For The Wild Podcast

DR. VANDANA SHIVA on The Promise of the Commons / 280

March 30, 2022

In this episode of For the Wild, Ayana and returning guest Dr. Vandana Shiva discuss the crumbling of the colonial paradigm and the promise of re-commoning the commons for our collective future. Situating us in the exigency of food and seed sovereignty for our present time, Dr. Shiva reminds us that seeds and living systems are not open access systems to be privatized, patented, or exploited. Rather, the commons are central to all of life. In this multifaceted episode, we discuss threats to the commons by Big Tech; the brilliance and sophistication of Indigenous seed cultures and breeding, the toxicity of GMO crops for our bodies and the planet, the benefits of agroecological farming, and the need for diversity in our ecosystems and justice movements. Tying the green-washed quest by tech barons to digitalize the world to legacies of colonialism and imperialism under a similar “civilizing” mission, Dr. Shiva warns that the ruling class operates from a place of fear of any being alive and free on their own terms. We end this conversation with a call to a paradigm shift away from capitalism, control and fear to one of partnership with the earth. 


Vandana Shiva is a world-renowned environmental thinker and activist, a leader in the International Forum on Globalisation and of the Slow Food Movement. Founder of Navdanya and of the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology, and a tireless crusader for farmers’, peasants’, and women’s rights, she is author and editor of many influential books, including two from Synergetic Press, Reclaiming the Commons: Biodiversity, Indigenous Wisdom, and the Rights of Mother Earth (2020) and the forthcoming Philanthrocapitalism and the Erosion of Democracy: A Global Citizens’ Report on the Corporate Control of Technology, Health, and Agriculture, which is slated for release in February 2022.


Music by Peals, Peia, and Kaivalya. Visit our website at for the full episode description, references, and action points.

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