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October 6, 2017 - October 7, 2017


New Delhi (The Imperial Hotel)



This is a past event. Registration is no longer available.
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).


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.

UNSW Sydny
Breadth Of Coverage


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.

Workshop oriented


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.

Diverse Participation


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.



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 digitalmarket.asia, a leading website on digital marketing, everythingexperiential.com, 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 exchange4media.com – 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 samachar4media.com – 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

Bio to be provided 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 Learner.in into a one-stop platform for Government and low income high school students offering e-courses in academics, careers, and projects.


MATTHEW IPCAR 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 Change.gov. 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, Change.org Foundation, India

Preethi Herman established Change.org 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.

The Current program outline is as follows.

8:30 am


9:00 am

Introduction and Course Outline

9:30 am

Richard Mills: How to Approach Communications for Engagement?

11:00 am

Coffee & Tea Break

11:15 am

Divya Spandana: New Age Campaigns in the Grand Old Party

12:45 pm

Lunch Break

2:00 pm

Matt Ipcar: Designing for Campaigns? Yes, we can!

3:15 pm

Coffee & Tea Break

3:30 pm

Matt Ipcar: Designing for Online Campaigns: Workshop

6:30 pm

Pre-Dinner Drinks

7:00 pm

Class Dinner

9:00 am

Arvind Gupta: Ab ki bar - Behind India's Biggest Online Political Campaign

11:00 am

Coffee & Tea Break

11:15 am

Deepa Bachu: Building Products that Engage a Community

12:45 pm

Lunch Break

2:00 pm

Barkha Dutt: Civic Engagement - Separating Signal and Noise Online

3:30 pm

Coffee & Tea Break

3:45 pm

Preethi Herman: What does Data say about Online Engagement? (A Change.org Perspective)

5:15 pm

Day End


Date And Location


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


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.

Workshop oriented


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.



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