To say I feel tremendously happy would be an understatement. It was simply incredible to have such distinguished and enthusiastic people under one roof, both from India and abroad. I think the objectives of the conference were also served well – to promote awareness, to disrupt, to celebrate the network, to share and collaborate and to seed the beginnings of something new.
The conference website and blog will carry consolidated information (videos, articles, opinions, resources) in a couple of weeks from now. But I wanted to highlight my key takeaways from this conference.
I think we could be better organized. I also do think we could have communicated to many more people about this event and that we could perhaps have more speakers from economies that are closer to India in terms of the challenges they face. Given so many speakers, we should definitely have kept time better for each slot. My sense is that we should have organized our knowledge capture better as well.
But there are loads of things I am happy about. I made some great friends and met people who I knew only virtually before. I also loved the possibilities the conversations threw up – from scale to design to open-ness and so many things. I was also happy that our international speakers and audience got a real taste of India, and hopefully for India. I am glad the feedback is positive and we had so many people attend and interact.
There were many tensions identified and debated at EDGEX2012. The challenges of scale, policy environment, infrastructure, attitudes, quality and innovation shaped the initial context of the conference for all of us. But it was equally an exercise to comprehend alternate paradigms of thought that could have a potentially transformative impact on what India does in the future.
The point was to identify these tensions, get a shared understanding of challenges and innovations worldwide and be able to leverage a global network whose attention could be brought to bear upon India. As Madan Padaki, my co-conspirator said, he hoped that our international audience would look at ideas and immediately sense if they were relevant to India.
The way forward is the expansion of the network – to break the silos that exist today in Indian education and to proactively search for new connections to ideas and attitudes. It is my hope that India will achieve this proactively and quickly.