About Us

The Premise

Urban spaces around the world are exploding at a rapid rate. By 2030, 60% of the global population is likely to be living in cities. Bengaluru is projected to be at the forefront of this growth – with 8.5% increase in economic output. Such high growth, though economically beneficial, has negative repercussions on human health and diversity of non-human creatures that inhabit the city.

What must we do to allow all creatures a life in dignity with access to clean water, proper waste management, healthy air to breath and move around freely? Along the lines of the 17 sustainable development goals formulated by the United Nations in September 2015, Bengaluru Sustainability Forum is a space for compelling discussions, fruitful knowledge exchange and budding collaborations with the idea to make Bengaluru a sustainable city.

Our Objective

The Bengaluru Sustainability Forum, BSF in short, is an inter-institutional collaborative initiative that aims to address issues relating to long-term sustainability of urban and peri-urban landscapes. Bengaluru Sustainability Forum focuses on  public goods and urban commons – including water, air and soil – amongst others.

The main objective of the Bengaluru Sustainability Forum  is to convene and disseminate knowledge on various aspects of sustainability in the urban landscape, with a focus on Bengaluru. The Forum aims to achieve this by encouraging conversation and collaboration across a broad range of stakeholders.

One of the approaches the Forum takes in facilitating exchange of knowledge is to host invitation based retreats on specific aspects of urban sustainability. These retreats are a platform to listen and learn about various perspectives and approaches from people of different educational and professional backgrounds on a defined topic in an informal setting. To know more about the retreats, please click here.

BSF offers a small grants program, which is open to participants of the retreats and their collaborators. This program  provides seed funding for projects on urban sustainability in Bengaluru. To know more about the Small Grants program, please click here.

Steering Committee Members

Jahnavi Phalkey

A filmmaker and historian of science and technology by training, Jahnavi Phalkey is the Founding Director of Science Gallery Bengaluru. Jahnavi has authored Atomic State: Big Science in Twentieth Century India and is director of the documentary film Cyclotron.

Mahesh Sankaran

Mahesh Sankaran is an ecologist whose research interests lie in understanding the impacts of global climatic changes on the structure, functioning and stability of ecosystems.

P. S. Narayan

P.S.Narayan is the Head  of Sustainability at Wipro Ltd and the Managing Trustee and Head of Wipro Foundation, the CSR arm of Wipro Ltd.

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Satyajit Mayor

Prof. Satyajit Mayor is an Indian biologist. He serves as the Director of the National Centre for Biological SciencesBangalore. Prof. Mayor is an M.Sc. in Chemistry from IIT Bombay, who later obtained his Ph.D. in Life Sciences from Rockefeller University, New York. He has worked in the Department of Pathology at Columbia University and has taught at the Woods Hole Microscopy Course.

Seema Mundoli

Seema Mundoli is a faculty at Azim Premji University. Her research focuses on the role of nature in Indian cities in addressing the challenges of environmental sustainability and social justice. Her recent co-authored books (with Harini Nagendra) include, “Cities and Canopies: Trees in Indian Cities” (Penguin India) and “So many leaves” (Pratham Books)

Tejal Kanitkar

Tejal is an Associate Professor in the School of Natural Sciences and Engineering at the National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bengaluru. She has worked in the area of Energy and Climate Change for the last 15 years. She has a B.Tech in Mechanical Engineering from Mumbai University, A Master’s in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a Ph.D. from the Department of Energy Science and Engineering, IIT-Bombay. Her work covers the broad areas of energy and emissions modelling, climate policy, and energy policy.

S Vishwanath

Vishwanath is a Civil Engineer and an Urban Planner. He is a Trustee with the Biome Environmental Trust (www.biometrust.org).

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Uma Ramakrishnan

Uma Ramakrishnan is an associate professor at NCBS interested in molecular ecology and conservation genetics. Her work involves using genetic and genomic data to make inferences about populations of endangered species, and suggest measures to avoid extinction. She also investigates the ecological and evolutionary contexts of emerging infectious disease.  She is passionate about science communication and science capacity building.


Manasi Pingle

Manasi Pingle is a filmmaker by training. After graduating from the Xaviers Institute of Communications, she worked in the television and film industry in Mumbai. She has directed and produced 2 documentaries on work done by peoples’ movements. As a part of BSF she looks forward to working towards just, equitable and sustainable urban development.

Ameya Neelam

Ameya Neelam is a sustainability professional who previously worked at IIM Bangalore and Ashden India in New Delhi. She studied at the University of Arizona and her areas of interest are environmental policy, renewable energy and sustainable ecosystems. She believes that through BSF’s platform, urban sustainability will become more than just a possible idea.

Content Contribution: Vrushal Pendharkar
Illustrations: Sunaina Coelho, Babakiki