New Economics Foundation
The New Economics Foundation (NEF) is a British
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...


NEF was founded in 1986 by the leaders of The Other Economic Summit
The Other Economic Summit
The Other Economic Summit , was a counter-summit to the annual G7 summits, first held in 1984 in London. It included diverse groups of economists, greens and community activists...

 (TOES) with the aim of working for a "new model of wealth creation, based on equality, diversity and economic stability".

The foundation has 50 staff in London and is active at a range of different levels. Its programmes include work on well-being, new kinds of measurement and evaluation, sustainable local regeneration, new forms of finance and new business models, sustainable public services, and the economics of climate change.


NEF works in the areas of community, democracy, and economics. A number of the ideas advanced by NEF have become public policy. NEF has for example promoted the spread of time banks and NEF's work on sustainability indicators, which measures aspects of life and environment, has fueled a trend to map how economic growth and sustainability are connected.

From 1995 to 2000 NEF made social audits of companies to measure and evaluate a company's social and ethical performance according to its standards. This work was instrumental in the formation of the Institute of Social and Ethical Accountability to promote professional standards around social accounting
Social accounting
Social accounting is the process of communicating the social and environmental effects of organizations' economic actions to particular interest groups within society and to society at...

 and auditing.

Quality and impact measurement

As a result of work carried out between 2002 and 2006 as part of the EQUAL Community Initiative
EQUAL Community Initiative
EQUAL was the ‘Community Initiative’ within the European Social Fund of the European Union. It concerned “transnational co-operation to promote new means of combating all forms of discrimination and inequalities in connection with the labour market”...

, NEF produced a guide to quality and impact measurement tools for the third sector, called Proving and Improving. It has been instrumental in developing one of the tools examined, Social Return on Investment
Social Return on Investment
Social Return on Investment is a principles-based method for measuring extra-financial value relative to resources invested...

 (SROI), which is most often used to bring non-monetary impacts of social enterprise
Social enterprise
A social enterprise is an organization that applies business strategies to achieving philanthropic goals. Social enterprises can be structured as a for-profit or non-profit....

s into a cost-benefit calculation.

Jubilee 2000 campaign

The Jubilee 2000
Jubilee 2000
Jubilee 2000 was an international coalition movement in over 40 countries that called for cancellation of third world debt by the year 2000. This movement coincided with the Great Jubilee, the celebration of the year 2000 in the Catholic Church...

 campaign, strategized for and run by NEF, collected 24 million signatures for its worldwide petition on development and poverty.

Local Money Flows

The Local Multiplier 3 tool was developed by NEF's Local money Flows measurement program and enables the mapping of money flows through the local economy.

Happy Planet Index

In July 2006, NEF launched the Happy Planet Index
Happy Planet Index
The Happy Planet Index is an index of human well-being and environmental impact that was introduced by the New Economics Foundation in July 2006. The index is designed to challenge well-established indices of countries’ development, such as Gross Domestic Product and the Human Development Index...

, intended to challenge existing indices of a state's success, such as Gross Domestic Product
Gross domestic product
Gross domestic product refers to the market value of all final goods and services produced within a country in a given period. GDP per capita is often considered an indicator of a country's standard of living....

 (GDP) and Human Development Index
Human Development Index
The Human Development Index is a composite statistic used to rank countries by level of "human development" and separate "very high human development", "high human development", "medium human development", and "low human development" countries...



"IC100 will show that even the more disadvantaged inner cities are not the enterprise 'no-go' areas of the past, but the investment opportunities of the future."
Gordon Brown
Gordon Brown
James Gordon Brown is a British Labour Party politician who was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Labour Party from 2007 until 2010. He previously served as Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Labour Government from 1997 to 2007...

Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

), speaking of NEF's index of firms promoting inner city
Inner city
The inner city is the central area of a major city or metropolis. In the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Ireland, the term is often applied to the lower-income residential districts in the city centre and nearby areas...


21-hour working week

The New Economic Foundation recently called for gradual transition to a working week of 21 hours.


James Robertson
James Robertson (activist)
James Robertson , a British-born political and economic thinker and activist, became an independent writer and speaker in 1974 after an early career as a British civil servant....

, a British economist, and Alison Pritchard, a Schumacher Society Council member, helped to set up The Other Economic Summit
The Other Economic Summit
The Other Economic Summit , was a counter-summit to the annual G7 summits, first held in 1984 in London. It included diverse groups of economists, greens and community activists...

 (TOES) and NEF. Ed Mayo
Ed Mayo
Ed Mayo is Secretary General of Co-operatives UK, the UK trade association for co-operatives. He is the former Chief Executive of the British National Consumer Council and CEO of the NCC's successor, Consumer Focus.-Education:...

 was Chief Executive from 1992 until 2003. The current executive director is Stewart Wallis.

At the policy level, NEF has attracted Gordon Brown (when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer) to chair some of its events. The organization has launched a range of new organizations to promote its ideas, including the Ethical Trading Initiative
Ethical Trading Initiative
The Ethical Trading Initiative is an alliance of companies, trade unions and voluntary organisations working in partnership to improve the working lives of people across the globe who make or grow consumer goods....

, AccountAbility
Accountability is a concept in ethics and governance with several meanings. It is often used synonymously with such concepts as responsibility, answerability, blameworthiness, liability, and other terms associated with the expectation of account-giving...

, Time Banking UK, London Rebuilding Society, the Community Development Finance Association
Community Development Finance Association
The Community Development Finance Association is the trade association for Community Development Finance Institutions in the UK. CDFIs provide credit and financial services to markets that are underserved by the high street banking sector...

, and others.

The organization's current projects include measuring local money flows LM3, developing new kinds of business enterprise coaching BizFizz, and introducing techniques of sustainable regeneration (Local Alchemy). NEF's BizFizz programs have created more than 900 new businesses in deprived areas. The organization has now taken this and Local Alchemy to six other countries through its international programme.

At a cultural level, NEF events at the Hay literary festival attract well-known speakers. Its Clone Town campaign in favour of local economic diversity was covered two years running by every major national newspaper and TV news station and it was taken up in the Save Our Small Shops Campaign in the Evening Standard
Evening Standard
The Evening Standard, now styled the London Evening Standard, is a free local daily newspaper, published Monday–Friday in tabloid format in London. It is the dominant regional evening paper for London and the surrounding area, with coverage of national and international news and City of London...


The organization was voted Think-Tank of the Year in 2002/3. In 2010 NEF announced a long-term alliance with the New Economics Institute in the USA.


NEF is a registered charity and is funded by individual supporters, public finance businesses and international grant-giving bodies.


Publications include:

See also

  • List of UK think tanks
  • E. F. Schumacher
    E. F. Schumacher
    Ernst Friedrich "Fritz" Schumacher was an internationally influential economic thinker, statistician and economist in Britain, serving as Chief Economic Advisor to the UK National Coal Board for two decades. His ideas became popularized in much of the English-speaking world during the 1970s...

  • Schumacher Circle organisations
  • Coproduction of public services by service users and communities
    Coproduction of public services by service users and communities
    The Coproduction of public services is the production of public services through the equal and reciprocal contribution of service users, communities and professionals, making use of their pooled resources, expertise and willingness to improve service processes and outcomes...

External links

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