The Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, School of Management and Labour Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai, organized a 4-day International Conference, titled Social Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Development, from February 4 to 7, 2015, at their Mumbai campus. This conference was supported by United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD, Geneva) and DBS Bank India. Sri Aurobindo Society (SAS) was a Knowledge Partner in the conference.
The Conference provided a broad-based platform for interaction to large number of participants, about 350 academicians, practitioners and students from across the South Asian countries especially India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka and also academicians from United States, United Kingdom, South Africa and Europe. The Conference over the span of the four days created a network of academicians, scholars, professionals, social entrepreneurs and students to collaborate in the pursuit of solutions for social, economic and environmental crises and work towards sustainability and overall development.
The Conference had three major segments:
- Scholarly research: The first segment aimed at knowledge creation.
- Educational initiative on impact investment: This segment addressed the institutional systems and frameworks to support research in these fields and then the dissemination of knowledge.
- Young social entrepreneurs’ meet: The final segment attempted to interface with the target group for which the programme was designed.
Sri Aurobindo Society was represented by Professor Saikat Sen, Mr Sambhrant Sharma and Ms Rini Ghosh. Professor Saikat Sen presented a paper—‘Sustainable Development and Integral Wellbeing through a Consciousness Approach’—on February 5 in the technical session which was titled ‘Emerging Themes of Research on Social Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Development’. In the presentation, a few of the past and on-going action-research projects of Sri Aurobindo Society were showcased. The presentation was well received by the participants and many among them have shown a lot of interest in Society’s research work.
On February 7, the valedictory session ‘Emerging Methodology in Entrepreneurship and Innovation—Agenda Ahead in Sustainable Development’ was held. This session was chaired by Mr Vijay Poddar, Sri Aurobindo Society, Puducherry (India); Professor Jay Mitra, University of Essex, Colchester (United Kingdom); and Professor Satyajit Majumdar, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai (India). Vijaybhai’s session generated a new hope and a lot of inspiration among the participants towards 'creating a beautiful tomorrow'.