We have crossed the stage where sustainability is a choice or just social pressure to adapt to, it has rather become an uncompromisable condition to survive on this planet.
Last week we held the 7th FIIB Sustainability Summit at the campus and I had the opportunity to be the emcee for it. It was a fabulous event organized in the college auditorium where the students were exposed to views from some established stalwarts of the Business and Government world. There were 2 themes of the event that divided the summit into 2 halves.
Part 1 was ‘Sustainability: Economic, Environmental and Social’ where the Panel Discussion consisted of 4 members along with 1 moderator. The panelists presented their views on a variety of situations prevailing in their respective businesses, for example, Mr. Phil Turner, Head Safety, Health and Environment – Vedanta Resources Plc. informed us about the impact of the mining industry on the environment and on the lives of people, and how coal mining is a dangerous job for both the workers and the ecology, due to the instability of the mines and the ash that is released due to the burning of coal.
This is just 1 of the several examples that the students had their ears and minds exposed to. Another one was by Mr. Vijay Rai from NHRDN who explained to us in detail about how sustainability needs to change from just a topic of discussion and worry about an attitude, and how the students can be more sustainable in their lives.
The points that we could relate to were also from various aspects of life, like ensuring a sustainable future by a judicious use of resources available to us, like electricity, water and using more of public transport to keep the air quality from degrading further. We learned how nothing can survive in this volatile, uncertain and complex world by adopting an unsustainable path, be it at an individual level or at an institutional level.
Such points were good enough to capture the attention of the audience, and being the Emcee I could sense the audience paying a significant amount of attention to the discussion.
Another thing that was of prime importance was how the discussion moved towards a social context from environmental and business specific, and soon there were talks of public transport working on greener fuels on a large scale, and a few things that all countries could learn from Sweden about sustainable growth – a point by Mr. Bibhuti Pradhan, Chief Manager-CSR and Sustainability areas-IOC, Land then there was Mr. Manpreet Singh, Director, Climate Change and Sustainability Services– KPMG, telling us about how difficult it is for a market research organization to give suggestions to huge businesses whose implementation could end up hurting the pockets of such organizations.
The larger social context came in when Mr. Swapnil Tewari, a sociopreneur, and Founder-Speaker -Livemad Philosophies, a dyslexic by birth and a dreamer by choice stepped up onto the dais and told us about the horrifying situations prevailing in the rural areas and gave us advice on how we could do something for the larger good of the society at our own small level.
All in all, it was a fantastic experience to be there and speak at such a prestigious gathering and was even lovelier to find students participating and trying to know from the stalwarts how they could make a difference, although at minute yet significant levels.