Education, empowerment, employment and economics: tools for building a promising future.
Presented in Collaboration with OMEGA Resilience Funders Network, Forsight Analyis Nexus Initiative (FAN), Millennium Alliance for Humanity and Biosphere (MAHB), and New School at Commonweal.
Dr. Ashok Khosla stands almost alone in the world in his leadership of the modern environmental movement. His wisdom, creativity, and humility with their roots in his great compassion, respect for all humanity and his PhD in experimental physics, have been a source of sustenance and hope for the poorest of the poor and the most discouraged and determined of the more fortunate; institutions have been transformed; we have all been reminded of what meaningful change actually is.
Dr. Khosla founded and chairs the nearly four-decade-old Development Alternatives Group. Headquartered in New Delhi, the DA Group was among the first civil society organisations set up to address the issues of sustainable development as a whole. It also pioneered the concept of social enterprise, creating business-like approaches for eradicating poverty and conserving the natural resource base.
Dr. Ashok Khosla
- Professional Career – Taught undergraduate courses on Physics and the Environment at Harvard University; was director of the Office of Environment in the Indian Government and director in the United Nations Environment Programme in Nairobi.
- Governing Bodies – Globally, Dr Khosla has been president of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the world’s largest and most representative alliance of conservation agencies and interest groups; co-president of the Club of Rome, a group dedicated to promoting systems-based strategic understanding of the world problematique and the human predicament; and co-chair of the Resource Panel, which has been set up by UNEP to report on the status and trends of natural resource use in the global economy. In India, he has served on the National Security Advisory Board, the National Environment Board, and the Science Advisory Council to the Cabinet and on the boards of many official, NGO, and academic bodies.
- Global Footprint – At the international level, Ashok has had several official assignments, such as Special Advisor to the Brundtland Commission (WCED), Chair of the ‘92 NGO Forum at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, and has served on the Boards of several environmental and conservation organizations, including Chair of the Centre for Our Common Future and Energy Globe, and member of Boards of IISD, Stockholm Environment Institute, ZERI, the Alliance for a New Humanity, EXPO 2000, Toyota Environmental Awards and the CaixaBank.
- Work for Environment – Globally, he helped to design and teach the first university course on the environment (as an assistant to Professor Roger Revelle at Harvard University, 1965); nationally, to set up and head the first governmental agency for the Environment in a developing country (under Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, 1972); internationally, to set up the original international information system on the environment (Infoterra, with Maurice Strong at UNEP, 1976); and locally, to establish the first social enterprise for sustainable development (Development Alternatives, 1982).