for everyone concerned with the practical
implementation of sustainability, including policy makers, academics and grassroots activists.
Book available October 2006 | Paperback | $14.00 | 1-903998-77-8 | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | 100 pages
Find out more at www.chelseagreen.com/2006/items/ecovillages.com