Prominent champion for sustainability from Dubai visits LUSEM

Published: 2023-03-30

During the latest installment of "How to be a Change Maker" we explore the correlation between the lighthouse mindset and catalytic leadership in a presentation by Dr. Aishwarya Joshi, founder of the Lighthouse Cohort. The presentation was followed by commentary and in-depth questions by Senior Lecturer and academically responsible for the Change Maker Future Track, Stein Kleppestø.

Additional questions from Senior Lecturer Stein Kleppestø to agent of change Dr. Aishwarya Joshi:

Stein: Typically, sustainable systemic effects are hard to “validate” (as in verifying that they are lasting/have ripple effects). How do you assess the effects of the projects?
Dr. Aishwarya Joshi: Ideally validation should come across as self-explanatory. It is time-consuming but weaving informal interventions at realistic intervals within the project design whilst skillfully guiding the “beneficiaries” to drive the assessment process can add momentum. So far, the game changing approach within the project cohorts has been nurturing an “experiential understanding” of the road ahead for the sustainability of all parties involved. Subsequently, in majority of the cases, the lasting impact is validated effortlessly.

S: In highly complex environments, it is hard to know what initiatives you engage in (with a good cost/benefit). How do you go about this?
Dr. A.J.: In principle, an initiative/cause that can smoothly benefit from your existing strength, resources, human skills and replicated easily is recommended. Also, making invisible resources visible, making the strong stronger and fostering plural leadership to resolve specific challenges are opportunities often overlooked while structuring a cost-effective initiative within complex scenarios.

Stein: It is sometimes argued that the way to approach wicked problems is to involve many stakeholders and empower them (or if you like, let go of centralized power). What is your thinking on this in your projects?
Dr. A.J.: We believe there is no two – that is the truth and a success factor of our projects, disrupting the notion of one group / person trying to save the other. Our cohort approach is to make any number of stakeholders at any level engage deeply in the ideology that the “wicked problem” will always have the central power to disrupt their own existence unless the “Required” action is attained. Our approach has been replicated successfully across borders and organizations, allowing more and more stakeholders not just to engage but move forward with a sense of ownership to create change.

Video: See the talk in full

How to be a Change Maker talks

This video is part of a series for inspiring change, as inspiration is one of the four building stones that make up the Change Maker Future Track. 

Change Makers who has inspired us so far:

  • Oatly's John Schoolcraft on fearless leadership
  • Meta on social impact!
  • Building Resilience Top-down and Bottom-up
  • Creating positive change in society, the IKEA business way
  • Inner Development Goals

Go to the LUSEM youtube to see all earlier talks (youtube)


Martina Oxling 
Project manager
Phone: +46 70 914 88 68

Martina Oxling