Helena Norberg-Hodge - Full Biography

Author and filmmaker Helena Norberg-Hodge is a pioneer of the ‘new economy’ movement--work which earned her the 2012 Goi Peace Prize. Through writing and public lectures on three continents, she has been promoting an economics of personal, social and ecological well-being for more than thirty years. She is a widely respected analyst of the impact of the global economy on communities, local economies, and personal identity, and is a leading proponent of ‘localization’, or decentralization, as a means of countering those impacts.

Helena’s book, Ancient Futures, has been described as “an inspirational classic”. Together with the film of the same title, it has been translated into more than 40 languages, and sold about half a million copies. She is also the producer and co-director of the award-winning film, The Economics of Happiness, and the co-author of Bringing the Food Economy Home and From the Ground Up: Rethinking Industrial Agriculture.

The Earth Journal counted Helena among the world’s ‘ten most interesting environmentalists’, while in Carl McDaniel’s book Wisdom for a Liveable Planet, she was profiled as one of ‘eight visionaries changing the world’.

Helena has lectured in seven languages and appeared in broadcast, print and online media worldwide, including MSNBC, The London Times, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Guardian. She has written numerous articles and essays, and her work has been the subject of more than 300 articles worldwide. The Post Growth Institute counted Helena on the (En)Rich List, a list of 100 people "whose collective contributions enrich paths to sustainable futures."

Educated in Sweden, Germany, Austria, England and the United States, Helena specialized in linguistics, including studies at the University of London and at MIT. Since 1975, she has worked with the people of Ladakh, or “Little Tibet”, to find ways of enabling their culture to meet the modern world without sacrificing social and ecological values. For these efforts she was awarded the Right Livelihood Award, or ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’. Helena was awarded the 2012 Goi Peace Prize for contributing to "the revitalization of cultural and biological diversity, and the strengthening of local communities and economies worldwide."

Helena is the founder and director of the International Society for Ecology and Culture (ISEC). Based in the US and UK, with subsidiaries in Germany and Australia, ISEC examines the root causes of our current social and environmental crises, while promoting more sustainable and equitable patterns of living in both North and South. Helena is also a founding member of the International Commission on the Future of Food and Agriculture, and a co-founder of both the International Forum on Globalization and the Global Ecovillage Network.