- Announces two new establishments for Policy Design & Social and Environment Innovation
- Aims to scale up innovative scientific alternatives by and for a sustainable and equitable society
BENGALURU, Oct. 4, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), today, announced the establishment of two new centres, Centre for Policy Design (CPD) and Centre for Social and Environmental Innovation (CSEI). Supported by Rohini Nilekani and WestBridge Capital, with a combined grant of INR 5.5 Cr, the centres will be built on ATREE's 20 years of research in conservation and sustainability science.
Traditional policies or social innovation programmes to make sustainable systems either end up as pilots that fail to scale or have a narrow focus. The centres will address these challenges by taking into consideration the complex ways in which economic, social and ecological systems are interconnected.
Talking about the new centres, Dr. Nitin Pandit, Director, ATREE, said, "ATREE is amongst the top environmental think-tanks globally. The new Centres are a step towards creating a research institution that creates knowledge and strategic partnerships aimed at large scale societal impact."
The new centres will work towards delivering innovative policy instruments, improved governance mechanisms, as well as dynamic engagement with markets and communities. Through research that creates the state-of-the-art practice, the Centres will tackle critical problems such as invasive species, climate change, water and waste management, food systems etc.
With generous core support from Rohini Nilekani Philanthropies, the Centre for Social and Environmental Innovation (CSEI) will partner with social entrepreneurs to build businesses that create livelihoods for the poorest, while sustaining the natural resource base. Linked to specific Sustainable Development Goals, CSEI will build new capabilities at ATREE through design thinking, market research, demand management, and business modelling.
"Research institutions have traditionally shied away from engaging with market entities. Yet, these entities can have tremendous influence and reach. To enable positive change towards creating a sustainable just society, we need samaaj (society), bazaar (market) and sarkaar (government), to work together. The new centres are a natural extension of ATREE's work but will contribute to translating research to impact at scale," said ATREE Board Member, Rohini Nilekani.
With a generous grant from WestBridge Capital, the Centre for Policy Design (CPD) will create collaborations towards the design of effective, evidence-based environmental policy in India. The Centre will synthesize lessons from past and existing programmes to articulate policy and institution design principles in response to opportunities for collaboration from government and legislators.
"For over two decades, ATREE has built a reputation for rigorous and objective scientific research. The organisation is well equipped to play a leading role in policy design. Together, we hope to bring about transformative changes towards sustainable development by bridging science and policy," said Sandeep Singhal, Managing Director, WestBridge Capital.
The new Centres are designed to solve complex socio-environmental problems in a sustainable, scalable and replicable way.
Other recent non-profit grants by WestBridge Capital include sponsoring $1MN for a kitchen in Varanasi to The Akshaya Patra Foundation, in association with the Government of Uttar Pradesh, for providing mid-day meals to 100,000 students. In July, WestBridge entered into a four-year partnership with the American Indian Foundation by investing $1MN to enable over 43,500 children from migrating communities in rural Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, with the purpose of improving access to quality education and giving them opportunities for a better future.
About ATREE: (www.atree.org)
The Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), is a global non-profit that generates interdisciplinary knowledge to inform policy and practice to achieve environmental conservation and sustainable development.
About WestBridge Capital: (http://WestBridgecap.com/)
WestBridge Capital is a highly experienced investment firm, managing over $2 billion of capital, which focuses on investments in India. WestBridge Capital leverages both its capital and experience to help companies succeed. WestBridge seeks to partner with some of India's most promising mid-sized companies run by outstanding entrepreneurs and management teams for the long-term, whether they are public or private. In the last fifteen years, the team has led investments in over 80 companies and oversaw a total investment of over $1.6 billion. The WestBridge team is one of the most recognized in the industry and has a combined 50+ years of experience in investing in Indian companies. Armed with this wealth of experience, the team is able to assist its portfolio companies - when required - in many areas including strategy, operations, management recruiting and fundraising. WestBridge Capital has offices in Mauritius, California and Bangalore.
About Rohini Nilekani: (www.rohininilekani.org)
Rohini Nilekani is Founder-Chairperson, Arghyam, a foundation she endowed to fund initiatives for sustainable water and sanitation across India. From 2004 to 2014, she was Founder-Chairperson of Pratham Books, a non-profit children's publisher. She is Co-founder-Director of EkStep, a non-profit education platform.
A former journalist writing for leading publications, she is also the author of 'Stillborn' and 'Uncommon Ground', both published by Penguin Books India. In 2017, she was inducted as Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
As signatories of the Giving Pledge, Rohini and Nandan Nilekani have committed half their wealth to philanthropy.
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SOURCE WestBridge Capital