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  • Writer's pictureDavid Nott

Episode 4: The power of partnerships

Don't have time to listen to our podcast? No worries, here is a brief summary of the discussion with Shloka Nath

The power of partnerships

In this episode, we talk with Shloka Nath who leads the sustainability policy and advocacy portfolio at the Tata Trust, one of India’s leading philanthropic foundations. Alongside that, she is also the acting director of the India Climate Collaboratives, an India-led platform that was founded in 2018 by a group of philanthropists who were interested in continuing to accelerate India’s development whilst also exceeding its climate goals. She is also the Vice President of Bombay Natural History Society, one of the largest non-governmental organisations in India engaged in conservation and biodiversity research, and is also a member of the Advisory Board of IUCN nature-based recovery initiatives. Before this, Shloka co-founded and was the managing partner of Sankhya, a women’s impact fund, with the main focus being on sustainability. She was also into journalism for more than a decade with BBC in London and a news anchor with NDTV and a principal correspondent with Forbes in Mumbai.

She shares what a normal day for her looks like since she is involved with so many initiatives and how she maintains a healthy work-life balance. Shloka explains the importance of partnerships, her experiences, and a few anecdotes. She shares how the partners played a very important role in building the institution and how that helped a lot in achieving most of what they are trying to do. She tells us how ICC was built to leverage philanthropy and to establish bold and ambitious climate change in India. During this course a lot of time was spent on figuring out climate solutions and inefficiencies in the system, they also realised that concerning the current climate ecosystem, there was a lack of adequate data research and adequate policies that were needed to drive the climate action to implement the cause. They also realised that everyone was doing their own thing, from the government to businesses and philanthropy and civil societies’ involvement was the bare minimum.

Their main aim after this was to bring all of these stakeholders under one platform to drive strategic action towards addressing climate change in India. These were very crucial times for them and that is when partnerships played a vital role in helping to make these decisions without compensating the vision that they wanted to create.

Shloka further shared how working with many people allows them to accumulate more opinions whether good or bad which helps in making decisions keeping all ideas in mind. Through this, you also find out people’s real intentions on whether they are the right partners with the right spirit and if their mission is aligned with yours. She also believes that the key to a successful partnership is trust and commitment. She uses COVID as an example and how that suddenly hit us and everything changed for a lot of people after that. She explains how if you do not have a solid foundation of trust and support from your partners, everything can come crashing down with just a blink of an eye.

She shares her experience doing a collaboration with Sesame Street that directly speaks to children and also believes that they are more vulnerable to the effects of air quality. The idea of this collaboration was not only to hear their voices but to also achieve the main mission. She also shares how this allowed them to hear opinions from really young children on how air quality can be improved.

This is an excellent discussion for those looking to learn more about building partnerships. You can head to their website if you’re looking to find more information, and you can stay updated by subscribing to the newsletter which is on the website. Shloka’s encouragement to the listeners is to never give up, we are all citizens with an active vote and we should use that power responsibly.

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