Best of SoS: Vandana Shiva

This past spring, Sustainable World Coalition co-produced the 2nd annual Spring of Sustainability (SoS), the largest virtual sustainability gathering ever. SoS brought the “best and brightest” leaders in sustainability to the world through teleconference dialogues.

Each week, in our Best of SoS feature, we review one of our favorite episodes. Like what you see? Head over to our upgrade page for a special offer to own the entire Spring of Sustainability series. 

Vandana_Shiva_from_onlineOn May 28th on Spring of Sustainability, we heard a passionate and powerful exposé on corporate globalization from Vandana Shiva, the brilliant and tireless international activist. Vandana seems to show up everywhere that the big issues are being decided, and is as likely to be found in rural India, helping farmers organize, as she is in the halls of the UN.

We learned from Vandana that the age of globalization is really the age of corporate rule. In the 80s, trade was more fairly and democratically regulated. Globalization is made to look like it creates a more interconnected world, but it has made us more fragmented.

Corporate rule has no respect for ecological limits of the earth. It spreads globally to produce goods at the cheapest cost – decimating the planet and local economies. Companies like Monsanto are destroying farms and farmers around the world. Large corporations can squeeze supply chains if ethics are not written into their charters and followed.

There are things every one can do, to based on Gandhian principles. Reclaim freedom within yourself – there is a deep sense of justice in you as a global citizen. When an unjust law is imposed, we have a duty to not obey – for example, to liberate the control of seeds from Monsanto. Change your consumption habits – make sure you are supporting local farmers and the planet with your purchases rather than big corporations.

What gives her hope?

  1. The urge of life to flourish – the processes of life are not dominated by foolish human choices
  2. Ordinary people make change – the revolution is coming from the bottom up
  3. The stupidity and greed of global corporations will cause them to collapse in time
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