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Talk Series: Can Social innovations and Technology innovations leverage off one another?

(An IIT Alumni Centre Exclusive Event)


Innovation is at the heart of what many of us do. While we pursue different callings, we also look at the social aspect of life. Speakers: Dr. Desh Deshpande (IIT-M) and Prof. Bhaskar Ramamurthi (IIT-M), Director, IIT Madras.

Date: January 29, 2012 (Sunday)
Venue: None, None
Schedule: Tea: 11 am, Session: 1130-1300, Lunch: 1pm

After the brilliant session on Dec 3rd with Kanwal Rekhi on Entrepreneurship, the IIT Alumni Club, Bangalore, is very happy to bring to you the next program in our Talk Series - a very interesting session with (in keeping with our tradition) luminary speakers – Dr. Gururaj “Desh” Deshpande & Prof. Bhaskar Ramamurthi (Director, IIT Madras)

The event will be held at the Bangalore International Centre, Domlur, on Sunday, January 29th, 2012 at 11 am (agenda and more details below).

Topic: “Can Social innovations and Technology innovations leverage off one another?”

Description of the Event:
Innovation is at the heart of what many of us do. And while each of us pursue different callings, our hearts often tug us towards the social aspect of life. Given the tech background of so many of us in India’s Silicon City (Bangalore), we thought it would be fascinating to ponder on this question. What better speakers to help us think this through, than pioneers in this space – Dr. Desh Deshpande (IIT-M – and one who needs no introduction), and Prof. Bhaskar Ramamurthi (also IIT-M), Director, IIT Madras.

The Deshpande Foundation promotes three principles – innovation, entrepreneurship, and scale – in its pursuit of economic development. Through their Social Innovation Sandbox Initiatives, they carefully select entrepreneurs, ideas, and strategies and in turn connect these to resources, networks, and opportunities for further engagement and growth.

Desh (& his wife Jaishree another IIT-M alumnus) will talk about the Social Innovation Sandbox they have established in Karnataka – where much of the work in the Sandbox has used technology in different ways. Prof. Bhaskar will speak on the pioneering work of the Tenet Group of IIT Madras - where he was involved - and whose outputs have been used in various social innovations.

The session will be moderated by Ashok Kamath (IIT-B), himself a cross between the Technology & Social world (having spent 23 years in Analog Devices & then the recent 8 years with Akshara Foundation – the well-known education NGO).

The session is designed to be highly interactive, and features significant audience participation.

Brief Bio of Desh Deshpande:
Desh is co-founder and chairman of Sycamore Networks, Inc. He serves as a member of the MIT Corporation, and his generous contribution has made possible MIT's Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation. The Deshpande Center was created to serve as a catalyst for innovation and entrepreneurship by supporting research and collaboration among entrepreneurs, young companies, and MIT students, alumni, and faculty.

Prior to co-founding Sycamore Networks, Desh was founder and chairman of Cascade Communications Corp. between 1991 and 1997; Cascade grew from a one-person startup to a company with $500 million in revenue and 900 employees. In June of 1997, Cascade was acquired by Ascend Communications for $3.7 billion. Prior to Cascade, Dr. Deshpande co-founded Coral Network Corporation in 1988, before which he worked for Codex Corporation, a subsidiary of Motorola. Before joining Codex, Desh taught at Queens University in Kingston, Canada.

Desh has a B.Tech from IIT Madras (EE), an M.E. in EE from the University of New Brunswick in Canada, and a Ph.D. in Data Communications from Queens University in Canada. He is the founding investor and Board Member of Webdialogs, Tejas Networks, Airvana, A123 Systems & Sandstone Capital. He is also a Trustee on the Board of TiE – the renowned organization promoting entrepreneurship globally.

Brief Bio of Prof. Bhaskar Ramamurthi:
Prof Bhaskar Ramamurthi is the Director of IIT Madras. He has a B.Tech from IIT Madras (EE), and an MS & PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering from UC, Santa Barbara. He flagged off his career with AT&T Bell Laboratories, USA, before returning to his alma mater in 1986, with the Department of EE. He was one of the founders of the Tenet Group in IIT-M, a group which has done pioneering work in the applications of technology in both business applications and in the social arena.

Prof Ramamurthi has received numerous Awards and Recognitions, including the Fellowship of Indian National Academy of Engineering (2000), the Vasvik Award for Electronic Sciences and Technology for 2000, and the Tamil Nadu Scientist Award (2003) for Engineering and Technology. Most recently (Dec. 2011), he was awarded the TechnoVisionary Lifetime Achievement Award for his seminal contributions for the ESDM sector by the India Semiconductor Association.

This event will be held on Sunday, 29th January, 2012, at 11 am, at the Bangalore International Centre, Domlur. It is free to attend for IIT Alumni Club members. For IIT Alumni who are not yet members of the Club, there will be a nominal charge of Rs. 250/- per person. We invite alumni who are not yet members, to join the IIT Alumni Club, Bangalore. A brief presentation on the Club is enclosed, and

Free for IIT Alumni Club members. For other IIT Alumni nominal charge of Rs 250 per person. Please register.


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