Dr. Vandana Shiva
The Ecofeminist Visionary
Dr. Vandana Shiva trained as a Physicist at the University of Punjab, and completed her Ph.D. on the ‘Hidden Variables and Non-locality in Quantum Theory’ from the University of Western Ontario, Canada. She later shifted to inter-disciplinary research in science, technology and environmental policy.
In 1991 she founded Navdanya, a national movement to protect the diversity and integrity of living resources – especially native seed – and to promote organic farming and fair trade. For last two decades, Navdanya has worked with local communities and organisations, serving more than 500,000 men and women farmers. Navdanya’s efforts have resulted in the conservation of more than 3000 rice varieties from across India, and the organisation has established 60 seed banks in 16 states across the country. In 2004, Dr. Shiva started Bija Vidyapeeth, an international college for sustainable living in Doon Valley in collaboration with Schumacher College, U.K.
Dr. Shiva has contributed in fundamental ways to changing the practice and paradigms of agriculture and food. Her books The Violence of the Green Revolution and Monocultures of the Mind pose essential challenges to the dominant paradigm of non-sustainable, industrial agriculture. Through her books Biopiracy, Stolen Harvest and Water Wars, Dr. Shiva has made visible the social, economic and ecological costs of corporate-led globalisation. Dr. Shiva chairs the Commission on the Future of Food set up by the Region of Tuscany in Italy, she is a Board member of the International Forum on Globalisation (IGF), and a member of the Steering Committee of the Indian People’s Campaign Against the WTO. Time Magazine has hailed her as an environmental hero and Asia Week called her one of the five most powerful communicators in Asia and Forbes Magazine identified Dr. Shiva as one of the Seven Most Powerful Women on the Globe.
Internationally, Dr. Shiva serves on Prince Charles’s expert group on Sustainable Agriculture and she is a member of President Zapatero’s Scientific Committee in Spain. Dr. Shiva advises governments worldwide, and is currently working with the Government of Bhutan to make Bhutan 100% organic. She is also working with the Governments of Tuscany and Rome to create a hopeful and livable future for young people in these times of crises.
Catch her at her Vancouver talk, Seeding the Future, on July 14 as part of Indian Summer Festival.