Night of Ideas 2020 : Theme “Being Alive”

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Date(s) - 30/01/2020
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Kala Chhaya amphitheater


The Night of Ideas is a yearly global event initiated by the French Institute: its goal is to celebrate the stream of ideas between countries, cultures, topics and generations. In 2020, the Night of Ideas will focus on the theme: Being alive. Guests from diverse backgrounds – intellectuals, researchers, artists – will gather to discuss the theme all across the five continents, from Dakar to Los Angeles, not to mention Brussels, Buenos Aires, Kathmandu, Paris… and Pune.

Being alive: at the heart of the Nuit des Idées 2020 is the question of ecological balance and humanity’s relationship with the world and other species. In Pune, the Night of Ideas, will focus on Climate change and inequalities.

Climate change and environmental degradation are among the escalating threats to being alive – not just for humans but to all other life on this planet. Human intervention is causing climate change. Yet, it is neither caused by everyone equally, nor are its impacts experienced equally: in fact, these global problems both arise from as well as exacerbate existing inequalities.

The panellists of the discussion, organised by the Alliance française de Pune, and moderated by Dr. Chirag Dhara, will discuss  several of the inequalities that render climate change such a complex problem: inequalities between and within countries, between cities and the hinterlands, between genders, between generations, and between humans and other life on the planet. Understanding and acting on these inequalities will be a key determinant of the success or failure of the climate justice movements sweeping the planet.

Panel discussion moderated by Dr.Chirag Dhara.

Speakers :

Ms. Sanskriti Menon

Ms. Sanyogita Sarin

Dr. Aseem Shrivastava

Dr. Ashok Sreenivas


Chirag Dhara is a physicist and climate scientist, and works at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology in Pune. He started his academic career as a theoretical physicist and did his PhD at the Institute of Photonic Sciences in Barcelona, Spain. He subsequently switched his research focus to the climate sciences with a second PhD at the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry in Germany. His larger concerns are climate change impacts, environmental protection and climate justice. He also works towards furthering education and awareness of climate change and, to this end, has written in the media, delivers lectures at public forums and universities, and is involved with the Fridays for Future movement.


Ms. Sanskriti Menon is Senior Programme Director, Urban Programmes, at Centre for Environment Education (CEE), and is based in Pune. She leads a team of about 30 for school-based environmental education, biodiversity, urban transportation, waste management, and citizens’ participation. She has been Convenor of the Board of Studies of Environment Education of the Maharashtra HSC Board from 2006 to 2018. Sanskriti has an MSc in Museum Studies, an MA in Sustainable Development, and is conducting research in participatory democracy.


Ms. Sanyogita Sarin is studying in the 11th grade at The Orbis School. Her passion for environmental protection has been a part of her life since a very young age.  This interest ultimately gave her the opportunity to go to Sweden this year as part of a camp, organised by IVL- Swedish Environmental Institute, wherein she learnt about what Sweden is doing to become a pioneer in environmental sustainability. Being her school’s vice-captain for the year, she has also taken the opportunity to raise awareness about environmental conservation in her school. She is also an avid debater and singer, and have won awards in many competitions for the same.

Dr. Aseem Shrivastava is a Delhi-based writer, teacher and ecological thinker. He holds a Phd in Economics from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He currently teaches two different courses on Ecosophy every year at Ashoka University. He has taught at universities in India and the US. He also taught philosophy at Nordic College, Norway (2001-05). Since 2005, he has been working independently, researching, writing and lecturing nationally and internationally on issues associated with globalization and its multiple ecological and other impacts. He is the author (with Ashish Kothari) of the books Churning the Earth: The Making of Global India (Penguin Viking, New Delhi, 2012), and Prithvi Manthan (Rajkamal Prakashan, New Delhi, 2016) which offer critiques of, and alternatives to, India’s development strategy since 1947.

Dr. Ashok Sreenivas is a Senior Fellow at Prayas (Energy Group) who works on energy policy research and advocacy. His current areas of interest include the coal-thermal sector, cooking energy access and energy modelling. He has also worked in the transport and oil-gas sectors in the past. He has contributed to many reports, papers and books, and engaged in policy related issues as part of his work.



Thursday, 30th of January – 7 pm

Kalachhaya Cultural Center – Outdoor amphitheater

Alliance française de Pune

​ 270-D, Patrakar Nagar Road, Off Senapati Bapat Road, Pune- 411 016 INDIA 



Free event, open for all.


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