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Sapthagiri Chapalapalli

Head, Tata Consultancy Services - Europe

We are all too aware of the scale of the sustainability effort that lies before us. Not only do we need to reduce emissions and pollution, decouple economic growth from resource consumption, and halt and reverse rising global temperatures but an estimated 50% of the technologies we need to solve these challenges still need to be invented. To do the extraordinary, we not only need new ideas but also the drive to turn them into action.

Working together to create positive and purpose-led change is central to what we do here at TCS. We believe in engaging with ecosystems across communities to build a cohesive approach towards innovation for sustainable enterprise. Technology will serve as the unifying fabric in this collaborative journey; and I believe Europe’s green digital transition strategy will come to define our collective effort to build a sustainable future. As we are the last generation for whom climate action is a choice, it is vital we also both listen to and foster emerging talent across the continent in this effort.

Our Europe-wide Sustainathon will do just this. This unique competition will set out to develop solutions that address our most pressing environmental issues and then provide the collaborative resources to make them a reality.

We’re calling for university students and young professionals with a passion for problem solving to come and work with us and our wider network of academic and business partners. This is your chance to see your idea become a reality as part of our seven month incubation programme at TCS Pace Port™ Amsterdam.

Fast experimentation

We’re setting out to create a platform for great ideas to be heard, examined, and quickly developed.

We want you to imagine your vision for a more sustainable Europe mapped out with experts. Think about how quickly your ideas could become real, given unique access to resources and as your team collaborates with our ecosystem, bringing together skills from academia, industry, finance, and government.

Advanced digital technologies can help unlock solutions to the hidden sustainability challenges we all encounter in our day-to-day lives, and we plan on using our global reach to empower young minds to create, develop and execute their innovative ideas.

For this competition, we’ve focused on UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 12 and worked with our wider network to create five critical challenges — eliminating pharmaceutical waste, fostering more sustainable online shopping habits, cutting down everyday water waste, filtering microplastics out of food and water supplies, and stimulating pollinator restoration and habitat protection. Our Pace™ team have outlined problem statements to each of these for our competitors to set out to solve.

Making ideas real

We’d love you to make a difference in our journey towards shaping a better world. Already open for registration, a three-day hackathon event will take place in February and a panel of judges from across TCS and our wider partner network will select winners to have their ideas incubated at our innovation hub for Europe. Winners will then have an opportunity to present their concepts at a flagship event in November.

A greenfield for driving transformations and making rapid digital progress, TCS Pace Port™ Amsterdam will enable the winners to bring their ideas to life, by combining cutting-edge innovation with the Tata Group’s network and the knowledge of Europe’s biggest tech companies.

This Sustainathon brings together TCS’ holistic vision for the future, which is based on problem solving and fostering long-term sustainability through better technology, efficiency, and ideas. It’s also aligned with the European Green Deal, the EU’s strategy for growth and a sustainable economy, where no person or place is left behind.

We want to drive a better future for our planet and for every stakeholder. That’s why we’re committed to co-creating solutions and incorporating ideas from the brightest, emerging minds, so whether you are studying, or starting your career, or have teams within your organization or network you can share the challenges with, this is an opportunity for everyone to make a positive impact.

This blog will be updated regularly throughout the ideation and incubation period of the European Sustainathon.

So, what are you waiting for? Join the conversation and help shape the future!

About the author

Sapthagiri Chapalapalli
With over 25 years at TCS, Saptha—as he is known—has worked across its global operations in regions such as India, Europe, and North America. During his time in Europe, Saptha spearheaded TCS’ evolution into a growth and transformation partner to organisations across the continent while bringing digital strategy to the forefront of the sustainability agenda. Saptha holds a Bachelor of Business Management, Computer Applications in Business from the Gandhi Institute of Technology & Management (GITAM) University, and an MBA from the T. A. Pai Management Institute. He currently resides in Germany.
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