Second Symposium

DMI Second Foundation Day Symposium
Collectives and Commons for Well-being

The institute organised its Second Foundation Day Symposium on 'Collectives and Commons for Well-being' at Rajgir, Bihar, India during February 13-14, 2016.

The Second Symposium took forward some issues addressed during the first Symposium. In particular, it aimed at re-affirming the firm, founding belief of DMI, viz. the livelihoods of small producers and marginalised people can be enhanced by organising them to form participation-based, democratically managed institutions that leverage the strengths of collectives and build enduring partnerships with professionals for reaping the benefits of technology and market integration. The discussion at the Second Symposium were organized around the following themes:

  • Collectives for Well-being
  • Collectives for Well-being
  • Pursuit of Well-being

The function was inaugurated by Prof. Jaya Indiresan. In her address, she explained the multiple perspectives of 'well-being'; in particular, she emphasized how a person's perception of his experience against expectation heightened or reduced his/her sense of well-being.

Prof. Tushaar Shah, former Director of IRMA and currently with International Water Management Institute (IWMI) delivered the keynote address. Prof. Shah stated that the design of cooperative organisations was critical to their long-term success, and urged DMI to inculcate 'design thinking' among its students. Shri Anup Mukerji, Chairman, DMI released a special edition of a book 'Catalysing Cooperation', and Shri Arvind Kumar Chaudhary, Secretary, Rural Development Department (Govt. of Bihar) released another book 'Making Farmer's Cooperatives Work'. Both books were written by Prof. Tushaar Shah in the mid-1990's and continue to be relevant to the present era.

In his speech, Shri Arvind Chaudhary appreciated the progress of DMI in the last two years and pointed out the challenges ahead and the arduous path for DMI. He recalled the significant contribution of Prof. Shah in establishing DMI.

During the first day, the participants discussed Prof. Tushaar's books initially. In the later sessions, they discussed the role of collective enterprises and their governance and management challenges. They also discussed the problems of commons, especially the changing pattern off use of ground water in north Bihar and its effect on water quality.

The discussion on the second day centred on knowledge common, Natural Resource Management and Pursuit of Well-being. Among others, Mr. P S Sodhi exhorted the participants to adopt at least one practice that will change the life-style and reduce carbon foot-print. The Symposium synthesised the discussion in the form of way forward.

More than 100 eminent academics, Govt. officials, experts, representatives of NGOs and students attended the event, including about ten participants from Jeevika and twenty students of Nalanda University. The participants at the workshop have come from different parts of India, like Orissa, Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Delhi, Bangaluru, Hyderabad, etc.