Helena Norberg-Hodge

Helena Norberg Hodge (born 1946) is the founder and director of the International Society for Ecology and Culture, a non-profit organisation concerned with the protection of both biological and cultural diversity, and education for action: moving beyond single issues to look at the more fundamental influences that shape our lives. ISEC runs programs on four continents aimed at strengthening ecological diversity and community, with a particular emphasis on local food and farming. Helena is a co-founder of the International Forum on Globalization (www.ifg.org), an alliance of sixty leading activists, scholars, economists, researchers and writers formed to stimulate new thinking, joint activity and public education in response to economic globalisation. She is also involved with the Global Ecovillage Network and directs the Ladakh Project, renowned for its groundbreaking work in sustainable development on the Tibetan plateau. She is a recipient of the Right Livelihood Award or Alternative Nobel Prize. Helena is a leading analyst of the impact of the global economy on cultures around the world. A linguist by training, she was educated in Sweden, Germany, England and the United States, and speaks seven languages. She has lectured and taught extensively around the world from the Smithsonian Institution to Harvard and Oxford universities. She is the author of numerous works, including the inspirational classic, Ancient Futures: Learning from Ladakh, which together with an award-winning film of the same title has been translated into more than 30 languages. Her latest book is Bringing the Food Economy Home: Local Alternatives to Global Agribusiness.

  • Bringing the Food Economy Home

    Local Alternatives to Global Agribusiness

    By Steven Gorelick, Todd Merrifield and Helena Norberg-Hodge     January 2002

    There has been much discussion about the quality of food being provided by global agribusiness and the serious environmental impact it produces. The benefits of fostering a local food production are often dismissed, but it would address a range of health, social and environmental problems. The authors argue if the trend of large agribusiness were thought about rather than accepted without question, then local food production would be seen as a viable means of supplementing this existing system. They do not hesitate to suggest that the current system is unsustainable and does not provide real choice. Local food has a cultural context unique to where it is grown. The production of local food secures rural opportunities instead of forcing people to search for alternative livelihoods in urban areas. Local food production also eliminates many of the costs involved in transporting food across the country and around the world. This book presents a thoughtful argument that calls for a more conscientious and active role for people at the local level of food production.

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