Building Online Communities for Civic Engagement

The School of Policy and Governance is excited to announce our next Executive Education Program:
Building Online Communities for Civic Engagement, 06 Oct 2017, Location: New Delhi (The Imperial Hotel) & 08 Oct 2017, Chennai (The Leela Palace).

Join us for a two-day program, either in New Delhi or Chennai to learn from some of the most highly acclaimed practitioners from India and around the world. You will have the opportunity to learn about real-life examples and ways through which to build sustainable online communities for civic engagement.

The program is suitable for professionals and postgraduate students alike. We are accepting last minute applications until Sunday 1 October if the payment is made within 1 day of acceptance.


Whether you are involved in a political party or with a company looking to engage a civic audience on issues affecting civil society, this program will help you build an online community through real world examples.


Recent decrease in data costs in India has resulted in a data consumption increase of 9 times. Communities are built with people, and data. Learn about how campaigns have been built and won across the US and India leveraging data.


Held across New Delhi and Chennai, the course is the first of many public policy and governance courses in India with a focus on the developing world.

Day 1

8:30am – Arrivals
9:00am – Introduction and Course Outline
9:30am – Richard Mills: How to Approach Communications for Engagement?
11:00am – Coffee & Tea Break
11:15 am – Divya Spandana: New Age Campaigns in the Grand Old Party
12:45pm – Lunch Break
2:00pm – Matt Ipcar: Designing for Campaigns? Yes, we can!
3:15pm – Coffee & Tea Break
3:30pm – Matt Ipcar: Designing for Online Campaigns: Workshop
6:30pm – Pre-Dinner Drinks
7:0pm – Class Dinner

Day 2

9:00am – Arvind Gupta: Ab ki bar – Behind India’s Biggest Online Political Campaign
11:00am – Coffee & Tea Break
11:15am – Deepa Bachu: Building Products that Engage a Community
12:45pm – Lunch Break
2:00pm – Barkha Dutt: Civic Engagement – Separating Signal and Noise Online
3:30pm – Coffee & Tea Break
3:45pm – Preethi Herman: What does Data say about Online Engagement? (A Perspective)
5:15pm – Day End

Partner Information



Founder of Exchange4Media Group; Speaking in Chennai only

Mr. Annurag Batra is a serial entrepreneur, media mogul and a journalist. He has a B. Tech in Computer Sciences, which he acquired before joining Management Development Institute (MDI), Gurgaon, one of India's leading Business School. He is a first generation entrepreneur and Chairman of BW Businessworld, the iconic 35 year strong media brand as well as the most respected business publication in the country. Since taking over BW Businessworld, Mr. Batra has expanded BW Businessworld into digital, events and BW communities and took into its fold, a leading website on digital marketing,, India’s leading experiential marketing website and launched BW hotelier in partnership with hotelier international. BW Businessworld under the aegis of Mr. Batra also launched prominent brands like BW Education and BW People recently. Mr. Batra also founded the exchange4media group and he serves as the Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of exchange4media group which includes – India’s leading media industry website, PITCH – India’s only Advertising, Marketing and Media Magazine, IMPACT – The Marketing Weekly, Franchisee Plus – Business Opportunity Magazine, Realty Plus – India’s leading monthly real estate magazine and – leading media industry website in Hindi.


National Technology Head, BJP; Speaking in New Delhi only

Mr. Arvind Gupta has over 22 years of industry experience, having worked in diverse sectors in variety of leadership, policy and entrepreneurial profiles in India and Silicon Valley, USA. He has considerable experience in Consumer Internet, Digital Media, Big Data & Analytics, Digital Transformation, IT Policy, and e-governance. He has been awarded the Eisenhower Global Fellowship for Innovation for year 2014. As the National Technology Head for India’s largest political party, the BJP, he advises on the policies at the national level and the states where the party is in government. Mr. Arvind Gupta led the Digital, Social Media and Communication Campaign for the BJP and Shri Narendra Modi, which resulted in BJP creating electoral history and achieving its Mission 272+. He is the Head and CoFounder of DigitalIndia Foundation, a policy think tank working in areas of Digital Inclusion, Smart Cities, Internet Governance, Cyber Security, Electronics Manufacturing & Indian Software Products. He writes extensively on these subjects and is on the Top100 Influencers in the the field of Financial Technologies. He is an active Member of NASSCOM, TiE and Founder Member of iSPiRT. Mr. Gupta is also a frequent speaker at various forums. He is guest faculty at International Management schools and Innovation Forums. Mr. Gupta graduated with a degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering from IIT-BHU, Varanasi. He has a Masters in Computer Science and MBA (Finance & Marketing) from University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign


Journalist and Author; Speaking in New Delhi only

Will be updated soon.


CEO of Pensaar; Former Head of Products at Intuit

Deepa is the Co-Founder and CEO of Pensaar, a Design Strategy and Innovation Consulting firm that uses collaborative and human centered approach of design thinking to create experiences that will be awesome, by design. She is a design and product leader who spent the last 20 years at large multi-nationals and Tech start-ups leading their Design, Innovation and Product Management functions. Her passion is to transform customers’ lives by creating products that solve their biggest unmet needs. Products that make the customers’ life better and delivers unexpected delight! Deepa helped pioneer Design Thinking at Intuit working closely with Intuit Co-Founder, Scott Cook. One of the many projects she led, FASAL, went onto become a HBR Case study & one of their Top 10 Innovation ‘must reads’. Fasal helps farmers gain a competitive edge in the marketplace by providing them with pricing and other agricultural advisory information. In her professional career, Deepa has effectively handled a variety of responsibilities and roles across Experience Design, Innovation, Product Management, General Management and Product Development Deepa mentors start-ups (India and the US) as well as volunteers her time to start-ups/NGOs in kids’ education. She is a regular presenter at industry conferences and is an active member of several Design, Innovation and Women forums. Her work has been covered by several publications like the Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, Economic Times, Hindu Business Line, YourStory and HBR Case Study.


Chairperson of Social Media and Digital Communications, Congress (INC)

Divya Spandana / Ramya is a film actress and a politician. She is currently the Chairperson of Social Media and Digital Communications for the Indian National Congress. She was elected as a Member of Parliament from Mandya constituency (Karnataka) in 2013. She is an award winning actress who has acted in 40 movies across Tamil, Telugu and Kannada film industries.


National Spokesperson for Samajwadi Party (SP); Speaking in Chennai only

Ghanshyam Tiwari is National Spokesperson of Samajwadi Party. He is an edutech entrepreneur, public leadership advisor, and a Harvard, Kellogg, and IIM Bangalore alumnus. He has advised Chief Ministers and Parliamentarians, served global organizations such as BMGF and LSE, worked at McKinsey, Intel, and Texas Instruments. Ghanshyam is passionate about building stronger public leadership and transforming high school education for the poor in India. He aspires to build into a one-stop platform for Government and low income high school students offering e-courses in academics, careers, and projects.


Former Design Director for Obama-Biden Presidential Team; Presently Executive Creative Director at Blue State Digital

Matt Ipcar is the executive creative director at Blue State Digital and was a principal design leader for both Obama campaigns. With a focus on design and user experience, Ipcar helps organizations find creative ways to connect with and inspire their constituencies, translate and evolve brands for the digital landscape, and bring consistency and simplicity to user interactions. Matt has led the creative design and implementation of projects for general election campaigns worldwide, advocacy organizations, institutions, and brands. In addition to the work Blue State Digital has done for democratic candidates this past cycle, Ipcar led the evolution of the brand for Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign, helped recruit design talent, and provided creative counsel to campaign leadership throughout. Prior joining Blue State Digital, Matt served as Design Director for the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition Team, where he designed the Obama White House website and Matt also worked full time on the ‘08 Obama campaign as the Rapid Response Design Director. From 2004-2007, Matt was at Frog Design, leading interactive projects for a range of Fortune 50 clients. Matt holds a BA from the School of Architecture & Planning, SUNY at Buffalo, and is a born and bred New Yorker.


Head, Foundation, India

Preethi Herman established as a people’s platform in India - growing it from a userbase of 2 lakhs to a current 75 lakh active citizens taking action on various social change issues across the country. She is one of the rare women leaders at the forefront of the ‘technology for social change’ space. In her career spanning hundreds of campaigns, Preethi has led teams that have worked on incredible campaigns proving that regular citizens can create transformative change using technology and building communities of support. This lies at the heart of Preethi’s core vision; the power for people coming together to create change and leveraging technology in a decentralised structure of civil leadership


Former Head of Corporate Communications, World Bank; Presently Director of Communications and Advocacy at the George Institute for Global Health

Richard Mills is the Director of Communications and Advocacy at The George Institute for Global Health, which conducts medical research institute on the world’s biggest killers: non-communicable diseases and injury. Within the Institute’s four centres in Australia, China, India and the UK, Mr. Mills heads up a small global team focused on promoting The George’s research insights and knowledge to drive real impact and improved healthcare. He sits on the management committee and provides strategic input to the entire organization. Mr. Mills leads the The George’s new “Think Tank” focus to advance the Institute’s thought leadership on health issues at the national and multilateral levels. Prior to this, he ran corporate communications for the World Bank providing strategic and tactical advice to the Bank’s President, leading media, digital, IT and broadcast teams. While at the Bank, new communications initiatives were deployed, from the use of social media, to major integrated thematic campaigns around the Annual Meetings. From 2001-2008 Mr. Mills held senior communications positions at the US Trade Representative, the State Department and the Commerce Department. From 1992-2001 he worked on Capitol Hill. Mr. Mills lives in Sydney where he’s an active member of the Queenscliff Surf Lifesaving Club.


Founder Asianet; Chair Asian College of Journalism; Speaking at Chennai dinner

Sashi Kumar is a print and broadcast journalist, filmmaker and media entrepreneur. He founded and chairs the Media Development Foundation which administers the Asian College of Journalism. He was among the earliest Newscasters in English on national television, Doordarshan, Middle East Correspondent of The Hindu and news anchor on Radio Bahrain in the mid 1980s. He has anchored and produced numerous shows, documentaries and features for national television in India. In 1992 he founded and launched Asianet, India’s first satellite TV channel in a regional language (Malayalam), and the country’s first statewide cable TV network in Kerala. In 2004 he scripted and directed ‘Kaya Taran’ an award winning Hindi feature film based on the 1984 anti- Sikh riots and the 2002 Gujarat riots. He has acted in a few Malayalam feature films. He writes a regular fortnightly column titled ‘Unmediated’ in Frontline; it is also the title of the book comprising his essays and articles published by Tulika Books in 2013. He has received many awards for his work in journalism and films.

At the end of the program, each participant will receive a certificate of participation.


October 6, 2017 – October 7, 2017
Location: New Delhi (The Imperial Hotel)

October 8, 2017 – October 9, 2017
Location: Chennai (The Leela Palace)


Rs 25,000 + Taxes is the basic cost of the two-day program for each location. Once your application is accepted, you will be required to make a payment within 3 working days by a bank transfer in India. A tax invoice will be provided on request.


Please note there are 5 scholarship spots available in each location which require a payment of Rs 5,000 + Taxes each. You may indicate your request for scholarship in the application. The scholarships will be awarded on a needs basis.

You will receive 100% refund if you cancel one month before the program. You will receive 50% refund if you cancel up to 1 week before the program. There will be no refund for cancellations in the last week.


We recommend that participants have an undergraduate degree, but it is not mandatory. Professionals, public servants and postgraduate students are invited to apply. The application acceptance will depend on the quality of your application. We recommend a high level of English proficiency.

Please note, applications will be evaluated upon receipt and all applicants will be notified of the outcome of their applications within 10 business days of their receipt.

Candidates may apply until 11:59pm IST on 28 September 2017.

As there are limited spots available, we encourage you to apply early.

Apply Now
Seats Left: -2
Lectures: 19

Chandrakanth B N

Chandra is a passionate creator with an empathetic business sense and an entrepreneur who left a high flying career in the US, to chase an Indian dream. He has been involved in establishing several companies since 1996. His ventures have ranged from IT Services, Digital Media operations, Manufacturing and Training. As the Chairman of Pairee, he oversees several investments made by the company.

Prior to Pairee, Chandra was the Founder and Managing Director of Theorem India, which he started with just two people in 2002 and grew it to over 1300+ people globally spread across 4 continents, serving several global blue chip brands and establishing a sprawling campus in Mysore before leaving at the end of 2013. Chandra also enjoys investing, advising and mentoring start-up companies and is on the board of a several such companies. He is also passionate about giving back to the society. His Pairee Foundation is helping educate the rural youth of India and making them job ready. Chandra holds a Masters degree in Industrial Management from Northern Illinois University, Chicago and a BE degree from Bangalore University. He is a leading voice in the IT Industry and regularly speaks at global conferences. He is also an active member of various industry groups in the technology world. Chandra and his work regularly feature on national and regional TV channels.

Monika Barthwal-Datta

Monika Barthwal-Datta is Senior Lecturer in International Security in the School of Social Sciences, University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney. Before joining UNSW in 2012, Monika was a MacArthur Foundation postdoctoral research fellow at the Centre for International Security Studies (CISS), University of Sydney, where she led a two-year research project on ‘Food Security in Asia: Strategic Risks and Mitigation.’ Her research areas include critical security studies, non-traditional security, the international politics of South Asia and Indian foreign policy.

Monika was awarded her PhD by Royal Holloway and Bedford College, University of London and holds an MScEcon in Security Studies from Aberystwyth University. She also has a Master’s in International Journalism from Cardiff University and has worked as a Broadcast Journalist for the BBC World Service Radio in London for several years. Since making Sydney her home in late 2010, Monika has been actively involved in the Australia-India space through her research and community engagement. Monika was a Director and a Steering Committee member of the Australia India Youth Dialogue. She is also on the Executive Committee of the South Asian Studies Association of Australia (SASAA) and on the editorial board of the journal Asian Studies Review. Monika is the author of ‘Understanding Security Practices in South Asia: Securitization Theory and the Role of Non-State Actors’ (Routledge 2012) and ‘Food Security in Asia: Challenges, Policies and Implications’ (IISS and Routledge, 2014), and has spoken at TEDx Orange (NSW, Australia) on the role of small family farms in global food security.

Ruchir Punjabi

Ruchir is a Co-Founder & Chief Digital Officer at Distributed Energy ( Distributed Energy matches investors with renewable energy projects across Africa, the Middle East, and India.

Ruchir formerly founded Langoor ( – one of APAC’s largest independent digital agencies that were later sold to Havas Group in 2019. Langoor started in his living room in Sydney before growing to 200+ people digital agency across the Asia Pacific. He continues to be a Board Director and Evangelist for the business.

Passionate about social change, Ruchir has started a number of social and not for profit organizations. After the International student crisis in Australia in 2010, Ruchir created the Australia India Youth Dialogue, a Track II diplomatic dialogue between the young leaders of Australia and India. Ruchir is also the Founder of a School of Policy and Governance and Samarthan India. Ruchir is a Computer Science graduate from Sydney University and a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He serves as Director on a number of not for profit and business Boards, including investing in some of them.

Vidyanand Sagaram

Vidyanand Sagaram joined the Victorian Government Business Office in 2009 to head their Skilled and Business Migration portfolio for South and South East Asia. In 2011 he was appointed as the Director for Strategic Projects with a primary focus on the whole-of Victorian government initiatives. To deliver the key initiatives and priorities of the government he has been engaging very closely with the Indian governments both State and Federal, industry groups and various Victorian departments.

Vidya was also the Director for the Australia India Youth Dialogue which hosts young leaders from Australia and India at an annual conference, held in India and Australia in alternate years. He is currently on the Executive Council of the Indo Australian Chamber of Commerce. Vidya has previously worked for La Trobe University in India heading their operations for South Asia, prior to that with Hobsons Solutions and Telstra in Melbourne. He holds a Master’s degree from Monash University, Melbourne.

Rishi Suri

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Manuraj Sundaram

Manuraj is a lawyer practicing at the Madras High Court and is also a Media Spokesperson for the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam party. He has rich experience in the field of public policy after working as a Parliamentary Advisor for the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam for 5 years.

In November 2010, Manu was a Fellow of the ‘Legislative Fellows Program’ organized by the US State Department. In July 2013, Manuraj was invited to participate in the ‘European Union Visitor Program’, with fellowships in Brussels, Strassbourg and The Hague.

Manuraj has run tech-based outreach campaigns to engage citizens on civic issues and study participatory governance models.

Sanushka Seomangal

Sanushka Seomangal is a Partner in Thomson Geer’s Sydney office where she specialises in equity and debt capital markets and mergers and acquisitions. With particular expertise in public and private equity fundraising, initial public offerings (IPOs), and mergers and acquisitions involving both private and listed companies, Sanushka also advises her clients on general corporate matters. Sanushka’s practice is largely cross-border with an Asia-focus and she has expertise in capital markets and M&A transactions involving clients in the PRC, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Indonesia and India. Amongst her professional achievements, Sanushka was named one of the Australian Financial Review’s 100 Women of Influence in 2018 and was a finalist at the Lawyers Weekly Women in Law Awards 2019.

Sanushka holds a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Natal, South Africa, a Master of Applied Law from the University of Queensland, Australia and a Master of Business Law from the University of Sydney, Australia. Sanushka has a particular interest in India and is a member of the board of the Australia India Council, the National Vice Chair of the Australia India Business Council, and co-founder of the Australia India Youth Dialogue. She is also a member of UN Women Australia and Philanthropy Australia’s New Generation of Giving.

Preethi Herman

Preethi Herman is the Global Executive Director of the Foundation and an Obama Foundation Fellow for global civic leadership. She established as a people’s platform in India – growing it from a user base of less than 2 lakh users to a current 1 crore active citizens taking action on various social change issues across the country. Under Preethi’s lead, the India team has brought several issues into national headlines and made it into a movement touching the lives of millions of Indians.

Preethi is one of the few women leaders from the Global South at the forefront of the civic technology. She has been recognised as one among the 50 most influential women in media (in India) by Impact Media in 2016 and again in 2017, was awarded Business Today’s Most Powerful Women Award in India in 2017 and was recognized by the Indian Government as one of the 25 women transforming India through the UN’s #WomenTransform initiative. At the heart of Preethi’s vision is enabling the power for people coming together to create change and leveraging technology in a decentralised structure of civil leadership. She has helped set up powerful civic and campaigning based organisations like ‘She Creates Change’ and ‘Campaign Academy India’ and serves on the boards of various Indian and International organisations.

Subhadra Menon
Head of Programs

Subhadra Menon leads SPG’s Programmes and Initiatives. She has been working in the domains of human development with a specific focus on communication and advocacy. An award-winning writer, Subhadra uses her core skills and professional experiences to contribute towards the improvement of development indices in India and the region through communication and advocacy using high calibre research, evidence-gathering, analysis, writing and documentation for public domain knowledge. She is passionate about public engagement and outreach. She has extensive experience with social and behaviour change communication, evidence-based advocacy, health literacy initiatives, knowledge management and packaging communication products for change agendas.

Subhadra has led several large programmes and initiatives for national and international organisations, mainly the Public Health Foundation of India, UNFPA India, the Futures Group, the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative and the Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation. Before this, Subhadra was a print journalist specialising in health, science and technology, environment and social issues. She was Principal Correspondent for the India Today magazine, among other professional affiliations.

Anushka Mukherjee

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Vivamus interdum nunc sit amet ante consectetur, a lobortis ante faucibus. Mauris risus tortor, tempor sit amet orci sed, tincidunt eleifend eros. Donec mollis ipsum quam, sit amet mattis nunc rutrum ut. Aliquam et luctus magna, et dignissim dolor. Vivamus sodales convallis sagittis. Pellentesque quis justo tempus, iaculis erat id, eleifend odio. Nullam sed purus efficitur, tincidunt nisl sit amet, elementum eros.

Aliquam sit amet velit a elit fermentum bibendum in a tortor. Morbi suscipit efficitur lectus, ut tristique mauris fringilla sit amet. Phasellus vel mollis augue. Sed justo purus, feugiat et mi sed, blandit consequat ipsum. Quisque vitae tincidunt ipsum, eu pharetra purus. Aenean vel feugiat nibh. Fusce consequat ut augue in ultricies. Vivamus pellentesque dolor lacus. Etiam venenatis odio nec turpis aliquet, sit amet dignissim ligula dignissim.

Jennie Jehosheba Jackson

Jennie is the Programme Associate at School of Policy and Governance. She graduated with a Master of Philosophy in Social Work specialized in Human Resources from Bharathiar University, Coimbatore. Jennie has worked as a Social Worker and as a Human Resource Trainee in different sectors like schools, manufacturing industries and hospitality. She has also been a Volunteer at Cheshire Homes Coimbatore and has extended her support for the persons with disabilities. Jennie has also been working in a Media Post Production company based out of Bangalore for the past 3 years and has recently joined our team.

Dr. Dhanasree Jayaram

Dr. Dhanasree Jayaram is a Research Fellow at Centre Marc Bloch (CMB) and Guest Researcher at Freie Universität Berlin – under the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation’s International Climate Protection Fellowship (for postdocs) 2022-23. She is an Assistant Professor, Department of Geopolitics and International Relations, and Co-coordinator, Centre for Climate Studies, Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE), Karnataka, India. She is also a Research Fellow, Earth System Governance; Member, Climate Security Expert Network; and Member, Planet Politics Institute. She holds a PhD in Geopolitics and International Relations from MAHE. She pursued a visiting fellowship (Erasmus Mundus – short-term PhD) at Leiden University, the Netherlands during 2014-15; and a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, under the Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship during 2018-19. She managed a project of adelphi (Berlin) on “Climate Diplomacy”, sponsored by the German Federal Foreign Office during 2015-20. Her primary fields of interest include climate politics and diplomacy, environmental security and military, regional environmental policy in Asia, and environmental peacebuilding.

Nakkeeran Nanjappan

N. Nakkeeran is Professor with the School of Global Affairs & Deputy Director of Centre for Research Methods, Dr. B.R Ambedkar University, Delhi (AUD). A Gold Medallist in M.A. (Anthropology) from Madras University, Prof. N. Nakkeeran did his M.Phil and PhD from the Centre of Social Medicine and Community Health, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Before Joining AUD, he was with the Department of Health Services Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai and the Indian Institute of Public Health Gandhinagar (IIPHG - PHFI). Prof. Nakkeeran has worked, published and undertaken funded research in the areas of health social sciences, health equity, qualitative research methodology and child malnutrition. He has participated as a resource person in numerous research methodology workshops meant for research scholars and young faculty members organised across the country. While at IIPHG he had successfully conducted three-day annual workshop on Qualitative Research Methods for medical and public health professionals between 2010 and 2014 and also rolled out an online Certificate programme in Research Methodology. He also was instrumental in designing and rolling out Master of Public Health Programmes at IIPHG and AUD and a doctoral programme in Public Health at AUD. He has won a number of fellowships and research grants including 3rd & 4th Global symposium on Health Systems Research Fellowships; PHFI-Wellcome Trust Research fellowship; ICMR Research Grants; DST Research Grant and a number grants for organizing methodology workshops. Extracts from his ethnographic study of a south Indian village was published as “Conditions of Women's Work, Status and Fertility: Land, Caste and Gender in a South Indian Village”, EPW); he has co-authored an ethnographic monograph “Transfer of Home-based Newborn Care from SEARCH to Other Organizations: Process Documentation of the ANKUR Project”, (SEARCH, 2007). His other publications in this area include “Qualitative Research Methodology: Epistemological Foundation and Research Procedures”, (IJSW), “Knowledge, Truth and Social Reality: An Introductory Note on Qualitative Research” (IJCM); “Rigor and Validity in Qualitative Methods in Applied Situations” (IJPH); “Is ‘Sampling’ a Misnomer in Qualitative Research?” (Sociological Bulletin); “Disability, mental health, sexual orientation and gender identity: understanding health inequity through experience and difference” (Health Research Policy and Systems); and Beyond behaviour as individual choice: A call to expand understandings around social science in health research (Wellcomeopenresearch).

Dr Shweta Singh

Shweta Singh is Associate Professor of International Relations at the South Asian University (New Delhi, India). Her research broadly focuses on the politics of ‘everyday’, norms and WPS agenda (South Asia), critical peace and conflict studies (with a particular focus on post-colonial South Asia) , gender and populism, and contemporary politics of Afghanistan, Kashmir and Sri Lanka. She has been the recipient of the prestigious United States Leadership Award in 2010, and the Mahbub Ul Haq Award in 2013. She was recently appointed as the UN Women International Expert on populism, nationalism, and gender (Regional Office for Asia and Pacific), and as Academic Advisor for the UNESCO-MGiEP project on State of Prevention of Violent Extremism through Education in South Asia. She is co-editor (with Tiina Vaittinen and Catia Confortini), of a Rowman and Littlefield book series(which is now under process of transition) titled Feminist Studies on Peace, Justice and Violence. Her recent publications include ‘Towards an intersectional approach to populism: comparative perspectives from Finland and India’, Contemporary Politics (co-authored with Elise Feron) 2021;‘ ‘Gendering education for peace: Critical perspectives’ in Tarja Väyrynen, Swati Parashar, Élise Féron, Catia Confortini (eds.), Handbook of Feminist Peace Research, Routledge, 2021, ‘In between the Ulema and Local Warlords in Afghanistan: Critical Perspectives on the Everyday, Norms Translation and UNSCR 1325’, International Feminist Journal of Politics, 2020.  

Shreelata Krishnan

Shreelata brings to the table a creative and entrepreneurial approach to developing sustainable solutions for organisations across industries. Towards this end, she is experienced in mentoring and coaching people and enterprises, implementing pioneering solutions for multi scalar, projects that help drive positive societal, economic, and climate change impact, and building capacity by employing a bottom-up approach. Shreelata has completed a master’s level education in Sustainable Transitions from the University of Aberdeen.

Intrigued and fascinated with different cultures and lifestyles, she has worked with a diverse set of national & international organisations in the fields of sustainability communication, social impact, impact monitoring and capacity building.

Early in her career, Shreelata has worked extensively in the customer service sector across hospitality, shipping and telecom industries managing multiple teams, co-founded her own online enterprise supporting nearly 30 rural and semi-urban SHGs, entrepreneurs, and brands, coached and mentored social impact entrepreneurs globally, and volunteered with various capacity-building organisations as a mentor, fundraiser, advisor, and member. She is passionate about working with people and communities, promoting the culture of entrepreneurship, working to drive social change and can speak seven languages.


Dr. Roxy Mathew Koll

Dr. Roxy Mathew Koll is a Climate Scientist at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology. He did his Ph.D. in Ocean and Atmospheric Dynamics from Hokkaido University, Japan. Dr. Koll has made breakthrough contributions to observing and predicting the Indo-Pacific climate, facilitating the food, water, and economic security of the region. He led the redesign of the Indian Ocean Observation System and the development of the first climate model from South Asia—contributing to the science, monitoring, forecasts, and climate projections of the Indian Ocean rim countries. He is currently leading research on climate change and its impacts on the monsoon, cyclones, heatwaves, and the marine ecosystem. Dr. Koll is the Chair of the Indian Ocean Region Panel and a Lead Author of the IPCC Reports. He actively collaborates with citizen science networks, local governments, and media to bring science to society. Dr. Koll is among the top 2% scientists ranked by Stanford University. He was awarded the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Devendra Lal Medal for outstanding research in Earth and Space Sciences in 2022. The U.S. National Academy of Sciences awarded him the Kavli Fellowship in 2015 and the NRC Senior Research Fellowship in 2018. The Indian Meteorological Society felicitated him with the Young Scientist Award in 2016 for his research on the changes in the Monsoon.

Ulka Kelkar

Ulka Kelkar is Director, Climate, World Resources Institute India. She is an economist with more than two decades’ experience in climate policy. She models the economic impacts of low-carbon development pathways for India and supports climate action in Indian cities and states. She previously worked as a consultant climate assessment specialist for the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and research fellow with The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI). She was appointed by the Government of India to formulate India’s Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy (STIP 2020) in the thematic group on Energy, Environment and Climate Change.

Lakshmi Tejaswini

Lakshmi Tejaswini P is a multifaceted professional who has successfully driven impactful initiatives across various sectors. She has a proven track record of collaborating with businesses, nonprofits, political firms and government bodies to bring about positive change.She worked with the Higher Education Department of the Government of Karnataka, contributing to the establishment of aspirational goals for 2030, and played a vital role in the passing of the UVCE Act-2021 as part of the Vision Group of Higher Education and Research. She briefly worked with NetApp's APAC team in run their Corporate Social Impact programmes. Transitioning to political consulting, she developed effective strategies and campaigns for four successful political leaders in the Karnataka Assembly Elections of 2023. Additionally, she serves as the General Secretary of the Dheerya Foundation, a non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting accessible holistic education for all.

Dr Tanwir Arshed

Dr Tanwir Arshed is an Assistant Professor presently teaching at the Department of Political Science, President University, Kolkata. He completed his PhD from the University of North Bengal, Darjeeling, on India Pakistan Relations and the Role of the United States. His area of interest are Indian Public Administration and Indian Foreign Policy with a specific focus on South Asia and China. He has been a former SUSI Fellow at the University of Massachusetts, USA  

Ms. Kanika Dhupar

Kanika Dhupar, is a communications and policy professional, presently working as a Consultant at the Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) Reforms Secretariat, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India. She completed her Masters in Journalism from School of Communication Studies, Panjab University, Chandigarh. Her areas of interest are public affairs and policy, with a specific focus on multidisciplinary stakeholder engagements for global MNCs and industrial conglomerates, for addressal of issues, mitigating regulatory risks and helping them navigate the complex hierarchy of Central and State government stakeholders. With a keen interest in news, policy and communications - in her previous stints, she was an Account Director at Genesis BCW; a journalist in the print and digital domain, when she worked with Hindustan Times, The Tribune and The Indian Express. She was also the southeast-Asia reporter/producer with Barcroft Media - now ‘truly’ - London.  

Dr. Ekta Singh

Dr. Ekta Singh is an Assistant Professor in Public Policy and Governance at Dr. B. R. Ambedkar University Delhi (AUD). Before joining AUD, she worked as an Assistant Professor in the School of Public Policy & Governance at TISS, Hyderabad Campus. Dr. Singh’s doctoral research looks at the interface between welfare and neo-liberalism in post-liberalization India through the lens of governance reforms in PDS. Her research interests primarily encompass policy institutions, the political economy of development, politics of welfare, comparative social policy, and governance issues. She is currently interested in critically analyzing the interface between technology and social policy.  


Adarsh is the Programme Design Manager at the School of Policy and Governance. He has successfully provided policy and business advice, content development, risk management and research support to various clients in both public and private sectors. As an Advisor at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, Government of New Zealand, he supported and engaged with various stakeholders within and outside the government. His involvement encompassed advising on complex policy issues, cabinet papers, ministerial activities, research, and amendments.

While working at EASRB Consulting, Adarsh engaged in political consulting, programme design, strategy development, electioneering, and research for clients in both the public and private domains. During his tenure at Pinkerton Corporate Risk Management, he took on the responsibility of monitoring and analyzing potential political and security risks, in addition to coordinating emergency response protocols.

Adarsh leverages his multidisciplinary academic background in his role, holding a Master's degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Victora University of Wellington, a Master’s degree in Geopolitics and International Relations from Manipal University, and a Bachelor's degree in Physics from Mahatma Gandhi University. This multidisciplinary academic and research background enables him to perceive concepts from multiple perspectives. His publications in various journals and websites demonstrate his capability to impart complex information and innovative concepts to a wide range of audiences.

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