International Spotlight: Prerana Tirodkar, Masters in Sustainability Management
Which program/department are you in?
Masters in Sustainability Management.
What is your primary area of study or research?
Which country (or countries) do you come from?
How long have you been here?
It has been less than a month from arrival in the U.S. for my course.
Is there anything you’d like to share about your research or projects?
The COVID-19 pandemic that upended nearly every aspect of our lives also helped me find my purpose journey. While sustainability, green growth and numerous jargons in the periphery have now become known, rarely do we move beyond advocacy. If there’s anything that the past few months of living amidst adversity has helped me realise is the power of collective action.
We as humans innately want to do good and lead a life driven by purpose. However, how many of us truly believe that “we” can be the solution, tackle inequality, accelerate climate action and pass on a better world to our children? Rarely do we realize that we are part of the system we often blame for delayed action.
As I started studying this space at the intersection of human behaviour, communication and sustainability I realized that the ever widening intention-action gap is because of 4 key factors - data-based understanding of the problem, poor accessibility to the solutions, practicality of adopting the solutions and a desire to shift behavior.
To test my understanding of the problem, I along with my colleagues and fellow crusaders, started an initiative called - “The Green Gen Project.” It’s an effort to simplify the understanding of sustainability and make responsibility behavior desirable to all. In order to do so we started by leveraging our existing digital habits and built content that further dissected sustainability into byte-sized information in the form of reels and brought in existing innovations via conversations in the form of podcasts.
Through the journey at Columbia that awaits, I hope to be able to build a platform where we gamify green growth and collectively move beyond advocacy.
What do you like to do (hobbies, etc)?
Most recently, I’ve started learning more about the aviation industry. I am currently discovering a few alternatives around the city that could help me learn how to fly as a sport.
What do you like best about living in the U.S.?
It’s my first time venturing out of the comfort of what I’ve known for the past 25 years, the best part about this transition is an opportunity to reinvent and rediscover myself as an individual.
What is the hardest thing about living here?
Not having my family around.
What do you know now that you wish you knew before coming here?
It takes an army of kind hearted people to help you build your dream. While we might get busy hopping onto the next milestone it’s important, we take time out to pause and acknowledge them, acknowledge the small gestures, sacrifices, prayers, well wishes. Nothing was ever done and can ever be done alone!
Are you (or do you know) an international student, scholar, or alumni?
We’re looking to spotlight stories of academic or professional work, leadership, or personal adjustment to life at Columbia and NY in particular and the U.S. in general.
Submit our nomination form and we'll contact you with the next steps!