Past Event

Disrupting Urban India: Transforming Life and Work through Technology

October 10, 2019
5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
Event time is displayed in your time zone.
CoWrks, Cybercity, 5th Floor, Tower A, Building 10, DLF Cyber City, DLF Phase 2, Sector 24, Gurugram, Haryana 122022

As part of its Urban Works Innovation Challenge 2019-2020, Columbia Global Centers | Mumbai invites you to a panel discussion moderated by Dr. Ravina Aggarwal and featuring two distinguished startup founders, Vaishali Nigam Sinha, Chief CSR, Sustainability & Communications Officer at ReNew Power, and Kalpana Viswanath, Co-founder and CEO, Safetipin.
India has witnessed disruptive innovation throughout its history – from manufacturing to software services, e-commerce, and apps.  Each year, more than 800 new technology startups emerge in the enterprise sector.  In 2019, the country produced 16 startups valued at over $1 billion.  In addition to popular disruptors in the entertainment and retail markets, several impactful startups are solving complex city-level challenges of mobility, resource efficiency, and safety.  Our panelists will share their journey as leading entrepreneurs who are using technological innovations to advance sustainability and safety in our cities. 
The panel will be followed by an Information Session for those interested in applying for the Urban Works Innovation Challenge.  

Stay tuned for a similar event in Bengaluru.

To register, please send an email to [email protected]


About the speakers:

Vaishali Shah

Vaishali Nigam Sinha is the Chief Sustainability, CSR and Communication Officer at ReNew Power, which is India’s largest renewable energy IPP (Independent Power Producer).  A strong advocate of equal participation of women in economic activities, Vaishali is also passionate about Climate Change, Women’s Entrepreneurship and Leadership.  She has been a speaker at international forums like the California Governor’s Global Climate Action Summit, Clinton Global Initiative and United Nations Global Compact Network.  
Vaishali is deeply engaged with industry bodies, think tanks and educational institutions.  She is a member of the Governing Council of the UN Global Compact Network, India (GCNI) and Chairperson of their Gender Committee; Chairperson – South Asian Women In Energy (SAWIE); Co – Chair of CII Indian Women Network and Woman Empowerment Committee.  Vaishali is on the Advisory Board for Columbia Global Centers | Mumbai and is a member of the Governing Council of the Vedica Scholars Programme for Women.  She also serves on the Advisory Committee of the Centre of Excellence for Research on Clean Air (CERCA) at Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi.
Vaishali was felicitated for her outstanding contribution towards woman empowerment by CSR Journal in July 2019, and also recognized as being amongst India’s Top 25 Impactful CSR Leaders by the India CSR Network in April 2019.  CEO Today magazine has conferred the Business Woman of the Year Award 2019 on her for her achievements and leadership of women in business.  Vaishali has completed the Owners and Presidents Management Program from Harvard Business School and has a Masters in Public Policy from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, where she was an American Association of University Women (AAUW) scholar. 

Kalpana Vishwanath

Kalpana Viswanath is the co-founder and CEO of Safetipin, a mobile app and technology platform developed to support women's safety and mobility in cities.  Safetipin is currently being used in over 20 cities in India and other developing countries, including Colombia, Kenya, Vietnam and Philippines.  The app has over 100,000 downloads.  Safetipin has been used by city governments to make cities and public spaces more inclusive and gender friendly.  It has also been used to understand young women’s experiences of cities and how it relates to their ability to access opportunities.
She has worked over ten years in designing the SafeCity Program and preparing a strategic framework.  She is a member of the Delhi Government Women’s Safety Committee which prepared a report and roadmap for women’s safety in the city.  She has also worked as a technical consultant with UN Women and UN-Habitat on issues of gender and urban safety in several cities around the world, and is a member of the Advisory group on gender issues for UN-Habitat.
In addition, she is a Board member of the International Centre for the Prevention of Crime (ICPC) Canada, and the Chairperson of Jagori, a well-known women’s NGO in Delhi.  She has published widely in magazines and journals, and has co-edited a book on Building Gender Inclusive Cities.  She writes a weekly column for Hindustan Times on cities and public space. 

Ravina Aggarwal

Ravina Aggarwal has been the Director of the Columbia Global Centers | Mumbai since 2015.  She is a sociocultural anthropologist with a doctoral degree from Indiana University in 1994.  Dr. Aggarwal taught in the Department of Anthropology at Smith College, where she became a tenured faculty member.  Her research is based on extensive fieldwork in the Himalayas and her areas of study and teaching included political anthropology, peace-building, cultural studies, gender, and development.
Prior to joining the Mumbai Center, Dr. Aggarwal worked at the Ford Foundation’s New Delhi office from 2007-2015, where she was responsible for strategic planning and grant-making for programs on development, social justice and public policy, with a focus on the fields of education, media and information technology, and arts and culture.  She serves on the Advisory Board of the Mumbai-based Urban Design Research Institute and is one of the two founders of the Ladakh Arts and Media Organisation.
Dr. Aggarwal is the author of several publications, including Beyond Lines of Control: Performing the Border in Ladakh, India (Duke University Press, Seagull Books) and the editor of Into the High Ranges (Penguin India) and Forsaking Paradise (Katha).  She has recently completed Songbird (forthcoming Zubaan), a mystery novel for young adults set in the Himalayas.