The Kautilya Society for Intercultural dialogue is a non-profit non-government organization, based in Varanasi, India that was founded in 1998 by persons who believe that dialogue and partnership between people and cultures furthers peace, development and mutual understanding. The common objectives of its founders and its members is to promote dialogue and partnerships between people and cultures across the world, support development initiatives based on stakeholder participation and protection of local cultures and resources. Its panel of experts and volunteers specialise in varied fields of management, sustainable development, environment, cultural geography, architecture, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, communication, tourism, heritage conservation, IT, archaeology, film making, law, human rights, music, arts, psychology.
- The organisation assists project development and global partnerships for development by facilitating interaction and exchange between the local authorities, civil society and international partner agencies, by conducting networking activities, local needs assessments, identifying pilot initiatives and success stories and implementing projects on issues important for local development.
- The Kautilya Society assists organisations, media professionals, academics and activists interested in learning about India or communicating about India and its cultural, social, economic and development dynamics and issues.
- The Kautilya Society creates moments of contact between peoples of diverse cultures and coordinates projects of social and cultural relevance in India in fields such as protection and promotion of cultural heritage, sustainable development, communications (including audio-visuals and multimedia), tourism, awareness programmes, etc.
- The Kautilya Society undertakes studies and projects and facilitates policy and plan making processes, especially in the city of Varanasi, in the field of environment conservation, heritage protection, responsible tourism and sustainable local development that is based on local needs assessments, local consensus building and stakeholder participated and owned development . The organization avails of a panel of experts for its projects and activities.
- The Kautilya Society also promotes Indian culture through research projects, international academic, cultural and sustainable tourism seminars, through networking, organizing cultural events, supporting cultural initiatives. To this end, it has created a resource base and a study centre that facilitate Indian and foreign universities, scholars and others in pursuing studies in and on India (philosophy, art, music, religion, etc.).
- he Kautilya Society works actively in protecting heritage in India, especially in the sacred city of Varanasi, by networking with and supporting organisations and experts, internationally and nationally, by cooperating and lobbying with the local and national policy makers and civil society; by networking with national and international organizations and experts on issues like conservation, sustainable urban planning, historic city centre management; by furthering policy recommendations based on stakeholders needs, preparing documentaries and multimedia products, conducting heritage awareness building activities.
- The Kautilya Society mobilizes and utilises funds for the education of needy children and supports initiatives of improving the life quality of marginalised and vulnerable populations.