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Avid Learning Amplifies Voices of Cultural Sustainability and Environmental Innovation at COP28 UAE

As India wraps up its G20 Presidency, it has demonstrated steadfast dedication to sustainable energy solutions and climate action. Serving as the host nation, India has set an example, highlighting that the battle against climate change goes beyond borders and is a collaborative effort requiring both action and dialogue.

Avid Learning, the cultural philanthropy branch of the Essar Group, is honoured to take part in the global arena of COP28 UAE – the United Nations Climate Change Conference, scheduled from November 30 to December 12, 2023, at Expo City, Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. Established in 2009 by Mrs. Madhu Ruia, Avid Learning has emerged as a pioneering and leading platform for arts and cultural programming in the country. The COP28 conference will see the participation of heads of state, government officials, industry leaders, academics, and representatives from civil society organizations.

“At the prestigious COP28 UAE, Avid Learning proudly stands as a torchbearer for cultural sustainability and environmental innovation. Our commitment to harnessing the transformative power of arts and culture aligns with our vision for a greener future. We advocate for the fusion of culture and climate consciousness, amplifying marginalized voices while addressing urgent environmental concerns. At Avid Learning, we believe in the profound impact of art in fostering dialogue, raising awareness, and propelling action toward a more sustainable tomorrow,” says Mrs. Madhu Ruia, Chairperson of Avid Learning.

Avid Learning is presenting two programs in the Green Zone at COP28, aligning with the conference’s overarching themes of technology and innovation, inclusion, frontline communities, and finance. This special initiative represents the ongoing convergence of two of Avid Learning’s acclaimed programming series: Sustainability Now and Uncovering Urban Legacies.

“I strongly believe in the power of the arts to effect change. As global environmental concerns continue to escalate, we at AVID find it crucial to shed light on such issues and leverage our platform to educate and raise awareness through the arts. In this regard, we launched the Sustainability Now series in April 2020, a themed and targeted series of discussions aiming to transform audiences into change-makers, active catalysts, and custodians of a greener tomorrow. To date, we have featured over 60 change makers and speakers, curated more than 50 programs, and presented an illustrated children’s book,” says Asad Lalljee, CEO of Avid Learning and Curator of the Royal Opera House, Mumbai.

In 2021, Avid Learning introduced the Uncovering Urban Legacies series, a captivating exploration of small yet unique communities and their profound cultural legacies that have historically, economically, and socio-culturally shaped the vibrant trading port city of Bombay. This series has embarked on a journey to unravel the stories of eight diasporas and their intricate influence on the city’s landscape, with the most recent installment delving into the original inhabitants of the city, the Kolis.

Avid Learning has a longstanding relationship with the vibrant city of Dubai and looks forward to continuing its collaboration with the cultural hub. The journey began in 2012 and extended into 2013 when Avid Learning sponsored and supported The Hatch, a screening room and center created at the heart of the Art Dubai fair. The dedicated space featured a rolling program of artists’ talks, presentations, and film and video screenings. In 2018, Avid Learning facilitated a leading not-for-profit organization to support the opening night of Taj Express, an internationally acclaimed cultural program of Indian origin at the prestigious Dubai Opera House.

Event Details:

Program 1: Climate Warriors and Their Pathways to Sustainable Solutions

A dynamic conversation with dedicated climate champions and visionary entrepreneurs working for environmental solutions, including, Kaustubh Padakannaya, Co-Founder, Pyse, Ashay Bhave, Social Entrepreneur and Founder, Thaely, and Rewant Ruia, Director, Essar Group. The speakers will discuss the role of education in climate change mitigation, sustainable entrepreneurship, investment in green assets, the increasingly important transition to Green Energy, Green Steel, and expected future trends with the moderator Mairu Gupta, Founder & CEO, Antkind

When: Friday, 8th December, 2023 | 1:00 PM – 1:40 PM

Where: Terra Auditorium


Program 2: Koli Fishermen of Bombay: Guardians of Cultural Sustainability

A vibrant musical, celebrating the Kolis, the indigenous inhabitants of Bombay, and their profound connection with the sea. Set against the picturesque backdrop of Mumbai’s coastline, the unique performance pays a heartfelt tribute to the rich Koli culture and heritage. It also highlights their resilience in the face of the most urgent challenges like climate change, industrialization, and overfishing, while demonstrating their commitment to marine conservation. The production is led by Parag Tandel, Artist and Visual Auto-Ethnographer of Koli Community, Yuki Ellias,  Actor and Theatre & Film Producer, and  Tej Arun Chandiwale, Choreographer.

When: Friday, 8th December, 2023 | 5:30 PM – 6:15 PM

Where: Green Zone Stage

Celebrate the cultural richness of the Kolis and get inspired by visionary climate champions to contribute toward the collective efforts to address climate change and build a more sustainable future.

Register at: https://greenzonepass.cop28.com/

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