Praveen Balakrishnan Nair
Dr Praveen Balakrishnan Nair, Malaysia campus
End poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity
I dream of the creation of a sustainable world. A world which allows the present to live comfortably without denying the future generations having the same or better quality of life.
In the pursuit of economic growth and prosperity, our generation has ignored environmental and societal bottom lines, inviting devastating consequences in the long run. The socio-environmental set up has been altered more in the last hundred years than in the whole history of civilisation, due to changes in societal patterns and unconcerned exploitation of resources.
Creating a sustainable world
We live in a world with finite resources and the disproportionate consumer demands, over exploitation, political convenience, and intellectual apathy are all leading to the slow death of the world we are living in. Hence, I dream of the creation of a sustainable world. A world which allows the present to live comfortably without denying the future generations having the same or better quality of life. A world which ensures societal progress, equality, enhanced quality of life and continuity.
Thanks to the lessons learnt from the recent catastrophes and prudent initiatives taken by environmentally concerned stakeholders, there is a rapid growth in public awareness and interest in the socio-environmental concerns. The last two decades witnessed the evolution of the concept of sustainability, removing much of the ambiguity surrounding it and seeing it in a wider sense, as a question of the economic, political, social, technological, environmental, and ethical development of the world human society.
The concept is now more holistic and is widely accepted as a guiding principle of future economic, social, and environmental advances of human society. The best evidence in this direction are the initiatives undertaken by the United Nations, especially the Sustainable Development Goals, with an objective to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.
The new bottom line
With corporate entities and policy makers starting to take sustainability issues more seriously, it is all set to occupy an irrefutable position in business strategy circles, in years to come, and this is where my research intends to contribute.
I try to argue and establish that the sole bottom line of business is not merely maximising economic value but ensuring economic viability by being socially just and environmentally compatible. My focus is on examining how academic knowledge can be applied to reach practical solutions to pressing socio-environmental challenges of sustainability. My latest research is on the role social enterprises can play in urban poverty alleviation and the project has secured a sizeable research grant from the Ministry of Higher Education.