Friday, 17.12.2021

An all-inclusive and cross-sectoral approach is must for ecological and economic sustainability of people and planet

In a highlight event for 2021, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES India) and SPROUTS brought together global leaders and progressive-thinkers from across the world to enthuse, drive action and accelerate a new approach to the climate challenges of present and future

Image Credit: Sprouts
Image Credit: Sprouts
Image Credit: Sprouts
Image Credit: Sprouts
Image Credit: Sprouts
Image Credit: Sprouts
Image Credit: Sprouts
Image Credit: Sprouts

The International Sustainability Conference (ISC 2021) explored pathways to address current and emerging sustainability challenges. The ISC 2021 aimed to develop a common vision on the resilience model necessary, given the current scenario of climate emergencies. Another objective was to identify the problems and current challenges of sustainable development, while documenting successful actionable ideas to mitigate the effects of climate change and result in social resilience.

The conference, which took place on November 12th to 14th 2021, was attended by around 250 national and international experts, policy makers, politicians, academia, journalists, students, practitioners, change makers, opinion makers and citizens at large. The conference saw a mix of methods and sessions – keynote addresses, expert plenaries, workshop, break-out groups, panel discussion, cultural activities, film screenings, video screenings, virtual exhibition (films, posters, art expression etc.).

The conference also brought those stakeholders on board who otherwise do not perceive the intersection of issues and overlook their role in the sustainability and climate change discourse. Many organisations working on human rights, livelihoods and education, now feel the need to engage actively in climate action and developing climate resilience processes for their stakeholders.

Additionally due to the engagement of Indian Sign Language Interpreters and Live Streaming on YouTube, a large repository of talks, interactions and learning material is now available for global deaf audiences to access for free. Overall, ISC 2021 had widespread inclusivity - with deaf, blind, tribal and LGBTQIA+ participants and experts.

Some issues that were highlighted during the discussions:

  1. Crucial to include marginalised communities, urban poor, members of minority and disability groups in the sustainability and climate change discourse. Increase multiple stakeholder engagement across social, economic, gender and geographic scales.
  2. Reach out to rural and forest communities and educate them on leveraging the green capital.
  3. Shift investment from unhealthy technologies and private infrastructure, which will, in long term, severely damage the health of the planet and its people and increase disparities to low-tech, non-fossil fuel options, which can be developed and managed even by illiterate or unskilled people from rural/urban/tribal regions.
  4. Use creatives, like art, theatre, films, music et al. to disseminate information and engage or initiate a dialogue on climate change. Rich repositories of such creatives are already available with regional/tribal/indigenous communities in form of traditional knowledge, ancient wisdom and practices, technologies.
  5. Use citizen science, crowdsourcing and technology to generate measurable Big Data for protecting natural resources, ecosystems and traditional practices/knowledge and intellectual property.
  6. Create a bank of inspirational, replicable and scalable projects/case studies from across the world to showcase immersive and experiential learning, eco-restoration, green energy, waste management, inclusive, climate resilient and community engagement projects.
  7. Engage in global dialogue (Think Global) but innovate to suit micro-ecosystems (Act local).
  8. Establish and interlink public health and environment for serious consideration among masses & governments.

The discussions and results from the conference will feed into the Climate Actioneer’s Manual (CAM) supported by FES India and being produced as part of a 7-book series on climate change by Sprouts. CAM is due to release in mid-2022.

All sessions of the ISC 2021 are available on The Green Channel (Sprouts) for viewing. Click on the ISC 2021 playlist for videos from the conference.

More links:

ISC 2021 website

ISC 2021 Full Schedule

ISC 2021 Exhibition Gallery

ISC 2021 Snippets




SPROUTS is a Mumbai-based environmental consulting company working with people across the world towards popularizing outdoors and experiencing nature at its best, while focusing on biodiversity conservation. Sprouts Environmental Trust works on protecting South Asia’s immense biodiversity, creating awareness and action about environmental issues among underprivileged adults, youth and children with the vision of achieving “A sustainable environment for all”. Contact Sprouts at sproutsoutdoors(at)

Mandvi Kulshreshtha is Program Adviser of the Economy of Tomorrow project at the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung India office in New Delhi.

For more information about the FES India work on Economy of Tomorrow Project please contact the India-based Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Office and follow the facebook page for regular updates.

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