Skip to main content


Healing Cities

Courtesy DBS Bank


Date: February 4th, 8-9:30am PST

Watch Recoding


Workshop Description

The problems of megacities all over the world can be healed with compassion : compassion for oneself, compassion for others and compassion for the environment.

As compassion in action begins to heal our cities, we envision them becoming more spiritually fulfilling, socially just, environmentally sustainable,  and abundantly thriving cities. This will call for the awakening of citizens to the soul power of compassion, and building what MLK called “Beloved Community”. This is identical to Gandhi’s approach of Sarvōdaya ,  a Sanskrit term which generally means "universal uplift" or "progress of all".

This workshop will examine the compassion laden thoughts of MLK and  Gandhi , and relate these  to healing our cities.

We will also learn about  MLK’s journey (10th February to 10th March , 1959) through several cities in India linked to  Mahatma Gandhi. MLK saw him as “the guiding light of our technique of nonviolent social change”. Here MLK learnt of  Gandhi’s famous Salt March (also called the Dandi March), which was to later inspire the historical Selma to Montgomery march in March 1965.

The Workshop will share about work done by Debashsish and Arun to heal the cities of Ahmedabad and Pune in India, and also leave the attendees with pointers for action to heal their own cities.


Arun Wakhlu, (born 1955) is the Founder Director and Chief Mentor of Pragati Leadership Institute, Pune, India. He is also the Chairman of Pragati Foundation, an NGO dedicated to unfolding Joy, Peace and Abundance through facilitating connections, conversations and co-creation. He is the initiator of Poorna Pune, (Compassionate Pune), and the Foundation for Peace and Compassionate Leadership.

Arun holds a B. Tech degree from IIT Delhi, and a PGDBA  from IIM Ahmedabad. An eloquent presenter, insightful coach  and a Master Facilitator, Arun has logged over 30,000 hours of facilitation and coaching internationally.  He has worked to develop leaders in leading organizations (Business, Education,  NGOs and Governments).

An accomplished writer, Arun has published more than twenty eight papers and written the award winning book “Managing from the Heart”. He has helped pioneer the concept of "Wholesome Development" and “Wholesome Leadership” aimed at working from joy for prosperity with peace. His latest book ( co-authored with his father Prof. Dr. Omkar N Wakhlu ) “One Wholesome World”,  is a practical game changing manual for global transformation post COVID-19.  

Arun has served as  the Course Director for a programme on "Ethics in Public Governance", designed for senior members of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and Indian Police Service (IPS). It is conducted under the auspices of the Initiatives of Change Centre for Governance (ICCfG) New Delhi, India.

He was also the Project Director for the DoPT and UNDP Sponsored project on “Developing Facilitators for Ethics and Values in Public Governance” for National Trainers in Ethics.

Arun volunteers with the Charter for Compassion as a member of the Executive Board, and has also co-created the movement in India called Education Today, Society Tomorrow (ETST).  This is aimed at developing more compassion and character in Schools and young people.

Arun’s seven core strengths are Compassion, Creativity, Optimism, Enthusiasm,  Relationship Building, Strategic Mindedness and Resilience. He loves life, and sees it as Love In Full Expression!


Debashish Nayak 

Areas of interest: Heritage Walk Management, Urban Heritage Conservation, Community Engagement for Protection of Heritage

Debashish Nayak is an architect who has more than two decades of experience in managing urban conservation issues of Historic Cities in India and abroad. He is the Founder-Director, Centre for Heritage Management of Ahmedabad University. He has been advisor to the Heritage Programmes in the Municipal Corporations of various cities including Ahmedabad (since 1996), Jaipur, Amritsar, Old Delhi, Lucknow, Pondicherry etc, as well as to the Indian Heritage Cities Network launched by UNESCO, India. He was also the Gujarat State Project Co-ordinator for National Mission on Monuments and Antiquities, and member of the National Committee on Conservation Policy, Archaeological Survey of India.

In addition to Ashoka Fellowship (1990 – 1993), Salzburg Fellow (1990), Ten Outstanding Young Indian Award (1994) and in 1995, Friends of the United Nations Citizen’s Award at New York, and Anubhai Chimanlal–AMA Nagrikta Puraskar – citizenship award for his contribution in Ahmedabad. In 2015, he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Governor of West Bengal. He has been recently awarded ‘The Spirit of Ahmedabad’ award by Chief Minister of Gujarat for his contribution in protection of city’s heritage.



←  Go back                                                  Next page