Most large corporations have a Chief Economist - Vince Cable, the current Business Secretary, is a former Chief Economist with Shell. In the world of economics, there are a great many chief economists but very few indians. This has set me wondering about why large companies need an economists but small businesses and communities apparently do not.
When I moved to Stroud nearly four years ago now I was still quite insecure in my role as an economist. I did not want that label - which smacks of capitalist apologism - but was shy about claiming the title 'green economist'. When I dared to say that I was a green economist I was delighted by the response: 'Great! We need one of those!'. It seems to me that this was the right response: every community needs at least one economist.
Perhaps the reason we do not have local economies is that we do not have economists. We could not imagine a local economy functioning without an accountant, yet economists are isolated in their ivory towers rather than working in their backyards. We must have people who count money, but have not seen the need for people who are expert in the wise use of local resources.
So at the recent Schumacher Centenary celebrations in Bristol I ran a well-attended session to try to build a group of people with the focus and skills of an economist. This area of the website is for us to share what we know about what works, whether that is about setting up an energy-services company or a local currency. I am calling it the Guild of Green Economists and together we will hopefully fill the other pages that link from this one.
We have created a place to discuss the issues at Guild-of-Green-Economists Google Group.
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