24th November, 2020
The Social Initiative Group for Managerial Assistance at XLRI- SIGMA co-hosted the oikos Asia Meet, an annual event of oikos International on 22nd November to celebrate initiatives towards sustainable development. This year the meet was conducted virtually owing to the COVID 19 pandemic.
The theme for this year was "Challenges for leaders of Sustainable Initiatives." The meet witnessed attendees from oikos chapters in Hong Kong, Suzhou, Bangalore, and Kolkata. The oikos Asia Meet 2020 brought together an international community of oikos members, university students, and partners. The event focused on the entrepreneurial and educational aspects of the Asian region and the world at large. The participants shared and discussed ideas about different perspectives and the challenges facing tomorrow's leaders. The interactive session saw an exchange of ideas on how the current curriculum of corporate sustainability in B-Schools can be improved to ensure it is updated with the prevailing challenges faced in sustainable development. It also saw representatives from oikos International in conversation with participants who discussed and raised local and international challenges and opportunities on sustainable initiatives.
Despite prominence, in today's discourse, the word "sustainability" can provoke an eye-roll from corporate innovation leaders. With the 2020 worldwide pandemic bringing civilization to a pause, the Scientific community, governments worldwide, and businesses have tried to reinvent society and find new solutions. 2020 is the year of rethinking and reconsidering many things. It is time for big and small institutes to upgrade their actions in more sustainable ways.
A panel discussion was conducted on "Challenges for leaders of Sustainable Initiatives" and the panelists were Aditi Deodhar, External Vice-President, oikos-Hong Kong and co-founder of ‘Planeteers'; Wilma Rodrigues- Founder and CEO of Saahas Zero Waste; and Dr. Tata L Raghuram, Associate Professor of Strategic Management at XLRI, Jamshedpur.
Aditi Deodhar took the floor to explain the motivation behind co-founding the company, which adopts a vegan and biodegradable, edible route towards the fight against the single-use practice. Planeteers look at edible cutlery rich in nutrition as a healthy and eco-friendly substitute to single-use plastic cutlery.
Wilma Rodriguez spoke about the challenges to waste management and how the millennial generation is doing a great job to find solutions to this grave problem. She also threw some light on how people need to take the onus for responsible waste management.
This was followed by a brief talk on corporate sustainability by Dr. Tata L Raghuram. He emphasized how sustainability is the new mother of innovation and how the economic, environmental, and social aspects of a business must move in tandem to achieve sustainability. The Meet was concluded by Ms. Sophie Charrois, President of oikos International, who shared her idea of sustainability with a closing note.
SIGMA (Social Initiative Group for Managerial Assistance) is a student-run social, collaborative group at XLRI which run under the able guidance of Professor Madhukar Shukla. SIGMA focuses on transformation and change in the social sector by contributing to the community and impoverished sections of the society. This is done through several events across the year, which are executed by a 10-member team dedicated to making positive contributions to the community.
Its events include Blood and stem cell donation camps, Paper recycling, and food wastage prevention drives, spreading legal literacy amongst village inhabitants across Jamshedpur, conducting Basic computer learning courses for underprivileged children.
Apart from that, SIGMA also holds national and international reach as they execute research projects in association with national NGOs such as Goonj, helping Hearts and Seeds and International NGOs such as OIKOS to help impoverished communities
become self-sustaining through sales enablement services and supply chain optimization. SIGMA also ties up with corporate houses such as TATA Steel to hold case study competitions where the best minds from top tier B schools across the country come together to solve national problems such as water conservation and renewable energy.
SIGMA also works to cultivate and nourish the growing community of social entrepreneurship by providing a platform for information exchange, networking, and discovery of rising figures in the field through events such as the Social Entrepreneurship Conclave and National Conclave for Social Entrepreneurship. Award-winning entrepreneurs come and share their story and make it a melting pot of ideas and collaboration.
About oikos International:
oikos International is an international, student-led non-profit organization for sustainability in economics and management. Founded in 1987 in Switzerland, it empowers student change agents worldwide to embed sustainability in academia and from there into day-to-day business, government, and personal activities.
Our programs integrate environmentally and social perspectives in economics and management education and equip our members with the necessary tools to become today and tomorrow's responsible leaders. They comprise local and international conferences, webinars, workshops, simulation games, and other initiatives that provide platforms for learning, creating, and sharing solutions.
Our organization's heart is our student members who turn ideas into action and tackle local sustainability needs in over 45 chapters around the globe. They collaborate with a wide network of alumni, advisors, faculties, and partners and are supported by an international management team based in Switzerland. oikos builds and empowers a global community to solve the challenges of the 21st century.
XLRI-Xavier School of Management, Jamshedpur is a premier, private management institute in India founded in 1949 by Fr Quinn Enright, S.J. in the ‘steel city' of Jamshedpur (www.xlri.ac.in). Over the last six decades, the institute has grown into a top-ranking business management school of international repute with a wide portfolio of management programs and research publications. Its alumni are spread around the globe and have demonstrated responsible business leadership in their organizations. XLRI continually strives to contribute its mite to the professional growth and management of numerous organizations and institutions across industry sectors. XLRI has been awarded two prestigious International Accreditations, viz., AACSB - The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business and AMBA - Association of MBAs. XLRI has also earned the National Board of Accreditation (NBA) accreditation. XLRI has recently opened a new campus in the Delhi NCR region, with the first batch of Business Management program starting this year.