“Empowering our Roots” was a leading theme of the oikos Asia Meet 2018 in Jamshedpur, India. The Meet aimed to foster sustainable mindset among future leaders and thus discussed the importance of sustainable development and the integration of sustainability in academia and businesses with students, entrepreneurs, NGOs, and academics.
From February 9 to 11, 2018 oikos Jamshedpur brought together over 100 students from the local chapter, oikos Kolkata, as well as from XLRI – Xavier School Of Management, NIT-Jamshedpur, Jamshedpur Women’s College and Karim City College.
Invited speakers shared perspectives and spoke about their own experience with sustainability: Mr. Gopinanth Menon from UNICEF India talked about the UNICEF’s vision of sustainability and emphasized the role of youth in developing a more sustainable world. Mukul Ojha from Bluearth Energy explained how they try to do the social good through their organization. Anurag and Shikha Jain, founders of NEEV, leading Indian social enterprise in the field of sustainable living talked about its working model, whilst Kalyan Bhaskar, a professor on Sustainable Development demonstrated the importance of including sustainability in the university education.
oikos Jamshedpur also welcomed Ankit Agarwal, former oikos EB and oikos Pune alumnus, who co-founded Help-Us-Green – a company that makes new products from waste flowers. Help-Us-Green evolved to a successful company it is today from oikos Pune’s project. Ankit discussed the company’s operations and their work in sustainability.
During the Asia Meet, oikos Jamshedpur revealed winners of their case study competition “Sustainable City Challenge”. Organized in partnership with JUSCO (Jamshedpur Utility and Services Company), the competition was open for all Indian students, as well as for the oikos community. The competition enabled students to come forward with innovative solutions for smarter cities. The students were asked to consider the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in their case solutions, as oikos wants to raise awareness about SDGs among students. The team from XLRI received the first prize (INR 10,000) and a chance to present their case solution on Jamshedpur Founder’s day.
Moreover, many BA students had an opportunity to present their ideas to the international audience for the first time and improve their skills in this domain, the participants learned about oikos International programs and local oikos chapter projects. oikos Kolkata and oikos Jamshedpur even agreed on collaborating on different projects.
In addition, the participants visited JUSCO command and control center in order to gain insight into how Smart Cities works and how companies handles everyday tasks to make cities more sustainable.
The participants wanted the event to last longer and it was the greatest proof of the success of the Asia Meet, that achieved one goal it had in mind to inspire the youth through concrete and real-life examples and to motivate them to lead actions in the field of sustainability.