We were founded by radical economist and philosopher E.F. ‘Fritz’ Schumacher, who challenged the conventional aid thinking of the day. He believed in solutions suited to context, equipping people with the skills and knowledge to change their situation, economic systems that work for all, and living within the planet’s means.
In 1966, Schumacher and others founded the Intermediate Technology Development Group (ITDG) to put his philosophy into practice. A technical consulting service and an independent publishing arm launched soon after. Schumacher’s ground-breaking book, Small is Beautiful was published in 1973 and generated worldwide interest.
We changed our name from ITDG to Practical Action in 2005, building on our focus on pragmatic, holistic and systemic approaches to tackling poverty. And while development approaches have changed, Schumacher’s founding beliefs still drive us, and have never been more relevant.