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Together We Can: Kolkata Hosted oikos Asia Meet 2017

From 18 to 20 February oikos Asia Meet 2017 took place in Kolkata, India. The event gathered participants from all over Asia and united them under the theme Together We Can. oikos Asia Meet 2017 facilitated networking of the oikos regional chapters and served as a platform for sharing best practices and lessons learned in sustainability from developed nations for developing nations and vice-versa.

oikos Asia Meet 2017 combined thought-provoking debates with invigorating activities to generate novel ideas and proposals in the field of sustainable development.

A panel discussion – East or West: Best practices in Sustainability was moderated by Prof. Runa Sarkar, IIM Calcutta. Panelists included Mr. Rustam Sengapta (social enterprise #Boond), Mr. Anurag Danda (WWF), Prof. Ranjan Mitter, Dr. Samir Narayan Choudhary (Child in Need Institute (CINI)) and Levan Pangani​ (oikos International). The distinguished panelists spoke about their respective fields of work and explained how sustainable development or lack of it manifests itself day in and day out effecting lives of millions of people around the world. The panel’s different perspectives on sustainability reflected their diverse background and experience. Nevertheless the panel was unanimous in pointing out that differences between East and West fade away when faced with the challenges posed by the ever-changing circumstances. Sustainable development affects everyone and in that requires urgent contribution from everyone.

The panel and participants, supported by IIM Calcutta based organization Izifiso, visited Mousuni Island, where floods caused by climate change have devastated its residents and rendered their land barren. The situation seems even more drastic considering the prevalent poverty and the residents’ dependency on agriculture and fishing. After the visitors familiarized with the island and its pitfalls, they alongside with the natives engaged in talks to come up with solutions that could alleviate the problem.

Beyond the major events, the participants also had the opportunity to learn about oikos International, enjoy a boat trip to Mousuni Island (see video here) and taste delicious Indian food. Moreover, the top 5 teams out of 120 registrations presented their ideas in the final round of the case competition on CSR funding for solar micro-grid companies.

For brief but fruitful three days oikos Asia Meet 2017 united people with shared understanding of the importance of sustainable development who believe that indeed Together We Can.