Frances Moore Lappé and Anna Lappé founded the Small Planet Institute in 2001, which is based in Cambridge, MA. This dynamic duo shares a core philosophy of inclusion, fairness and mutual accountability into all dimensions of public life – what they call “Living Democracy.” They “believe that ideas have enormous power and that humans are capable of changing failing ideas in order to turn the planet toward life.”
Since 2001, the Lappés have released seven books. They are prolific advocates and educators for social change in many areas including worldwide collaborative public education efforts, through their books, articles, speeches, and in many other publications. They serve as experts and commentators for numerous television and film projects. They work with a talented team of dedicated volunteers and interns.
Also in 2001, the Lappés launched Small Planet Fund, a grass-roots organization focused on community-based social change. Two of their core grantees were honored with the Nobel Peace Prize: Muhammad Yunus and colleagues at the Grameen Bank, and Wangari Maathai and the Green Belt Movement.
The Small Planet Institute has partnered on numerous public campaigns ranging from the demands for GMO labeling to the Food Myths and Real Food Media Project, Corporate Accountability International’s efforts to make fast food giant McDonald’s accountable for marketing unhealthy food to children. They’ve also partnered Oxfam’s GROW campaign to end hunger worldwide. Anna Lappé takes her message on the road on specific projects including innovative ways to grow food – the Eat Grub Tour in 2006. Get the schedule of personal appearances of both Lappés on their website.
Because many don’t get the food-climate change inter-relationship, another project focus is the Take a Bite out of Climate Change campaign. Anna Lappé believes media coverage rarely connects agricultural policy to climate change. According to her, food production accounts for nearly one-third of the globe’s production of greenhouse gases, and she also states that farmers are rarely identified at fault in replacing diversity with crops dependent on fertilizers from fossil fuels. She says that politics and agribusiness favor crop insurance policies that encourage monoculture farming and poor soil management. Most of us are aware we can do our individual part by buying organic and locally sourced food, thereby supporting farmers who practice sustainable agriculture. Read more of Anna Lappé’s research on sustainable farming at foodmyths.org.
The Lappés also established Small Planet Media to further expand their message. Frances Moore Lappé released Getting A Grip: Clarity, Creativity, and Courage in a World Gone Mad which received the 2008 “Best in Small Press” Nautilus Award. Getting A Grip 2 was published in 2010. They’ve also produced two short-format documentaries, “Getting a Grip on Money & Politics, Parts I and II.” Click this link to View Small Planet Media Videos & Clips.
Visit the Lappés’ sister sites to mine their inexhaustible library of information: