She is trained as a Physicist and got her Ph.D. from the University of Western Ontario in Canada. She later shifted to inter-disciplinary research in science, technology and environmental policy, which she carried out at the Indian Institute of Science and the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore.
In 1982, she founded an independent institute, the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology in Dehra Dun dedicated to high quality and independent research to address the most significant ecological and social issues of our times, in close partnership with local communities and social movements. In 1991, she founded Navdanya, a national movement to protect the diversity and integrity of living resources, especially native seed, the promotion of organic farming and fair trade.
Shiva combines the sharp intellectual enquiry with courageous activism. Time Magazine identified her as an environmental “hero” in 2003 and Forbes magazine in November 2010 has identified her as one of the top Seven most Powerful Women on the Globe.
She has received honorary Doctorates from University of Paris, University of Western Ontario, University of Oslo and Connecticut College, University of Guelph.
Among her many awards are the Alternative Nobel Prize (Right Livelihood Award, 1993), Order of the Golden Ark, Global 500 Award of UN and Earth Day International Award. Lennon ONO grant for peace award by Yoko Ono in 2009, Sydney Peace Prize in 2010, Doshi Bridgebuilder Award, Calgary Peace Prize and Thomas Merton Award in the year 2011,the Fukuoka Award and The Prism of Reason Award in 2012 , the Grifone d’Argento prize 2016 and The MIDORI Prize for Biodiversity 2016.