Malini is a lifelong campaigner and advocate on social, economic and environmental justice issues. She has played an active role in global movements for women’s rights, gay rights, human rights, climate change, sustainability, trade and investment since a teenager, including in prominent leadership roles with the world’s largest NGOs.

At the seminal UN Beijing women’s conference in 1995, she campaigned on women and environmental rights issues, as well as women’s health and reproductive rights challenging the role of actors such as the Holy See in UN bodies.

At Friends of the Earth International (Amsterdam), in the 1990s, she ran the 60+ national membership organisation’s Sustainable Societies Programme, led on international campaigns and advocacy at UN bodies such as the Commission on Sustainable Development, World Trade Organisation and the OECD.

In 1997, she led the input of Friends of the Earth International at the landmark UNFCCC COP3 climate conference in Kyoto, Japan, which resulted in the Kyoto Protocol, the world’s first attempt to control greenhouse gas emissions.

In the late-1990s, Malini led on international trade and investment policy for Oxfam GB (Oxford) and led campaigns at the World Trade Organisation, including on the notorious Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI), as well as co-organising with WWF, the OECD’s first ever consultation with civil society organisations, setting a precedent for more structured engagement.

Malini was Director of the People’s Decade on Human Rights Education (PDHRE) campaigning on greater human rights literacy in economic bodies such as the WTO, and led PDHRE’s input to the WTO talks which resulted in the infamous Battle of Seattle in 1999.

Throughout the 2000s, Malini has campaigned on climate, sustainability and corporate citizenship issues. In particular with a focus on countries such as India and China, their overseas diasporas, and non-western companies and SMEs. Largely through the work of the pioneering NGO she founded in India and the UK in 2000, Centre for Social Markets (CSM), which played a key role in the nascent corporate social responsibility/ ESG movement outside the West.

CSM’s flagship Climate Challenge India campaign launched in 2007 was the first to promote a proactive leadership agenda for India, drawing on Malini’s influential pamphlet, … and working with Indian cities and household name Indian companies to raise awareness and build policy and C-suite support for bolder domestic climate action.

Education, accountability and children’s rights have also been important themes for Malini’s campaigning. Following an appalling experience with her own children’s schooling, she founded the London Parent & Carers Forum in 2013 to support others and campaign for greater accountability in schools. Through the Forum she has supported a number of parents and members of staff challenging abuse of power, corruption and lack of accountability in schools. In particular those from disadvantaged backgrounds and non-native English speakers. She continues to be closely involved, focussing on the rights of children with special needs and disabilities (SEND) and those in the care system.

In 2017, Malini launched the Teach A Girl To Swim (TAGS) campaign at the UN Global Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in Cancun, Mexico. A campaign close to her heart, it brings together her professional expertise on climate, gender and DRR, with her love for swimming and passion for the rights of girls and women, to address a hidden global pandemic: drowning, the 3rd leading cause of death of children in the world after malnutrition and diarrhoea.
In countries such as China and Bangladesh it is the leading cause of avoidable death of young children.

Girls are particularly at risk due to gendered cultural norms which exacerbate vulnerabilities. To raise awareness, Malini swam 500+ km (many as 10k marathons) in the most at-risk countries such as Bangladesh, India, China and Indonesia. The campaign works with the world’s leading drowning prevention organisations such as CIPRB and RNLI, and enjoys support from figures such as Christiana Figueres, former Executive Director of the UNFCCC, and Mami Mizutori, Head of the UN’s Disaster Risk Reduction organisation. More here

Most recently, Malini has started a new initiative, the Schools Climate Summit, as part of London Climate Action Week, to move beyond piecemeal approaches to schools as individual units, to engaging them as a sector that can help London bend the curve on climate by 2030. As well as shaping the behaviours, attitudes, values and skills of young people to create a climate positive future for themselves.