Helena Norberg-Hodge first came to Ladakh in the early 1970s to help make a documentary, her task being to use her skills as a linguist to learn Ladakhi, and translate for the film crew.  She has been coming back ever since, and has had a profound effect on preserving traditional Ladakh against the pressures of Western, fossil fuel led development, by founding two NGOs, firstly LEDeG (Ladakh Ecology and Development Group), and then the Women’s Alliance of Ladakh.

Internationally, she is a pioneer of the local economy movement.  Her seminal book, Ancient Futures, (available after film showings and in the craft shop) has been described as “an inspirational classic,” providing insightful solutions to the unintended impacts of development.  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’.  She is the founder and director of Local Futures and The International Alliance for Localization (IAL).  Based in the US and UK, with subsidiaries in Germany and Australia, Local Futures 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, the International Forum on Globalization and the Global Ecovillage Network.