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