Anil Gupta, Vijay Pratap and Tapan Parikh

Impact, Innovation and Intelligence

Collectively, we will explore questions like -- 

: Why is people's knowledge so important and relevant for rural development?

: How can we use technology to build systems to support people's knowledge? What are some challenges and limitations?

: What does a life of "service" mean when it comes to people's own knowledge and expertise?

Anil Kumar Gupta is the founder of the Honey Bee NetworkSRISTI, NIF and GIAN . He is a visiting faculty at IIM Ahemdabad & IIT Bombay and an independent thinker, activist for the cause of creative communities and individuals at grassroots, tech institutions and any other walk of life committed to make this world a more creative, compassionate and collaborative place. He was awarded the Padma Shri in the year 2004, and is seen as a pioneer in the field of grassroots innovations, in which his contribution includes documenting people's knowledge with the help of teams of volunteers spread across India. He helps grassroots innovators and communities build on their knowledge systems by providing help in filing patents, promoting scientific validation of these innovations by involving government scientific institutes and private individuals and bodies and facilitating tie-ups with entrepreneurs and industrial groups. Gupta is also known for crafting innovative courses for students at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. One of his most popular courses included shodh yatra, under which he took management students to different parts of the country to learn from local communities and study their knowledge systems. It started in May 1998 in the western Indian province of Gujarat.

Vijay Pratap Singh Aditya is a first generation technology entrepreneur and renowned rural markets, digital financial services & agriculture sector expert working on financial inclusion, supply chain and market access issues of rural communities. In last 20 years, Vijay’s work has focussed on rural India, enabling access to markets, agriculture value chain, financial and enterprise services for rural businesses, financial inclusion, farmer-producers and artisans. Vijay is CEO of ekgaon. Having co-founded ekgaon 15 years back, he has built the company as a network-integrator providing real-time platform where service providers compete for the under-served consumer services markets. ekgaon platforms ensure cost effective service delivery by using mobile phone apps to transmit verified and secured transaction information, traceability, impacting in cost savings as well as enhancing productivity across the farm value chain.

The talk will be moderated by Tapan ParikhTapan is an Associate Professor of Information Science at Cornell Tech in New York City. His research interests include human-computer interaction and the design and use of information technologies for supporting youth and community development. He currently leads the Milstein Program at Cornell Tech, which bridges technological innovation with human interests through collaboration with humanities scholars and local arts and culture organizations. He also teaches the Remaking the City course at Cornell Tech, which connects graduate students with civic organizations to work on service learning and design projects for local impact. Previously, he was one of the founders of the field of Information and Communications Technologies and Development (ICTD), and helped start several international social enterprises working in this area. He has received the NSF CAREER award, a Sloan Fellowship, a UW Diamond Early Career Award and was named Technology Review magazine's Humanitarian of the Year in 2007.