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Talks, Lecture, Presentations...2019

There are speeches given on various occasions in different contexts and many are not documented in the past. So, this year, I am trying to document these here. This blog will have all the speeches I am asked to make, I decided to also add interactive sessions, meetings and exchanges here to ensure that all of these are available in the same location. Hopefully, I can stick to this through the year of 2019.

French Institute, Pondichery
1. Growing up to Sustainable Development Goals (SDG): Strategies, Processes and Insights  - 4th January 2019 in the '"Local Food Festival" organized by the French Institute, at the French Institute, Pondichery

NRLM Consultation, Bengaluru
2. Presenting the Sustainable Livelihood Institute - 29th January 2019 at the National Consultative Meeting on Innovation for Local Governance organized by National Rural Livelihood Mission, Bengaluru.

with international delegation at SLI, Auroville
3. Shaping Sustainable Livelihoods - 30th January 2019 lecture and interaction with the International Delegation from 15 Developing countries visiting Sustainable Livelihood Institute, Auroville. The 2-day exposure visit facilitated by SLI was sponsored by the Ministry of External Affairs

4. Sustainable Livelihoods: Learning, Insights and Experience -  30th January 2019 with the Swadharma team, Auroville at the SAIIER building, Auroville

5. Ethical debates for SDG - 7th February 2019 at the National Institute of Rural Development, Rajinder Nagar, Hyderabad, Telangana
IIT-M Vivekananda Study Circle

6. Harmony Project: Shaping Actions for a better planet - 7th February 2019 with the Vivekananda Study Centre, IIT-M at the IIT-M Auditorium (link to lecture on youtube)

7. Workshop on Developing Business Plan for Rural Enterprises - 8th & 9th February 2019 at Vivenakananda Seva Pratishtan, Sri Sarada Ashram, Ulundurpet, Tamilnadu

8. Sustainable Development & Livelihoods - 22nd February 2019 with the Humanities Department students from IIT-M at Sustainable Livelihood Institute, Auroville

9. Discussion on possible collaboration on Innovative Programmes - 23rd February 2019 with the Farmer's Producer Company and Centre for Indian Knowledge Systems at Sirgazhi, Nagapattinam District, Tamilnadu

10. Discussion on 'Baingan -> Swaraj' book and GMOs - 25th February 2019 with the Adolescent children at the Cascade Learning Cente, Besant Nagar, Chennai

Discussion with the Director, Rural Technology Centre, NIRD Campus 

11. Presentation of the work of SLI and discussion on the potential of partnership - 28th February 2019 and 1st  March 2019 with the HoDs of various Centres at the National Institute of Rural Development (NIRD), Rajinder Nagar, Hyderabad, Telangana
Visit to Centre for Sustainable Agriculture (CSA), Secunderabad, Telangana and meeting with Dr. Ramanjuneyulu, Director of CSA - here at the Sahaja Aharam store in the CSA centre

12.  Meeting and interaction with Dr. Ramanjuneyulu  - 28th February 2019 at The Centre for Sustainable Agriculture (CSA) in Secunderabad. Potential discussed includes, sharing the RC certification details and also the details for further joint work.

13.Participated as an invited Panelist in the  Discussion for the Goonj 3.0 Chaupal - 3rd March 2019 at the Madras School of Social Work (MSSW) between 12 noon to 3 p.m. Along with Anshu Gupta, Mini Gupta and several other thought leaders, it was great occasion celebrate the 20th anniversary of this amazingly committed organization. Respect to their efforts and always in solidarity.

14. Interaction with faculty and students at the Azim Premji University, Bengaluru - 5th & 6th March 2019. It was great to listen to the programmes and ideas of academics from this vertical university that grows from floor 5 to 10 in a building (that took a while to get used to). The students interested in being interns at SLI were even more interesting.  It was different to get to know the challenges and limitations of Universities in allocating students for internship with various agencies.

with Meenakshi of Puvidham, Vidya Shankar of Relief Foundation and Krishna McKinsey of Auroville at Solitude Farm, Auroville

15. Future Institutions - An initiative by Samanvaya: 7th March 2019, Solitude Farm & Cafe, Auroville. Facilitating a workshop among 3 important thought leaders on the Future Knowledge Institution ideas and in the process creating a new venture where that will provide new age rural educators with the medium and content to engage and provide knowledge service to the rural society over all and to the youth in particular.

summer, no water, drying fruit trees in Puvidham campus in Dharmapuri as we met on the last day of the school, before it shut down as there was no water in the well any longer

16. Second Meeting of the Future Institutions initiative: 23rd March 2019, Puvidham Rural School, Dharmapuri. Great to have quick follow-up meeting on the idea with Vidya, Meenakshi and Krishna participating with full vigour.

the beautiful paintings at CESCI campus

17. Future Institutions Conceptualizing meeting: Vaigai Flora Botanical Garden: 25th - 26th March 2019, CESCI campus, Natham. Brainstorming with Olaganathan annachi, Dr. Nambi and Muthuvelayutham of CCD, Madurai.

18. MediClown Course, planning & discussion: 27th March 2019, Ekam Foundation Office, Chennai. MediClown course is to be offered in an exciting new programme with a Medical University in Chennai over 6 months. Participated in this crucial meeting that was deciding on the course fee and structuring.

interactive session with the NIFT Chennai students at SLI campus, Auroville

  19. Interaction with the students from National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), Chennai: 28th March 2019, SLI campus, Auroville - Interaction with the students with their questions and responses from experts to the same.

Battery operated cart in the Beach resort to the venue

20. Workshop on evolving training modules for the TNRTP project: 3rd, 4th April 2019, Mahabalipuram, Tamilnadu - working with the SIRD and TNRTP teams to evolve modules.

21. Meeting on eco-system fund raising at Auroville: 5th April 2019. An attempt to bring together several projects to create fund raising for an eco-system in Auroville. 

22. World Bank Mission visit to TNRPT project: 8-10,April 2019, Chennai - workshop mode discussion on TNRTP project for the purpose of redesigning and new time shrinking of the project.

23. Key Note Address in "Networking of Academic Institutions" at SIRD, 11th April 2019, Maraimalainagar, Chennai. Spoke to the audience of more than 35 academic institution heads on an agenda for future, viz., (a) creating newer forms of knowledge that provides inputs for new kinds of initiatives and institutions through trans-disciplinary research that is able to transcend the existing knowledge discipline boundaries, (b) making ethics, particularly in economic activity, the central argument in academic disciplines, particularly those concerned with business and economy and (c) ensuring that gender sensitivity become central to our social and cultural discourse.

24. Facilitating Workshop on Management Development Programme (MDP) Development for Rural Development officials at TNSRLM, Chennai on 30th April 2019 - along with Mr. Praveen Nair, I.A.S., PD, TNRTP Project, Govt. of Tamilnadu.  Also introduced Prof. Shambu Prasad, of IRMA to the audience during his lecture on the status of Farmer Producer Collectives across the country.

25. Visit to MakaMai Community Institutions in the Districts of Villupuram, Ramanathapuram and Salem as Consultant, World Bank between 3-6 May 2019 - these community institutions initially created to be skilled service providers for the community in the rural parts are currently being seen as extension agencies for the government programmes in various parts of the state. They have been functioning as institutions owned and managed by the community members, however, the government rural development department has a large say in their management and often controls the operations of the same. This visit was to conduct a rapid assessment of the MakaMai institutions and explore ways to strengthen them. Interacted with over 50 office bearers and beneficiary women leaders from 3 districts apart from the concerned department officials during the visit.

26. Facilitating Experiential Learning session for the higher level officials of the Tamilnadu Rural Transformation Project (TNRTP) to the Tribal Health Initiative (THI), Sittlingi and to the Earth360 initiative at Kadiri in Andhra Pradesh, 7 -8 May 2019 - 4 top officials of the TNRTP project got to understand the millets value chain better during a 2-day visit to the exemplary efforts of these two initiatives built through dedicated and conviction based work of Gandhian doctor couple of Reji and Lalitha in the first case and Dinesh and Kalyani in the second case.

27. Co-facilitating workshop on Value Chain Analysis along with 2 World Bank consultants for the officials of TNRTP, TNSRLM, SIRD and other officials of the RD Department between 9 - 11, May 2019 at SIRD, Maraimalainagar, near Chennai - This 3 day workshop was aimed to provide the participants with a comprehensive understanding of VCA and to provide them with the expertise to be able to apply the tool in the context of the project in Tamilnadu to meet its objectives. 

28. Anchored and facilitated a workshop on Rurban Mission, SIRD, 16-17 May 2019 - 2 day workshop explored the economic activity under the Rurban Mission being undertaken in the 11 districts in which it is being implemented in Tamilnadu with over 3 crore budget for each cluster of 6-8 panchayats per district. Reviewed to enhance the programmes in the Phase - I 5 districts and also provide inputs to the Phase II and Phase III districts of the State.

29. Guest Lecture for a virtual classroom for 'Sustainability Master Class', British Columbia University, 6th June 2019. -  Spoke to students attending this course on Sustainability & Leadership on aspects of Sustainability in Traditional Knowledge and social practices in rural India.

30. Conceptualized and Facilitated 2-day workshop: "BRAINSTORMING YOUNG VOLUNTEERS IN RURAL AREAS", at Kodaikanal, 11-12 June 2019 -  Helped conceptualize this unique initiative as a collaborative venture of Department of Panchayati Raj & Gandhigram Rural Institute (University) and utilized unique methodology to facilitate the workshop consisting of heterogeneous mix of academics, bureaucrats, NGOs, faith organizations and activists to bring together their rich experience and insights for shaping the state wide programme.

"It’s our Pleasure to be part of the workshop.. Experience teaches a lot.. Especially the story telling at campfire is first experience of learning through examples of life..Different age groups and working expertise are power packed with knowledge bank ...Ram Subramanian sir facilitation is just awesome and no words to express.. it’s Strong and deep full subject to discuss and these hot discussions no where felt bored it’s just because of you.." -- Layakari, Young Volunteers Coordintor

31. World Bank Mission visit to TNRPT project: 17-23,June 2019, Chennai - workshop mode discussion on TNRTP project: review of the progress and re-plan the priorities. Worked specifically on the community institution, Makamai and the knowledge institution partnership for the $100 million WB funded project as part of the WB consulting team in trouble shooting, strategizing and re-working the plans.

32.  Conservation Linked Livelihood: exploring opportunity with the Kaani tribals in the Pechipparai  region of the Kanyakumari district: 26th June 2019 - visited and met with the kaani tribals in the tail end of the western ghats forest region. Redesigned a comprehensive conservation linked livelihood plan and provided strategic inputs for the project to be executed by the state government as a special one.

"no one gave us the confidence and the clarity that you gave today,
it was great to listen to someone who placed the interest of us,
rural women, as his primary concern.
we are used to the government officials who never really care for us"
- one of the women participants from rural parts of Tamilnadu 

33. Enterprise training programme for the Community Professionals of the Makamai Community Institutions: 27th June 2019 at the Sustainable Livelihood Institute, Auroville: Did an introductory programme on Value Chain Analysis (VCA) with the Community Professionals of 4 districts in Tamilnadu.

<<to fill up July and Aug>>

"it was truly inspiring and i am sure the young ones were highly motivated"
- Ms. Alamelu, volunteer at the Vivekananda Centre of Cultrure

"We ourselves were quite inspired by your talk and we are sure the students would
have felt the same as well" - Professor from the Rani Muthiah College

"It was good to have listened to you, I have heard of you before,
it was good to get to listen first hand" - Swami Ranganayanakananda

34. Pursuit of Excellence, talk to college students: 3rd Sept 2019 at the at the Vivekananda Culture Centre in the Vivekananda Illam, Chennai. It was a honour to be asked to address students in this historic monument, though I had to talk to them inside an auditorium rather than out in the beach because of the traffic noise outside. I could talk to the students on the idea of India, on what is the core of this land, on environment, climate change, on becoming assertive Indians and also why as students it is not enough if they study today, that they need to rebel and challenge authorities, because the past generations have failed to make the world better for them and they have no obligation to the generation that created the systems around them to adhere to these systems without asking questions and being convinced. It was great to see several understanding smiles and later being told by their professors that they felt inspired!!

35. Development Perspectives: An Orientation Lecture to the newly appointed District Executive Officers and Young Professionals of the $100 million Tamilnadu Rural Transformation Project: 17th Sept 2019, SIRD, Maraimalainagar.

36. Thematic Editor for the Gandhi 150th Birth Anniversary Celebration Special Issue of the Journal for Rural Development, National Institute of Rural Development, Government of India: 2nd October 2019, this premium Journal had several important thinkers from India and abroad contributing their works for the issue. As Thematic Editor, I had to identify and invite some of the prominent thinkers to write for the Journal, write exclusive and independent editorial notes for each of these and also a longer editorial for the special issue. Download the Issue here

37. PodCast on the 150th year of Gandhi: 2nd October 2019 - a joint podcast on the contemporary adoption of Gandhian techniques with Rev. Sara Wolcott of Sequoia Samanvaya (the recording itself was done in the Florida Airport and since uploaded in the Sequoia Samanvaya website). A subsequent recording (pic.) was done in the beautiful home of Diane Wolcott in San Francisco.

 38. Evolving  a Rights of Nature Economy Framework - Workshop & Experience Sharing, NEXUS LATAM Conference, Quito, Ecuador: 3rd October 2019