29th June 2015: Development With Dignity and The Limits of Growth by Shahid Khan

Indus Earth Trust

Come along to Leith Beer Company, put your feet up and listen to Shahid share his passion about development


Title of talk:

Development With Dignity and The Limits of Growth

What would like to talk about:

  • The “Developing World’s” understanding of Sustainable Development in the field.
  • Special emphasis on Pakistan.
  • The effect Environment and the Changing Climate has on Development.
  • Are there limits to continuous Growth as per the Economics of today.
  • Is there an alternative.


A few paragraphs on your subject:

Indus Earth Trust is a Not for profit Organisation (NPO) established by me in 2000. It is apparent, to me, in the course of our work, that the continuous system of AID, in whatever form, given by the developed world to the developing world is not quite right. Despite the assurances that poverty is reducing, I am not convinced that this is the right long term sustainable approach. It can be improved, it has to be improved if we are convinced that disparity between those who have and those who do not, is to be reduced.
But a paradigm shift is needed in attitude by the donor and recipient. The notion of giving as charity and acceptance of that charity has to be removed from the dictionary. Allow someone to earn their own income, open up trade for instance. Provide skill development to those who have none, provide basic facilities such as water, sanitation and alternative energy sources. This can change entire communities. It has been done. There is proof.

Alla Rakhi – A short film by Samina Quraeshi from Indus Earth Trust on Vimeo.
And as Cat Stevens once sang “where do the children play, if you go on building higher and higher”. This insatiable appetite for limitless growth will bring the planet to standstill for humans and other living things. The planet will survive but homo sapiens will slowly but surely disappear. This whole question of growth at all costs has to stop. Again it can be done and is being done.

A few paragraphs about you:

I went to school in Karachi Pakistan. Obtained a diploma in Environmental design and qualified as an architect in the UK. Lived in Edinburgh for 20 years with a 3 year stint in Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi working on Rural Development.
Established by architectural practise in Karachi 1992 and opened the NPO in 2000. I am trained in Earth Building Techniques both in France and Japan, using indigenous systems of earth quake resistant design. The NPO – Indus Earth Trust – has a policy called Integrated Development, where it applies this principal to nearly 500 villages with an outreach of 350,000 people. I have provided my consultancy in Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Yemen and South Africa, in Alternative Energy and Livelihood Options.

What free internet knowledge resources would you recommend to others if they wish to explore your chosen theme further?

www.coursera.org/course/susdev: Sustainable development; “The Age of Sustainable Development” gives students an understanding of the key challenges and pathways to sustainable development – that is, economic development that is also socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable. Tutor: Jeffrey Sachs.

What are your weblinks?

Website – www.indusearthtrust.org
Facebook – Indus Earth Trust.

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