Special Lecture: Environmental and Social Entrepreneurship for Sustainable Development

September 20, 2016

Mr. Olivier Kayser, Managing Director at HYSTRA and Founder, Ashoka, Paris (detailed profile below), delivered a lecture titled, “Environmental and Social Entrepreneurship for Sustainable Development: From Niche Social Innovation to Global transformations” in the SEES Special Lecture Series on September 15, 2016 at Ajatshatru Residential Hall. 

The objective of the lecture was to showcase how social entrepreneurship can help in sustainable development. Drawing examples from his rich experience Mr. Kayser explained how one can change the social and economic conditions of the society without posing any threat to the environment and how a little effort has started a chain of change in the favor of the environment as well as of the society. He also related the role of an environmentalist with the role of social entrepreneur .The Lecture was followed by a question answer round where among several other questions students also asked questions about the problems that a social entrepreneur faces.

Mr. Olivier Kayser, speaking at Nalanda University

Mr. Olivier Kayser, Managing Director at HYSTRA and Founder, Ashoka, Paris delivering a lecture in the SEES Special Lecture series

Bio-Sketch of Mr. Olivier Kayser

In 2003, after 18 years with McKinsey where he was a senior partner, Olivier Kayser founded the French and later British branch of Ashoka, a leading NGO focusing on alleviating poverty through an entrepreneurship spirit. Coining the term Social entrepreneurs Ashoka’s mission is to facilitate the implementation of innovative social solutions to problems of the ‘Base of the Pyramid’ by nurturing the growth of highly talented and resilient people.

In 2009, Olivier founded a strategic consulting firm, Hystra, focusing on breaching the gap between social entrepreneurs and corporation, out of the realization that while thousands of social entrepreneurs have designed and tested solutions that work locally, only a handful of them have reached scale, which may translate into “the social innovation lab is full, but the globalization factory remains empty”. Hystra’s mission is to help these innovations reach scale.

His thoughts and experience have been compiled in a recent publication, co-authored with Ashoka, Scaling Up Business Solutions to Social Problems (Palgrave McMillan, 2015). This book draws on Hystra’s consulting work supporting over 40 social businesses on their marketing and growth strategies, as well as helping a dozen large multinationals launch and grow inclusive businesses.

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