Championing Change Through Collective Resilience-Building: Insights from the EthicalX: Climate & Innovation Hub

May 2, 2024

On April 9th, 2024, the event "Championing Change Through Collective Resilience-Building" took place at Cinnamon Grand Hotel, Colombo. Organized bySLYCAN Trust, this networking session aimed to foster collaboration and explore how entrepreneurship across various sectors could strengthen sustainability and resilience in Sri Lanka and beyond.

The event commenced with Mr. Dennis Mombauer, Director: Research & Knowledge Management at SLYCAN Trust, extending a warm welcome to all participants and setting the tone for the event by outlining its objectives, which include facilitating networking among stakeholders in sectors such as fashion, food, hospitality, and lifestyle, with a focus on  sustainability, risk management, ethical practices, and climate-friendliness.

Empowering sustainable entrepreneurship with EthicalX

Mr. Mombauer introduced the EthicalX: Climate & Innovation Hub dedicated to supporting ethical, sustainable, and climate-friendly entrepreneurship. Originating as an accelerator and incubator initiative, EthicalX has evolved into an islandwide initiative with three regional hubs outside Colombo. Through capacity-building, improving access to technical resources, and supporting entrepreneurs to align their enterprises with climate policy frameworks, EthicalX aims to foster innovation and resilience among its cohort members and promote sustainable and climate-friendly business practices.

Insights from cohort members

Two inspiring entrepreneurs, Ms. Sajee Senevirathne of Mendes Ceylon and Ms. Randima of Ranbath Organics, shared their experiences as EthicalX cohort members. Mendes Ceylon, dedicated to empowering local artisans in traditional craftsmanship, highlighted successful collaborations with CLIMAFUGE and the importance of knowledge-sharing and networking opportunities. Ranbath Organics showcased its transition to vegan products, emphasizing quality and customer satisfaction amid challenges like market fluctuations and disruptions.

Resilience and enterprise risk management

A technical presentation on resilience and risk management in entrepreneurship underscored the imperative of effective risk assessments, analytics, and management planning in business operations. Entrepreneurs were advised to address a spectrum of risks, spanning from  production risks and financial uncertainties to environmental and social challenges. Through interactive group activities, participants delved into sector- specific risks within the domains of   hospitality, food, and fashion, igniting discussions on resilience strategies. These dialogues unearthed sector-specific challenges and opportunities from addressing supply chain vulnerabilities to navigating policy intricacies and market dynamics.  The event fostered collaborative problem-solving and knowledge exchange, emphasizing sustainability, inclusivity, and community engagement as pillars of EthicalX's commitment to nurturing impactful entrepreneurship grounded in ethical practices.

Closing thoughts: Towards a sustainable future

The event’s closing remarks delivered by Mr. Mombauer encapsulated the spirit of the event. "Championing Change Through Collective Resilience-Building" served as a beacon for collective action and strengthening Sri Lanka’s entrepreneurship ecosystem. The event's ethos—rooted in collaboration, innovation, and sustainability—echoes beyond Colombo and connects to both the global and the local level.

Stay tuned for more transformative activities and updates from SLYCAN Trust and EthicalX as we move towards mainstreaming ethical, sustainable, climate-friendly, and resilient business solutions 

SLYCAN Trust is a non-profit think-tank working on climate change, sustainable development, biodiversity and ecosystem conservation, animal welfare, and social justice, including gender and youth empowerment. Its work spans the national, regional, and global levels, from policy analysis and evidence-based research to implementation on the ground across Asia and Africa.

EthicalX: Climate & Innovation Hub is an initiative by SLYCAN Trust which supports ethical, sustainable, and climate-friendly entrepreneurship through activities related to capacity-building, provision of technical support and expertise, and raising seed funding with a special focus on vulnerable communities, women, and youth. EthicalX works towards building long-term climate resilience, sustainable development, and economic empowerment to scale up entrepreneurship development and support vulnerable communities, women and youth.

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About the Author
Aisha Wahab

Aisha Wahab serves as a communications consultant at SLYCAN Trust, where her dedication to effective communication aligns seamlessly with the organization's mission. Holding a Bachelor of Social Sciences with a major in Geography and Philosophy from The University of Hong Kong, Aisha brings a wealth of knowledge and a unique perspective to her role.Aisha's academic journey laid the foundation for her passion for addressing complex issues through the lens of geography and philosophy. She understands the power of communication as a catalyst for positive change, and her commitment to leveraging this power is evident in her work with SLYCAN Trust.In her capacity as a communications consultant, Aisha plays a crucial role in shaping the narrative and outreach strategies for SLYCAN Trust. She is dedicated to developing communication initiatives that resonate with diverse audiences and drive engagement. Learning from her previous role at a media house and environmental academic background, she believes that effective communication is not just about conveying information but also about fostering understanding and inspiring collective action for ethical, sustainable, and climate-friendly action!