Richard Douthwaite read economics at Essex and studied for an MA in development economics at the University of the West Indies, in Kingston, Jamaica. He worked for a year in the Jamaican Government’s Central Planning Unit, later setting up and managing a yard building fishing boats for the Jamaica Co-operative Union.
In 1972 he was appointed Government Economist on the West Indian island of Montserrat. Later he moved to Ireland and from the mid ‘80s focussed on journalism, specialising in business, financial and environmental topics, joining the Irish Green Party and helping to develop its economic policies.
Richard lectured regularly at several Irish universities and wrote about the characteristics a society would have to possess to be truly sustainable and how such a society could be reached from our present unsustainable state.
He was a co-founder of the Foundation for the Economics of Sustainability (FEASTA) which is based in Ireland – a ‘home’ for those who see localisation as a counterbalance to globalisation. His books include The Growth Illusion, the Ecology of Money & Short Circuit: strengthening local economies for security in an unstable world.
He is greatly missed and his legacy deeply valued. Caroline Whyte of FEASTA continues to liaise with us on his behalf.