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India Team

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Sunil D Santha


As an academic with keen interests in the field of environmental risks, climate justice, and livelihood uncertainties, I strive towards understanding the role of social institutions and participatory action in reducing vulnerabilities and strengthening just adaptation practices. I believe in action research and reflective practice towards innovating participatory methods of entrepreneurial action and emergent livelihoods. Here, at the Centre for Livelihoods and Social Innovation, we developed the Adaptive Innovation Model. Adaptive innovation strives towards the designing of people-centered adaptation strategies that will have the intent and effect of our decisions and actions on the structures and processes shaping equality and justice, care, and empowerment for those who are disadvantaged and vulnerable in society. Such an approach, therefore, involves not only strengthening the adaptive capacities of vulnerable groups but also deconstructing certain dominant narratives that are linked to sustainable livelihoods and climate change adaptation. My recent book Climate Change and Adaptive Innovation: A Model for Social Work Practice has evolved out of these ideas, experiences, and learning.

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Rachel Okinyi


I am passionate about understanding the role of knowledge systems in enhancing livelihoods, especially in the context of environmental risks and uncertainties. I am keen on learning, re-learning, and unlearning the role of social and developmental institutions which affect livelihood vulnerabilities. I believe in participatory intervention in the field to effectively work towards livelihood promotion and entrepreneurial action among the poor and marginalised people.

Sowmya Balasubramaniam

Role | Hooga Seed Keepers Collective

I established Hooga Seed Keepers Collective to nurture and strengthen community-based initiatives on native seed conservation. A special interest of mine is to work with grassroots seed keepers and farmers on cimate resilient seeds and rebridging the broken linkages between Humans and Nature. Graduated from CLSI, TISS in Mumbai, India, I am very passionate about participatory action research, collective action and social innovation at different levels of the society.

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Deepankar Panda

Role | Goodliving.eco

I co-founded Goodliving.eco, a community-driven initiative toward building climate-smart housing for the marginalized populations in disaster-prone regions (climate-induced) of Pondicherry and Tamil Nadu in India. Here at Goodliving.eco, we believe in pursuing a participatory systems approach to housing. We strive to demonstrate that it is possible to provide accessible and affordable green and safe housing to the poor and marginalised sections of the society. We innovate and co-design with our impact groups in diverse arenas such as green construction materials, renewable energy, sustainable sanitation, and rainwater harvesting. Graduated from CLSI, TISS, I am passionate about improving the livelihoods and leadership skills of women social entrepreneurs who are located often at the fringes of the mainstream society. I am also the co-founder and chief product officer at ImpactDash, which is evolving as a successful start-up in the social impact consultancy space.

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Atul Raman

Role | Goodliving.eco

I strive towards building systems towardsclimate-resilient housing interventions through participatory and community-based approaches. Graduated from CLSI, TISS, I am also engaged in studying  the critical role of indigenous knowledge systems in water management and conservation of natural resources in climate sensitive zones.

TISS, Mumbai & Hyderabad, India


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