OneWorld South Asia’s Kakoli Roy interacts with Swapnil Shekhar, COO, Sambodhi, a research and communications consultancy. Excerpts from the interview.
What is the genesis of Impact Conclave-2016?
Impact Conclave is in response to the global sustainable development agenda. The agenda talks about balancing Environment, Social and Economic dimensions and commencing global impact by fostering awareness, political accountability, improved metrics and social feedback. In a definite way it not only talks about the outcomes but also about the means for it. This is the steam behind Impact Conclave. With the first edition of the Conclave, we are hoping to create an event which appreciates multi-centricity and non-linearity of developmental challenges while keeping in focus individual challenges. Being a learning event, the idea is to explore the architecture of creating and espousing impact and change.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are relatively new to the world. Why do you think that this is the right time for an event like Impact Conclave?
Aligned to India’s developmental priorities, SDGs help bring spotlight on expanding opportunities for local action and partnerships. When we talk about a billion dreams, we need to expedite the dialogue and develop shared understanding on the big developmental challenges we have to overcome. The event is more about how we contextualize SDGs in Indian development story, trigger dialogue and develop an informed and relevant discourse for the future ahead.
What kind of expectations do you have from the Impact Conclave 2016?
This is the first year of the Impact Conclave. Planned as an annual event, we intend to create a knowledge and learning continuum, not only at the national but at the global level. The objective of creating this continuum is to draw upon the lessons learned and the collective wisdom of people, engage with policy, private sector and civil society. This, we believe will foster a broad sense of ownership, and shared understanding of the roadmap towards achieving the SDGs.
In what way would the recommendations from the Conclave be taken forward, and what would they feed into?
Like I was saying, this will be an annual event. We have plans to engage with delegates and panellists on a longer term. As an immediate output of the conclave, we will disseminate the summary and recommendations in the sector both at the national and international levels. The Impact Conclave website and our social media activities will keep on pursuing the learning agenda through updates, policy briefs, reports, etc.
How is the event aligned with Sambodhi’s core values?
The central idea behind the Conclave is actually a very organic product of Sambodhi’s core values. We have always placed immense importance on inclusive and equitable development, and over the last decade, Sambodhi has very closely witnessed, and actively participated in the evolution of the entire discourse around impacts at large. During my professional journey as someone who has been very engaged with the sector for around 17 years now, I have seen the sector come a long way in making a more sustainable difference at the global level.
We want the Conclave to be more effective as a collectively owned initiate for the development landscape as a whole. We are really hopeful that it will catalyse even faster and more meaningful transformation in the impact cycle of these most well intended interventions.