bigSMALL Cooperative

What is the bigSMALL Cooperative?

The bigSMALL Cooperative is being developed by scientists, authors, educators and activists, deeply committed to the success of communities worldwide.

We are driven to finding solutions to insure the present and future generations a rightful place on a healthy planet, through placed-based educational facilities at the cutting edge intersection of biological and cultural diversity.


What is “A Conditional Cooperative”?

A conditional cooperative assures that no one individual spends a farthing until we have 10,000 commitments to play.

When we together reach this “threshold commitment”, all of us can accurately claim we leveraged a million with $100.


How is it organized?

The bigSMALL is made up of two main groups, the Core Council (of 15 people) and the Great Council (250 people).

The Core Council

The Core Council is responsible for defining the rules of engagement, working with the fiduciary trust at the Eden project, defining project criteria, start up funds, and engagement of the threshold partners (i.e.- the Great council.)

Members of the Core Council are:

Dr. Ana Mari Hamada of Earth University in Costa Rica is Chair pro temp.

Dr. Amory Lovins, CEO and founder of the Rocky Mountain Institute, serves on the core World Stewardship Council

Dr. Marie Studer, Earthwatch Institute, Boston, MA

Tim Smit, Eden Project founder

Tony Kendle, President and co-founder of the Eden Foundation

Dr. Jo Readman, also of Eden Project in Cornwall, England

Dr. Tom Lumpkin, World Steward Trustee, who heads the World Vegetable Center in Taiwan

Paul Hawken, environmentalist, entrepreneur, journalist, and best-selling author.

Dr. Hazel Henderson, writer, futurist, community

Dr. Jane Stoneham, educator, author and researcher, Eden Project.

Dr. Debra Rowe, educator and author, Oakland, CA


The Great Council

(Threshold Number 100, Eventual Number, 250)

The Great Council is composed of 250 individuals who have committed themselves to each finding 10 more colleagues/friends to support this endeavor. A qualified member will have leveraged her personal network to secure ten participants each, of which each has secured ten more participants.

The Great Council will also have active and ongoing input in nominating other council members, reviewing and funding projects.

In alignment with our commitment to a more just and sustainable world, both the Core Council and the Great Council have a strong commitment to participatory decision making (i.e. consensus), and are by design made up of a majority of women.


Where are the projects/communities located?

The planning team envisions concurrent redevelopment endowments constructed in pairs, one in the north and the other in the south.

Formal decision to move forward with a completed endowment allocation will be made by the World Stewardship Council, with the advise and consent of Amory B. Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute and Dr. Tony Kendle, President of the Eden Foundation at Bodelva in Cornwall, UK.

Two advancing community ecosystem partnership campaigns are in Washington State, in the US Pacific Northwest, and on the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica.

Located in the Little White Salmon Biodiversity Reserve, Highland Farm is being redeveloped as a center for the art and science of sustaining culture and the conservation of heritage craftsmanship.

Second is a biologically rich and endangered rain forest on the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica. Additional projects for 2008 are proposed in the Vzedeme Highlands of Latvia, and in a community ecosystem partnership toward the survival of the last wild Orangutans of the Congo Basin.


What project criteria will be followed?

Each project will be decided on by the following criteria:

  1.   Restoration of fragmented landscapes- plant biodiversity.
  2.   Engaged community involvement over time- past, present and future .
  3.   Conservation of language, craft, culture, tradition- cultural biodiversity.
  4.   Rigorous measurable sustainable energy metrics and resource stewardship.
  5.   Design and staffing of place-based educational facilities centered around the watershed.


Where are the funds held?

To be determined…


What’s in it for me?

Your $100 dollars secures your membership into the bigSMALL cooperative, granting you a 10% discount at the target trusts; (products, educational retreat, conferences, etc.).

With the commitment to find 10 people to join the project you can also become a member of the ‘great council,’ nominating other council members and providing input on potential projects.


Where do I sign up?

If you are engaged by the idea of building community ecosystem partnerships around the world through Conditional Cooperation– small folk acting conditionally to form a large group and effect– then the bigSMALL communication team would like to hear from you.

Send us a brief email describing of your interest (why is this important to you?) and relevant skills (what can bring to advance this work?) and a statement whether or not you think you can recruit at least ten friends who would join in bigSMALL’s first cooperative investment together.

Interested in working with 10,000 people committed to act on the same day to accomplish a large good work together? Let’s hear from you.

Contact us: bigSMALLteam AT


How do I let friends and colleagues know about bigSMALL?

It is the power of our collected personal networks that will make bigSMALL come alive. No one spends a nickel until 10,000 activist friends agree they will create an endowment together on a single day.

Conditional cooperation to endow community ecosystem redevelopment partnerships is an unprecedented use of the internet, and has great potential for doing good around the world.

If you believe your network can participate, please report to the planning team how many cooperating members are in your circle by writing to:

bigSMALLteam AT


(Your name and e-mail address are kept 100% private and not shared with or sold to others)



The Eden Project