On Thursday 12 November, leading personalities working for change will join at UNESCO Headquarters for the release of the Manifesto on the Future of Knowledge Systems: Knowledge Sovereignty for a Healthy Planet, the latest Manifesto of the International Commission on the Future of Food and Agriculture. 

Vandana Shiva, Chair of the International Commission on the Future of Food and Agriculture, will participate with Claudio Martini, President of the Region of Tuscany, Danielle Mitterrand, Founder of France-Libertes - Danielle Mitterrand Foundation, Francesco Bandarin, Director of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre and Jose Gualinga, representative of the Kichwa de Sarayaku people of Ecuadorian Amazonia.

Humanity is gripped by multiple catastrophes - the financial implosion and economic collapse, climate chaos and the energy and food crises.

According to the Manifesto, reductionism, fragmentation and mechanical thinking are at the root of these crises, with the world being equated to a huge machine, free to be manipulated and improved at will.

The Manifesto spells out how this dominant knowledge paradigm has directly contributed to the instability, insecurity and confusion that exist in the world today.  A new way of thinking is vital for the return to a balanced and healthy planet.

The framework that the Manifesto outlines for this shift to take place is based on a worldview that is more holistic (everything is connected everything) and less anthropocentric (man is part of, not 'master of the biosphere') one that reflects today's global reality where decisions in one place can affect the world at large and wrong choices can lead to irreversible destruction.

Some of the themes the Manifesto addresses include:

  • corporate control of science and the merging of knowledge and power
  • the commercialization of knowledge
  • traditional and indigenous cultural knowledge being transformed from the public commons to privately owned commodities that add to the growing divide between rich and poor
  • positive examples towards a new paradigm of knowledge

The Manifesto ends with a call for knowledge sovereignty of communities based on the imperative that knowledge must be freely used, enhanced and shared by all citizens on our planet.

The Commission, chaired by scientist and activist Vandana Shiva, grew out of a joint initiative between Claudio Martini, President of the Region of Tuscany and Dr. Shiva, and is comprised of a group of civil society leaders, academics, and government representatives from North and South actively working towards a more socially and ecologically sustainable future for the planet.  The Region supports and participates in the Commission's work since its creation in 2003.

International Commission on the Future of Food and Agriculture: www.future-food.org

Vandana Shiva/Navdanya : www.navdanya.com

Region of Tuscany: www.regione.toscana.it

France Libertes : www.France-libertes.fr

UNESCO World Heritage Centre: https://whc.unesco.org

Press contacts:

Caroline Lockhart - (+39) 335 710 7624

Pauline Lavaud - 0153 25 10 43

For press accreditation contact Roni Amelan:

01 45 68 16 50 r.amelan@unesco.org