Ishita Khanna (Class of 2009)
Ishita Khanna is the Founder and Director of a social enterprise called Spiti Ecosphere that works in the cold deserts of the Trans- Himalayas of India on developing sustainable livelihoods for rural communities with linkages to conservation of nature and culture. Her passion for the environment and mountains led her to found Ecosphere in collaboration with the local community of Spiti, Himachal Pradesh. Ecosphere’s initiatives in the region range from developing sustainable livelihoods, women’s empowerment, climate change mitigation and adaptation, natural resource management, heritage conservation and policy advocacy. Ecosphere’s objective is to develop Spiti as a model of sustainable development. Livelihoods and conservation are at the core of its philosophy on which have been built its entire endeavors. Ecosphere was recently awarded the Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Award and the Sierra Club Green Energy and Green Livelihood Achievement Award.