Industry Leaders Stress on Design Thinking and Inclusive Growth for Driving Social Change

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New Delhi, November 16, 2019: Industry leaders stressed on the need for integration of ‘Design Thinking’ and ‘Inclusive Growth’ into the practice of Corporate Social Responsibility. Over 200 brand and CSR practitioners had converged at Brand Leadership and CSR Summit 2019, to deliberate on the challenges in fulfilling the expectations of stakeholders amidst dynamic business environment. Over 12 organisations were felicitated at the Summit for achieving excellence in CSR.  Prominent dignitaries at the Summit included Dr. Aishwarya Mahajan, Director – Livelihood Education, South Asia, Aide et Action; Anjali Makhija, Sehgal Foundation, and Dr. KK Upadhyay, a CSR practitioner, as esteemed speakers, among others.

Centred on the theme ‘CSR for an Inclusive India’, the day-long event witnessed simulating panel discussions on issues impeding India’s growth. Delegates called for corporate social innovation and strategic partnerships as a key to achieving sustainable growth.

At the panel discussion titled: ‘Igniting Compassion & Innovation for Driving Social Change’, Dr. Aishwarya Mahajan, Director – Livelihood Education, South Asia, Aid-et Action International, said: “The success of a social sector intervention is based on the benefit to its end-user community and the development of such interventions cannot be done in isolation. As a matter of fact, the process of project development needs to embody the concept of the human connect which taps capacities hitherto overlooked by conventional problem-solving approaches. Inspiration, ideation, and implementation can be called as spaces, rather than steps in undertaking problem-solving as they are not always undertaken sequentially and this approach provides high-impact solutions for the community. Incorporating Design Thinking to solving a problem is a participatory solution and a key driver for social change in India.”

“At Aide-et Action, two major initiatives namely ‘Initiative for Livelihood Education (iLEAD)’, and, ‘My Gakidh Village’ in Bhutan, are inherently optimistic, constructive, and experiential in addressing the needs of the people. Also, these programmes have evolved in the years when the term ‘Design Thinking’ was not even coined and there was little awareness regarding it,” he added.

Nidhi Robbins Simon, Founder, Brand India, said: “With development taking place at unprecedented rate, it remains imperative that the former is planned for, and enacted, sustainably in a way that acknowledges our collective role as caretakers of our environment, economy and society, for future generations. The role of CSR is crucial in nation-building and filling crucial gaps in empowering women, children and senior citizens.  The Summit provided an opportunity for all CSR stakeholders to converge on a common platform and share their valuable insights on how organisations are using CSR to integrate economic, environmental and social objectives with their operations and growth. It is heartening to witness a massive turnout on the occasion. We would also like to thank all partners for making this initiative a huge success.”

The event was supported by Powergrid with Karunya University as Knowledge Partners, and PR Professionals as a PR Partner.