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Major online conference engages with business on sustainability

October 28, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed both the world’s fragility and the interconnectedness between businesses, society, and nature. From October 28 to 30, 2020, the India and Sustainability Standards conference is providing an online forum for a diversity of actors to exchange ideas on how to strengthen commitments to sustainable development.
Women planting onions in Tamil Nadu, India.
IWMI/Hamish John Appleby

IDRC has supported India and Sustainability Standards for several years through the Centre for Responsible Business, the event’s organizer. The theme for this seventh annual conference is “Sustainability: a key to business resilience in an uncertain world.”

With the global nature of today’s production chains and networks, it is important to understand how these global value chains can develop business models that are more sustainable and inclusive.

IDRC is supporting Aston University’s research, in collaboration with the Centre for Responsible Business, to identify these models in the agri-food, mining and minerals, information and communication technology and electronics, and apparel and textiles industries. 

Solutions are needed for private companies and investors to play a strong role in sustainable development and a green, inclusive, and equitable recovery.

IDRC and its research partners are participating in several events, including:

Designing an enabling ecosystem to build back better – Government to governance

October 28, 2020, 12:15–1:45 pm in India (2:45–4:15 am EDT)

IDRC Regional Director, Asia, Anindya Chatterjee, will discuss support for research to build back better in this high-level panel. An IDRC initiative will be discussed to demonstrate the socio-economic impacts of the pandemic and how we can improve existing responses and generate better policy options for recovery.

Business resilience in times of crisis: a multi-sector perspective on decent work and economic growth

October 29, 2020, 10–11:30 am in India (12:30–2 am EDT)

Moderated by Gillian Dowie, Senior Program Officer, IDRC


  • Chitra Ramdas, General Manager, Organizational Development, Shahi Exports
  • Sridhar Easwaran, Senior Vice President, Farmer Producer Organizations, Samunnati Financial Intermediation & Services
  • Kamlesh Vyas, Managing Director, Mars Jewels and Hosur and Rams Jewels, Group Mars
  • Bala Reddy V., Founder and CEO, Our Food
  • Stuart C. Carr, Professor, School of Psychology, Massey University

Pathways to Sustainable, Inclusive and Green Recovery for India

October 30, 2020, 5:30–7:00 pm in India (8:00–9:30 am EDT)

Keynote address by Ramesh A. Mashelkar, former Director General of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research and moderated by Rijit Sengupta, CEO, Centre for Responsible Business.    

Partner views:

  • Arjan de Haan, Director, Inclusive Economies, IDRC
  • Ram Kumar Mishra, Professor, Institute of Public Enterprises
  • Kamal P Seth, Country Head - India, Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil
  • Frank Hoffmann, Regional Project Manager, Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom