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Innovation and Policy Towards Sustainability. Dr.Shyamala Mani Programme Director Waste and Resource Management (WaRM) Centre for Environment Education (CEE). Sustainability.

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Innovation and policy towards sustainability

Innovation and Policy Towards Sustainability

Dr.Shyamala Mani

Programme Director

Waste and Resource Management (WaRM)

Centre for Environment Education (CEE)


  • The concept of sustainable development is one of the most cited concepts of the present day (Braga, 2001) and has been defined as development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs (Brundtland, 1987 cited in Jonker, 2002).

  • In other words, sustainability can be considered as ‘the ability to maintain something undiminished over some time period’ (Lélé and Norgaard, 1996), or as an ‘ongoing endeavour… rather than a final state that implies the persistence of a system through time’ (Sneddon et al., 1996 as cited by Jewitt, 2002).

Sustainable development
Sustainable Development

  • Sustainable development is the practice of protecting the environment while improving living standards for all, and invention and innovation is key to its success.

  • Invention and innovation for sustainable development isn’t just about developing new technology, but includes new processes and new ways of solving old problems—creative thinking is the rubric (Agenda 21, Chap.31).

Need of the hour
Need of the hour

  • To not only stop on that track and review the situation but also reconsider using a totally different path - one of greater responsibility and wisdom, one which not only considers our present and future generations but is worthy of our past heritage, we need to have not just innovations and technology but the power to make each one of us innovative thinkers and technologists.

Innovations and technology
Innovations and Technology

  • Innovations and Technology are not synonyms although the terms may become interchangeable in certain contexts. In fact sometimes they can be complete opposites as well.

  • For instance, when innovations are standardized, they become accepted as technology. Then, when changes are made to these, they become innovations. Therefore, Innovations and Technology can even alternate with each other.

Policy for future
Policy for Future

  • In the sustainable world of tomorrow, it will not be enough if there are certain number of innovators and inventors who will innovate or invent for all of us.

  • Every step should be different from the previous one, every thought would have to be thought through in a different manner and every action that results from these thoughts would have to be a technology worthy of note especially if we have to invent our own future.

Policy for the future
Policy for the Future

  • This can only happen if we inculcate in not only our future generations, a capacity to think innovatively but invent ways to teach ourselves and our future generations to think and act sustainably.

  • This calls for an educational technology, which will give us not merely gadgets and robots but the creation of teachers and mentors who can, not just teach their protégés math, science, biology, social sciences and languages but through all these, a special ability to holistically view the past, gauge the future and act in the present

Entering the 4th Decade of Environmental Education

1977 Tbilisi UNESCO’s first Intergovernmental Conference on EE developed guidelines on EE

1987 Moscow Redefined scope and direction for EE

1997 Thessaloniki Emphasized role of education and public awareness in achieving sustainability

2007 Ahmedabad Develop better understanding of EE in the context of ESD; review the progress of ESD, three years in to the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD)

4th ICEE: Tbilisi + 30

The 4th ICEE, UNESCO’s category IV level event, will be co-sponsored by Government of India and UNESCO

  • It will be hosted by CEE in Ahmedabad

  • The Conference dates are 26 to 28 November 2007 with pre-conference workshops beginning 24 November onwards

Centre for environment education cee
Centre for Environment Education (CEE)

Centre for Environment Education (CEE)

  • CEE is an internationally acclaimed institution in the field of EE and ESD. It has considerable experience and expertise in addressing its primary mandate of improving public awareness and understanding of the environment with a view to promoting the conservation and sustainable use of nature and natural resources.

  • Its programmes are facilitated through 40regional, state and project offices across the country with its headquarters located at Ahmedabad and affiliates in Australia and Sri Lanka. Over the past twenty years, CEE has been working in the field of environmental education.

  • It has developed innovative programmes, educational material, undertaken demonstration projects and built capacities in the field of environmental education.

  • Recognizing the complexity and vastness of work in the field of ESD, CEE works in partnership with a range of organizations at the national, regional and international level. The strategy is to collaborate with others to build synergies, achieve a multiplier effect, enhance effectiveness and widen the range of programmes. CEE is the nodal agency for implementation of DESD in India.

Conference Objectives

The Conference will:

  • look into understanding what has emerged out of the discipline of Environmental Education (EE) since the first Intergovernmental Conference held at Tbilisi in 1977

  • seek to define how EE can support Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)

  • establish linkages between EE and ESD and help set a roadmap for progress through the DESD

Expected Outcomes

  • A status note on ESD, three years into DESD

  • Facilitate networking and foster partnerships among multiple stakeholders for ESD

  • Create an effective forum for exchange of knowledge and experiences in the field

  • Develop sectoral strategies and action plans with timeframe for key priority concerns -

    regional, stakeholder-wise and thematic

  • Set a global agenda for progress through the Decade

Event Format

The conference will have Plenary Sessions, Thematic Working Sessions (30 proposed), Poster Sessions, Side Events-Book Launches, Film Screenings, Special Talks, and Exhibitions (5 proposed) to address the wide range of thematic issues.

Plenary sessions would include key expert presentations on EE and ESD and presentations to share regional status of DESD initiatives

Thematic working Sessions will take stock of their specific area in the context of ESD and define the role of EE within this. The workshops will also review and reformulate EE within the DESD

Key Themes

Workshop Themes have been developed based on DESD perspectives and will be crosscutting into areas like health, governance, disasters, entrepreneurship, human rights, gender, peace, ethics besides environmentWorkshop Duration: 7 hrs (26 - 27 November);14 hrs (25 - 27 November); 21 hrs (24 - 27 November)

Conference Schedule   

26 November, 2007Day 1

Plenary Sessions: 3 hours

Workshop sessions: 3.5 hours

Inauguration of Exhibition/

Expert Talks/ Cultural Programmes: 1.5 hours

27 November 2007 Day 2

Plenary Sessions: 1.5 hours

Workshop sessions: 4.5 hours

Expert Talks/ Cultural Programmes: +1.5 hours

 28 November 2007 Day 3

Plenary Sessions: 4.5hours

Pre Conference (24 November, 2007, 25 November, 2007)

7 hours a day available for Workshops/ events

Planning and Organising

  • International Advisory Committee (IAC) formed to guide the planning process in context of DESD

  • National Programmes Committee formed to give the required Indian perspective in the event

  • Inter-ministerial Committee formed to oversee the logistic and budgetary planning process and deal with protocol issues

Working session on

Working Session On

“Education for Innovation & Technology”

Overall goal
Overall Goal

To establish a discourse on innovation and sustainable development that will engage policy-makers, government agencies, academic and research institutions and people concerned about the structural and institutional changes needed to make the education for transition to sustainable development possible


  • The working sessions on pre-conference days would comprise selected presentations and case studies, which will be geared towards identifying sustainability concerns, the various innovations that address such concerns and then to devise the ways on how educational modes and methods can help in making such innovations happen.

  • The recommendations from the pre-conference working sessions will be shaped and put before the main conference during the conference technical sessions.


  • A total of 50 national & international participants from academia, universities, government and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), researchers, scientists, thinkers, private industrial sectors and consulting firms would be sharing experiences and discuss global challenges and opportunities towards education for innovation and technology

Call for case studies and papers
Call for Case Studies and Papers

The working session welcomes conceptual and research-based papers covering innovative and technological endevours/products/service and development in the context of a range of sustainability concerns. There will be particular interest in papers that address the following questions:

  • How to accelerate the development of educational technology/reform to achieve sustainable innovation?

  • How to tackle local challenges associated with sustainable innovation and technology?

  • How to infuse sustainable thinking and planning during innovation or technology development?

    * How to build capacity for sustainable innovation and technology transfer in developing & developed countries?

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