Overwhelming response to 1st conference on Business Sustainability jointly organized by FORE School of Management and PHD Chamber
16th December 2012
The International conference on ‘Business Sustainability: Challenges and Issues’, jointly organised by two of India’s leading organisations in their own right – FORE School of Management and PHD Chamber – has met with global acclaim. The three-day conference held between the 28th and 30thof November 2012 was a platform for global luminaries on the subject of business sustainability, to share knowledge and to come out with solutions. In his purposeful welcome address in the inaugural session, Mr. Suman Jyoti Khaitan, Senior Vice President of PHD Chamber, cited the disturbing reality of ‘two Indias’.
“There is one India which has benefitted from the development process, while the other one continues to suffer in terms of social, economic and educational development. It is an outcome of flawed fundamentals of growth and is clearly unsustainable.”
Professor Jitendra Kumar Das, Director FORE School of Management, while tracing the origins of the concept of sustainable development, was equally emphatic in describing the nine themes on which discussions would progress over the three days to make it result oriented. He averred “I encourage the delegates, invited speakers, academicians, researchers, consultants, NGO activists, corporate managers, and bureaucrats, to explore sustainability models and their scalability, which is the main concern of this conference.”
With eminent thinkers like Mr. J.K. Mehta (Regional Manager, World Energy Council), Mr. Dola Mahapatra (National Director, Child Fund of India), and Mr. Lars Christiansen (Commercial Counsellor, Danish Embassy) painting the bigger picture, the inaugural session set the ball rolling for a vibrant conference. While issues of general interest were covered in three plenary sessions, shortlisted research papers exploring new ways of addressing various sustainability issues were discussed under six technical sessions.
After a quick tea-break the conference moved into its first plenary session on the Triple Bottom Line of ‘People, planet and profit’ to capture the social, environmental and economic performance of an organization. This session brought together some of the finest minds in the domain, in the form of Prof. Kirk Davidson (The Morrison Professor of International Studies, Mount St. Mary’s University, Maryland), Ms. Valerie Issumo (CEO, Prana Sustainable Water, Geneva), Professor Ambika Dash (Senior Faculty, Power management Institute, Noida), and Ms. Seema Mukherjee (Founder & CEO, Anaadi Media). The session noted the paradigm shift from profitability to sustainability not simply as a matter of adjustment of policies but as ‘moral sustainability’, which goes beyond just respecting the environment and stipulates conservation in ethically & socially responsible ways.
This was followed by two technical sessions back-to-back. The first one, Chaired by Dr. Rajat Panwar (Chapple Chair of Business and Social Responsibility, Northland College, USA) sought solutions on ‘Business Sustainability’, while the second Technical Session looking into the challenges of