Eastern Himalayan Rural Futures®:
Ecology for the New Economy

Virtually bringing together 12 Eastern Himalayan Capitals and 10 Countries for
creating a Naturenomics™ Agenda – Ecology for the New Economy

Ushering in the Ecological Revolution

The first edition of the Naturenomics™ Dialogues, Ushering in the Ecological Revolution, explored how we can rethink our use of natural capital, to start a revolution to put ecology back in economy – the Naturenomics™ vision.

Joined by over 30 diverse experts, the dialogues extended across 7 sessions exploring a natural capital recovery in the Eastern Himalayas and India.

The series brought together eminent speakers such as Dr. Vandana Shiva (Navdanya), Amb. Shyam Saran (Center for Policy Research), Amb. Chandrashekhar Dasgupta, Amb. Gautam Mukhopadhaya, Dasho Paljor Dorji (Govt. of Bhutan), Dr. Ashok Khosla (Development Alternatives) and S. Ramadorai (ex-TCS).

Through hour long deliberations broadcasted to a live audience, our eminent speakers explored the following themes:

-Transforming Business & Policy

-Rural Resilience

-Redefining Growth

-Women’s Voices

-Restoring & Managing Habitat 

A New Era: Blueprint for the Naturenomics™ Revolution, Pt. 1

His Excellency Chandrashekhar Dasgupta

His Excellency Chandrashekhar  Dasgupta, an Indian civil servant, diplomat, writer and a former Indian  ambassador to the European Union, Belgium, Luxembourg and  China. Mr Dasgupta entered Indian Foreign Service in 1962 and  worked as a diplomat till his superannuation in 2000. Prior to his  postings as an ambassador, he was the high commissioner to  Singapore (1981–84) and Tanzania (1984-86) and held the vice-chair  of the preparatory committees of United Nations Framework  Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the United Nations  Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), popularly  known as the Earth Summit, held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.

Ranjit Barthakur

Ranjit Barthakur is a social entrepreneur, with over 40 years of  experience in both the public and private sectors in the areas of IT,  hospitality, FMCGs, sports and mainstreaming sustainability practices in organizations including TCS. He is committed to pursuing  social change through innovative cutting edge proprietary concepts  such as Naturenomics™ and Rural Futures, driving community based conservation and livelihoods in the Eastern Himalayas through  his organization, the Balipara Foundation. He also serves in senior  advisory and governance positions in FICCI, Tata Trusts, CML, the  British Asian Trust, ATREE, IIT-Guwahati and the Northeast Initiative  Development Agency, among many others

Vandana Shiva

Vandana Shiva is an Indian scholar, environmental activist, food  sovereignty advocate, and anti-globalization author. She has written  and spoken extensively about advances in the fields of agriculture  and food and run campaigns on issues in intellectual property rights,  biodiversity, biotechnology, bioethics, and genetic engineering. In  1991, she founded Navdanya, a national movement to protect the  diversity and integrity of living resources, especially native seed, the  promotion of organic farming and fair trade. Navdanya, which  translates to “Nine Seeds” or “New Gift”, is an initiative to educate  farmers of the benefits of maintaining diverse and individualized  crops rather than accepting offers from monoculture food producers.  The initiative has established over 40 seed banks across India to  provide regional opportunity for diverse agriculture.

Ambassador Shyam Saran

Shyam Saran is a former foreign secretary and has served as the  Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Nuclear Affairs and Climate Change, chairman of the National Security Advisory Board, and  chairman of the Research and Information System for Developing  Countries. He is currently a member of the governing board of the  Center for Policy Research, Life Trustee of the India International  Centre, a trustee of the World Wildlife Fund (India), a member of the  National Executive of FICCI, and an independent director at the  Press Trust of India.

Dasho Paljor Dorji (Dasho Benji)

Dasho Paljor Dorji (Dasho Benji) has served the government of  Bhutan since 1966. He was appointed Chief Justice of Bhutan in  1985 to 1987 and then Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Social  Services. In 1991 he was sent to Geneva as Ambassador to the  United Nations in Geneva and also was accredited to Austria,  Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Netherlands, EU (Brussels)  IFAD (Rome) and FAO (Rome). From 1994 to 1998 Benji served as  Deputy Minister of the National Environment Commission and  currently he is a special advisor to the National Environment  Commission. Often referred to as Bhutan’s “Godfather of Conservation”, he established Bhutan’s first non-governmental  organization, the Royal Society for the Protection of Nature in 1987  to conserve the country’s black-necked crane population and protect  Bhutan’s biodiversity. He was also involved in the drafting of “The  Middle Path” the country’s first National Environmental Strategy  which was published in 1998.

A New Era: Blueprint for the Naturenomics™ Revolution, Pt. 2

Ambassador Gautam Mukhopadhaya

Ambassador Gautam  Mukhopadhaya, who has served as India’s Ambassador to the  Republic of Myanmar, Syria and Afghanistan. During his diplomatic  career, Ambassador Gautam Mukhopadhaya has also worked to  promote India’s culture abroad and had coordinated the year long  ‘Festival of India in France’ (1985-86). As a career diplomat he  contributed significantly towards promotion of human rights, social  development and advancement of women in International  organisations such as the United Nations. He also served as Joint  Secretary in the Ministry of Defence in charge of Planning and  International Cooperation between 2002-2005.

Nababrata Bhattacharjee

Nababrata Bhattacharjee is currently the Chairman of the  Environmental Appraisal Committee, Meghalaya, expert member of  the Meghalaya State Planning Board. He is a former commissioner  of the National Green Tribunal and is involved with various  committees of the National Green Tribunal, including committees for  Meghalaya and the North East region. Mr. Bhattacharjee has served  in multiple environmental advisory roles for the Asian Development  Bank and the Japan International Cooperation Committee in  Meghalaya, including serving as Environmental Safeguard Specialist  for JICA. He has played a pioneering role in rolling out tea plantations  in Arunachal Pradesh as a voluntary General Manager of cash crops  with the Arunachal Pradesh government. Prior to this he served in  the Arunachal Pradesh forest corporation and has trained with the  Indian Forest Research Institute, MDI Gurgaon and the Tocklai Tea  Research Association. Mr. Bhattacharjee is a member of the BCCI’s  executive council, where he served on the Lodha Reforms  Committee. He is currently a member of their North East Task Force. 

Anirban Ghosh

Anirban Ghosh is the Chief Sustainability Officer at Mahindra Group.  Under his leadership Mahindra has developed an award-winning  Sustainability framework, become a founding member of the Carbon  Pricing Leadership Coalition and the first to commit to doubling  energy productivity. He has, in partnership with the World Bank,  facilitated the creation of the Sustainable Housing Leadership  Consortium to accelerate the spread of green buildings in India. Anirban has been an invited speaker at COP21, The Climate Week,  World Circular Economy Forum, GRI Global, EE Global, etc.,  featured in The Climate Reality Project and acknowledged as a  Distinguished Sustainability Officer. 

Dr. T. P. Singh

Dr. T. P. Singh is the Deputy Regional Director of the International  Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Asia. He has more than  three decades of work experience at a senior management level in  natural resource management, administration, organizational  leadership and human resource development. He joined the Indian  Forest Service in 1979. Besides serving in various capacities under  State Governments as well as the Federal Government of India, he  has served as Senior Fellow in the Energy and Resources Institute  (TERI) at New Delhi, where he helped set up and served as Vice Chancellor of TERI’s post-graduate research university. Dr. Singh  has also served as lead author of reports prepared for the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); as an expert for the  Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and  Ecosystem Services (IPBES); and is the author of several national  and international publications.

Technology for Habitats: Innovating for Managing Natural Assets

Subramaniam Ramadorai

Mr. Ramadorai is the former CEO and Vice Chairman of Tata Consultancy Services where he played a pivotal role in turning the company into one of the leading IT companies globally. He has served as the Chairman of AirAsia, Tata Advanced Systems Limited, Tata Technologies Limited and the Bombay Stock Exchange. In recognition of Ramadorai’s commitment and dedication to the IT industry he was awarded the Padma Bhushan (India’s third highest civilian honour) in January 2006. In April 2009, he was awarded the CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for his contribution to the Indo-British economic relations. He has also served as Chairman of National Skill Development Agency (NSDA) and the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) where he sought to standardize the skilling effort, ensure quality and commonality of outcomes by leveraging technology and create an inclusive environment to co-operate, collaborate & co-exist.

Dr. Anish Andheria

Dr. Anish Andheria is the President and CEO of the Wildlife Conservation Trust, a not-for-profit working in and around 160 national parks and sanctuaries in 23 states of India. He is a member of several Government Committees including the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), State Board of Wildlife of Maharashtra; the Executive Committee of the Gujarat State Lion Conservation Society and the Executive Committee of the ‘Village Social Transformation Programme’ of Maharashtra. He has been awarded the prestigious Carl Zeiss Conservation Award in 2008 and the UAA-Institute of Chemical Technology Distinguished Alumnus Award 2017. He is a large carnivore biologist with immense knowledge on predator-prey relationships and has contributed to several carnivore conservation projects across India. He has also co-authored two books on wildlife. 

Dr. Irina Fedorenko

Dr. Irina Fedorenko is the co-founder of BioCarbon Engineering (now Dendra Systems), using drones and other emerging technology to enable land restoration around the world. She is the co-founder of the Kindness Collective, a social enterprise for supporting women farmers in India through social enterprise in organic detergents. She currently serves as Business Development Director for Earthbanc, a fintech service aimed at revolutionizing green banking and investment.

Dr. Bremley Lyngdoh

Dr. Bremley Lyngdoh is the Founder & CEO of Worldview Impact Foundation and is a Climate Change and Sustainable Development professional with over 20 years experience working with Governments, IGOs, NGOs and the Private Sector developing a range of innovative projects in Asia, Africa and South America aimed at producing ecologically sound and economically viable activities that contribute directly to reducing rural poverty, and generating productive sustainable livelihoods for vulnerable local communities. Through his previous assignments working with the United Nations and the World Bank in Asia, Africa and Latin America, he has gained expertise in the effective monitoring and evaluation of field-based programmes. He developed climate change adaptation projects combining integrated agroforestry, regenerative farming, sustainable tourism, and renewable energy technologies.

Designing Interdependence: Reintegrating People, Ecology and Economy

Dr. Ashok Khosla

Dr. Ashok Khosla is the Chairman of the Development Alternatives Group, a  consortium of social enterprises based in India whose mission is to create technologies, businesses and markets for large-scale generation of sustainable livelihoods. An environmentalist and  proponent of sustainable development, he served as the director of Infoterra at the United Nations Environment Programme. Since then, he has served on the governing bodies of the IUCN, WWF, Club of Rome, IISD, the Stockholm Environment Institute, WETV  and several other Indian and international organizations. He was  Special Advisor to the Brundtland Commission and Chairman of the  NGO Forum at the ‘92 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.He has been  board member of many government, industry and NGO bodies in India, including the National Security Advisory Board, the Science  Advisory Committee to the Cabinet and the National Environment Council.

Sarala Khaling

Sarala Khaling is the Regional Director of ATREE’s Regional Office  for the Eastern Himalaya-Northeast India. Her main work is on  managing projects, research design, and analysis, fundraising,  networking and policy inputs. She has more than 15 years”  experience of working in the field of ecology, people and their  relationship with biodiversity in the Himalaya. She also has  experience of managing large field projects on conservation and  livelihoods, monitoring and evaluation and organisational learning.  Prior to joining ATREE, she worked for WWF and for the Critical  Ecosystem Partnership Fund-Eastern Himalaya Biodiversity  Hotspot Program.

Shankar Venkateswaran

Shankar Venkateswaran is a part of the founding team of ECube  Investment Advisors that is setting up a fund to invest in publicly  listed companies and help them improve their sustainability/ESG  performance. He was Chief of Tata Sustainability Group at Tata  Sons Limited where he guided the Tata group on sustainability and  corporate responsibility initiatives. He served with audit and  consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) India as Director of  Sustainability. Prior to this, he spent around 15 years in social  development with the international NGO, ActionAid and the  American India Foundation (which he helped establish in India and  served as its first Executive Director – India). While at ActionAid, he  also set up Partners in Change, a non-profit that pioneered  corporate sustainability and CSR advisory services in India. He was  a part of a two-member panel that drafted the National Guidelines  for Responsible Business Conduct, released by the Ministry of  Corporate Affairs in March 2019. He is also a member of a  committee that is developing the Business Responsibility Report  aligned with these guidelines. 

Redefining Rural Futures: Building Local Natural Capital Economies

Dr. Anish Andheria

Anish Andheria, the  President and CEO of the Wildlife Conservation Trust, a not-for-profit  working in and around 160 national parks and sanctuaries in 23  states of India. He is a member of several Government Committees  including the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), State  Board of Wildlife of Maharashtra; the Executive Committee of the  Gujarat State Lion Conservation Society and the Executive Committee of the ‘Village Social Transformation Programme’ of  Maharashtra. He has been awarded the prestigious Carl Zeiss  Conservation Award in 2008 and the UAA-Institute of Chemical  Technology Distinguished Alumnus Award 2017. He is a large  carnivore biologist with immense knowledge on predator-prey relationships and has contributed to several carnivore conservation  projects across India. He has also co-authored two books on wildlife.

Saurav Malhotra

Saurav Malhotra is the Co-Founder & Chief Designer of the Balipara  Foundation’s Rural Futures Framework. Through human-centric  conservation design, the Rural Futures programme provides a  framework for the restoration of forests linked to the socio-economic  mobility of the forest-fringe communities through various sustainable  livelihood generating programmes

Rita Banerji

Rita Banerji is a renowned environmental filmmaker and the founder  of the Dusty Foot Initiative, to encourage young environmental  filmmakers and the founder of Green Hub, to train the youth of the  North East & use film as a medium for conservation. Both initiatives  focus on youth from indigenous and grassroots communities for conservation though visual media, through youth fellows encouraging  the development of ecological restoration projects across the North  East (e.g. Karbi-Anglong, Eagle’s Nest AP) 

Pradeep Banerjee

Pradeep Banerjee is the former Executive Director of Supply Chains  at Hindustan Unilever in India and currently serves as an independent  advisor. With Hindustan Unilever, he has held a series of  assignments in Supply Chain, Research & Development and  Categories serving as Vice President – Technical (Home and  Personal Care) and Vice President, Global Supply Chain for Personal Care Category.

Women’s Livelihoods: Securing Resilient Incomes through Natural Capital

Hasina Kharbhih

Hasina Kharbhih is an Ashoka Fellow and Aspen ILI Fellow,  Founder and Managing Director of Impulse Social Enterprises and  Founder Chair of Board of Impulse NGO Network. For 30 years  now, she been working to provide sustainable livelihoods in a safe  environment for women and children. She created the nationally  and internationally acknowledged Impulse Model (formerly known  as The Meghalaya Model) a holistic method to address human  trafficking. The Impulse model has won awards such as the  Japanese Award For Most Innovative Development Project from the  Japanese Social Development Fund, which has also supported the  organisation to scale its work in Myanmar since 2013, Nepal and  Bangladesh. Ms. Kharbhih has gained a multi-sector expertise,  including leadership and Institutional Management, human rights,  livelihoods and rural development, anti-human trafficking, migration,  gender based violence, child rights, HIV/AIDS education and  intervention, substance abuse and adolescent health. 

Jacob Ninan

Jacob Ninan is the Executive Trustee and CEO at the Axis Bank  Foundation, where he is responsible for the day-to-day functioning  of the Foundation. In a banking career of over 3 decades, he has  served in various capacities and dealt with the areas of Retail  Banking, Corporate Finance, MSME Lending & Trade Finance  among many other functions. His last stint in banking was heading  Axis Bank business in the Middle East and Africa, based in Dubai.  Forbes Middle East in 2014 recognised him for his contribution to  the local economy and listed him in the top 100 CEOs. He is also a  director on the Board of Maharashtra Village Social Transformation  Foundation, a Section VIII company formed in collaboration with  Government of Maharashtra.

Julie Stein

Julie Stein is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Wildlife  Friendly Enterprise Network, an initiative for certifying rural  enterprises that assure people and nature co-exist. Ms. Stein has  worked on large carnivore and endangered species conservation  issues in the Greater Yellowstone, Latin America, Asia and Africa  for 20 years. She has examined conservation and community  conflict for Jane Goodall Institute’s Congo Basin Program, served  as Community Reconciliation/Conservation Conflict Fellow for the  Andrus Family Fund, and acted as Science and Policy Coordinator  for the Bushmeat Crisis Task Force. A founding member of the  Human Wildlife Conflict Collaboration (now the Center for  Conservation Peacebuilding) contributing to and team teaching that organization’s Conservation and Conflict training program for  wildlife professionals around the world. Ms. Stein holds a B.A. in Art  History from the University of Virginia, and an M.E.S. in  Conservation Biology from the Yale School of Forestry, currently  serving as an Environmental Leadership Mentor for Yale FES  graduate students.  

Putting Women Front and Centre: Women for Forests

Diana Owen

Diana Owen, Dr. Owen is the Director General at the Royal Over-Seas League, where she plays a number of senior roles in numerous Commonwealth-related bodies. She is the first woman to have held this position, as well as the first woman to have been Director & CEO at the Shakespeare  Birthplace Trust. In this capacity, she has grown the SBT’s national and international profile and reputation, leading significant cultural  and capital projects in Stratford and with partners worldwide. Diana  has extensive experience of working in cultural and landscape  conservation with the National Trust. For this work and her work  with the SBT, she was awarded an OBE in 2018 in the Queen’s  Birthday Honour’s list. 

Karuna Singh

Karuna Singh is the Country Director of the Earth Day Network,  India. For years now, Karuna A. Singh, has worked towards building awareness around environmental and climate change issues  across a wide spectrum of audiences. As a senior executive in the  State Department’s US Consulate at Kolkata for over two decades,  she has organized several seminars, film screenings, workshops  and other media events to educate and inspire the youth of the  nation to work for the environment. Her work area covers 12 states  of eastern and north-eastern India. She has helped initiate several  cross-border programs on subjects like Coastal Zone Management  and is currently the Country Director for Earth Day Network, the  world’s largest environmental movement. Karuna Singh is also one  of the few mentored by the acclaimed activist, Al Gore, to advocate  on climate change issues.

Trisha Ghose

Trisha is the Project Director of The Habitats Trust, which works  towards protecting habitats and their indigenous species. She is a  part of the strategic team shaping the Trust’s activities and  engagements. An avid lover of wildlife and the forests, Trisha has  spent close to a decade working on conservation issues in India.  Over the span of her career she has worked with some of India’s  premier conservation organizations, including WWF-India and the  Wildlife Protection Society of India. Trisha has worked on a myriad  of conservation issues including human-wildlife conflict, poaching  and illegal trafficking in wildlife parts, habitat loss and  fragmentation, conservation awareness generation, and support to  forest fringe communities. 

Tamara Law Goswami

Tamara has been in the environmental science and management  space for the last twenty years. Early in her career she worked on  pollution prevention and control for industries and then moved into  renewable energy systems. In the 2013-14, she was part of the  TERI Team working with the then Prime Minister’s Council on  Climate Change to identify Nationally Appropriate Mitigation  Actions (NAMAs) for India. Before moving to the North East, she  worked with a social enterprise in sustainable agricultural systems and chemical-free food. A nature lover at heart, she finds herself  involved more and more in education and awareness, related to  issues of sustainability and conservation, in North East India,today.