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Showing posts from 2020

My Next Billion Users book wins the 2019 PROSE Award: Business Category

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Got fantastic news that my 'Next Billion Users' book by Harvard Press has won the PROSE Award under the Business, Management, Finance category. The Association of American Publishers (AAP) unveiled their Subject Category Winners for the 2020 PROSE Awards honoring the best scholarly works published in 2019. These winners were selected by a panel of 19 judges from the 157 finalists previously identified from the more than 630 entries in this year’s PROSE Awards competition.
What is particularly exciting is to see how digital anthropology on a population that has long been ignored by the market and the state is finally of interest to a broader audience and more importantly, the business and tech sector who is now taking notice of this next billion demographic as legitimate consumers.

While there is concern of hyper commodification of the next billion market, my book actually challenges that blanket and passive approach. Instead, it reframes this engagement and builds nuance and i…

Keynote at the ITStrategy Hamburg Summit

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Had a fascinating experience at the IT Strategy Days Summit that was held on the 12-14 February at the Grand Elysse in Hamburg. Some of the most influential IT and business CEOs, CIOs, and other experts and policy makers from Germany came together to tackle key formidable challenges in their business. You had CEOs/CIOs from Lufthansa, SAP, BMW, Adobe, Siemens and more out there discussing these issues. The buzz terms for the summit was "agility, resilience and innovation" framed as drivers of digital business. 
This year there was much targeted interest in Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, and the digital and global logistics of operations that could help design the most optimal platforms through which innovations can quickly reach the entire organization and ultimately customers. There were 3 main strands of focus: 1) Digital Frameworks - Which architectures make IT resilient and agile 2) Innovation on fire - How companies successfully reinvent themselves 3) Art…

Kick off for 2020 with the India book tour

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What a way to begin 2020 - full of spice and color and drama! Basically it felt like a year of celebration was starting. I embarked on my book tour in Pune for the India Science Fest which drew a crowd of about 15,000 people! And what a demographic - from kids with their parents to engineering and philosophy students to elderly folks curious about these topics, they managed to truly create a spirit of democratizing science for the public. This was the brainchild and product of Varun Aggarwal of Aspiring Minds . I spoke about designing for the next billion and also was on a panel on the future of science with AI. I headed to Bangalore right after to speak at the IIIT-Bangalore Centre for Information Technology and Public Policy lecture series  and gave a Keynote at the IIM-B for the Software Product Management Summit on re-centering the human in design. Was a fascinating conversation as we delved into how product management as a field is changing dramatically and in recent years is put…

The co—matter podcast out on sex, trust, and the next billion

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At the Techfestival in Copenhagen, I got to chat with Severin Matusek of the Co-Matter Podcast on why Pornhub continues to be a powerful hook for people in the global south to adopt the internet and get hooked on it, when does culture actually matter in the scaling of tech and more. 

Keynote for the Privacy and Identity Conference

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I was invited to give a keynote for the members of the Privacy and Identity Lab, an interesting group of privacy scholars at the Kings Ballroom in the Hague. 
What was particularly fascinating about this group was their cross disciplinary backgrounds as they delved into a spectrum of issues from accountability issues in smart city planning to healthcare data security and regulation to the legal challenges of applying the General Data Protection Laws and the spectrum of interpretations these laws seem to evoke, which brings to question the extent of the efficacy of these laws to reign in poor and unethical market behaviors in the tech arena.
I spoke about the implications of these laws universalizing and its globalizing potential and challenges.  The fact is that as technology companies expand their reach worldwide, the notion of privacy continues to be viewed through a market-based and ethnocentric lens, disproportionately drawing from empirical evidence of perceptions and behaviors of …