Dempsey Lecture 2016

“Earth Democracy”

Vandana Shiva

Scholar, author, and environmental activist

Thursday, March 17, 7 p.m.
Hudson Hall, Willamette University

About the speaker

Dr. Vandana Shiva is a scholar, author, and environmental activist. In 2003, Time Magazine named Dr. Shiva as an environmental ‘hero’ and in 2010, Forbes Magazine identified Dr. Shiva as one of the Seven Most Powerful Women on the Globe.

In 1982, Dr. Shiva founded the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology in Dehra Dun, India which is dedicated to independent research to address the most significant ecological and social issues of our times, working in close partnership with local communities and social movements. 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 the last two decades, Navdanya has worked with local communities and organizations, serving more than 500,000 men and women farmers. Navdanya’s efforts have resulted in the conservation of more than 3,000 rice varieties from across India, and the organization 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 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 globalization. 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 Globalization (IGF), and a member of the Steering Committee of the Indian People’s Campaign Against the WTO.

Dr. Shiva’s contributions to gender issues are nationally and internationally recognized. Her book, Staying Alive, dramatically shifts popular perceptions of Third World women. She founded the gender unit at the International Centre for Mountain Development in Kathmandu, and was a founding Board Member of the Women Environment and Development Organization. Dr. Shiva has also initiated Diverse Women for Diversity, an international movement of women working for food and agriculture.

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.

She trained as a Physicist at the University of Punjab, and completed her Ph.D. at the University of Western Ontario, Canada. She later shifted to inter-disciplinary research in science, technology and environmental policy, which she carried out at the Indian Institute of Science and the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore, India.


This event is sponsored by the Dempsey Foundation, the Luce Scholars Program and Willamette University's Department of Environmental and Earth Sciences.

For more information, contact Joe Bowersox at 503-370-6220.

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