New Delhi [india], february 3: The year 2047 marks the centenary of India’s independence. As India sets its sights on becoming a global economic powerhouse, a collective vision is emerging of a nation that is economically strong, socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable. However, several challenges stand in the way of India’s 2047 aspirations. Chief among these hurdles is the imperative to address the unemployment rate and cultivate opportunities for small businesses, a pivotal factor for sustained economic growth.
Since its legislation in 2013, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has actively shaped India’s trajectory over the last decade. In the RISE World Summit plenary session, “Unlocking India’s Future: Transformative Policies for a Prosperous Nation by 2047,” Balaji Ganapathy, Chief Social Responsibility Officer, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), shared his thoughts with Karon Shaiva, Convenor of the RISE World Summit. Dr.Sameer Sharma, Chief Executive on SDGs to CM Andhra Former DG & CEO. Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs, Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India; Sanyukta Samaddar, IAS, Commissioner, NCR, UP; and Prabhat Pani, Executive Director, CISD, at SPJIMR; ex-Tata Trusts, ex-Tata Administrative Services, were also part of a discussion that explored how, as a catalyst for positive change, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has the potential to bridge gaps and uplift communities by the year 2047.
Balaji Ganapathy stated, “Aspiration is a driving force of the Indian population, especially among young people in rural areas. As a country, we need to harness this to realise India’s full potential.” With regard to the role of CSR, he emphasised, “When tackling complex social issues, it is important to begin by harnessing the collective wisdom of community stakeholders. This lays the groundwork for community-owned solutions. Incorporating data, analytics, and technology is then instrumental to overcome the traditional barriers and pave the way for scalability. Also, look for ways to engage your talent’s skills in community-driven solutions through volunteer assignments. This will utilise your organisation’s core strengths. Lastly, consider the role of financial support to mobilise resources at a local level. These elements are essential to creating large-scale impact.”
As the architect of the CSR mandate at the Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs, Dr.Sameer Sharma, highlighted the importance of a holistic approach to CSR. He explained, “This “zoom in and zoom out” model ensures that CSR initiatives are both strategically driven and responsive to actual community needs, maximising both social impact and business value. It fosters a holistic view of CSR, where corporate goals and community development go hand in hand, supported by a culture of collaboration, transparency, and mutual respect.”
Sanyukta Samaddar, previously the Special advisor on the SDGs at NITI Aayog, stressed the importance of developing a monitoring system with robust, granular, and high-frequency data to ensure that CSR initiatives are impactful, aligned with corporate and societal goals, and underscore an organisation’s dedication to accountability, transparency, and ongoing enhancement of its social and environmental contributions.
Prabhat Pani, who has managed diverse portfolios for both for-profit and non-profit entities and now in academia, emphasised the need for modification in the models of future growth. He stated, “In India, the CSR Act has facilitated progress in areas like education, health, and rural development, but given the scale of the challenges, not only will funding be required from non-governmental sources, but the models of future growth will need modification to build in environmental considerations, and to foster inclusivity.”
He further added that, “Multi-stakeholder, long-term collaboration is extremely important. Innovation and harnessing technology are critical to achieving the SDGs by 2030. For the social sector, building digital capacity in small NGOs is of paramount importance.”
The conversation at the RISE World Summit, celebrated 10 years of CSR and its role in steering India towards a future that is prosperous, inclusive, and sustainable. The Summit, a global convening of thought leaders, experts, and practitioners, witnessed 8114 participants from 81 countries exchange knowledge and ideas across 150 sessions curated by 125 partners. The Opening Plenary was led by Harish Mehta, Founder Chair of NASSCOM, who released the RISE Value, Responsible, narrating NASSCOM’s transformative journey in the technology industry and the power of thinking differently and acting together, urging a shift beyond individual interests for the common good. Isabelle Tschan Harada, UNDP India Representative, spoke of Agenda 2030 while underlining the need for the Inclusive Value in our efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Director of Nehru Science Centre, Umesh Rustogi, shared perspectives on the Sustainable Value, and how education and scientific temper contribute to sustainable solutions, ensuring long-term benefits for all. Social Activist Priya Patil, representing the LGBTQ community, passionately advocated for the Ecosystem-friendly Value in society, stressing the importance of going beyond the traditional lens of inclusivity and highlighting the contribution that every section of society can make.
The summit also saw the release of the KORU toolkit designed and authored by Karon Shaiva, who shared, “KORU in the Māori tradition symbolises new life, growth, strength and peace, something our world desperately needs. The unique models and frameworks in the toolkit take a systems approach to drive innovation, create value and build eco-systems around a wealth economy.”
The Summit explored a vast array of thematic conversations in over 20 specially curated formats to bring out the most pressing challenges the world faces, draw inspiration from best practices and amplify noteworthy interventions and innovations.
For more information please visit https://www.risesummit.in/ or write to Deepak Nanda at [email protected] .
RISE World Summit
RISE World Summit is one of a kind co-created and co-located global convening of thought leaders, experts and learners that influence action and outcomes driven by the RISE Values – Responsible, Inclusive, Sustainable and Ecosystem friendly. Over the past 10 years, the Summit has hosted 20,000 people from 70 countries and engaged 400 global experts in 800 sessions based on Systems Thinking, SDGs, CSR, ESG and DEI. A travelling conference, it has evolved over a decade to become an eco-system, and is a collective effort of over 140 visionary partners from across the world such as UNICEF, UNDP, UNESCAP, TCS, Glenmark Foundation, Startup India, SEED, Vibha and others. This distinctive model of stakeholder engagement is committed to fostering impactful conversations, collaboration and initiatives for a Better World and a Greener Planet. The 11th edition begins a new decade of building ecosystems in the pursuit of a sustainable and inclusive future.