About the Small Planet Institute

About the Small Planet Institute

Our Mission

We believe that ideas have enormous power and that humans are capable of changing failing ideas in order to turn our planet toward life. At the Small Planet Institute, we seek to identify the core, often unspoken, assumptions and forces — economic, political, and psychological — now taking our planet in a direction that as individuals none of us would choose. We disseminate this deeper understanding of root causes.

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Small Planet Fund

The Small Planet Fund was conceptualized in 2001 by Frances and Anna to support grassroots democracy movements worldwide addressing the causes of hunger and poverty. The Fund is a project of RSF (formerly the Rudolf Steiner Foundation) and is overseen by Anna, who volunteers her time to manage the fund.

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Frances Moore Lappé

Frances Moore Lappé is the author or co-author of 18 books, including the 1971 Diet for a Small Planet. Frances was named by Gourmet Magazine as one of 25 people (including Thomas Jefferson, Upton Sinclair, and Julia Child), whose work has changed the way America eats. Her most recent work is EcoMind: Changing the Way We Think to Create the World We Want. Currently, she and Joseph Collins are rewriting their classic World Hunger: 12 Myths, to be published by Grove Press in 2015. Her books have been translated into 15 languages and are used widely in university courses.

Frances is a cofounder the Oakland-based development think tank Food First; and with her daughter Anna Lappé, the Small Planet Institute and the Small Planet Fund. In 1987 Frances received the Right Livelihood Award, often called the "Alternative Nobel,” and in 2008, the James Beard Foundation Humanitarian of the Year Award. In 2007, Frances became a founding member of the World Future Council, based in Hamburg, Germany. She also serves on the National Advisory Board of the Union of Concerned Scientists. Last year she was invited by the King of Bhutan to join the International Expert Working Group for a New Development Paradigm, preparing a report on this topic for the United Nations.

Frances has been a visiting scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of California, Berkeley. She is the recipient of 18 honorary doctorates and makes frequent media appearances, including on the Today Show, Hardball with Chris Matthews, Fox News' Fox & Friends, WSJ.com, The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's 'The National', Frost Over the World, NPR, and the BBC. She’s a regular contributor to Huffington Post and a contributing editor at Yes! Magazine and Solutions Journal.

Read Frances' extended biography
View Frances' complete writing collection

Anna Blythe Lappé

Anna Lappé is a national bestselling author and sought-after public speaker, respected for her work on sustainability, food politics, globalization, and social change. Named one of Time’s “eco” Who’s-Who, Anna has been featured in The New York Times, Gourmet, O: The Oprah Magazine, Domino, Food & Wine, Body + Soul, Natural Health, and Vibe, among many other publications.

Read Anna's extended biography
View Anna's complete writing collection

Small Planet Team

See the team that makes Small Planet possible. Whether our staff is working in New York or Boston their goal of promoting environmental activism and social agency is the same.

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Meet our Fellows at Large