Rusen Kumar in Pune
PUNE (India): After months of preparation and international collaboration, the CSR-Nonprofit Summit kicked off this morning with a welcome session hosted by its organizers: Elon University’s Periclean Scholars program, the Sosva Training and Program Institute (STAPI) and Comprehensive Rural Health Project, Jamkhed (CRHP).
Held in Pune, Maharashtra, this two-day conference brings together over one hundred organizations from the corporate and nonprofit sectors in support of women’s empowerment and rural development throughout India.
Welcoming a distinguished group of colleagues, Martin Kamela of Elon University emphasized the summit’s goal of fostering conversation between corporate and nonprofit organizations. The conference centers on the premise that the two sectors must learn to speak each other’s language in order to overcome their cultural divides and work in cooperation.
Shobha Arole, director of CRHP, said both the business acumen of corporations and service expertise of nonprofits are vital to implementing effective development practices in the future.
“Today, it is not enough for NGOs to work alone,” Arole affirmed. “We must work together and network with corporate social responsibility efforts to create peace, equity, justice, and holistic health and development.”
Nalti Anagor of STAPI expressed the organizers’ hope that the CSR-Nonprofit Summit will serve as a bridge between the corporate and nonprofit worlds. By matching promising nonprofits to corporate social responsibility initiatives, the Summit will help to build the capacities of both the private and public sectors.
A brief introduction of participants followed the organizers’ welcome address. In the spirit of the Summit’s goal to promote dialogue between nonprofits and corporations, moderator Divya Krishnan, a prominent consultant in the nonprofit sector, invited participants to shuffle their positions and sit by someone they had not met. After a few minutes of conversation, participants introduced each other’s organizations to the rest of the group.
Smt. Vandana Krishna, I.A.S., Principal Secretary for Women and Child Development in Maharashtra, concluded this morning’s session with an official government welcome. She noted that diverse partnerships between government, corporations, and nonprofit organizations are necessary to tackle India’s most serious problems.