Entrepreneurial Session on Sustainability | Thoughts, and Actions - G-STIC 2020

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Entrepreneurial Session on Sustainability | Thoughts, and Actions - G-STIC 2020

Session Chair | José M. F. Moura, 2019 President, and CEO of IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers)

IEEE is a thought leader in the UN Sustainable Development Goals with its mission of “Technology for the Benefit of Humanity”. But IEEE doesn’t just think and talk about the SDGs, we also act on them.

This session showcases some of IEEE’s impactful SDG projects by its global members and partners. Some of the UN SDGs represented in these talks are Quality Education, Gender Equality, Clean Energy, Economic Growth, Good Health, Clean Water, and Climate Action.

Paras Loomba, Founder of Global Himalayan Expedition 

Paras is the founder of the Global Himalayan Expedition (GHE), a social impact enterprise, that provides clean energy and livelihood access to the remote Himalayan communities.

Over the last 8 years, Paras has led several leadership expeditions to Himalayas (India) to set up solar microgrids for the remote off-grid communities that are thriving for centuries without access to any kind of basic electricity. His initiative GHE has been instrumental in electrifying 110 remote Himalayan villages and impacting over 55000 lives. In the process, GHE has also created livelihood generation for more than 140 village-level women entrepreneurs that run traveler homestays in these solar electrified villages to promote community-based tourism. 

An engineer by profession, Paras merges technology and passion with an approach to entrepreneurial models in these high-altitude areas advocating the use of sustainable tourism solutions that would eventually provide stimulus to the local economy, reducing local emigration, and preserving age-old cultural Himalayan heritage. 

“This topic will revolve around – ” How can you achieve holistic development through energy access” We have been focusing on using energy access as a tool, to further sustainable development in communities through creating interventions in education and livelihood. This brings an overall impact in the communities and in the process to achieve various SDGs”

Dr. Crystal Mogensen, CEO of The Maa Trust

We will touch on the following UN- SDGs goals:

No poverty – The Maa Trust works to reduce poverty through livelihood diversification and income generation, women’s empowerment, and the provision of basic services. Good health and wellbeing – Integrated Community Healthcare Project work to provide quality healthcare to marginalized rural communities. Quality education – The focus of our children’s program is making sure that all children attend school, and then once they are in school, that they receive a quality education. Gender equality – We are working to prevent all forms of gender-based violence and discrimination, including FGM, child marriage, and child pregnancy. Clean water and sanitation – The Maa Trust has moved away from troublesome boreholes and now focuses on large scale rainwater harvesting and natural spring rehabilitation. Affordable and clean energy – The Maa Trust is piloting a new modular solar system called the SunBlazer at its new HQ and looks forward to rolling this out across the area, including charging electric vehicles. Decent work and economic growth – The Maa Trust coordinated three social enterprises, two for women (Maa Beadwork and Maa Honey) and one for youth (Maa Bricks). Climate action/life on land – The trust works together with wildlife conservancies and the mission of the trust is to ensure that communities benefit from the protection of wildlife and habitat through evidence-based community development.

“The Maa trust is a sustainable development implementer. Maa Trust is a community-based non-profit in the Maasai Mara, Kenya. The Maa Trust increases benefits local Maasai communities receive from safari tourism, focusing on the traditionally disadvantaged. The trust works to empower women, youth, and children through three thematic areas: Education and Skills, Water and Health, and Alternative Livelihoods.  The Maa Trust’s programs are research-based, built upon Dr. Mogensen’s (nee Courtney) Ph.D. examining the relationship between conservancies and development in the Maasai Mara.” 

Doreen Bogdan-Martin, Director, Telecommunication Development Bureau

This talk will highlight some of the UN- ITU’s work with the Women-in-Tech Challenge and the Digital-Change-Maker Challenge in various parts of the world. Some of the SDG’s highlighted are Zero Hunger, Decent Work, and Economic Growth, Reduced Inequalities.

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