2012 Conference

‘ … As If People Mattered’

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E.F.Schumacher’s  ground-breaking book, Small is Beautiful, was subtitled ‘Economics As  If People Mattered’. In the centenary year of his birth, the theme is  being taken up with increasing urgency by social movements across the  globe. In our next conference Schumacher North joins the big  conversation, looking at critical areas of our collective life and asking the question:

How  can we help create a global society where well-being, autonomy and  caring for people and non-human nature have the first place of  importance rather than corporate profit and GDP growth?

Swarthmore Education Centre 2-7 Woodhouse Square Leeds LS3 1AD

Saturday 11 – Sunday 12 February 2012

Currently  we are being told that spending on essential public services, health,  education and the environment must be slashed because of debts incurred  by financial speculation. At the same time we are asked to accept the same financial institutions paying 7 figure bonuses to the very people responsible. Clearly people’s rights and well-being are not being given the highest priority in policy-making.

We are determined to go beyond asking challenging questions to frame some radical answers; to commit to  building the social infrastructure and activist networks that will  catalyse deep social, economic and environmental change in our region  and beyond.

We  are inviting participants from the widest possible range of  backgrounds, interests and ideological views to engage in two days of  intense discussion, encounter and networking that will challenge  accepted ideas and help forge new ways of working together.

To this end, we’ll be placing less emphasis on separate workshops and presentation of individual  projects, and providing more space for collective exploration of wider  questions, along with space for working groups and for experiential  groupwork.

  • How can we organise and empower ourselves to meet our material, social  and emotionalneeds in a way which is inclusive, just and sustainable?
  • Is it possible for the current global economic system and political institutions to be reformed, brought under democratic control and made to serve human need – or is this a contradiction?
  • · What  are the tensions and commonalities between the social movements of our  time (eg Transition, the Occupy movement, student and labour movements,  movements for equality/inclusion of diverse social groups, faith- and  spirituality-based movements )?
  • ·Is it possible for a coherent social movement to be truly inclusive, participatory and egalitarian?

Please join us on February 11-12 to work towards an inspired, positive vision for the future of our communities and our world.


Please  note that entrance to the conference is free; however, we would welcome  donations from those who feel able. The Swarthmore Centre is kindly  supporting us by donating the space, and we would like to support them if possible.

To  ensure access for people travelling from a distance, we will also be  operating a fares pool (please contribute if you can, so that we can collectively support anyone who needs help paying fares to the conference).  Also, please contact us as soon as possible if you are able to offer  someone a place to sleep on the Saturday night (and possibly the  Friday), or if you will be needing a bed yourself.

For more information and bookings, contact schumachernorth-info@riseup.net

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