Vandana Shiva was born on November 5, 1952 in Dehra Dun, Uttarakhand, India, is a philosopher, environmental activist, eco feminist and author of several books. Shiva, currently based in Delhi, is author of over 300 papers in leading scientific and technical journals. She received her Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Western Ontario, Canada, in 1978 with the doctoral dissertation:“Hidden variables and locality in quantum theory.
Vandana Shiva was born in the valley of Dehradun, to a father who was the conservator of forests and a farmer mother with a love for nature. She was educated at St Mary’s School in Nainital, and at the Convent of Jesus and Mary, Dehradun. Shiva was trained as a gymnast and after receiving her bachelors in Physics, she pursued a M.A. in the Philosophy of Science at the University of Guelph (Ontario, Canada), with a thesis entitled “Changes in the concept of periodicity of light”. In 1979, she completed and received her Ph.D. at the University of Western Ontario. Her thesis was titled “Hidden Variables and locality in Quantum Theory”. She later went on to interdisciplinary research in science, technology and environmental policy, at the Indian Institute of Science and the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore.
Shiva participated in the nonviolent Chipko movement during the 1970s. The movement, some of whose main participants were women, adopted the approach of forming human circles around trees to prevent their felling. She is one of the leaders of the International Forum on Globalization and a figure of the global solidarity movement known as the alter-globalization movement. She has argued for the wisdom of many traditional practices, as is evident from her interview in the book Vedic Ecology that draws upon India’s Vedic heritage.
Vandana Shiva has fought for, changes in the practice and paradigms of agriculture and food. Intellectual property rights, biodiversity, biotechnology, bioethics, genetic engineering are among the fields where Shiva has contributed intellectually and through activist campaigns. She has assisted grassroots organizations of the Green movement in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Ireland, Switzerland, and Austria with campaigns against genetic engineering. In 1982, she founded the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology, which led to the creation of Navdanya. Her book, “Staying Alive” helped redefine perceptions of third world women. Shiva has also served as an adviser to governments in India and abroad as well as non governmental organisations, including the International Forum on Globalization, the Women’s Environment & Development Organization and the Third World Network.
Vandana Shiva participated in the Stock Exchange of Visions project in 2007.
She is a councilor of the World Future Council.