Penn will be hosting scholars and experts from Penn and institutions around the world today to discuss topics relating to India’s role in the global economy as a part of the India as a Pioneer of Innovation: Constraints and Opportunities conference.
The conference, which will be held on Nov. 14, 15 and 18, is split between Penn’s Philadelphia and San Francisco campuses and aims to bring together each of the different schools at Penn.
“The conference is trying to examine the question of India as a center of innovation,” Vice Provost for Global Initiatives Ezekiel Emanuel said. “Penn is uniquely positioned or well-positioned to do this in a way that most other institutions aren’t because we have a long tradition of looking at India.”
The six panels at the conference were each organized by a different school. Panel topics range from “Innovation within Cities — Innovation for Slums and Informal Settlements” to “India’s Role in Global Innovation.”
The School of Arts & Sciences will kick off the conference on Thursday “by offering a broader historical, legal, economic and social framework for thinking about the concept of innovation within Indian business practices,” Director of the South Asia Studies Center Lisa Mitchell said in an email.
University of Toronto professor Ritu Birla, for example, will be speaking about her research that focuses on “cultural difference” and innovation in India. Her research takes a look at how Indian family and kinship networks operate within the economy, as well as how legal practices from the country’s colonizers shaped the Indian way of doing business.
The conference is open to the entire Penn community, but registration for the Philadelphia portion of the conference has already closed.
Mitchell encourages students to attend, calling it “a chance to learn more about the particular histories and practices that have led to India’s current prominence in the global economy is a terrific opportunity.”
The idea for the conference arose around the 20th anniversary of Penn’s Center for the Advanced Study of India last year, said Emanuel.
“[The conference] is part of the ever expanding number of global activities we are doing,” Emanuel said. “This happens to be focused on India, but we’re trying to relate to a wide variety of areas around the world.”
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