Monday, December 18, 2023

Fifth Edition of “What Matters” Drives Conversations On Climate Change, Sustainability, And Cultural Resilience

* The latest edition of SignDesk’s What Matters featured Mr. Ajay Raghavan, co-founder of the Initiative for Climate Action, Bangalore Creative Circus, and Studio Madhatter, who spoke about ingraining environmental consciousness in societal norms.

In the face of a global crisis marked by climate change and environmental degradation, our society stands at a critical juncture. Extreme shifts in our systems and way of life are underway, necessitating a transformative and holistic response through collaboration and reimagination.

This edition of What Matters marked a significant milestone as the initiative continues its mission to inspire, educate, and catalyze change. The event was conducted on December 14, 2023 and featured a fireside chat between Mr. Ashok Kadsur, co-founder, SignDesk and the multifaceted Mr. Ajay Raghavan, co-founder of Bangalore Creative Circus, the Initiative for Climate Action and Studio Madhatter. A convergence of visionaries, the dialogue unfolded as a testament to the rich exchange of ideas and insights driving the event.

Mr. Raghavan was a leading employment lawyer and senior partner at Trilegal who transitioned from his successful legal career to rise to prominence in environmental activism, creative pursuits, and sustainability initiatives.

During the conversation, he shed light on the serious changes our planet has undergone, attributing them to human actions. He emphasized individual responsibility in combating climate change, encouraging small, everyday changes that, when multiplied, can lead to a transformative impact.

He urged a shift in perspective, highlighting that 'action' doesn't solely rest on external entities; rather, it begins with individual choices. Encouraging a mindset of personal responsibility, he emphasized the cumulative impact of small, everyday changes individuals can make in their homes and workplaces and these seemingly modest efforts, when multiplied across many people, have the potential to drive a massive transformation toward a more sustainable future.

He spoke about the dual approach needed for climate action, comprising mitigation and adaptation. Mitigation involves reducing our individual impact, such as minimizing carbon footprints. However, he stressed that adaptation is equally crucial, especially in regions like India with a significant vulnerable population. While individuals may not control global outcomes, he encouraged taking local action. Each citizen has the power to influence and protect the environment at the local level, fostering a ripple effect that can contribute to global change.

When Mr. Raghavan initiated the Bangalore Creative Circus, the focus was on fostering collaboration to address complex challenges. Recognizing that no single individual can solve these problems alone, he emphasized the essential role of trust in collaboration. According to him, building camaraderie and a common purpose are crucial in establishing trust within a community. He highlighted that when people see the value of collaboration—realizing that working together yields greater benefits than individual efforts—it becomes the catalyst for effective collaboration.

Discussing work-life balance, he emphasized the importance of having a life beyond work, whether through friendships or personal passions. Maintaining different interests contributes to entering the workplace with a positive mindset. He underscored the counterproductivity of excessive stress, advocating for a healthy balance. He recommended the value of disconnecting from work and reconnecting with nature as a means to unwind and gain a fresh perspective on life.

In managing stress, he highlighted the significance of a robust support system comprising friends and family. “Cultivating habits and friendships becomes essential, providing crucial support. Encouraging diverse passions like travel, sports, and art, he noted their motivational impact in achieving a balanced and fulfilling life” he said.

When discussing his definition of 'culture,' he highlighted the enthusiasm and support for sustainability in Bangalore, which drives the vibrancy at Bangalore Creative Circus. He introduced the concept of permaculture, emphasizing the importance of a permanent culture, evolving into what they now term 'regenerative culture.' This culture, he explained, fosters appreciation for everyone's contributions, transcending backgrounds or roles.

“In a regenerative culture, every individual is recognized as equally important within a unified system, promoting an environment where everyone can thrive. Cultivating such a culture, whether in the workplace or broader community, encourages widespread contributions, grounded in the acknowledgment that every person holds significance” he remarked.

As the session concluded, Mr. Raghavan left attendees with a reflection on the significance of purpose. He emphasized that a sense of purpose can propel individuals a long way, enabling the pursuit of endeavors that bring immense joy. In a world grappling with challenges, his insights encourage a collective journey toward meaningful goals, driven by a shared sense of purpose to shape a sustainable future.

Reflecting on the interconnectedness of the universe, Mr. Ashok Kadsur remarked, 'Let's not forget that the entire ecosystem, or the entire universe, is set because every piece has its own activity. Similarly, every human being has a set task given to them from the moment of birth, guided by the universe. Our challenge arises from overthinking and creating unnecessary hierarchical constructs. By harmonizing with nature, we dissolve these complexities and find seamless alignment with our destined path”.

As the event drew to a close, Aarthy Venkat, Head of Strategy at SignDesk, extended her gratitude to Ajay, remarking, “Some conversations possess the power to truly inspire, and this was undeniably one of them. As a fellow lawyer, the insights shared were deeply inspiring".

"What Matters" is an employee enrichment initiative orchestrated by SignDesk, a global provider of document automation technology. The events include talks and interactive Q&A sessions with distinguished leaders, which are live-streamed for wide accessibility and engagement. The initiative serves as a platform to empower employees with continuous learning & personal growth and enables organizations to foster culture & wisdom.

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