Xavier School of Sustainability (XSOS), XUB organized a first of its kind Sustainability Leadership Summit on 5th and 6th of July. The aim of this summit was to seek importance of sustainability in management education and to explore and celebrate sustainability leadership initiatives in various organizations. The summit witnessed participation of delegates from all over the world. The Additional Chief Secretary of Odisha, Shri. Upendra Nath Behera, was the chief guest for the occasion.
Fr. Paul Fernandes, S.J. VC, XUB & Director, XIMB delivered the inaugural speech and declared the commencement of the conference. ‘Springs of Sustainability’ was the topic of the First session. The speakers for this session included Prof. Phillipe Debroux from Soka University, Japan, Mr. Srinivasan Iyer, Programme Officer, Ford Foundation, Mr. Nadarajah Manickam from Kuala Lampur and Dr Aditi Halder, Director, GRI Focal Point India.
The forum observed variation in thoughts from the eminent orators. Major parts of discussion covered the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policies, Opportunities in sustainability, Addressing risks and challenges and measuring the impacts of Sustainability.
The post lunch session centred on Sustainability and Sustainable Livelihoods – The Role of State and Civil Society. Professor Amar Nayak (XIMB), Professor C.Shambu Prasad (IRMA), Mr Rama Subramanian (Auroville), Mr Jagadananda (CYSD), Prof. Hilda Bairamian (St. Joseph University, Lebenon) and Professor Subhasis Ray (XIMB) enlightened the students about the pros and cons of the civil societies in reference to Sustainability. The talk was moderated by Mr M.V. Ashok, CGM, NABARD. It is noteworthy to mention that XIMB and NABARD will jointly set up a chair unit under the NABARD chair professor scheme.
Second day of the summit focussed on the role of public and private sector in sustainability. The first session had presentations by two speakers: Mr P.S Narayan, Vice President and Head of sustainability at Wipro and Professor Yury Blagov, Director, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, St. Petersburg State University, Russia. Mr Narayanan explained how the expectations from a business has evolved and how a fast transition in the right direction is the need of the hour. Professor Yuri talked about how sustainability is a much more complex process than how it was previously. He went on to discuss, how development of CSR in Russian business is generally in line with the global trends.
In the second half Mr Anil Prakash Chirravuri, Founder of Potenza Solar explained the need for sustainability for a business and proceeded to discuss on the global drivers for Corporate Sustainability.
While everyone had a different perspective on ‘Sustainable Development’, the common ground ceded by all were poverty, afforestation, mining regulations and anti-pollution of air and water.
The whole essence of the summit came down to the fact that sustainability is achieved when business and ethics go hand in hand. They are not independent of each other. It is not a question of choosing one over the other, but to balance the two.