The Darwinian theory of ‘survival of the fittest’ underlines evolution of species in the purist sense of adaptation of traits, necessary for humans to be omnipresent on earth, generation after generation. By this same definition the phrase lends itself to economic success and progress in man’s relentless pursuit to build and yield profit no matter what.
This single mindedness is akin to slash-and-burn farming and not sustainable long term. Over time, economies need tangible parts of the consumable ecosystem to grow. Some ‘small’ part of the forest (what’s remaining); the farmer to both grow the crop (even if there were robots & AI); as well as be the consumer – of tractors, toothpaste, biscuits, mobiles and more. Tier 2 / 3 Bharat are helping make million-dollar companies and contribute to paychecks. Thus the whole ecosystem must be in balance. Further, we live in the best of times to drive peace and partnership to power GDP.
History has its saviours but for the first time the world has seen a rise in the collective consciousness towards action and purpose, to keep earth habitable in the future. Triggered by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015; it laid out Social Development Goals (SDGs) for a more sustainable and progressive planet. Based on the 5Ps – People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace and Partnership; are 17 specific broad-based, interdependent global goals.
India is the first country in the word to mandate and quantify CSR expenditure via the landmark legislature in the Companies Act 2013. This got more organisations into the fold to impact society. Yet even prior to 2013 much was being done by individuals, brands, PSU’s, etc. who in their course of business helped catalyze skill, jobs and growth. The common man still uses personal resources to create a better life for those lesser fortunate.
GT SABERA, the Social And Business Enterprise Responsible Awards established in 2018, recognises this good and gives a voice to the efforts of India’s unsung heroes. It pioneered a whole new timely concept of ‘purpose’ in the country. To laud in the public forum brings awareness, recognition and inspiration as also serves as a platform for knowledge, collaboration and enterprise; feeding back to the SGDs.
Chaired by Vinita Bali, former MD & CEO, Britannia, every SABERA 2019 Jury Member is a doer themselves.
Based on the SDGs, award categories include for ‘Organization/Entity of the Year’ (Social Enterprise, Not for Profit, Responsible Business), ‘Individual’ (CSR Leader, Promising Leader, Lifetime Achievement, Change Maker) and ‘Initiatives’.
The ‘Initiatives’ Shortlist saw efforts in 2018-19 under sub-categories, for:
Birlasoft (Shodhan), Raah Foundation (Jawhar & Mokhada Tribals), Volunteer4India (Brands4Purpose)
Castrol India (Saarthi Mitra), Samarpan Foundation (Kishangarh School), Sportz Village Foundation (Sports For Change), Extramarks Education Foundation (Project PEHAL), Birlasoft (eVidya), Roop VK Jain Foundation (Government School Intervention)
Youth4Jobs Foundation (Skilling PWD Workforce), Noida Deaf Society (Empowering the Deaf), Swami Sivananda Memorial Institute of Fine Arts & Crafts (Empowering Women to Fight Malnutrition), Trust for Retailers and Retail Associates of India (Pankh- Wings of Destiny), Indraprastha Gas (Move without Fear)
Swasthya Kalyan (Health & Well-being)
Operation ASHA (eCounselling of TB), Mohan Foundation (National Organ Donation Toll-Free Helpline), Genesis Foundation (CHD Intervention), GSK Consumer Healthcare (SUBAH Strengthening Urban Behavior Around Health), Anugraha Drishtidaan (Blindness Eradication), Bansi Vidya Memorial Trust (Leukemia Crusaders), Indraprastha Gas (Project Roshini), Sanjeevani Life Beyond Cancer (Satori: A Wellness Initiative)
Sportz Village Foundation (Sports For Change)
The summit followed by the awards at SABERA 2019 will bring together thought leaders like Dr. Bibek Debroy, Chair Economic Advisory Council of the PM, Dr. Rajender Singh, popularly known as the ‘Waterman of India’, Vishesh Chandiok, CEO Grant Thornton India, midst other enablers across development, CSR, corporate and policy on December 4th, Wednesday; Teen Murti, Nehru Memorial Museum Library, New Delhi. You can attend with a Delegate Pass and follow updates using #SABERA19.
Purpose, a lot of which leads back to the SDGs, has acquired a whole new meaning and become a buzzword. The target customer wants a meaningful purchase. Brands use every opportunity to showcase engagement with purpose, PR and advertising, the messengers. Some of this is genuine, some derided as woke washing. Moral compass apart, bottom line the masses gravitate towards good. If this effort for genuine good prevails there is hope for our planet, its people and definitive sustained economic progress.