Real estate is a hugely contested asset in Mumbai. As part of its Mumbai as a City of Knowledge series, Columbia Global Centers | Mumbai recently hosted an exhibition from November 20-25 on the erstwhile mill lands of Girangaon documented through the eyes of the people who lived and worked there. The exhibition was inaugurated by Nandita Das, film artist and social activist, and followed by an opening panel discussion. The exhibition was based on ‘Mythologies of Mumbai,’ a seven-year project of PUKAR.
Most discussions on water supply and shortage in cities focus on rainfall, rivers, and piped water supply. Lakes rarely find a mention in this urban water story, though they form a significant part of the urban ecosystem, playing a crucial role in water storage, groundwater recharge, biodiversity, and as a buffer against floods. As part of its ongoing series investigating issues related to groundwater, the Center hosted a lecture by Dr. Veena Srinivasan, a Fellow at the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE).
Why did Facebook’s Free Basics program, available in 37 countries around the world, fail in India? What were the processes used by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India in its judgement against Free Basics? How were the values of freedom, access, and digital equality invoked by the opposing sides? And finally, why does Net Neutrality matter in a country with such low rates of Internet penetration? Taking these questions offline, the Mumbai Center organized "Saving the Internet" as a conversation between Apar Gupta and Dr. Ravina Aggarwal.
The city of Mumbai is perhaps best known globally for its film industry; films are a vital part of its political economy and cultural imagination. In October 2016, the Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI) organized the 18th Mumbai Film Festival to bring art house cinema as well as from Bollywood, Hollywood and other international movies to audiences in the city. The Mumbai Center facilitated the formation of a vibrant educational and cultural network for the festival by coordinating a series of brainstorming sessions with academics and civil society organizations.
Amidst climate change threats and geopolitical struggles, can nations afford to take an isolationist perspective in determining their energy policies or is global thinking and interdependence the way for a sustainable and stable future? What are the latest trends in global oil and natural gas markets and what implications do these have for countries like India? A panel discussion on this issue was organized by the Mumbai Center featuring energy experts from Columbia’s Center on Global Energy Policy (CGEP) at the India Merchants Chambers on December 1.
Are rural communities willing to pay for clean drinking water? How does household income influence the decision making of citizens regarding prioritizing water for agriculture or drinking purposes? How do you provide water to people in a sustainable manner? What are the incentives for a community to manage its common water resources? Dr. Katherine Alfredo, a research scientist from Earth Institute, Columbia University presented her ongoing research on some of these complex questions in a Lecture and Discussion organized by the Mumbai Center.
Global citizenship emerged as a buzzword among Mumbai citizens on November 19, 2016, with the metropolis hosting the Global Citizen Festival featuring British rock band, Coldplay. In the afternoon preceding the landmark event, Columbia Global Centers | Mumbai partnered with the festival organizer, The Global Education and Leadership Foundation (tGELF) to organize a workshop to explore ways in which citizenship could be practicably realized in classrooms.
Municipal solid waste has tripled globally since 1950 and is expected to be six times greater by 2030. So, how will global cities manage their ever-increasing mounds of waste? One thing that clearly emerges from years of research is that we need to put an end to open dumping. Evidence for this argument was presented by Athanasios Bourtsalas, Adjunct Professor at the Earth and Environmental Engineering Department, Columbia University, and the Manager of the Earth Engineering Center at Columbia University.
Social revolution and cinematic movements have been strange bedfellows in the history of Latin American countries since the 1950s. Richard Peña, Professor of Film Studies, Columbia University, and former Director of the New York Film Festival, offered a glimpse into Latin American cinema through the evolving histories of Brazil, Cuba, Mexico and Argentina through a four-day lecture series and film screenings at the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum in Mumbai.
Creativity, which is considered to be a key driver of innovation, is often characterized as an indefinable and innate quality possessed by a few people. The Center organized a presentation and panel discussion with Gita Johar, Meyer Feldberg Professor of Business at Columbia Business School and writer Aparna Piramal-Raje to demystify the concepts of creativity and innovation.