18 May Celebrating leadership & Anna Lappé’s new role
In the spirit of Panta Rhea, we’re reaching out to share several updates.
Our foundation’s name is inspired by the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus and roughly translates to: “You never step into the same river twice” or “All things change, all things flow” — suggesting both inherent constancy and change as fundamental as life itself. Already, this year embodies that idea!
At Panta Rhea we’ve been deepening global relationships with our sister foundation, Schoepflin Stiftung, and The Spore Initiative. Our board and staff engaged directly with our counterparts in Germany, and also met with current and potential partners in Mexico and Martinique. Together, we’re also exploring the potential to team up across philanthropic entities in support of grassroots organizations in the Caribbean and the Americas, leveraging our complementary offerings. Learnings from these and future encounters will shape our reflection and planning in the months to come.
Amidst these emerging opportunities, we’re thrilled to celebrate that our Food Sovereignty Fund Director, Anna Lappé, will transition out of her part-time roles at the foundation and Real Food Media next month to become the Executive Director of the Global Alliance for the Future of Food. (See the announcement here.)Panta Rhea Foundation is one of the 27 members of this strategic alliance of foundations around the world working for food systems transformation grounded in principles of agroecology and food sovereignty.
“It’s been the honor-of-a-lifetime to have been part of Panta Rhea and witness its evolution into this next phase of impact,” said Anna. “It’s been so inspiring to support the leaders, networks, and alliances fighting for justice, health, and sustainability — and part of what makes me excited to step into this new role is that it is a continuation of the work we’ve done with funder and grantee partners to deepen our shared struggle for a more just and sustainable world.”
Our community is full of gratitude for Anna’s stewardship of the foundation’s Food Sovereignty Fund (formerly Food & Democracy Fund) over the last seven years. She facilitated our relationships with phenomenal organizations who expanded our understanding of and support for the ways food intersects with other critical global issues, including climate change. Anna’s commitment to grassroots leadership and lifting up the voices of people with lived experience to tell their own stories and lead their own advocacy has changed the field and philanthropy for the better.
“Anna amplified the work of emerging leaders all around the country, offering them tools and a platform for exponential impact,” said Panta Rhea Foundation CEO Connie Archbold Robinson. “Her efforts laid the groundwork for the foundation’s future grantmaking, and will continue to shape how we support communities for whom food sovereignty is central to their self-determination.”
Panta Rhea Foundation’s board co-chair, Lisl Schoepflin, adds: “Anna repeatedly taught us the deep implications and intersection of food sovereignty and justice in the work we do with grassroots partners and communities. I’ve been continuously awed by her wisdom, heart, strategic clarity, and leadership.”
Even as Anna moves on to her next great leadership opportunity, food sovereignty issues remain central to the communities Panta Rhea serves. As part of our ongoing evolution, we will continue to deepen our understanding of how to holistically support partners in the Americas, the Caribbean, and beyond.
Change is often bittersweet… and with it comes transformational opportunities. Thank you, Anna, for sharing this leg of your journey with us, and we wish you all the best as we learn to collaborate with you in new ways!
Connie Archbold Robinson