The (En)Rich List celebrates a wealth of inspirational individuals whose contributions enrich paths to sustainable futures. More »

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Name
Short Bio
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1
E. F. Schumacher
19mil
An internationally influential economic thinker, statistician and economist best known for his critique of Western economies and his proposals for human-scale, decentralized and appropriate technologies.
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2
Herman Daly
733k
The 'intellectual father' of Ecological Economics and the steady state economy, and founder of the journal Ecological Economics.
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3
Donella Meadows
666k
Team member of MIT's Club of Rome, co-author of Limits to Growth, founder of the Sustainability Institute and co-founder of the Balaton Group.
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4
Rob Hopkins
937k
Author, speaker, activist, educator, and co-founder of Transition Town Totnes and of the Transition Network.
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5
Serge Latouche
1.75mil
Professor Emeritus at the University of Paris-Sud, the main intellectual force behind the popularization of the Décroissance (Degrowth) Movement, and author of 'Farewell to Growth'.
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6
Tim Jackson
2.27mil
Professor of Sustainable Development, Economics Commissioner of UK Sustainable Development Commission, TED Speaker, and author of "Prosperity without Growth".
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7
Vandana Shiva
4.59mil
Environmental activist, philosopher, a major figure in the eco-feminist movement, author of over 20 books and other works critiquing the corporatization of the global food system.
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8
Bill McKibben
9.05mil
Author, activist and environmentalist. Founder of the 350.org movement for addressing climate change.
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9
Mahatma Gandhi
98.1mil
Political and ideological leader, foregrounded non-violence activist tools and led campaigns for easing poverty, expanding women's rights, ending untouchability and increasing economic self-reliance.
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10
Bill Mollison
1.11mil
Researcher, author, scientist, teacher and naturalist who, along with David Holmgren, is considered to be the 'father of permaculture'; founded The Permaculture Institute in Tasmania.
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11
Ivan Illich
2.56mil
Philosopher, Roman Catholic priest, and maverick social critic of the institutions of contemporary culture and their effects on education, medicine, work, energy use, transportation, and economic development.
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12
Wangari Maathai
8.01mil
Human rights activist and former member of the National Council of Women of Kenya; initiated the Green Belt Movement.
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13
William Rees
791k
Originator of the Ecological Footprint, past President of the Canadian Society for Ecological Economics, and a Fellow of both the Post-Carbon Institute and the One Earth Initiative.
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14
George Monbiot
3.53mil
Author and journalist known for his environmental and political activism; founder of The Land is Ours campaign and the Arrest Blair campaign.
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15
Richard Heinberg
2.35mil
Author, educator and speaker on peak oil, fossil fuel depletion, relocalization and resilience; a senior fellow of the Post Carbon Institute. Author of 'Powerdown', 'Peak Everything' and 'The End of Growth'.
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16
Kenneth Boulding
1.61mil
An economist, educator, peace activist, systems scientist, and interdisciplinary philosopher; cofounder of General Systems Theory and founder of numerous ongoing intellectual projects in economics and social science.
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17
Dennis Meadows
499k
Emeritus Professor of Systems Management of the Institute for Policy and Social Science Research at the University of New Hampshire, co-author of 'Limits to Growth', and co-founder of the Balaton Group.
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18
David Holmgren
480k
Author and activist known for co-creating the permaculture concept and movement along with Bill Mollison.
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19
Mathis Wackernagel
875k
President of the Global Footprint Network, and co-creator and developer of the Ecological Footprint, a measure of human demand on nature.
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20
Paul Ehrlich
6.3mil
Biologist and educator, Bing Professor of Population Studies at Stanford University and president of Stanford's Center for Conservation Biology. Best known for his book 'The Population Bomb'.
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21
Wendell Berry
3.83mil
Writer, conversationalist, activist and speaker; focused on sustainable agriculture, appropriate technologies, rural communities, interconnectedness of food production, the environment, community, and localism.
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22
Annie Leonard
1.97mil
Author and filmmaker whose work has critiqued excessive and environmentally damaging consumerism; known for the online film 'The Story of Stuff', which has been viewed by millions of people in over 200 countries.
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23
Heidemarie Schwermer
220k
Best known for the documentary 'Living Without Money', an author, teacher and psychotherapist who has managed to step out of existing structures and find a new way of living. Founded Germany’s first exchange circle.
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24
Martin Luther King, Jr
212mil
Clergyman, activist and Civil Rights leader who led the African-American Civil Rights movement, using nonviolent methods taught by Gandhi.
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25
David Korten
1.23mil
Economist, writer, advocate for local economies, co-founder of Yes! Magazine, and a former Harvard Business School Professor. Author of 'When Corporations Rule the World', and 'The Great Turning'.
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26
Clive Hamilton
664k
Environmentalist and academic, active on both climate change and consumption issues. Author of 'Requiem for a Species', 'Affluenza', and 'Growth Fetish'.
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27
John Stuart Mill
15.7mil
19th century philosopher and political economist, author of 'Of the Stationary State' which recognised wealth beyond the material, and argued that unlimited growth would cause environmental destruction and reduced quality of life.
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28
Dalai Lama
132mil
The spiritual and temporal leader of the Tibetan people who has consistently advocated policies of non-violence, even in the face of extreme aggression. First Nobel Laureate to be recognized for concern for global environmental problems.
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29
Naomi Klein
12.5mil
Journalist and social activist known for her political analyses and criticism of corporate globalization; author of 'No Logo' and 'The Shock Doctrine'.
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30
Juliet Schor
676k
Sociologist who studies trends in working time and leisure, consumerism, work and family, women's issues and economic justice. Author of several books including 'Plenitude: The New Economics of True Wealth'.
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31
Mark Boyle
911k
Aka The Moneyless Man, a writer and activist best known for founding the online Freeconomy Community, and for living without money since November 2008. Author of 'The Moneyless Man: A Year of Freeconomic Living'.
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32
Chris Martenson
1.96mil
Former scientist and Fortune 300 executive and creator of 'The Crash Course', a 20-chapter online video course that educates viewers on our broken economic system, the crisis of population demographics, and peak oil.
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33
Janelle Orsi
60k
'Sharing lawyer', Co-Director of the Sustainable Economies Law Center and co-author of 'The Sharing Solution: How to Save Money, Simplify Your Life & Build Community'.
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34
John de Graaf
1.07mil
Author, filmmaker and national coordinator of Take Back Your Time, an organization challenging time poverty and overwork; author of 'What's The Economy For, Anyway?' and co-author of 'Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic'.
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35
Evo Morales
63mil
Activist and President of Bolivia, advocate for social justice, leader of the Movement for Socialism party (MAS), which seeks to give more power to the country's indigenous and poor communities by means of land reforms.
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36
Maria Mies
863k
Sociologist, activist and author of many works on women and globalisation including 'Ecofeminism', with Vandana Shiva, and 'The Subsistence Perspective: Beyond the Globalised Economy', with Veronika Bennholdt-Thomsen.
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37
Manfred Max-Neef
424k
Economist who focuses on development alternatives that promote global equity and justice. Author of 'Human Scale Development' and 'From the Outside Looking In: Experiences in Barefoot Economics'.
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38
Judy Wicks
367k
Entrepreneur and founder of the sustainable business, White Dog Cafe, co-founder of the nationwide Business Alliance for Local Living Economies, international leader in the local living economies movement.
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39
Paulo Freire
13.9mil
Developer of the 'conscientização' ('conscientization') social and educational concept of 'consciousness raising'; taught poor and illiterate members of Brazilian society to read at a time when literacy was a requirement for suffrage.
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40
Margrit Kennedy
484k
Architect, professor, environmentalist and advocate of complementary currencies. Author of 'Interest and Inflation-Free Money: Creating an Exchange Medium That Works For Everybody and Protects the Earth.'
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41
Buckminster Fuller
8.2mil
Systems theorist, architect, engineer, author, designer, inventor, and futurist who coined the term 'Spaceship Earth' to describe the integral nature of the Earth as a living system.
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42
David Suzuki
8.48mil
Co-founder of the David Suzuki Foundation, award-winning scientist, environmentalist and broadcaster whose programs explain the complexities of the natural sciences in an easily understood way; author of over fifty books.
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43
James Gustave Speth
1.03mil
Co-founder of the Natural Resources Defense Council, founder and president of the World Resources Institute, law professor, author, vocal critic of growth models, and a proponent of more equitable and sustainable alternatives.
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44
Elinor Ostrom
1.97mil
Political economist and one of the leading scholars in the study of common pool resources, whose Nobel Prize winning work demonstrated how common property could be successfully managed.
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45
Peter Victor
721k
One of the founders of the emerging discipline of ecological economics and the first President of the Canadian Society for Ecological Economics. Author of 'Managing without Growth. Slower by Design, not Disaster'.
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46
Claudia von Werlhof
586k
Political scientist whose work is concerned with feminist theory of society, patriarchy and technology, social movements, and ecofeminism; an activist against MAI (Multilateral Agreement in Investment).
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47
Marcin Jakubowski
629k
Founded Open Source Ecology with the goal of creating the Global Village Construction Set, an open source DIY tool set of 50 different industrial machines necessary to create a small civilization with modern comforts.
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48
Richard Gregg
115k
Philosopher and pacifist who coined the term 'voluntary simplicity'; author of 'The Power of Non-Violence', and 'The Value of Voluntary Simplicity'.
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49
Ken Wilber
5.96mil
Founder of the Integral Institute, his work integrates body, mind, soul, and Spirit with self, culture, and nature. Author of books including 'Boomeritis', a critique of postmodern culture and a call to move to a higher relationship to life.
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50
Lester Brown
3.71mil
Environmental analyst, founder of the Worldwatch Institute, and founder and president of the Earth Policy Institute. Author and co-author of more than 50 books including the Plan B series.
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51
Petra Kelly
730k
Politician, activist, and one of the founders of Die Grünen, the German Green Party; international political work and public speaking concentrated on peace, non-violence, ecology, feminism and human rights.
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52
Chandi Prasad Bhatt
39k
Environmentalist, social activist, and pioneer of the Chipko Movement, which used Gandhian methods of non-violent resistance to prevent the destruction of forests in India; known for his work on subaltern social ecology.
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53
Albert Bartlett
1.03mil
Physics Professor who argues overpopulation is humanity's greatest challenge; his 'Arithmetic, Population & Energy' lecture, which he has given 1,600+ times since Sept 1969, has over 4 million YouTube hits.
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54
Robert Costanza
1.84mil
Director of the Institute for Sustainable Solutions (ISS) at Portland State University; co-founder and past-president of the International Society for Ecological Economics (ISEE); also known for his work on ecosystem services.
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55
Thomas Malthus
1.9mil
18th century scholar influential in political economy and demography; author of 'An Essay on the Principle of Population', which observed that population growth is eventually checked by famine and disease.
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56
Veronika Bennholdt-Thomsen
59k
Social scientist, Director of the Institute of the Theory and Practice of Subsistence (ITPS) at Bielefeld, Germany; conducted research on peasant movements in Mexico fighting for ejido and/or common land ownership.
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57
Theodore Suess Geisel (Dr. Seuss)
1.94mil
Writer, poet, educator and cartoonist most widely known for his children's books written under the pen names Dr. Seuss; author of The Lorax, which is focused on themes of environmentalism and anti-consumerism.
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58
José Bové
6.7mil
Farmer, Member of the European Parliament and activist against genetically modified crops; spokesman for Via Campesina, the international movement of small-scale farmers, peasants, indigenous peoples and migrants.
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59
Joanna Macy
674k
Eco-philosopher, scholar of general systems theory, deep ecology; advocate for anti-nuclear causes, peace, justice, and environmentalism. Creator of the Work That Reconnects, a framework for personal and social change.
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60
Frances Moore Lappé
1.08mil
Co-founder of several organizations that explore the roots of hunger, poverty and environmental crises, and emerging solutions; author of 'Diet for a Small Planet', considered the blueprint for eating with a small carbon footprint.
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61
Sulak Sivaraksa
1.67mil
Social, indigenous and human rights activist; founder of 'Alternatives to Consumerism' network - to identify sustainable alternatives to the Western consumer model with different spiritual motivations.
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62
Chico Whitaker
344k
Key figure in founding the World Social Forum, a parallel to the World Economic Forum, for those around the world who are working on alternatives to world domination by capital; pro-democracy and anti-corruption activist.
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63
Tawakkul Karman
1.18mil
Journalist, politician and senior member of Yemen's Al-Islah political party; organizer and human rights activist who became the international public face of the 2011 Yemeni uprising, part of the Arab Spring.
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64
Brian Czech
152k
President of the Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy; conservation biologist and author of 'Shoveling Fuel for a Runaway Train: Errant Economists, Shameful Spenders, and a Plan to Stop Them All'.
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65
Richard Douthwaite
764k
Economist, ecologist, campaigner and writer; co-founder of Ireland-based Feasta (the Foundation for the Economics of Sustainability); fellow of the Post Carbon Institute, author of 'The Growth Illusion' and 'The Ecology of Money'.
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66
Charles Eisenstein
114k
Writer, teacher and speaker focusing on themes of civilization, consciousness, money, and human cultural evolution. Author of 'The Ascent of Humanity' and 'Sacred Economics'.
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67
Helena Norberg-Hodge
331k
Filmmaker, author and analyst of the impact of the global economy on cultures and agriculture worldwide, a pioneer of the localization movement; producer and co-director of 'The Economics of Happiness'.
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68
Rachel Botsman
320k
Social innovator who writes, consults and speaks on the power of collaboration and sharing through current and emerging network technologies; author of 'What's Mine Is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption'.
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69
Masanobu Fukuoka
1.83mil
Farmer, philosopher and proponent of no-till, no-herbicide farming methods traditional to many indigenous cultures, from which he created a method of farming referred to as ‘Natural Farming’ or ‘Do-Nothing Farming’.
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70
John Kenneth Galbraith
4.61mil
Intellectual, Keynesian economist, known for his thinking on the influence of the market power of large corporations; author of 'The Affluent Society'.
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71
Carl Honoré
773k
Journalist, speaker, Slow Movement advocate; author of 'In Praise of Slowness: How A Worldwide Movement Is Challenging the Cult of Speed', 'Under Pressure: Rescuing Our Children from the Culture of Hyper-Parenting'.
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72
Amartya Sen
11.4mil
Economist known for work on development economics, social choice theory and capability; contributions were influential in the development of United Nations Development Programme's Human Development Report.
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73
Henry David Thoreau
51.7mil
Philosopher, abolitionist, naturalist, author of 'Walden', a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings, and his essay 'Civil Disobedience', on individual resistance to government in moral opposition to an unjust state.
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74
Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen
260k
Economist who developed a biological approach to economic theory; author of 'The Entropy Law and the Economic Process', in which he claims an economy faces limits to growth.
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75
Rachel Carson
7.2mil
Conservationist who was pivotal in advancing the global environmental movement; author of 'The Silent Spring', which highlighted the danger for environmental and human health from the use of chemicals and pesticides.
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76
Ian Lowe
116k
Scientist, researcher, policymaker, author and campaigner. President of the Australian Conservation Foundation and patron of Sustainable Population of Australia. Author of 'Bigger or Better? Australia's Population Debate.
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77
Colin Beavan
3mil
Writer and internet blogger noted for his experiment, along with his family, in attempting to live a 'zero impact' lifestyle in New York City for one year; author of 'No Impact Man'.
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78
Ela Bhatt
1.21mil
Social justice, human rights and women's rights activist; founder of India's Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), recognized as one of the world's most remarkable pioneers and entrepreneurs in grassroots development.
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79
Edward Goldsmith
281k
Founding editor and publisher of 'The Ecologist'; known for his outspoken views opposing industrial society and economic development, and support for the ways and values of traditional peoples.
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80
Rudolf Steiner
5.87mil
Founder of anthroposophy, a philosophy which attempts to synthesize science and mysticism; Steiner's work inspired the Waldorf School movement.
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81
Manitonquat
192k
Storyteller and keeper of native lore of the Wampanoag Nation of Massachusetts and ceremonial medicine man of the Assonet Band; writer, poet and author of eleven books, he is co-founder of the Tribal-Healing Council.
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82
Michel Bauwens
433k
Founder of the Foundation for Peer-to-Peer Alternatives, which researches peer production/governance/property and the open/free, participatory, and commons-oriented modes of human cooperation.
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83
Andrew Simms
963k
Campaigner and policy maker who founded the climate change, energy and interdependence programmes at the new economics foundation; author of 'Ecological Debt: Global Warming and the Wealth of Nations'.
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84
Caroline Lucas
6.12mil
Leader of the Green Party of England and Wales, the Green Party's first and only Member of Parliament (MP) in the UK House of Commons; campaigns and writes on green economics, localisation and trade justice.
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85
Joshua Farley
128k
Ecological economist working to integrate social, human, and natural capital into the way the world views economics; Fellow of the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics and the Post Carbon Institute.
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86
Hazel Henderson
525k
Founder of Ethical Markets Media, LLC, a world renowned futurist, evolutionary economist, and columnist; author of 'Ethical Markets: Growing the Green Economy'.
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87
Eleanor Roosevelt
10.7mil
Civil, human and women's rights activist and campaigner; chaired the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, which drafted and approved the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
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88
Susan George
2.88mil
President of the Board of the Transnational Institute; works concerns arious aspects of neoliberal globalisation and ideology; author of many books including 'The Debt Boomerang' and 'A Fate Worse Than Debt'.
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89
Anne Ehrlich
848k
Associate director and policy coordinator of the Center for Conservation Biology at Stanford University; co-author of several books on overpopulation and ecology with her husband, Stanford University professor Paul R. Ehrlich.
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90
Gar Alperovitz
498k
Historian, political economist, activist, writer and president of the National Center for Economic and Security Alternatives; author of critically acclaimed books on the atomic bomb and atomic diplomacy.
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91
Howard Odum
1.86mil
Pioneered studies of energy flows in ecosystems; argued that society faced similar energetic constraints. Introduced the concept of emergy, the amount of solar energy embodied in the products of the biosphere and society.
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92
Riane Eisler
2.28mil
Author of 'The Real Wealth of Nations: Creating a Caring Economics' which proposes a new approach to economics that gives visibility and value to the most essential human work: the work of caring for people and planet.
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93
Ann Pettifor
242k
Ann Pettifor is a fellow of the New Economics Foundation, London; best known for her leadership of a worldwide campaign to cancel approximately $100 billion of debts owed by 42 of the poorest countries – Jubilee 2000.
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94
Richard Wilkinson
1.28mil
Researcher of social inequalities, best known for his book with Kate Pickett 'The Spirit Level', which claims that societies with more equal distribution of incomes have better health, fewer social problems and are more cohesive.
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95
Janine Benyus
685k
Natural sciences writer, innovation consultant, and author of 'Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature', an emerging discipline that seeks sustainable solutions by emulating nature's designs and processes.
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96
Mary Robinson
6.49mil
Former President of Ireland, former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Honorary President of Oxfam International; established several international trade, social justice and human rights initiatives.
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97
Chico Mendes
5.4mil
Trade union leader and environmentalist who fought to preserve the Amazon rainforest, and advocated for the human rights of Brazilian peasants and indigenous peoples.
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98
Temra Costa
301k
Sustainable food and farming and local food economy advocate, formerly director of California’s Buy Fresh Buy Local campaign; author of 'Farmer Jane: Women Changing the Way We Eat'.
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99
William Stanley Jevons
387k
Economist and author of 'The Coal Question' in which he observed that improving energy efficiency typically reduced energy costs and thereby increased rather than decreased energy use, an effect now known as 'Jevon's paradox'.
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100
Ben Dyson
125k
Founder and director of Positive Money, an organisation promoting awareness of the fundamental problem of the current debt-based monetary system in the UK.

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