DESTA Research LLP is a firm dedicated to providing research and consulting services for sustainable development using systems thinking and system dynamics.
DESTA Stands for Developing Ecosystems for Systemic Transformation and Adaptation. It is also a word in Amharic having the meanings joy and happiness.
Developing: This is different from creation through a centralized process or system. We are only facilitators with a mandate to create a suitable environment which can enable change.
Ecosystems: This goes beyond natural environment or natural systems. Human networks, society, institutional arrangements, community and commercial ecosystems are all part of it.
Systemic: Whereby an action is intended to have positive impact or influence on the entire system.
Transformation: This is akin to metamorphosis. The aim is to enable systems to evolve and come out of inertia.
Adaptation : This is different from coping or managing to survive under adverse conditions. It means to be able to thrive, prosper under a changing environment through proactive planning, foresight based strategy development and coordinated actions driven by a common goal.
The institutional model of DESTA is that of an ecosystem. DESTA aims to expand its work by developing networks (people, teams, organizations) which function as an ecosystem of systems thinkers and change makers engaged through coordinated efforts to bring about long term systemic changes.
To create an ecosystem which can enable systemic transformation and adaptation towards the most pressing social-ecological-economic challenges of our time.
1. To provide systemic insights on complex problems, through research and policy testing, for effective decision making
2. To co-develop insight-building tools to facilitate development of a shared vision for sustainability and sustainable development
3. To enable development of the field of systems thinking and system dynamics in India through action research, teaching, training and capacity building
4. To build a collaborative network for developing systemic responses to the social-ecological-economic challenges of our time
We wish to scale up in networks.
We believe models are useful when people converse through them.
We see models as tools for testing assumptions.
We view sustainability beyond an anthropocentric lens.
Mihir is an interdisciplinary researcher working on sustainability and climate change issues with an aim to develop systemic solutions. His expertise is in Systems Thinking, System Dynamics Modeling, Group Model Building, Climate Change Adaptation and Natural Resource Management. Mihir began his career in banking and stock markets, and moved into the world of sustainability research in 2009. He worked in the Climate Change Adaptation Programme of Watershed Organisation Trust, Pune, before moving to TERI, New Delhi. Mihir did his BCom from MS University, Vadodara and Post-Graduation in Finance from SCMLD. Currently he is a visiting faculty for systems thinking at Tata Institute for Social Sciences Hyderabad, Indian School of Development Management, Noida, School for International Training, Jaipur, India Leaders for Social Sector and India Fellows, Delhi. He has written book chapters, journal papers and presented his work in several conferences worldwide. More about his work could be found at https://mihirsmusings.wordpress.com/
Kabir graduated in Physics from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi and completed a dual Master’s in Nuclear Physics and Engineering from the University of Paris and University of Delhi in 2013. He worked at the Atomic Energy Commission in France on simulation modelling before shifting focus to modelling energy, environment and sustainable development. He has held research and consulting positions with The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), Ashoka Trust for Research on Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, and field-research positions with Centre for Policy Research (CPR), American India Foundation and Mazdoor Kissan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS). He has applied systems thinking and system dynamics simulation modelling to systems ranging from urban systems to energy systems to coupled social-ecological systems.