IILM Institute for Higher Education, a leading Indian B-School committed to the Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRME) as envisaged by UN Global Compact, is organizing the 5th International Conference on Sustainability- “Resolution to Resolve: Sustainability Practices in Industry and Education” on 15th, 16th, and 17th of February, 2018 at IILM Lodhi Road Campus, New Delhi.
Eminent speakers from industry and academia shared their views on UN’s PRME initiative during the inaugural session on Feb 15, 2017. This landmark event was set off with the release of IILM’s flagship publication entitled “Resolution to Resolve: Sustainability Practices in Industry and Education” (published by Bloomsbury).
Day 2 of the conference commenced with the first plenary session on the topic “Laying the Foundation: Alignment of Management Education with Sustainability”. Education has always been considered the foundation to bring any kind of reform and it is one of the most powerful and proven vehicles for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The focus of this session was SDG 4, which aims to provide equal access to affordable vocational training, to eliminate gender and wealth disparities, and achieve universal access to quality education. Distinguished panelists for this session included Dr. Manoj Sinha, Principal Aryabhatta College, Delhi University, Mr. Siddharth Sibal, Vice President, Accenture, and Prof. John Varghese, Principal, St. Stephen’s College. They spoke about the purpose of education being raise awareness and consciousness among people. Mr. Sibal also emphasised different innovative interventions such as solar coins, block chain technology, 3D printing to name a few, that are currently changing the way we live and consume.
The second session on “Infrastructure through the Lens of Sustainability” revolves around the implementation of SDG 9 – to develop quality, reliable, sustainable, and resilient infrastructure, to support economic development and human well-being. This session empaneled Col. Prakash Tewari, Executive Director, CSR, DLF Foundation, Mr. Pranshu Gupta, Manager, Sustainability Services, Accenture Strategy, Mr. Ajay Tyagi, Managing Partner, Lex Terrae. They underlined the importance of focusing in infrastructure for any of the other SDGs to become a success. They also highlighted the need for culturally and ecologically relevant technological interventions, to solve the local infrastructural issues. Mr. Prakash Tiwari talked about various initiatives taken by DLF for transforming Gurugram into a Smart City. He concluded with a quote “the greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it”.
Session 3 on “Innovation and Sustainable Competitive Advantage” looked into the application of SDG 9 again – Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation. Dr. Shalini Lal, Founder Infinity OD, Innovation and Change, Mr. Ravi Chamria, CEO, Block Chain Enthusiast and Fintech Expert, Mr. Ravi Bhatnagar, Head External Affairs & Partnerships, Reckitt Benckiser, and Prof Holger Briel, Dean, Xi’an Jiaotong Liverpool University, China were the eminent speakers for this panel discussion. Dr. Lal spoke about the innovation history in India and the challenges. She opined that management and innovation are like two different languages – management being the language of planning and executing while innovation is the language of ideation and potential, with various examples to throw light on the relationship between management and innovation. Mr. Ravi Bhatnagar focused his discussion on creating innovation. He opined that reputation synonyms innovation and concluded by quoting “Purpose comes first, then comes Business”.
Session 4 was on “Sustainability Practices & Quality Education” – While the first session of the conference focused on policies and reforms to make education truly sustainable, this session emphasised implementation of those policies to bring about radical reformation of education. Dr. Onyebuchi Felix Offodile, Department Chair / Professor Department of Management and Information Systems, Kent State University, USA , Ms. Dilreen Kaur, Director, Ritinjali, Dr. Nidhi Srivastava, Associate VP, Public Sector Business, Smart Class Educational Services, and Dr. Rania Mohy El-Din Nafie, Professor, School of International Business Management, Seneca College, Canada. Dr. Felix underscored the role of education in reducing the carbon footprint by raising the consciousness of the youth who are vital game changers. Dr. Nafie spoke about innovation in education. She accentuated that the ability to innovate depends on inter and intra department knowledge sharing with student and stakeholders.
Each session was followed by a question answer session wherein the audience engaged in meaningful dialogue with the eminent speakers. This international conference provided a platform for industry experts, Diplomats and academicians from different parts of the world to interact and dialogue on aspects of Sustainability and Innovation that are extremely important drivers of responsible management in the current business context.