TECH 2017: an exciting 3 days with the best minds in education technology from around the world

December 16 – 18, 2017 | Novotel Varun Beach, Visakhapatnam, INDIA


The three-day Transforming Education Conference for Humanity (TECH) 2017 organised by UNESCO MGIEP was held at Novotel Varun Beach, Visakhapatnam from December 16 – 18, 2017, focused on digital pedagogies for building peaceful and sustainable societies – through 21st century skills, schools and policies. The conference was attended by over 1,700 registered participants (including teachers, educators, learners, technology and gaming experts, amongst others) from more than 75 countries and witnessed highly engaging deliberations on the future of education, particularly on the innovative methods of teaching using technology. Over the 3 days, TECH comprised of 2 Headline Sessions, including that of award-winning Prof. Sugata Mitra, over 50 catalytic speakers, 100+ presenter sessions and a dedicated Learning and Startup Zone. TECH 2017 was supported by the State Government of Andhra Pradesh and the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India.26733730_1722209671142904_7102905501690061168_n

The first day of the Conference witnessed an exciting opening ceremony, graced by the Honourable Chief Minister of the State of Andhra Pradesh, Sri Nara Chandrababu Naidu, Dr. Satya Pal Singh, Honourable Minister of State for Human Resource Development, Government of India and Ms Audrey Azoulay, Director-General, UNESCO (on video). Addressing a full house at the TECH 2017, Sri Naidu expressed that “education is a key factor for any development” and added that “nothing can be achieved without education”. He further articulated the importance of technology in education and voiced his commitment to the future of education through digital pedagogies. Post his talk, Sri Naidu officially inaugurated the Learning & Startup Zone of TECH, which comprised immersive technologies by startups and other leading organisations in the field of education and technology such as Microsoft India, Samsung and Veative.


The Opening Ceremony also witnessed the signing of two key Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs); the first MOU was signed between UNESCO MGIEP and the Economic Development Board of Andhra Pradesh to establish a “Games and Digital Learning Hub” while the second MOU was for the establishment of a strategic partnership between Samsung India and UNESCO MGIEP to launch Virtual Reality (VR) content and 360 films on two Indian Heritage Sites, the Sun Temple in Konark and the Taj Mahal in India. Additionally in a long term strategic partnership with the State Government of Andhra Pradesh, UNESCO MGIEP will work towards setting up a school for Difference Learning in Andhra Pradesh by 2018.

The Ceremony was followed by a highly engaging 15 minute TECH talk by Dr. Anantha Duraiappah, Director, UNESCO MGIEP who spoke of the concept of flipping education and of embracing technology as a pedagogy. Dr. Duraiappah expressed that “technology should not be seen just as a delivery platform but as a pedagogical tool.”

Following the TECH talk was a highly disruptive panel titled ‘We don’t need no Education’, with a diverse set of panellists including Prof. Sugata MitraMs. Vera El Khoury Lacoeuilhe, Diplomat and Jordan Shapiro, world-renowned thought leader on global education – all of who debated their thought-provoking views on the goal of education. In addition, various breakout sessions were held by presenters during the day on varying themes from “The use of Artificial Intelligence in Distributed Co-Learning” to “Teaching History through Digital Fabrication”.

Day 2 of TECH commenced with an exciting debate through UNESCO MGIEP’s flagship event, Talking Across Generations of Education (TAGe) that provided a platform to youth and policy-makers to exchange views on whether “technology increase or decrease the inequality gap in education”. TAGe was followed by a captivating talk by Prof. Sugata Mitra on “The Future of Learning” during which Prof. Mitra expressed the requirement of “learner-centric education”. Further, day 2 of TECH witnessed various engaging catalytic sessions as well as breakout sessions, debates and keynote sessions on digital pedagogies and neural learning as well as design thinking as a strategy for innovation. Eminent speakers included Kaushik Bellani, Managing Director – McGraw Hill Education India Pvt. Ltd., Vinnie Jauhari, Director – Education Advocacy, Microsoft and Sylvia Martinez, Co-author of Invent to Learn, Making, Tinkering and Engineering the Classroom.

The last day of the Conference witnessed a talk by Heather Knight, Assistant Professor of Robotics at Oregon State University on ‘Developing Charismatic Robots for the Real World’. During her presentation, Prof. Knight presented by her Robot, Ginger, who kept the audience highly engaged.

The Valedictory Ceremony, held on Day 3 to close the Conference, was graced by the Honourable Minister of Human Resource Development, State of Andhra Pradesh, Sri Ganta Srinivasa Rao as well as Y.S. Chowdary, Honourable Minister of State for Ministry of Science & Technology & Earth Sciences. Sri Ganta Rao expressed his commitment to the future of education through digital pedagogies and declared the state Government’s support to institutionalise the TECH as an annual event. He expressed that he would be “keen to see the various methods that UNESCO MGIEP will bring up in the future to advance its efforts”.

TECH was sponsored by Microsoft India (Education Technology Partner)Samsung IndiaDassault SystemsVeative (Immersive Learning Partner) and McGraw Hill (Learning Science Partner). The Knowledge Partners of the Conference included NMIMS, Ubisoft, Quebec Government, ISTE, Social Alpha, EDB and IYC.




Techstars Global Startup Weekend’17, Pune

TGSW Pune ‘17 started at 7:00 pm on Friday, 10th November It was anchored throughout by our Facilitator from Techstars, Mr Arun Philips. The event got off to a fantastic beginning by our Speaker, Mr Kapil Shelke; the CEO of Tork Motorcycles ( Creator of India’s first electric motorbike! ); who narrated his startup story.

47 people attended the event and pitched a whopping total of 31 ideas! A variety of products like news services, travelling apps and smart wardrobes were pitched. Then the voting commenced; The top 9 ideas went on to form teams and build their prototypes.

The  work started on Friday night itself, each team went home of a solid idea of what to build upon. From Saturday onwards, we had Mentors interacting with teams. The Mentors were themselves Founders and CEOs of successful startups, from fields such as Digital Media to Agritech.

The participants thoroughly enjoyed these fruitful discussions as their ideas were moulded and refined. The whole of Saturday was spent building up their prototypes for the final pitch on Sunday. This was done with the help of various online platforms such as Canva, Ionic Creator and WordPress.

Saturday night the participants and our Facilitator had a game of football to relax after a gruelling day. It was followed by unpacking our Startup Weekend stickers from StickerGiant. The work resumed then and went on late into the night, some of the participants even chose to stay back at IISER.


Sunday morning the participants arrived fresh and early. After a few hours of feverish activity, it was time for the final presentations.

Our judges were Mr. Akash Sureka, Mr. Amol Chaphekar and Mr. Satyendra Gupta. After 2 hrs of pitching by the 9 finalists, the top 4 teams were announced. They were:

MeTime, U, News for Me and iDresser. iDresser: the Smart Wardrobe bagged the first prize. They will go on to compete at the next round of Techstars Global Startup Weekend.

Startup Weekend Pune ‘17 was indeed a great experience. At the end of 54 hrs, everyone felt more like family than friends. The energy, the excitement, was intoxicating.


*Highlights of the event: The entire Startup Weekend Pune family celebrated the birthday of Neharika Bayas on Saturday night who chose startup weekend over her friends for celebrating her birthday. There were also 2 participants who drove all the way from Bombay to attend the SW Pune.

All in all, this event gave every person involved lots of memories to cherish!



Help Solve Design Our Next Challenges


Date- 2nd Week of March

Solve was born out of MIT in 2015, a natural offshoot of MIT’s commitment to open technological innovation, and its long commitment to actionable thought leadership in the public sphere.


  • Identifying the best solutions to specific, actionable challenges through open innovation.
  • Building and convening a community of leaders and changemakers committed to partnering together to pilot and implement these solutions.

Development Dialogue, Deshpande Foundations, Hubali


Date-January 28th & 29th, 2017

Venue– Deshpande center for Social Entrepreneurship, Vidyanagar, Hubali, Karnataka

Attendees– Representatives of about 200 organizations across the country and 70+ international delegates, global visionaries, impact investors as well as local communities to share proven models, innovations, and transforming perspective.

 ‘Development Dialogue’ is a concept which brings together numerous social entrepreneurs as well as those who believe in and are involved in creating ecosystems to nurture innovation and entrepreneurship. The Dialogue is held by Deshpande Foundation, a non-governmental organization founded in 1996 by Dr. Desh Deshpande and Jaishree Deshpande.

This year, 2017, it was the 10th Development dialogue with the theme ‘Scaling effectively’. Various panel discussions of leaders from non-profit and for-profit organizations, Government officials, grassroots practitioners and impact investors took place highlighting points to deliver an outcome in a resource efficient manner, in the least possible time to a maximum number of people. According to the speakers- four things come together to create an impact: innovations that are relevant and co-created with the people who need it; execution capacity- ability to absorb innovation and having the human resources to roll out the solution; right infrastructure; government’s involvement, right policies and support. Also, current challenges faced by India’s innovation and ecosystem and entrepreneurship were discussed which includes- Fragmented policy and policy implementation, Inadequate funding of R&D, Difficult and lengthy funding procedures, Angel, venture capital, and seed funding, Weak linkages between stakeholder, Non-conducive education system, Poor infrastructure facilities in villages, Risk aversion among entrepreneurs and Inadequate protection of intellectual property rights.


As a broad outcome of the event, we got to know about the functioning of Hubali Sandbox, a business incubator. It works to create an effective ecosystem where resources are put to use through local entrepreneurship, innovation, and sustainability. We also developed networks in industrial sectors and got to interact with eminent personalities (Notably- Dr. Subhash Chandra Khuntia (Chief Secretary, Govt. of Karnataka), Priyank M. Kharge (Minister of IT, BT & Tourism, Govt. of Karnataka), Dr. Robert Stoner (Deputy Director for Science and Technology, MIT Energy Initiative), Sri. Chanchalapathi Dasa -Senior Vice-President of ISKCON, Bangalore & Vice-Chairman of the Akshaya Patra Foundation), Himanshu Patel –Sarpanch, Punsari.

TechStars Startup Weekend Ideation Workshop

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Planning for a Startup? Wish to learn how to capture opportunities that keep you class apart?

Presenting to you: TechStars Startup Weekend Design Thinking and Ideation Workshop by Prof Kaustubh Dhargalkar. Join us to show your Creative Skills!!!

Venue: IISER Pune
Date: October 14, 2017

Embark on the journey with Prof. Kaustubh Dhargalkar, mentor of Innovation and Management at CIIE- IIM Ahmedabad; to apply Design thinking to arrive at effective, innovative solutions for the market.​

What is Design Thinking and Why is it essential for Startups?
Design Thinking is a systematic process of thinking which empowers even the most traditional thinker to develop new, innovative solutions to the problem at hand. Everybody can be creative by following this process – it is human-centred creativity with purpose.
A successful company needs to have a unique product that adds value to the market. Utilizing elements from the designer’s toolkit, such a product can be created.

About the Facilitator

Prof Kaustubh Dhargalkar is a serial entrepreneur, has co-founded five companies till date, is currently a mentor at CIIE-IIM Ahmedabad and is also active on startup forums like Weekend Ventures, Economic Times- Power of Ideas etc.
Visualising unique & sustainable Business Models is his forte. He specialises in bringing out the creative force in organisations. Prof Dhargalkar is associated with corporates like Mercedes Benz, Daimler, Citibank, HP, Deloitte, Mahindra Group, Yes Bank, Accenture, RPG Group, L&T and many others as a Design Thinking Trainer and an ‘Innovation & Strategy Consultant’.
He also has been the invited speaker at two TEDx events till date.

Register at:

5th Coffee with a Startup – Khethworks

Entrepreneurship and Innovation Cell, IISER Pune presents 5th Coffee with a Startup

Date: 02 September 2017, Saturday, Time: 4:00 – 5:00 PM, Venue: Lecture Hall Complex 101, IISER Pune

Register at:

About the event: Coffee with a Startup is a speaker series organised by Entrepreneurship and Innovation Cell of IISER Pune. The series involves informal discussion with various startup founders. The founders come and share their stories about their humble beginnings, the challenges they have faced and the success and failures that have occurred in the path during the creation of their company.

About the speaker: Katie Taylor earned her Master’s degree from the MIT Dept. of Mechanical Engineering in 2015. She is co-founder and CEO of Khethworks, a Tata Center spinout company, which builds affordable, solar-powered irrigation systems that enable farmers to cultivate year-round. Their simple centrifugal water pump design is of triple the efficiency of similar-size pumps and has potential to transform lives of millions of farmers in India. She is recognised as Innovators Under 35, most prestigious recognition worldwide bestowed by MIT Technology Review.

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Rural Innovation Workshop

Rural Innovation Workshop

“Apprise Education, Reprise Innovation!!”
Hello Everyone, The EIC, IISER Pune is to launch ‘Rural Innovation Challenge’ to address the challenges of village communities. We plan to take IISER’s research out of the lab, to develop sustainable solutions to address the pressing needs of society.
We are organizing a workshop in association with SELCO Foundation. The details of the Rural Innovation Challenge Workshop are as follows:

The workshop would have three sections:
1. An introduction of Selco’s work and what they have achieved so far.
2. Spotting the needs and challenges in rural parts
3. Design thinking to solve the problem.

Time: 11 AM to 4 PM
Date: 4th Feb 2017
Venue: C201, HR4
Please fill the form as given in the link (