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India Team

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Sunil D Santha

Affiliate Researcher | Tata Institute of Social Sciences (Mumbai campus)

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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Devisha Sasidevan

Affiliate Researcher | Tata Institute of Social Sciences (Mumbai campus)

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.

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Sowmya Balasubramaniam

Affiliate Researcher | 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

Affiliate Researcher | 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 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 Tata Institute of Social Sciences, 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

Affiliate Researcher | Goodliving.eco

I strive towards building systems towards climate-resilient housing interventions through participatory and community-based approaches. Graduated from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, 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.

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Dr. Suparana Katyaini

Assistant Professor | Tata Institute of Social Science (Hyderabad Campus)

She is engaged in teaching interdisciplinary courses on climate change, socio-ecological research, and approaches to conservation and development to M.A. (Natural Resources and Governance) students.  Prior to being associated with Tata Institute of Social Science (Hyderabad) she was engaged in research on environmental and developmental issues in India with The Energy and Resources Institute, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Guwahati, IIT Delhi, and the International River Foundation. She received the inaugural Vera Thiess Fellowship from the International River Foundation in Australia for advancing women's participation in river and water management in 2016-17. As a part of this fellowship, she had the opportunity to visit Global Water Partnership in Stockholm, Sweden and learn about women’s engagement in the water sector. She also had a brief association with UNDP Cap-Net in Rio de Janerio Brazil for developing a monitoring, evaluation and learning plan for capacity development programs on sustainable water management in Africa, Latin America, and Asia. She has also carried out research consultancy on Sustainable Development Goal 10 on reduced inequalities for Oxfam in India. She has over 10 years of research experience and has published on the themes of adaptation and resilience to climate change, water resources management and governance, inclusive development, and science-policy interface.

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Dr. Bibhu P. Nayak

Associate Professor | Tata Institute of Social Science (Hyderabad Campus)

He is an economist by training and has been working on environmental and resource governance issues.  He is engaged in teaching interdisciplinary courses on natural resources-based livelihoods, and Environmental Economics to M.A. (Natural Resources and Governance) students. Prior to this, he worked for The Energy and Resources Institute, New Delhi and Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bengaluru in India.  His research interests include climate change adaptation, conservation agriculture, community-based institutions, and natural resources-based livelihoods.  He has worked on several research and consultancy projects funded by various national and international agencies. He has worked on research projects with interdisciplinary focus and travelled extensively across different states in India for field research. He is the recipient of the Global Development Network (GDN) Gold Medal for Research on Development in 2013. He has been associated with professional associations like Indian Society of Ecological Economics (INSEE) and several academic networks like South Asia Network for Environment and Development (SANDEE); Laboratory for Comparative Social Research (LCSR); Research Committee on Behavioral Insights, Green Growth Knowledge Platform; Ronald Coase Institute Alumni Network, among others.

Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai & Hyderabad, India

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