22nd February 2018, New Delhi: The 8th Sustainability Summit was held at FIIB on 21st February, 2018 looking at sustainability in new light from just being an environmental aspect to being a comprehensive idea including equity and social components, such as cultural diversity, community enhancement, human rights, education, quality of life, environmental justice, and the overall well-being. The theme of the summit this year was “The Choice of Sustainability – Is it the Game of a few?” The theme has been referred to as ‘distinctive and relevant to today’s business and management choices’ by the speakers who addressed the conference. The Keynote speaker Mr. Ajay Relan, Founder and Ex- Managing Partner at CX Partners; shared his exemplary insights on investment logic for sustainability through his own investing experience, and captivating case studies.
About the theme:
The etymology of sustainability defines it as 'defensible' while the modern definition is 'the capability to maintain a certain level.' A paradoxical approach to the same word in different eras may necessitate a new perspective towards it. Do we have a choice or is sustainability inevitable? A fundamental viewpoint or a way of living! The answer to which is discussed from different viewpoints at the summit.
- The Inaugural session and welcome address to guests and speakers
- An incredibly engaging keynote session on why and how investors look at a company's financial data, as well as environmental, social and governance structures.
- Four elaborate and informative plenary sessions by industry experts from diverse backgrounds about weaving sustainable choices into different aspects of business and management.
- Addressing the queries of students, staff, and faculty regarding sustainability in the business world
The conference was commenced with Saraswati vandana and Ms. Radhika Shrivastava, Executive Director at FIIB delivered the welcome address, extending hospitality to the guests and speakers. While addressing the audience, she said, "FIIB started 23 years ago in a rented location with 40 students. While our size was small, our dreams were not. We grew slowly but surely. Our graduates increasingly went on to be successful in their careers not only all over India, but also spread around the world. Looking back, I realize what kept us going was our strong shared value system that called for us to always do the right thing in the right way with the right (read 'highest') standards working with the right people. And that is the best definition of sustainability that we can touch and feel being here today. That is how businesses need to look at themselves. We started by introducing relevant coursework into our curriculum; our students worked with the local communities making a difference in lives of others; we cut back on our own carbon footprint.” She also mentioned, “Following the path of sustainable growth has served FIIB well, and hence we sit here today together discussing and learning from the experience of some extremely accomplished business people on how they have been turning the "Green" into "Gold" for their organizations."
This was followed by the keynote address by Mr. Ajay Relan, Founder and Ex- Managing Partner at CX Partners. He delivered a crucial message saying “Sustainable organizations are those who not only use power and resources for the common good of people, organizations, and the planet but also resilient enough to face challenges in VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous) environment.”
After the keynote session, the plenary speakers, Ms. Shaveta Sharma Kukreja, Managing Director, Central Square Foundation; Mr. Gaurav Sarup, Lead Group Sustainability, Cairn Vedanta Resources Plc; Ms. Sharvani Sharma, Manager, Corporate Communications, CSR, Havells India Ltd; Mr. Bhuwan Bhhaskar, Director, Bihar Burn & Trauma Research Center Pvt. Ltd all spoke about how the meaning of sustainability has transformed over the time and how it is every individual’s responsibility to work towards a better and sustainable future. The discussion deliberated around several sustainable choices including investment, environment, healthcare, education, and child care.
The summit was a reminder of the intrinsic role played by sustainable choices in the journey of an organization. Dr. Amiya Mohapatra, faculty and participant of the discussion said, "The Sustainability Summit was very well organized. The speakers from diverse areas –Finance, Education, Energy and Social Sector shared their innovative and thought-provoking ideas and insights and enlightened us by highlighting the various aspects and dimensions of sustainability. This will result in more meaningful teaching and delivery and enhance students’ learning. It has added value and brought in new perspectives in the learning process” The thought provoking and introspective session left the participants inspired to instill the learnings in their day-to-day lives.
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