The 2017 SJIM Symposium: Towards the Simultaneous Goals of Economic Development and Environmental Sustainability

4th March 2017

The 2017 SJIM Symposium on "How Europe can partner with India in both India’s development and environmental sustainability" was organized by the St. Joseph’s Institute of Management (SJIM) Bangalore, on Saturday, 4th March, 2017. The panelists for the symposium included Mr. Francois Gautier, Consul General, France; Mr. Dominic McAllister, Deputy High Commissioner, UK; Ms. Andrea Christ, Deputy Consul General, Germany; Ms. Conny Camenzind, Deputy Consul General, Switzerland; Dr. Venuprasad, IFS, Conservator of Forests; Dr. Caren Rodrigues, Professor, SJIM and Ms. Poornima S, student at SJIM.

The panelists discussed and exchanged relevant ideas about the topic. The European Consul Generals spoke about their respective countries’ outlook, as well as current areas of collaboration between their country and India in areas such as pollution, wildlife, farming, green energy, and climate change. The Indian Conservator of Forests brought India’s perspective to the panel.

Panelists concurred that environmental sustainability reinforces, and does not inhibit economic growth. They also spoke of how sustainability can be a driver of growth and jobs. Drawing from each of the five countries, they spoke of ways in which communities can be drawn away from environmentally harmful occupations while retaining their sense of culture and pride.

The inspiration for this symposium was Laudato Si, Pope Francis' encyclical on the environment or more formally, On Care for Our Common Home, which called for dialogues about how we are shaping the future of our planet.

The student audience for this symposium was selected competitively. Students from thirteen different Jesuit schools and colleges in Bangalore, which together have a student strength of over 11000 students, took part in painting, poetry and essay competitions that had environment sustainability as their theme. Over eighty students with the highest quality submissions were invited to be a part of the symposium. Cash prizes for the first, second and third place in each category were announced. The symposium concluded on a high note with the host SJIM students synchronizing a “flash-choir” around Michael Jackson’s “Heal the World”.