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Amrita Professors Share Best Practices at Impact Symposium 2021

October 10, 2021 - 11:28
Amrita Professors Share Best Practices at Impact Symposium 2021

The annual Impact Symposium 2021, organized by Vertigo Ventures, took stock of progress towards achieving the UN’s SDGs and how collaborations can accelerate progress. The second edition of the symposium explored the reasons for setbacks faced in meeting the SDGs over the last two decades and the interventions required. The Impact Landscape Survey 2021 suggests that the research landscape is rapidly changing, due to the pandemic, however, there are several key challenges that still need to be addressed.

The keynote address delivered by Ms. Maki Katsuno Hayashikawa, Director of Education for 2030, UNESCO, titled “The State of the 2030 SDGs,” focused on the role of SDG 4, Quality Education, highlighting the need to adopt a strategic action plan to keep track of the progress made so far. Ms. Hayashikawa highlighted the urgency to rethink global education cooperation in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. Furthermore, the ongoing global health crisis exposed vulnerabilities within existing systems. Ms. Hayashikawa also pointed out that the interconnectedness of societies across all 17 SDGs can be achieved through international collaborations recently adopted in the 2021 Global Education Meeting (GEM).

Global academic and thought leaders deliberated on the future directions to meet the SGDs through international, cross-sector collaborations, and accessible research. The panelists Matthew Guest, Policy Manager, Guildhe, Dr. Rasigan Maharajh, Chief Director, Institute for Economic Research on Innovation (IERI), and Dr. Rajesh Tandon, Founder-President, RRIA, UNESCO chair on community-based research, explored differences between western and eastern approaches to SDGs and ways to bridge the gaps through international collaborations. Another panel comprising Dr. Sarah Foxen, Knowledge Exchange Lead, Post—UK Parliament, Dr. Steven Hill, Director of Research, UKRI, and Dr. Catriona Manville, Head of Policy, AMRC, discussed the need to initiate cross-sector collaborations.

Professor Raghu Raman, Dean, Business School, and Professor Maneesha Ramesh, Provost, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham & UNESCO Chair on Experiential Learning for Sustainable Innovation and Development presented a case study on the university’s approach towards realizing the UN’s SDGs. Professor Raghu emphasized the university’s vision of imparting education for living and education for life. Students, researchers, and faculty at the university undertake interdisciplinary research initiatives that positively impact underserved communities. These efforts have manifested in the university receiving recognition at the regional, national, and international levels.

Stewardship is central to the theory of social change. Towards this, Professor Maneesha spoke about the university’s flagship initiative, Live-in-Labs®, which champions sustainable development in rural India. The program addresses the widening gap between science and technology and the rapidly deteriorating quality of life and the environment. Initially, university students took part in the program. Over the years, the program has attracted top students, researchers, and faculty members from universities worldwide. As a best practice, the program fosters a spirit of interdisciplinary inquiry through a participatory approach towards creating a sustainable future for all.

Another key highlight of the Live-in-Labs® programs is the unique approach adopted. The student-centric educational experience, education for life (E4Life), stands on four pillars: experience, embrace, engage, and empower. Through their lived experience in the villages, students embrace the culture, values, system, and challenges, engage with the individuals, groups, and the community, and design interventions that empower themselves, the community, and the stakeholders. This approach fosters excellence in academics, research, innovation, and creates global impact while actively working on multiple SDGs.

Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham was ranked No. 1 in India in THE Impact Rankings 2021 and was featured in the list of the top 100 universities across the world. Recently, the university was re-accredited with the highest possible grade, A++, by NAAC.

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