IAJBS 22nd Annual World Forum Jesuit Province of Eastern Africa, Nairobi, Kenya

Experience level: 
Intended Audience: 
Donald D’Silva SJ

Jesuits response to Sustainability Leadership through University Education

India being a developing country is now grappling between improving its economy through industrialization and at the same time correcting ecological imbalance created by weak strategic planning and implementation. Poor health condition, increase in pollution, toxic gases in the air and natural calamities have been sending alarming signals to policy makers, corporate heads and educationists urgently address the issue without any further delay. It is in this line, Jesuits involved in educating and training managers, policy makers and bureaucrats, have taken up steps responding to this grave issue by promoting sustainability leadership through university education making sustainability as part of the Jesuit mission in Xavier University Bhubaneswar, India. This paper reflects on the issues concerned to the nation and very particularly to the state of Odisha where environmental problems are affecting various sectors involving socioeconomic risks. Multi hazard mapping of climate sensitivity in the state of Odisha is seen as a real threat and concern. The civil and political authorities have failed to address the sustainability problems. The writer thus shows how care for fellow human beings, nature 2 and public health is possible through Jesuit pedagogy in its universities by creating responsible sustainability leaders and managers at the university level. Secondly, this study looks at how Jesuits respond to the universal Society’s mandate of caring the earth by evolving innovative educational strategies to promote environmental justice, creating and nurturing next generation managers who can anchor and accelerate sustainability as a strategy for connecting business and society. The writer finds Xavier University Bhubaneswar, the first Jesuit University (Estd. in 2013) in India, as a leader that could bring about necessary change to ecological imbalance. Therefore, the present study aims at examining the mandate given by Pope Francis, the strategy employed by Jesuit Leaders in some of their universities and B-Schools in promoting students who in turn commit to care for sustainable business, ethical decision making, aim at human development and create sustainable communities. To substantiate the above claim, inspired by the spirit of Magis, the writer focuses his study by presenting how efforts are made in the Xavier School of Suitability of the Xavier University Bhubaneswar to create an impact on the students of Sustainability Management. The emphasis is laid on how common good takes priority over individual profit bringing about change in the society creating sustainable societies for generations to come.