Keynote Address: What makes societies resilient?

Keynote Address: What Makes Societies Resilient?

Day 1
10:45 – 11:45
Fortress Suite


Environmental Activist, Author and Founder of Navdanya, Dr Vandana Shiva will deliver the keynote speech for the Commonwealth People’s Forum 2015. The keynote address will set the tone of the Forum, begin to explore why resilience needs to be examined in new ways, and frame the discourse of resilience in governance.




Vandana Shiva, a world-renowned environmental thinker, activist, physicist, feminist, philosopher of science, writer and science policy advocate, is the Director of The Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Natural Resource Policy. She serves as an ecology advisor to several organisations including the Third World Network and the Asia Pacific People’s Environment Network.

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.

In 1993 she was the recipient of the Right Livelihood Award, commonly known as the “Alternative Nobel Prize”. A contributing editor to People-Centered Development Forum, she has also written several works include, “Staying Alive,” “The Violence of the Green Revolution,” “Biopiracy: The Plunder of Nature and Knowledge,” “Monocultures of the Mind” and “Water Wars: Privatisation, Pollution, and Profit,” as well as over 300 papers in leading scientific and technical journals.

Shiva participated in the nonviolent Chipko movement during the 1970s, whose main participants were women. She is one of the leaders of the International Forum on Globalisation, and a figure of the global solidarity movement known as the anti-globalisation movement. She has argued for the wisdom of many traditional practices, as is evident from her book “Vedic Ecology” that draws upon India’s Vedic heritage. 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 organisations 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. 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 Globalisation, the Women’s Environment & Development Organization and the Third World Network.