Bangalore (Karnataka) [India]: Fifteen innovative young leaders, constituting three teams, will represent India at the prestigious ASEAN-CHINA-INDIA Youth Leadership Sustainability Summit 2023, taking place between October 29th and November 3rd this year.

These young sustainability champions were selected from 1800 applicants hailing from 315 different locations through a four-phased event called the ‘India Sustainability Startathon 2023,’ organised by ‘The Future Founders Co.’, an India-based social enterprise dedicated to fostering sustainability innovation and entrepreneurship. The event was held in Bengaluru.

These youth leaders will receive a fully-funded invitation to participate in the Youth Leadership Summit 2023, where they will collaborate with young leaders worldwide under the theme ‘Sustainability – Urban Living.’ The REVA University supports this transformative initiative as an Anchor University.

The pivotal qualifying rounds for identifying 15 innovative young leaders for this educative journey were held in four phases, during which teams worked on defining and fine-tuning their problem statements related to sustainability.

‘The Future Founders Co.,’ a pioneering India-based social enterprise dedicated to fostering sustainability innovation and entrepreneurship, celebrated the remarkable success of its ‘India Sustainability Startathon program’ with an inspiring grand finale. The teams participated in both online and offline competitions and training, including master classes, before the final competition, ‘the Winner Spotlight event,’ co-hosted with Mount Carmel College, was held on September 26th, 2023, in Bengaluru.

The four-phased program concluded with the announcement of the top three teams, each demonstrating a remarkable commitment to sustainability. Team Chandrayaan 4.0 from REVA University secured the first-place position, showcasing their innovative ideas and unwavering commitment. Meanwhile, Team Gulaab Jamoon from Christ University, Bangalore, captured the second-place spot with their creative sustainability solutions. Team The Green Asterisk from CMR University claimed the third-place position, highlighting their exceptional grasp of sustainability challenges.

The Guest of Honor for the final event, Lakshminarayan K R (LAN), Chief Endowment Officer of Azim Premji Foundation, emphasised the urgent need for sustainability education to be included in the formal education system. He strongly advocated for organisations like ‘The Future Founders Co.,’ which bring the best of both worlds to create transformative sustainability education programs for youth in the country.

Supriya Panchangam, CEO of ‘The Future Founders Co.,’ while congratulating the winners and thanking all participants, said, ‘The success of these young champions marks a milestone in the pursuit of sustainability and innovation in India. It is even more special because they are the first cohort at ‘The Future Founders Co.”

In addition, the finale also featured enlightening sessions by leading sustainability professionals, academicians, and practitioners, creating an enriching discourse on sustainability, education and entrepreneurship.

The panel discussion, graced by luminaries in the field, included Academic Panelists from top-tier universities – Dr. S. Shanthi, Director of MCCIIE, Mount Carmel College; Dr. Leena James, Director of SDG CELL at Christ University; Dr. Arun Kumar Khannur, Chief Strategy Officer at CMR University; Nayaz Ahmed, CEO of JAIN Launchpad; Prof. Jayanth from St.Claret College. The Panel was conducted by Vindhya Umapathy, Design Strategist, Researcher, and Creative Facilitator.

The star-studded Industry Panelists consisted of Bhanu Prasad, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Coach at Digital Impact Square; Sidharth Krishna Kumar, Sustainability Leader with expertise in climate tech solutions; Ravikiran Annaswamy, CEO of Numocity Technologies focusing on clean mobility; Nishant Gupta, Head of Sustainability at Flipkart; Padmini Govind, Partner at Tharangini Studios, known for ethical and sustainable craftsmanship; Elizabeth Yorke, Founder of Saving Grains, a Culinary Artist, and Advocate for Sustainable Food Systems.

The four-phased ‘India Sustainability Startathon 2023’ success is a celebration representing a bridge from innovation to inspiration. It also has set the stage for India’s Sustainability Champions to make a lasting impact on the pan-Asian sustainability landscape.”


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