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Ishan: From a Financial Trader to an Ecologist

Learning journeys


Posted on November 13, 2019



“At the core, it [Swadharma] helped me realise the connectedness between the inner-outer worlds, and how harmony within allows for greater work to flourish out/externally. I see my current work as an ecologist as an extension of the same.”
 
Before coming to Swadharma, was working at a proprietary trading firm named Futures First where he traded financial instruments like fixed income interest rates on international exchanges in Brazil and Canada. His work at Futures First allowed him to learn a lot about himself, develop his soft skills to complement his working skills, and understand how professional environments work. He truly hadn't ever felt inclined to a role in the finance industry but landed in one as his education and skills suited the role, but after having lived the corporate life for a little over 2 years, he decided to venture out to spaces that connected with his heart.
 
When he left the comfort and safety of a settled job in late-2016, the idea was to explore and dive into his passions while also making oneself uncomfortable if need be. His attempts to know more about oneself and how to shape a holistic life led him to join the Swadharma programme. This was his gateway into understanding, reflecting and realising a lot of unlocked potential within him. The inner journey through the 5 weeks of the programme helped him to see different perspectives about himself and the environment around, while also giving him the courage to stay with these thoughts and intentions with purpose. 
 
“Personally, I felt like a continued immersion into such a conducive environment for growth while honing my skills would be the way to go, and so I lived in Auroville for 11 months. At the core, it helped me realise the connectedness between the inner-outer worlds, and how harmony within allows for greater work to flourish out/externally. I see my current work as an ecologist as an extension of the same. We need to restore love and respect for the gift of life and this planet that we have. It is my commitment to work towards solving this using the space of environment conservation as my canvas.”, says Ishan.
 
His work in the area of sustainability over close to 2 years has given him a lot of personal grounding as well as professional insight into what are the challenges to manifesting a fair, equitable and just world. For the greatest part, he has been part of a holistic waste management company based in Bangalore (saahaszerowaste.com), where he has had a chance to develop end-to-end value chains (segregation at source to managing onsite to transporting to recycling/biogas with partners) for Bulk waste Generators (BGs) to ensure maximum resource recovery from waste. There has been a huge underlying element of social and environmental impact; he managed about 45 ground staff who were given dignified livelihoods while working with them, and at the same time managed through his portfolio about 10 Tonnes of waste per day diverting it away from landfills or unauthorized dumping sites. Outside of his regular work, he has been nurturing a climate movement (extinctionrebellion.in) in India that aims at bringing the existential threat of the climate crisis into mainstream conversation and then necessitating action through systemic interventions, thus has great societal impact on the horizon. The climate movement and environmental activism associated with it is about reimagining a world that relies not on being extractive depleting our natural reserves, but on how nurturing our planet while cultivating communities of wellbeing can spark regenerative ecosystems that allow even our future generations to thrive on a healthy planet.


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