Localizing Production: Communities Supporting Industry

Jay Owen 0 Comments

March 16, 2023 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm



In March, our celebration of the 50th anniversary of Small is Beautiful continues with the theme of Localizing Production: Communities Supporting Industry. Accordingly, we are pleased to introduce the participants in this next month’s installment of our Schumacher Conversations series, which brings together change-makers whose work today is actively shaping a ‘small is beautiful’ future.

The event will be held virtually on Thursday, March 16th at 2PM (EST). Registration is free.





“[P]roduction from local resources for local needs is the most rational way of economic life, while dependence on imports from afar and the consequent need to produce for export… is highly uneconomic and justifiable only in exceptional cases and on a small scale.”– E.F. Schumacher,Small is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered


As Schumacher extolled in Small is Beautiful, a shift from the prevailing trend of unaccountable globalization toward place-based, ecologically responsible, human-scale economic activity remains essential to a just and regenerative future. As the world catches up to the urgency of climate change and growing inequality, the question of scale once more returns to the fore.

Our March panelists are those building equitable production ecosystems rooted in their own places. Each participant represents a particular approach to inclusive wealth building arrived at through community participation and in a spirit of cooperation.


Zita Cobb is Founder and CEO of the registered charity Shorefast and Innkeeper of the award-winning Fogo Island Inn in Newfoundland. Following a successful career in technology, Zita returned to her native Fogo Island and established Shorefast to add another leg to the Island’s struggling economy, complementing its ever-important fishery.

Michael Partis, is Executive Director of the Bronx Cooperative Development Initiative (BCDI) in New York City. A community-led effort to build an equitable, sustainable, and democratic local economy that creates wealth and ownership for low-income people of color, the BCDI is a transformative model for urban economic development that can serve as an example for other communities.

Michael H. Schuman, economist, attorney, author, and entrepreneur, is a leading voice on community economics. He is Director of Local Economy Programs for Neighborhood Associates Corp., an Adjunct Professor at Bard Business School, and Publisher of the Main Street Journal. Michael is credited as one of the architects of the 2012 JOBS Act and influencing dozens of state laws concerning crowdfunding.

Alice Maggio is a Brooklyn-born, Berkshire-raised community developer committed to building economic institutions that distribute power and create community wealth. As Senior Project Officer for the non-profit Working World, she helps build cooperative businesses in low-income communities. She previously worked at the Schumacher Center for a New Economics, and now serves on our Board of Directors.


Each panelist is invited to reflect on themes in Small Is Beautiful that connect with their own thinking and activism. This includes economies of place, effective scale of action, production for local markets, cooperative structures, and the role of land. These reflections will then open up to a broader conversation on the topic of Localizing Production. An audience Q&A will follow moderated by our host, Alice.



Leave a Reply