The very first Millennium Lecture for 2024 was delivered by Dr Julia Marton-Lefèvre, former Director General of IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), on Friday February 2 at M S Swaminathan Research Foundation in Chennai. The Lecture saw active participation from audiences in person and online; more than 80 attended.
The Millennium Lecture series at MSSRF began in the year 2000, to provide an opportunity to listen to renowned speakers of international repute. While we host several seminars as part of our effort to share internal and external knowledge, the Millennium Lectures is a special series.
Dr Julia spoke on the topic ‘System Leadership leading to Systems Change and Systemic Solutions’ focusing on how to tackle the root causes of problems with holistic solutions that can bring about lasting change throughout an entire system.
“System leadership, driving systems change, and implementing systemic solutions form a dynamic triad crucial for addressing complex challenges,” she explained, adding that system leaders play a pivotal role. Dr Julia detailed that ‘System Leaders’ navigate interconnected systems, fostering collaboration, and identifying key leverage points along the system.
Talking about ‘Systems Change’, she said that it is the transformative core that goes beyond surface-level fixes. “These changes are aimed at reshaping the fundamental dynamics of a system.” Complementing this is the ‘Systemic Solutions’ that offer comprehensive strategies to address root causes rather than the symptoms.
“Together, these concepts provide a holistic framework,” reflected Dr Julia, “emphasising collaboration, strategic intervention, and sustained improvements.” She added that an integrated approach is essential for leaders seeking impactful and lasting change in the face of intricate and interconnected societal challenges. Emphasising on stronger collaborations, she spoke about adaptability, and a deep understanding of the dynamics within the system for success
M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) established in 1988 is a not-for-profit trust. MSSRF was envisioned and founded by Professor M S Swaminathan, agriculture scientist with proceeds from the First World Food Prize that he received in 1987.