TOPPLING GOLIATH IS THE LEXICON OF SUSTAINABILITY’s first in a series of projects that explore the unlikely heroes who battle against seemingly insurmountable odds to create a more equitable, sustainable, and regenerative food system. Our work in Mals is made possible with support from Turn 21, the Brunnenburg Agricultural Museum and Green Mountain College.

Our Team in Mals

Douglas Gayeton, Philip Ackerman-Leist, Michael de Rachewiltz and Pier Giorgio Provenzano captured the dramatic story of how Mals, a small community in the Italian Alps, became the first town in the world to ban all pesticides. From a grassroots campaign of accidental activists to a ground-breaking public referendum and subsequent ordinances, the citizens of Mals used the precautionary principle, direct democracy, and collective action to become an international model for pesticide-free communities.

In color, from left: Douglas Gayeton, Pier Giorgio Provenzano, Philip Ackerman-Leist, and Michael de Rachewiltz.

Douglas Gayeton is an information architect, filmmaker, photographer and writer. He has created award-winning work at the boundaries of traditional and converging media since the early 90’s. He directed the KNOW YOUR FOOD series for PBS and GROWING ORGANIC for USDA, and has authored two books: SLOW: Life in a Tuscan Town, and LOCAL: The New Face of Food & Farming in America.

Philip Ackerman-Leist is Professor of Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems at Green Mountain College. He is the author of A Precautionary Tale: How One Small Town Banned Pesticides, Preserved its Food Heritage, and Inspired a Movement; Rebuilding the Foodshed: How to Create Local, Sustainable, and Secure Food Systems and Up Tunket Road: The Education of a Modern Homesteader.

Michael de Rachewiltz directs the Brunnenburg Agricultural Museum & International Study Center, a museum dedicated to South Tirolean agriculture and foodways. A native South Tirolean, Michael teaches for several US universities at the castle’s study center. He is also an avid mountaineer who explores the trails and traditions of the entire Upper Vinschgau valley.

Pier Giorgio Provenzano is the Lexicon’s animator and video editor. Based near Bristol, England, his projects include a short film series for PBS, music videos for Napster, a feature-length documentary for HBO, several animated shorts for Warner Brothers and Toyota, and GrowEatGather, which showcases British farmers and their role in producing good sustainable food.

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