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Seminar 3 explores the question, What are the learnings from Sweden, The Nordics and India in creating an ecosystem that builds in and hard-codes equity from a perspective of a digital democracy, socioeconomic growth and sustainable development?

SDGs and Industry 4.0 – Creating a New Purpose Economy


  • Venkatesh Hariharan, India Head, Open Invention Network

  • Ranjula Bali Swain, Visiting Professor & Research Director, CSR, Stockholm School of Economics

  • Raine Isaksson, Senior Lecturer, Uppsala Universitet

  • Jojo Mehra, Vice President, eGov Foundation

  • Rupali Mehra, Founder, Content People AB

Key Insights

Stretching boundaries beyond sustainability – The New Purpose Economy

Economic development has taken prominence over environmental and social concerns during the transitional periods of industrialization from 1.0 to 4.0. According to Dr. Ranjula, Research Director, Center for Sustainable Research (CSR), Stockholm School of Economics, the new purpose economy is about moving beyond efficiency and productivity, and industries must rethink their role in society in terms of climate change and social stability.

Administering the newly emerging era of digital society

As India progresses toward digitization, the divide between the rich and the poor will widen if digital platforms turn into giant monopolies, views Venkatesh Hariharan, India Head, Open Invention Network. He addresses this issue and explains the need for digital public goods towards a fairer and just society, the significance of government policymaking, and its role in the process.

Understanding Sustainable Development on common grounds

In different scenarios, the idea of sustainable development can mean different. Academia, industry, government, and society differ as to how sustainable development needs are addressed. But can Sustainable Development have a definition in common? The panelists from diverse backgrounds discuss sustainable development based on their disciplines and perspectives and look at ways to reach an agreement.

Accessibility is a crucial parameter for development

India is one of the world's most ethnically diverse countries, and development as a factor differs in such countries because there are an unspoken set of parameters such as literacy, language, geography, digital maturity, and so on that add to the list of issues that must be considered even before a developmental program is designed.

Considering accessibility as one of the key solutions in such cases, Jojo Mehra, Vice President, eGov Foundation, discusses how his organization partners with local government authorities to ensure that their programs reach even the last mile in three steps:

  • Deepening the impact by simplifying

  • Widening by increasing the geographic reach

  • Extending by the number of customized products and services

The world of academia – research and 'relevant' research

Since the beginning, research has been the bedrock of development. Any developmental notion, as we all know, takes shape on paper. Are our studies, however, relevant to present global issues? Is our research on its way to being implemented? Professor Raine Isaksson discusses how academia responds to the changing environment and works to generate relevant research material.

Samaj – Sarkar – Bazaar: Triple Helix Model

The panelists discuss how we must tap into the eco system's collective energy to have a long-term impact. By collective, they mean the synergy between society, economy, and government to ensure long-term sustainability. Working on the same principles, India's Samaj-Sarkar-Bazaar and Sweden's triple helix model aim to build a 'benefit all' platform.

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