Dr. Vandana Shiva is an ecofeminist, social justice activist, physicist and philosopher who is changing the way the world thinks about food security and environmental sustainability.
By combining sharp intellectual inquiry with courageous grassroots activism, Vandana has inspired change and empowered others through her optimism, strength and unwavering determination.
She is a leading proponent of community food security, organic farming, seed saving and women’s involvement in agriculture. She has raised awareness about the risks of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) by successfully challenging Monsanto’s illegal introduction of Bt. Cotton through the Supreme Court in India. She founded Navdanya (named for nine crops that represent India’s collective source of food security), a women-centered movement to protect biological and cultural diversity in India. To date, Navdanya has conserved more than 5000 varieties of rice, wheat and other produce with its own seed bank and 20-acre organic farm in Doon Valley, Uttarakhand, North India. Navdanya has also set up a learning center, Bija Vidyapeeth (School of the Seed / Earth University).
As a thinker and public intellectual, she has contributed to a paradigm shift from violent, predatory, exploitative science, technology and economic organization to non-violent, compassionate, cooperative systems of knowledge, production and consumption. By using love, strength and the evolution of our highest creative energies, Vandana believes we can liberate seeds and the global food supply from the clutches of corporations like Monsanto and collaboratively shape a food system that protects life on earth, small farmers, our health and our future.
Intellectual property rights and biodiversity are areas in which Vandana has contributed through academic research and as an activist. She has challenged patents on neem, basmati, and wheat.
Through founding the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology, Vandana conducts high quality, independent studies of ecological and social issues in partnership with community groups and social movements.
Vandana has assisted campaigns against genetic engineering in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Ireland, Switzerland and Austria. She advised the Government of Bhutan on how to achieve the nation’s objective of turning all its agriculture completely organic.
Her books include Soil not Oil, Earth Democracy, Water Wars, Patents Myth and Reality, Tomorrow’s Biodiversity, Stolen Harvest, Biopiracy – The Plunder of Nature and Knowledge, Monocultures of the Mind – Biodiversity, Biotechnology and Agriculture, Ecofeminism, The Violence of the Green Revolution, Ecology and the Politics of Survival, and Staying Alive.
Vandana is the recipient of the Alternative Nobel Peace Prize (the Right Livelihood Award), the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) Global 500 Award, the John Lennon Yoko Ono Grant For Peace, and the Sydney Peace Prize for her commitment to social justice.
Forbes magazine called Dr. Vandana Shiva one of the top seven most powerful women on the planet. Time magazine identified Vandana Shiva as an environmental “hero” and Asia Week called her one of the five most powerful communicators in Asia.
Vandana’s lectures explore the future of food.
Will farmers continue to be displaced? Will biodiversity continue to dwindle? Will a few companies continue to control seed, while another few continue to control trade through free trade treaties? Will hunger and malnutrition continue to grow and the quality of food continue to decline?
Or, will the future of food be based on biodiversity and small farms and gardens producing more and better food while rejuvenating the soil?
Dr. Vandana Shiva is academically trained as a Physicist and did her Ph.D. on “Hidden Variables and Non-locality in Quantum Theory”.
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