Confirmed Speakers

Arun Ganesh

Arun is an open source geographer and data analyst at Mapbox. Arun is an interaction designer, programmer and according to Pascal Neis’ OpenStreetMap profiles — a crazy mapper booking more than 7,000 edits on OpenStreetMap. He is an avid editor on the Wikipedia project where he contributed to many of India’s maps. Arun has helped Mapbox build a team of expert mappers improving OpenStreetMap and other vital data sets powering Mapbox maps. Prior to joining Mapbox, Arun worked with the Tata Institute of Social Sciences to help develop the geography portion of a national education plan for youth in India.

Arunava Dasgupta

Arunava is an urban designer and architect, presently heading the Department of Urban Design, School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi. As founder member and former National Secretary of the Institute of Urban Designers – India, he is actively promoting the idea of holistic urban design proposals across the country. Arunava has been involved in multiple projects at urban scale for a range of Indian cities as adviser and consultant to various state and municipal government agencies and is a member of the Board of Studies in a number of architectural and urban design programs in our country. He has made presentations and lectured extensively in India and abroad on issues of sustainable habitats, heritage and regeneration, city futures and educational paradigms.
Within the academic arena, Arunava spearheads experimental design studio engagements that nurture exploration by students as citizen designers as well as community-centric applied research labs ranging from complex metropolitan conditions to changing rural habitations in the Himalayas.

Christoph Woiwode

Christoph is a visiting professor in land-use / sustainable urbanization at IGCS, IIT Madras. He previously lectured and served as a research fellow at the International Spatial Planning Centre, TU Dortmund University, Germany. He has also worked as a CIM/GIZ integrated expert and planning adviser to the Northeastern Provincial Planning Secretariat, Trincomalee, Sri Lanka. Dr. Woiwode completed his doctoral research at University College London and M.A. in Social Anthropology from Freie Universität, Berlin. His research interests include sustainable urbanization, climate change and disaster risk mitigation; urban socio-cultural change and transformation; and the theory and practice of urban planning and governance, among others. Christoph’s chair is supported by the German Academic Exchange Service DAAD and BMBF.

Durganand Balsavar

Durganand is an architect, activist and writer – founded Artes- Human Settlements Research Collaborative to address urban policy, rural, environmental planning and participatory processes. Graduating from CEPT, Ahmedabad/ ETH, Zurich, Balsavar apprenticed in Paris before returning to India to work on several Urban and Housing projects. Balsavar has been involved in disaster mitigation and war refugee rehabilitation. He has been a nominated member of the Federal Republic of Germany-Climate Policy 2050 program, UK Program on Architecture Education, etc. He is a member of the CMDA Master Plan and Monitoring Committee. Balsavar has also been on various national and international juries, including the prestigious IIT, Gandhinagar jury for selection of Architects for their new campus. Artes projects for Tsunami Rehabilitation were named in UNDP best practices and published by MIT Press Boston, DOMUS and Routledge Press, USA as well as CSE India. He has co-authored three books and regularly contributes to The Hindu, national and international journals on cultural landscapes, future cities,heritage and environment. Durganand is Convenor of Confluence 10 Forum and Jaipur Architecture Festival and Design Chair-VIT School of Architecture, Vellore.

Kiran Keswani

Kiran graduated in architecture from Mumbai in 1988 and was a Netherlands Fellow at the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies at Erasmus University in 1996. She has had a design practice for 15 years. She is currently pursuing her doctoral studies in Urban design at the Faculty of Architecture, CEPT University, Ahmedabad. Her research focuses on the ‘Informality of urban space as an outcome of everyday practices’. She has been teaching a two-week course on ‘The Everyday City’ as part of CEPT University’s Summer-Winter School program. Her recent publications include a chapter in the book ‘Informal Urban Street markets: International Perspectives’ published in January 2015 and a paper accepted in the Working paper series at the Asia Research Institute, NUS in March 2015. She writes a blog ‘Everyday City’ for Citizen matters, an online news magazine.

Pratik Yadav

Pratik works as a data analyst at Mapbox and focuses improving OpenStreetMap data using a combination of satellite imagery, customer feedback, and probe data. Pratik joins the team with a background in GIS and remote sensing. He holds a master’s in Geoinformation Science and Earth Observation with a specialization in geoinformatics from University of Twente, the Netherlands. When not staring at maps, he loves motorcycling, traveling off the beaten path, and tea.

Roos Gerritsen

Roos is an anthropologist from University of Heidelberg. Her research focuses on popular visual culture, media and urban aesthetics and cultural politics in south India. She is currently developing two new research projects. The first addresses sustainable and ethical food consumption and the imagination and articulation of ‘everyday utopias’. It investigates vernacular transition movements in Chennai as they seek solutions for sustainability in foodscapes and neo-traditional, local and the organic consumption. The second project focuses on media practices in social and political anxieties around gender and issues of public visibility. Roos currently has a short-term lectureship at IGCS, supported by the German Academic Exchange Service DAAD and BMBF.

Sajjad Anwar

Sajjad builds data processing and productivity tools to scale Mapbox’s data team. He has been working closely with OpenStreetMap data and technology for over 6 years. As a strong advocate of open data, he is actively involved in its movement in India with initiatives like DataMeet and GeoBLR. Prior to Mapbox, Sajjad built a platform for monitoring natural resources in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the data infrastructure to improve accountability and transparency of public schooling in Karnataka, India. Sajjad holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science.

Seetha Raghupathy

Seetha received her Master of Architecture in Urban Design from the Harvard Graduate School of Design and her Bachelor of Architecture from Anna University. As a Senior Urban Designer in AECOM’s Singapore studio, she has worked on several projects in the region including Tengah New Town, a large public housing project for the Housing and Development Board; Changi Airport Land Use Study that addressed its expansion and the River of Life project in Kuala Lumpur that will transform the Klang River into an active and livable riverfront apart from other mixed use projects. She is currently also a visiting lecturer at the National University of Singapore.Prior to joining AECOM, she worked at Skidmore Owings & Merrill and for the University of California at Santa Barbara. As Project Designer for the Museum Without Walls initiative at culture NOW, she co-curated an exhibition ‘Mapping the Cityscape’ at the Center for Architecture in New York. Her expertise includes master planning, urban design, architecture and participatory planning.

Siddharth Hande

Siddharth is a spatial data analyst by training. He is interested in social entrepreneurship, technology, the environment and urban planning. He is the founder of Kabadiwalla Connect, an award winning social enterprise that uses IT to leverage the circuits of the existing informal waste ecosystem to send less recyclable waste to the landfill in urban India.

Lalitha Subramanian

Lalitha is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Social Engineering, RGNIYD, Sriperumbudur and handles subjects for the M.A. Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship students. She has a Ph.D. (Social Work) from the University of Madras with a Master of Philosophy (Social Work) from Loyola College, Chennai and a Master of Arts (Social Work) from Stella Maris College, Chennai. She qualified UGC-NET in Social Work and holds a PG Diploma in Human Resource Management from Annamalai University. She has undergone an Administrative Management-certificate course in Japan during the year 2011. She has also undergone a Master Trainer program in social entrepreneurship conducted by IIM-Kozhikode in 2014 which was sponsored by the British Council, India. With the financial grant received from the British Council she trained 253 young women on social entrepreneurship during the year 2014 and 2015. Lalitha has presented papers in the national and international conferences.

Pitabasa Sahoo

Pitabasa is currently the faculty head at the Department of Social Engineering and head, Centre for Training, Orientation and Capacity Building at RGNIYD in Sriperumbudur. He obtained his Ph.D (in Planning and Development) with Master of Regional Planning from IIT, Kharagpur; he was associate professor at Administrative Staff College of India, Hyderabad; published research papers in national and international journals, conducted several research and evaluation studies for UNDP, UNICEF, NORAD, SIDA, DFID, the World Bank and WFP; participated in the Global Research Program supported by SID, Rome (Italy); was senior planning adviser to National Planning Commission, Gambia; and was an international consultant to IPC-IG, UNDP, Brazil. He specializes in planning and development, public policy and rural development