June 22, 2019
NEW DELHI – Enactus IIT Delhi, WeGO’s newest institutional member, has carried out its first ever international event with the support of WeGO.
The Clean Air Summit 2019, powered by WeGO and French auto supplier Valeo, was organized on the initiative of the student organization Enactus on the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) campus in New Delhi. The one-day event packed 26 speakers into nine sessions for around 180 attendees from the academia, national and local governments, and private sector. Keynote speeches by senior diplomats from Malawi and Iran made a call for action against climate change in both the developed and developing world.
Over the course of the day, panelists looked at the drivers of poor air quality in the region and debated ways to address the issue through smart tech in the face of sociocultural, political, and economic challenges. WeGO’s Program Director shared the stage with the Head of India’s School of Planning and Architecture (SPA) for the session “Why Smart Cities are Smarter,” to discuss the indicators of smartness for cities, stress the importance of citizen participation, and introduce WeGO’s contribution in empowering young entrepreneurs to transform cities with its partners such as Enactus IIT Delhi and through joint programs such as Citypreneurs.
Enactus IIT Delhi, which joined WeGO as a “friendship member” in June, revealed its newest product cow dung logs for ceremonial rites at traditional funerals. The initiative seeks to counteract problems to air quality caused by deforestation from the cutting of 16.4 million trees and by emissions from the burning of wood logs in 8.2 million cremations every year across India. As many as 800 cow dung logs—which are more readily accepted than other alternatives, for religious reasons—are being manufactured a day and sold to crematoriums, and the initiative is being scaled abroad to countries including Nepal. Companies and start-ups also showcased their innovative products such as nasal filters, purifying air conditioners, and others.
Students from Enactus IIT Delhi, whose chapter has close to 60 members, promoted WeGO and its activities at a booth in the exhibition hall, handing out brochures to passersby and taking their business cards for further contact from WeGO. WeGO also met with several public and private-sector stakeholders on the sidelines of the event, all who expressed interest in establishing partnerships for smart sustainable cities.
The summit concluded with a competition between students with business plans to pitch smart and sustainable products they’ve developed, in which judges provided feedback to generate and increase revenue and attract investors.
WeGO continues to work with Enactus IIT Delhi to establish further opportunities for cooperation moving forward, both in India and around the world.