Frances Moore Lappé

Famed author, Diet for a Small Planet

BIG NEWS! We are excited to announce that famed author (Diet for a Small Planet and many others), Alternative Nobel Prize Winner, and First Alliance Sustainability Award Recipient Frances Moore Lappé will be the featured speaker at our fabulous Fortieth Anniversary Year Celebration.

Frances Moore Lappé (aka, “Frankie”) is the author or co-author of 20 books, many focusing on themes of “living democracy” — suggesting a government accountable to citizens and a way of living aligned with the deep human need for connection, meaning and power. Her recent publications include Daring Democracy: Igniting Power, Meaning, and Connection for the America We Want (2017), the 50th anniversary edition of 3-million copy selling Diet for a Small Planet (2021), and latest reports, Crisis of Trust: How Can Democracies Protect Against Dangerous Lies? (2023) and Tough Truths for a Better Tomorrow: Exploring America’s Standing in the World (2023).

Dubbed “the Movement Mother” by New York magazine and the “Godmother of ‘plant-based’ living” by The New York Times, her life’s work spans breakthroughs in equitable and ecological farming and eating, all the way to rethinking democracy as a thrilling way of life, not simply a government structure. The recipient of 20 honorary degrees, Lappé has been featured in the NY TimesBoston Globe, and other major outlets, and is the co-founder of the Cambridge-based based Small Planet Institute (2001).

Frankie has a long history with the Alliance. She officiated at the Alliance’s official Opening and Green Ribbon Untying Ceremony May 18, 1983, followed by an organic, plant-based dinner and talk attended by more than 450 people. She then returned for our 20th Anniversary to speak and receive our first-ever Sustainability Award

She’s had an indelible impact on the Alliance since then and even before because she planted the seed of what grew to become the Alliance. Through mutual colleagues, Frankie became friends with Terry Gips when he was studying at the Yale School of Management. Amidst many discussions, Terry shared that he agreed with her premise in Diet for a Small Planet and Food First — Beyond the Myth of Scarcity that we have enough food to feed everyone on the planet but there are political and economic systems that stop people from getting the food they need.

Terry then said that our agricultural systems are destroying the earth and asked if it was possible to feed everyone without destroying the planet in the process. Frankie replied, “I don’t know. Why don’t you find out?”

That ultimately led Terry on a year and a half journey to 45 countries around the world to answer the question. He discovered the answer was a resounding YES! This led to him and other leaders he met during those travels to co-found the International Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture, now the Alliance for Sustainability. Thank you Frankie for helping to birth us! We’re so happy to welcome you home!