XLRI Hosts 2nd Social Entrepreneurship Conclave

Bhubaneswar: XLRI- Xavier School of Management recently hosted the ‘2nd Social Entrepreneurship Conclave’. The conclave, anchored by the Social Initiative Group for Managerial Assistance (SIGMA), XLRI was planned under the aegis of Prof. Madhukar Shukla, Chairperson, Fr. Arrupe Centre for Ecology and Sustainability (FACES) in association with Tata Steel.

The theme of this year’s conclave was – ‘Entrepreneurship for Urban Sustainability’. The two-day Conclave brought together industry stalwarts, practitioners and academicians hosting insightful discussions on the topic. The conference was participated by fifteen renowned practicing social entrepreneurs in fields of energy, education, agriculture, and market-linkages who shared their views and ideas on themes such as urban governance, initiatives for livelihood assistance, how to enable education and health for all, waste and pollution management, and protecting the core environment.

The conclave was inaugurated by Dr. Jagan Shah, Director, National Institute of Urban Affairs. He delivered the key-note address, where he spoke on the broad aspects of urban sustainability. The first day’s sessions included discussions on the topics of urban governance, access to basic social services, and protecting the core environment. The first topic on urban governance saw discourses by Dr. Poornima Dore, Head, Data Governance, Tata Trusts; Mr. Sourav Roy, Chief of CSR, Tata Steel; and Ms. Sophie Charrios, Vice President, Oikos International. The panelists spoke about the issue in an Indian context, the emergence of data and technology, and the need for a visionary leadership in urban governance. The second topic for the day was on access to basic social services where the panel of speakers consisted of Mr. Thomas Pullenkav, Technical Lead, SELCO Foundation; Ms. Pratima Joshi, Co-Founder and ED, Shelter Associates; and Mr. Saransh Vaswani, Founder and Director, Saajha. Here, the speakers focused on solar energy solutions, sanitation solutions and the services at government schools. The third topic was on protecting the core environment whose speakers were – Mr. Shubhendu Sharma, Founder & Director, Afforestt; Ms. Shubha Ramachandran, Founding Member, Biome Solutions; and Mr. Arun Krishnamurthy, Founder, Environmentalists India.

On the Day 2, two sessions were held on the topics like- strengthening the informal workforce and waste and pollution management. The first session of the day discussed on the topic on strengthening the informal workforce saw sessions by Mr. Krishnavtar Sharma, Co-founder and ED, Aajeevika Bureau; Ms. Pritha Dutt, Director, Empower Pragati; and Ms. Barsha Poricha, Director, CURE. The session focused on improving livelihoods for vulnerable local communities. The final panel on waste and pollution management saw speeches by Mr. Sourav Roy, Chief of Sustainability, JUSCO; Ms. Nalini Shekhar, Co-founder, Hasiru Dala; and Ms. Odette Katrak, Co-Founder, Beautiful Bengaluru. The session came with learnings around how each individual can contribute towards reducing waste and pollution.

Talking about the conference, Prof. Madhukar Shukla, Chairperson, Fr Arrupe Center for Ecology & Sustainability (FACES), XLRI and the coordinator for the conference said, “Social entrepreneurship, which aims at development and implementation of innovative ideas in order to improve the social, cultural or environmental landscape, is the need of the hour. It is all about recognizing the social problems and achieving a social change by employing entrepreneurial principles, processes and operations. The two-fold aim of sustainability and societal impact can be achieved through synergistic execution, for which open communication and sharing of ideas is critical. At XLRI, we have always tried to provide the ideal platform for the exchange of ideas, to derive solutions to problems through discussions and interactions. This year’s conclave was a great success. The conclave brought together budding social entrepreneurs and students who interacted on a common platform.”