The Sustainability Platform (TSP) was founded at the 26th Engineering Congress of the Institution of Engineers, India (www.ieindia.org) held in Bangalore in December 2011. In the initial years, TSP work was focused on inserting ‘sustainability’ concerns within the engineering profession in Karnataka and South India and especially young engineers and guiding them towards ‘green and sustainability’ perspectives. TSP also worked on the “greening” of the IEI Karnataka State Centre and through a strategy of “retrofitting” as being more suitable in Indian and developing country contexts than expensive first world dominated ‘Green Building Certification’ approaches.
TSP today has become widely recognized and respected as a Platform involving wider professions other than engineers and as a genuine platform catalysing interventions that involve knowledge and competency building. Higher education institutions have sought out TSP to design and implement capacity building to promote the engagement of these institutions in Sustainability related activities.
TSP has also been working with and has close collaboration with UN and higher education institutions in Asia and active partnership in initiatives such as the Asia Cooperation Dialogue – University Network (ACD-UN). TSP has also been engaged in providing expertise to UN institutions such as UN-ESCAP and UNESCO. TSP thus evolved and has now come to be known as TSP Asia with agreements with Chula Global Network of Chulalongkorn University. It has established close working relations and promotes cooperation between India and Thailand/South East Asia through Chulalongkorn University. It also works closely with other Universities in Thailand and in the region.
TSP Asia is unique in bringing together knowledge resources and know how applicable in a practical manner to help organizations and individuals access these resources and know how. It serves as a very accessible platform to those engaged in sustainable technologies and enterprises and to promote their enterprises. TSP Asia provides know how and technology for sustainability and a knowledge base that comes along with concrete experiences. TSP also facilitates, forums for policy dialogue and policy formulation. TSP works with a range of Institutions on best practices that can help industry, institutions and community level initiatives achieve sustainability objectives.
TSP Asia is currently engaged in catalysing the involvement of especially higher education institutions in the SDGs Agenda and the United Nations 2030 Road Map as part of its capacity building for higher education institutions. We have now organized two landmark International Conference on Knowledge Partnerships to Advance the SDGs in 2017 and 2019. The first Conference had over 700 participants a majority of them being youth. The Second Conference had over 500 participants. TSP Asia was active both at the Asia Pacific Forum for Sustainable Development (APfSD), the Asian Regional Forum organized by UN-ESCAP and the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) held in New York at the UN Headquarters and is a global forum. Anil Hebbar TSP Asia’s Director represented TSP at both these events.
TSP Asia’s capacity building for higher education institutions is with a view to promote quality, excellence and equity in higher education using a sustainability lens. As part of its efforts to promote equity and inclusion in higher education, TSP Asia consciously strives to reach out to young people and students from non-metropolitan backgrounds and rural areas. To achieve the latter objectives, it is developing online resources for education and partnership with online universities such as Asia E University, Malaysia. Slowly schools are also reaching out to us for their capacity building programmes for their teachers and to design their outreach programmes and we are in the process developing strategies and discussing in what ways we can engage with them.
TSP Asia has an eminent group of Council Members, drawn from a wide range of professions including academics and senior Government officials. The Council of TSP Asia is like a knowledge and resource bank that is available in all activities of TSP Asia and in responding to requests for collaboration with and expertise from TSP Asia.