This introductory essay looks back on the origins of diverse economies as an approach to research, and looks forward to how it is developing in exciting new directions that have implications for action. It begins by elaborating why this kind of scholarship is timely, then discusses the contextual theoretical groundings of this field of study in the anti-essentialist scholarship of a number of disciplines. It introduces some critical thinking techniques that have been deployed to ‘take back the economy’. It elaborates the diverse economies framing and how the practice of inventorying can become a strategy for opening up the economy to exploration, to new kinds of examination and to different kinds of economic subjectivity. It discusses the important role played by inventorying economic diversity in the project of building ethical community economies. Finally, it reviews some of the emerging frontiers of research in the field of diverse economies.