Wendell Berry, Fritjof Capra, Diana Rose, Jonathan Rose, Vandana Shiva, Michael Shuman, David Suzuki, Alice Waters
Who We Are
Helena Norberg-Hodge, Founder and Director
Author and filmmaker Helena Norberg-Hodge is the founder and director of Local Futures. A pioneer of the ‘new economy’ movement, she has been promoting an economics of personal, social and ecological well-being for more than thirty years. She is the producer and co-director of the award-winning documentary The Economics of Happiness, and is the author of Ancient Futures: Learning from Ladakh, described as “an inspirational classic”. She has given public lectures in seven languages, and has appeared in broadcast, print, and online media worldwide, including MSNBC, The London Times, The Sydney Morning Herald, and The Guardian. She was honored with the Right Livelihood Award (or ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’) for her groundbreaking work in Ladakh, and received the 2012 Goi Peace Prize for contributing to “the revitalization of cultural and biological diversity, and the strengthening of local communities and economies worldwide.” For a complete biography, see here: Helena Norberg-Hodge.
John Page, International Programs Director
Trained as a barrister, John Page was instrumental in establishing Local Futures’ partner organizations in Ladakh. In addition, he produced and directed the award-winning film Ancient Futures, as well as the short documentaries The Future of Progress and Local Futures. He is co-author of From the Ground Up: Rethinking Industrial Agriculture. His series of photographs depicting the spread of the global monoculture have been used by NGOs around the world.
Steven Gorelick, Managing and Programs Director
Steven Gorelick is the author of Small is Beautiful, Big is Subsidized, co-author of Bringing the Food Economy Home, and co-director of The Economics of Happiness. His writings have been published in The Ecologist and Resurgence magazines. He frequently teaches and speaks on local economics around the US. He also runs a small-scale organic farm with his wife and two children in Vermont.
Anja Lyngbaek, Associate Programs Director
Anja Lyngbaek is an Associate Programs Director with Local Futures, and coordinator of the International Alliance for Localisation. She currently lives in Mexico on a small-holding with her family. She co-founded Microcuenca del Rio Citlalapa – a local NGO in Veracruz, focused on sustainable community development, and a rural primary school with similar goals. Anja gives talks, holds workshops and teaches on a variety of subject related to food and farming, localization and eco-technologies.
Kristen Steele, Director of Special Projects
Kristen Steele began working for Local Futures in 2000, first as Assistant to the Director and has since taken on multiple roles, including research, writing, fundraising, outreach and program management. She has also been the main organizer for several of the Economics of Happiness conferences and other Local Futures’ events. She holds a BA in Environmental Studies and a Master’s degree in Wild Animal Biology from the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and Royal Veterinary College, University of London. She is also currently pursuing doctoral research on the intersection of conservation and economics in regards to threatened species.
Marjana Kos, Executive Assistant
Marjana Kos began working for Local Futures in 2006. She holds an Master’s degree in Holistic Science from Schumacher College and focused her studies on the topic of money. She lives in Slovenia and spends her free time revitalizing a derelict hectare of land with her partner and young son, creating a forest garden and building a low-impact, natural home made of local materials. She is also active in raising awareness about issues of globalization, new economics, the money system and complementary currencies. She writes articles, keeps a blog and gives talks and workshops on these topics.
Sean Keller, Media and Outreach Coordinator
Sean first worked with Local Futures as an intern in 2014, and since then has helped with event partner outreach, website maintenance, social media, the Local Bites podcast, and various writing projects. He has a BA in Anthropology from Vassar College, where he focused on linguistics and language diversity. He has volunteered for a Timebank and for small farms in his native southeastern Pennsylvania, and for wildlife conservation projects in upstate New York, where he now lives.
Isabel Marlens, Researcher and Social Media Coordinator
Isabel Marlens first became involved with Local Futures in 2006, when she traveled to a conference in Ladakh with a crew that filmed some of the interviews for The Economics of Happiness. She studied Ecology and English Literature at Bennington College and has worked doing native plant conservation, forest ecology research, social media and outreach for the film Schooling the World, and on various independent writing projects. She can most often be found rock climbing among the mountains and deserts of the Southwestern US.
Anja Light, Social Media Coordinator
Anja Light has spent most of her life as an environmental and indigenous rights campaigner, project manager and presenter/workshop leader. She is a co-founder of the Sloth Club of Japan – the leading organisation of the ‘Slow’ movement in that country. Strongly influenced by deep ecology philosophy and through living with tribal peoples and local communities around the world, her work with Local Futures has a strong foundation in direct campaign and life experience.
Alex Jensen, Researcher and Project Coordinator
Alex Jensen has worked in the US and India, where he coordinates Local Futures’ Ladakh Project. He has also been an associate of the Sambhaavnaa Institute of Public Policy and Politics in Himachal Pradesh, India, and represents Local Futures on the core group of the Vikalp Sangam/Alternatives India initiative. He has worked with cultural affirmation and agro-biodiversity projects in campesino communities in a number of countries, and is active in environmental health/anti-toxics work.
Henry Coleman, Project Coordinator
Henry connected with the work of Local Futures at age 15, and has worked with the organization in Ladakh, India and Australia since 2015. He helps to coordinate Local Futures’ projects in Ladakh, represents Local Futures at public events, and works on writing projects. In 2017, he co-founded the NGO ‘Wildspace’, where he has further developed his capacity as a community organizer and activist.
Carly Gayle, Project Coordinator
Carly joined the Local Futures team in 2018 as a writer for the Planet Local series. She studied environmental studies at Wellesley College with a focus on permaculture and regenerative design, and then lived in Bali, Indonesia for several years, working at a holistic property design company and with the Global Ecovillage Network of Oceania & Asia. She now lives in her hometown near Washington, DC.
Laura Tyley, Digital Outreach Coordinator
Laura began working for Local Futures in 2018. Laura’s role is to spread the Local Futures mission online and, especially, to younger generations. Laura is passionate about encouraging young people to look outside the box and get involved with mind opening events and organisations that give them purpose and inspire them to live fulfilling lives. Laura has founded Fresh Evoke and Fresh Evoke Marketing.
Victoria Clarke, USA Administrative Coordinator
Victoria Clarke has worked with Local Futures since 2004. She did research in Ladakh as part of her MA from the School for International Training. Having lived and worked abroad, she now resides in San Francisco where she gardens on her rooftop and practices urban permaculture.
Samantha Salmon, UK Administrative Coordinator
Samantha Salmon has worked with Local Futures since 2014. She completed her degree Culture, Organization and Management at the University of Amsterdam in 2001 and the study Management, Economics and Law at the Institute for Business, Administration and Economics in 1997. She worked for five years as a Commercial Assistant at Royal Ahold N.V. in The Netherlands after which she traveled to Asia where she did voluntary work in Nepal. She is founder of the Laxmi Support Foundation. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Devon, England.
Tracy Worcester, Associate Director
Tracy, the Marchioness of Worcester, is a well-known environmental campaigner and film-maker in the UK. She is former patron of the Soil Association, former trustee of Friends of the Earth and trustee of the Gaia Foundation. She is founder of the Price of Progress Productions and her most recent film is Pig Business.
Shankari Raj, Associate Director
Shankari is an architect, and director of Nudge Group, a practice she founded to challenge traditional approaches to architecture head-on. She is dedicated to community-led projects delivering social, environmental and financial benefits. She communicates this to the students she teaches as a visiting lecturer at Cardiff University. She was born in Sri Lanka, and grew up in Nigeria, Oman and then London. She is on the Board of Trustees for BATB (British Architectural Trust Board) and Love the Future.
We are a 501(c)3 organization incorporated in California. We adhere to Bylaws adopted in 1991, including oversight by a Board of Directors. Our funding comes largely from individual donors and foundations, as well as from the sale of publications and videos, and lecture and writing fees.