WGF’s Sustainability Council’s mission is to enhance rural economy through co-creating and advancing rural enterprises, using technology innovations and scientific processes, sharing best practices and developing techniques to foster trade and employment for rural populations.

Improving the Lives in Rural India by Technology-enabled Solutions

Vision & Mission

Council Framework

  • S&T Innovations for Rural Applications
  • Training and Skill Development
  • Co-Creating successful Rural Enterprises
  • Scaling to other parts of the country, and thereafter globally

Leaders

Dr. Raghavan Ramanan

Dr. “Ram” Raghavan Ramanan is the Chairman of the Sustainability Council and the Global Co-convenor of WGF Chapters.

Dr. Ram, Co-Founder, Stealth Start-up, is a Fulbright Leadership Scholar, a globally recognized expert in Sustainability, ESG and CSR through experience garnered over four decades in corporate (ExxonMobil), consulting (AECOM, ICF and Trinity), and academic environments (Illinois Institute of Technology, Desert Research Institute and Indian Institute of Technology). He is an Environmental Leadership Fulbright Fellow (US Department of State) and a Professional Engineer in Texas, UK, and India. He serves as a Board Member and the Chair of the Education Council of Air & Waste Management Association International (Founded 1907).

  • Dr. Ram has presented and published scientific and management papers worldwide. His book, “Introduction to Sustainability Analytics”, CRC Press 2018, one of the first on the subject, provides leaders insight into the value of stakeholder primacy and the process of identifying sustainability metrics that are material and relevant to their establishment. His prior book (co-authored), “Environmental Ethics and Sustainability”, CRC Press 2013 promotes ethics as the 4th bottom line of sustainability.
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Dr. Ram is PhD, Env. Sc. (Engineering), University of Texas at Dallas, Texas, USA, 1989; MBA, Master of Business Administration (Executive), McCombs School of Business, The University of Texas at Austin, Texas, USA, 2003; MS in Chemical Engineering, Bombay University, University Department of Chemical Technology, Bombay University, Bombay, India; B. Tech. (Honors) in Chemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India.

Gaurav Kumar

Mr. Gaurav Kumar is a senior business executive at bp. bp is one of the largest and oldest energy companies globally with a purpose of reimagining energy for people and planet. Gaurav has lived and worked in 3 continents and has 17 years of experience across financial services, energy, and commodities businesses worldwide. In addition to WHEELS, Gaurav also volunteers for University of Chicago Space Network, bp STEM program, and CFA Society of Chicago. Gaurav lives with his wife and daughter in Chicago.

Shubhi Sachan

Shubhi Sachan, founder of the Material Library of India, is a materials expert. She holds a bachelor’s degree in textiles and a master’s degree in Material Futures from Central Saint Martin’s in London, U.K. Shubhi has initiated several thought-provoking projects, including PUNĀH, Cancelled Plans, Life of a Bullet, Traditional Futures, and Landless, which tackle various challenges posed by climate change and environmental sustainability. Before this, she worked as a surface designer for renowned brands like Givenchy, Balmain, Alexander McQueen, and Ralph Lauren.

  • Shubhi embarked on her sustainability journey after spending six years in the fashion/textile industry, where she recognized the disparity between material manufacturing and the presentation of finished products. This disconnect troubled her, prompting her to focus on repurposing post-industrial and agricultural waste. Her current work aims to propose alternative uses for materials and challenge conventional waste disposal methods, advocating against landfills or incineration.
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  • Shubhi’s contributions have garnered recognition from the Italian Fashion Council in 2023 under the Climate Action Category and from the Ministry of Textiles for her impact on textile waste in India. She has also presented at the G20 summit during India’s presidency. Additionally, Shubhi was a TEDx Speaker in 2018, a Lexus Design Award Finalist in 2018, and a recipient of the CII Green Co. Best Practices Award in 2016. She has been invited to showcase her work at prestigious platforms such as Lakme Fashion Week in Mumbai (2017), Ambiente Talents at Messe Frankfurt (2017), London Design Week (2014-2016), Dutch Design Week (2015 & 2020), and the Roche Bobois Student Design Competition in Paris (2013).

Dr. Madhuvanti Kale

Dr. Madhuvanti Kale has over 15 years of industry and academic experience in food science in the US and Europe. A scientist by training, her focus area has been sustainable food systems.  Now leading environment sustainability programs at United Way of Hyderabad, she is a champion of technology-driven innovation in the development sector. She drives programs related to solid waste management, afforestation & biodiversity, renewable energy and sustainable agriculture. She also supports program design for maternal and child health, specifically focusing on childhood malnutrition.

She holds a Bachelor’s degree in food engineering from the Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai, and a Doctorate in Food Science from Purdue University.  

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