The Earth Policy Institute (EPI) was founded in 2001 by Lester Brown, the founder and former president of the Worldwatch Institute, to provide a plan of a sustainable future along with a roadmap of how to get from here to there. EPI works at the global level simply because no country can fully implement a Plan B economy in isolation. When its founder retired on June 30, 2015, the Institute was dissolved. EPI’s goals were (1) to provide a global plan (Plan B) for moving the world onto an environmentally and economically sustainable path, (2) to provide examples demonstrating how the plan would work, and (3) to keep the media, policymakers, academics, environmentalists, and other decision-makers focused on the process of building a Plan B economy. EPI published its basic research in book form simply because there is a worldwide network.
The Earth Policy Institute (EPI) was founded in 2001 by Lester Brown, the founder and former president of the Worldwatch Institute, to provide a plan of a sustainable future along with a roadmap of how to get from here to there. EPI works at the global level simply because no country can fully implement a Plan B economy in isolation.
EPI’s goals are (1) to provide a global plan (Plan B) for moving the world onto an environmentally and economically sustainable path, (2) to provide examples demonstrating how the plan would work, and (3) to keep the media, policymakers, academics, environmentalists, and other decision-makers focused on the process of building a Plan B economy.
People change behavior either in response to new information or new experiences. Earth Policy Institute disseminates new information to guide the process of change via its plan of a sustainable future as outlined in its Updates, Indicators, and books, the most recent of which is World on the Edge: How to Prevent Environmental and Economic Collapse.
You can also download our Annual Report, which outlines EPI's major accomplishments.
EPI publishes its basic research in book form simply because there is a worldwide network of book publishers in all the major languages, a network that does not exist for monographs or magazines. Having books available in the world’s leading languages broadens the dissemination of its research findings. The Institute has published eight books.
LESTER R. BROWN, founder and President of Earth Policy Institute, has been described by the Washington Post as “one of the world’s most influential thinkers” and as “the guru of the global environmental movement” by The Telegraph of Calcutta. The author of numerous books, including World on the Edge: How to Prevent Environmental and Economic Collapse, chapters, articles, etc., he helped pioneer the concept of environmentally sustainable development. His principal research areas include food, population, water, climate change, and renewable energy. The recipient of scores of awards and honorary degrees, he is widely sought as a speaker. In 1974, he founded Worldwatch Institute, of which he was President for its first 26 years. As President, he launched the World Watch Papers, the Worldwatch/Norton books, the annual State of the World, World Watch magazine, the annual Vital Signs, and the Institute’s News Briefs. For relaxation, Lester runs. Read a complete biography. View a selected list of recent publications by Mr. Brown.
REAH JANISE KAUFFMAN, Vice President, has assisted Lester Brown in his work since 1986. As in any small organization, Reah Janise wears many hats. She oversees the administrative aspects of EPI, including managing its worldwide publishing network, outreach program, website, marketing, fundraising, and personnel. Prior to her work at EPI, she worked at the Worldwatch Institute for 15 years as Lester Brown's special assistant and as Director of International Publications. Prior to joining Worldwatch, she was an editor and technical writer focusing on sustainable agriculture at Michigan State University, from which she graduated with a degree in English. Reah Janise squeezes exercise into her busy day by either running or biking to work. She is active in her church, and relaxes by knitting socks and sweaters of her own design, which she posts on her knitting blog.
JANET LARSEN is an interdisciplinary writer and analyst, covering a range of global environmental trends, including food and agriculture, water, climate, energy, and transportation. As one of the Earth Policy Institute’s incorporators, Janet directed the organization’s research efforts, including the Plan B series and Full Planet, Empty Plates. She is a co-author of The Great Transition: Shifting from Fossil Fuels to Solar and Wind Energy and The Earth Policy Reader. Previously Janet worked at Worldwatch Institute and earned a degree in Earth Systems from Stanford University. She has conducted fieldwork involving salt-tolerant plants on the Chilean coast and poison dart frogs in the Peruvian Amazon rainforest, and continues to enjoy the outdoors.
MILLICENT JOHNSON, Manager of Publications Sales and Assistant Treasurer, brings with her more than 20 years of people-oriented sales/service experience. Warm and personable, Millicent manages easily the diverse and exacting area of customer service, publications fulfillment, database management, accounting, and ordering office supplies. Prior to Earth Policy, she was the Publications Sales Coordinator at Worldwatch Institute for 11 years. A graduate of Commonwealth College in Richmond, VA, Millicent enjoys classic movies and reading.
J. MATTHEW RONEY, Research Associate, is co-author of The Great Transition: Shifting from Fossil Fuels to Solar and Wind Energy. He holds a Master of Science degree in Environmental Sciences and Policy from The Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Conservation from the University of New Hampshire. His primary research topics include renewable energy, nuclear power, fisheries, and aquaculture. Prior to joining EPI in 2007, Matt led community outreach projects and did GIS mapping with the Environmental Programs office of the City of Dover, NH. A parent to twin toddlers, he vaguely remembers the concept of spare time.
JULIANNE SIMPSON, Web Communications Coordinator, graduated from Elon University with a B.A. in Strategic Communications and a minor in Business Administration. In college she worked for the campus recreation department, visited Peru on an experimental learning trip, and spent a semester in Florence, Italy. At EPI she is responsible for web communications, media outreach, and general assistance around the office. She is pursuing her master's degree part-time in public relations and corporate communications at Georgetown University. Native to the area, Julianne is a huge fan of the Washington Capitals and cheers for other D.C. sports teams. In her free time she enjoys yoga, reading, discovering new music, and watching reruns of Seinfeld.
EMILY ADAMS, Staff Researcher, is co-author of The Great Transition: Shifting from Fossil Fuels to Solar and Wind Energy. She received a Master of Environmental Management degree in 2010 from Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment with a focus on the intersection of science and policy. Emily is glad to return to the city of her undergraduate institution, American University, where she studied environmental science and graduated magna cum laude. Prior to joining Earth Policy Institute, she spent a year living in Geneva, Switzerland learning French, hiking, and working at the World Meteorological Organization. At EPI, Emily contributes to the research, writing, and editing of releases and follows global environmental trends.