Meaningful collaboration with TATA Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai

On 10th January 2023 Voluntās and the Center for Applied Meaningfulness took a giant stride towards establishing meaningful academic collaborations in India when signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Tata Institute of Social Sciences – Asia’s oldest school for professional social work.

Established in 1936, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) has a rich legacy of social research. It has contributed continually towards creating an ecologically sustainable and just society by catering to the emerging needs of India. TISS offers some of the most contemporary and socially relevant study programs in social sciences and applied human service professions.

With a special emphasis on marginalized and vulnerable groups, the diverse social research areas of institute include – climate change and action, sustainability and renewable energy, disability and access, mental health, gender studies, migrants and migration, human trafficking, and disaster risk management. 

Voluntas and TISS recognize each other’s common interest in exploring the relationship between Sustainability and Meaningfulness and the potential implications this may have on current ESG reporting frameworks

Whilst there exists an abundance of well-defined indicators to measure and track company efforts in the realm of “Environment” and “Governance”, what constitutes social impact can be given even more attention.

Current dimensions such as customer satisfaction, labor standards, safety conditions are often measured by prescribed indicators which only partially captures the lived experience of company beneficiaries, employees, and local communities. As such, TISS and Voluntas are committed to explore a more inclusive framework to capture the meaning organizations can generate for their (1) employees (2) local communities (3) city and (4) customers and suppliers.

The MoU rests on three main pillars

This will be done through jointly drafting whitepapers supported by TISS students’ urban and rural fieldwork as well as the preparation and teaching of ESG reporting courses directed towards companies and municipalities in Maharashtra.

The partnership also includes internship opportunities for TISS master students at Voluntas’ Mumbai office.

Voluntas is very proud to have entered an academic partnership with such an esteemed academic institution and look forward to working alongside the Labour Market Research Facility and Centre for Climate Change and Sustainability over the next three years.

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