About Himalayan Consensus Summit
The Himalayan Consensus is a holistic development paradigm that emphasizes the integrity of planetary eco-systems as an indispensable basis for socio-economic development in the Himalayas region. The agenda of HCS program is to design and create sustainable alternative solutions based on grass root and alternative efforts being developed.
The Himalayan Consensus Summit aims at looking over the 2,500 km’s range covering different political boundaries that face common challenges, especially in the context of access of natural resources and capital, disaster mitigation for natural and human induced disasters, and preparedness. The 2015 Nepal Earthquake as well as the economic crisis in particular has focused urgency upon this process and it is critical to examine how future disasters and and conflicts can be prevented with economic systems relevant to the region.
Shaking up the status Quo: Searching for a New Paradigm
The Himalayan region has always seen replication of economic development models that are not tailor made to the availability of resources, topography and ecology. For instance planning of towns in the hills have been designed replicating plans of urban cities in the plains. The impact of natural disaster and the proliferation of disasters like landslides e.t.c have been a result of not looking at creative and new models tailor made to the unique Himalayan context. This session will brought together practitioners who shared their perspectives on what went wrong, and shared new lessons to look at development in the Himalayas.
Christian Manhart, UNESCO Representative to Nepal
How Man Wong, President at China Exploration and Research Society
Sarosh Pradhan, Principal Architect, Sarosh Pradhan and Associates
Moderator: Aunohita Mojumdar, Editor Himal South Asian
Economics with Planetary Integrity
The future of the region depends on the availability of natural resources. While this seems like an obvious statement, this session focused on understanding more intricately the supply side of natural resources i.e the impact of climate change, food security, climate disruption and various other issues that has direct bearing on the future of the Himalayas.
Arnico Panday, Senior Atmospheric Scientist, ICIMOD
Mats Eriksson, Director at Stockholm International Water Institutes
Sun Lizhou, Executive Director & Assistant Professor at Himalaya Institutes
Laurence Brahm, Founder at Himalyan Consensus
Compassionate Capital and Conscientious Consumption
As a sequel to understanding the supply side in previous sessions, this session brought forward as understanding of the various facets of consumption patterns including energy, and the way in which financial capital is deployed, as well as innovation in these areas.
Celine Cousteau, French-American Filmmaker and Designer
Ryan Nadeau, Director of Special Projects at Galvanize Inc
Sumana Shrestha, Founder of Carpool Kathmandu, MBA graduate from MIT Solan
Sujeev Shakya, Chair at Nepal Economic Forum
Rebuilding the new Himalayas
This session discussed issues relating to governance and institutional structures and understanding the multi-pronged strategies required to rebuild after natural as well as economic disasters. The session reflected upon varied perspectives based on experiences of working in the Himalayan region, and will provide a framework of thoughts on what government and institutions have done, and it would need to do.
Anne Freenstra, Dean, Faculty of Architecture at Cept University
Li Lin, Program Executive Director at WWF China
Mahendra Lama, Professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University
Khampa Tshering, Media and Business Consultant
Suman Shakya, Managing Director, One Planet Solution
New Financial Architecture
The Himalayan Consensus as an economic paradigm was keen to explore innovation and emergence of new institutions that provides financial capital and access to finance. Speakers working in diverse areas related to the financial architecture set the stage to ideate on new architecture that would provide the engine of growth to accelerate the pace of economic development.
Renaud Meyer, Country Director at UNDP Nepal
Eckart Roth, Chief Risk Officer and Co-Founder, Peak Re
Sashin Joshi, CEO at Nabil Bank
Tim Gocher, CEO and Founder at Dolma Impact Fund
Del Christensen, Chief of Global Business Development at Bay Area Council
Himalayan Institutions:The New Paradigm
This session provided a platform for speakers from diverse institutions working on grass root and home grown institutions to share their innovation and provided a perspective to what they think are some of the new ways in which institutions would and should go through the transformation.
Ajaya Dixit, Executive Director, ISET – Nepal
Narayan Dhakal, Executive Director of Eco-Himal
Shruti Nada Podar, Founder at Shruti Foundation
Arpita Nepal, Co-Founder and Director at Samridhi
My Learning as Participant & Volunteer
For successful initiation, implementation and completion of grass root project following parameters are most:
– Participation of Local people and local stake holder
– Prioritizing of utilization of Local Resources
– Main agenda should be of Local Development and Enhancement
– Accountability of involved partners, local authority and people
When we roam around looking for out of box solution, it just lies between the boxes. The importance data collection, storage and sharing should be of prime focus. There should be cross-border or data sharing should not be hindered by regional or national boundaries. As climate change is problem of all so solution and accountability for saving shall be common agenda across trans-Himalayan region. While carrying developmental works it should be inclusive, leveraging and incorporate all sector of society. Things do work but they require time. Private institutions should not be in safe play and risk aversion game. They should challenge present status quo creating significance values in problem solving and creating opportunities. Failure should be accepted as good lessons not act of shame. The problem does not limits on awareness but inability of action due to fear of failure.
The prime focus should be in 3C’s Capital, Curriculum and Community. The idea is ok but real challenge is to turn it as real product. We do not have proper mechanism, infrastructures to generate specific products and problem is with poor representation of products. We ought to remember “ How important failure is ?” Failure should not be taken as full stop. Its falling, improving & improvising again and again for creating success story.
There must be better way for story telling getting voice heard. Only true examples can change mind.There should be open, enough source to provide information to people. We should generate story in different way. Corporation should not seek only product but story as customer/audience wants better values for which they do not hesitate to pay premium amount. People can actually create story if they have pre-existing passion and they love work they are doing. A lot to do with word of mouth and oral story has more importance.
The development should not be subsidy or donor free fund driven but market driven. They shall be carried out in form of business ventures who not only solve local problem but also generates socio-economic values. There should be involvement of angel society network, venture capitalist, financial institutions who equip people for creating business driven market rather donor one. The creation virtual entrepreneur might help for startups as they can provide insight about whole entrepreneur eco-system. Government gives money to experts and mentor people to run business. The early startup needs incubator and market penetration for successful running.
The Himalayas should not be land for finding spirituality or escaping from bad Karma. The himalayas is head and development work have been carried out by decision by body i.e lower regions. But here begins paradigm shift, Himalayas will be making decision for Himalayas.There has to be open space for political, economic, social and cultural discourse. There should be holistic dialogue on policy gap. Participation, Ownership, Sustainability of any project or business should be taken care realizing and fulfilling community aspiration. Saving and promoting local art, crafts and hand made items should be done.Local skills should be saved. Local people should be motivated to sell goods with values encompassing local art and culture. Generation of values for skill rather then materialistic things. Creating business opportunities and making government aware protecting indigenous values of any locality. Galvanizing local artist reviving traditional knowledge and formation of informal community to formal one.
The HCS 2016 ends with high notes of creating Himalayan Fund for renewable energy, funds for promoting cultural and heritage sites as business opportunities, intense writing of essay’s and articles about intellectuality of discussions , film and documentary about whole process. To protect ancient ideas, turning them into action, community empowerment, creating cluster of self sustaining business promoting and protecting ethnic values and culture of locality. Idea Transformation. Finding Sambala Mandala – Shangri la.
Note of Thanks
I am so glad and happy to be part of Himalayan Consensus Summit – 2016 as volunteer and participant. Obviously I owe debts for organizing institutions: Himalayan Consensus Institutes (Laurence Brahm) and Nepal Economic Forum & Beed Management (Sujeev Shakya). It was great to meet and have discussions with role modelv : Sujeev Shakya, really you are much more motivating and inspiring than heard. Thanks Shayasta Tuladhar and Tejaswee Shrestha for letting me in as volunteer. Hope I was able to reach the parameters of volunteer. It was great to catch up with amazing people Kashu Dhakhwa, Sudip Bhaju, Subrina Shrestha, Shikshya Gyawali, Askhov Shakya, Tejeswi Nath Bhattarai, Samina Marjhan, Chirag Kansakar and Krinisha Shrestha. You guys rock. Keep up with awesome work.
Date: March 17 and 18, 2016 Hotel Himalaya, Kathmandu Nepal