Christoph Schumacher

Theoretical economist

Much more than number crunching

Professor Christoph Schumacher

Professor Christoph Schumacher

New Zealand’s current economic mantra is always about growth, but continuous economic growth is not environmentally sustainable, and it is not making us happy.

So says Massey University’s theoretical economist and Professor of Innovation and Economics, Christoph Schumacher.

Christoph’s research and views have been published in some of the world’s highest-ranked economics journals and awarded the Jan Whitwell Memorial Prize by the New Zealand Association of Economists for outstanding research.

As the director of the University’s Auckland Knowledge Exchange Hub, an initiative for developing research partnerships, he works to produce the economic forecasts in KPMG’s annual Financial Institutions Performance Survey.

The German expatriate is much more than a number cruncher – he had ambitions of being a concert pianist, drives a classic 1977 Ferrari, is the business manager for the Hulme supercar and his competitive tennis career was only cut short after a heli-skiing accident.

He says for him it’s been about maintaining a strong competitive streak, a love of learning new things, and a mathematical mind.

His illustrious academic career includes degrees in industrial engineering and music, a master’s in international business and a PhD in economics. He has also been the business brains behind the Hulme Supercar.

His work with the Knowledge Exchange Hub has also seen him a call for universities to engage more with business. He himself spends much of his time linking the academic and corporate worlds, making sure New Zealand businesses have access to Massey researchers and ensuring the university is investigating issues of real importance.

“You can only be a convincing teacher if you know what’s going on in the real world.”