Mr. Black is the owner and principal of Edutainer 53 Consulting Limited, an Edmonton-based consulting organization focused upon project management and operations consulting and training.
Throughout his 40-year career, he has worked in a variety of industries including telecommunications, IT consulting, e-learning development and consulting, project management training and consulting, and PMO management. As a project management consultant and trainer, he has led consulting work in a variety of industries and taught courses as part of executive education training offered through Alberta-based colleges and the University of Alberta.
Mr. Black has been a volunteer for most of his life. As a young man, he volunteered with the YMCA and with his local church. He has held office in such diverse organizations as his Church Servers Guild (head server), the University of Waterloo Alumni Association (vice president–events; chapter president) and with PMI and specifically the PMI Northern Alberta Chapter (vice president–education, president, past president). Within his 12 years of PMI volunteering, he has served as a Region 1 Mentor and served on the Chapter Member Advisory Group (CMAG).
A vibrant and colorful speaker, he has presented at PMI® Leadership Institute Meetings, global conferences, regional meetings, and chapter meetings as well as international technical conferences on topics such as strategy, leadership, strategic telecommunications operations, process re-engineering, people and personality, and, of course, project management.
Mr. Black earned his B.A Sc. In Civil Engineering from the University of Waterloo. He also holds certificates in Engineering Economics from Duke University, and Insights Personal Discovery™ evaluation. Mr. Black holds a Professional Engineering (P. Eng.) designation registered in the Province of Alberta, and has held his PMP®designation since 2004.
Dr. Archana Sharma is a Principal scientist at the CERN, the European Council for Nuclear Research in Geneva, Switzerland. She was an Indian staff scientist at CERN who was involved in the path-breaking discovery of Higgs Boson particle in 2012. Her journey from Jhansi to CERN, the Mecca of Particle Physics has been remarkable and a story of inspiration for many aspiring Indian scientists.
An internationally recognized expert having worked on several CERN experiments both on R&D being involved in designing and prototyping, and on running laboratories for construction, safety, installation, commissioning and operation of large-scale gaseous detectors for radiation. Following a graduate degree in Physics from BHU Varanasi, received her Ph.D. from Delhi University in 1989 followed by a D.Sc from the University of Geneva, in 1996. Archana also earned an executive MBA degree from the International University Geneva in 2001. Her publications, review articles and book: a special volume on Instrumentation on Particle Physics edited by her are widely referred to and cited. She is an IEEE Senior serving several terms on the Transnational Committee. She is the co-owner of patent on a family of timing and high rate capable devices and has served on numerous committees and plays a vital role in advisory review boards for leading International Conferences, Publications and Symposia in the field.
An examiner for European Commission Horizon 2020 projects and for relevant national funding agencies and an Adjunct professor in several institutions she teaches regularly courses on gaseous detectors and their applications in high energy physics and in other fields like medical imaging and diagnostics, astronomy, space and PET. Actively facilitating knowledge exchange and capacity building in the science and technology sector utilizing her mandate in the International Committee and the Career Committees. Author and co-author of over 800 publications, is invited regularly for talks in international conferences and public addresses in various science and technology events. Recently nominated Distinguished Lecturer at IEEE, she has collaborated with events at the ILO Geneva and World Communication Forum Davos as spokesperson for diversity, excellence in scientific communication.
Dr. Archana has donned several hats including that of a Physicist, Teacher and a Project Manager at CERN
Dr. V. R. Lalithambika joined Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), ISRO in 1988 after graduation(Electrical) and post-graduation (Control Engineering) from College of Engineering, Trivandrum. She later did her PhD in Control Engineering, in 2008.
She has been associated with the autopilot design of ISRO launch vehicles PSLV, GSLV and GSLV MkIII right from inception. She later assumed responsibility for guidance and control design, mission analysis and simulation activities. Her team has played a major role in the success of the launch vehicle missions, including the Reusable Launch Vehicle technology demonstrator, and the Crew module recovery experiment.
At present she is designated as Outstanding Scientist, and Director, Directorate of Human Space Programme at ISRO headquarters. She was earlier holding the post of Deputy Director, VSSC.
For her contributions in launch vehicle technology, she has been conferred with the following awards:
Ms. Karuna Gopal, is an Internationally acclaimed Thought Leader, Keynote Speaker and Advisor on Smart Cities. She is the Founder President of Foundation for Futuristic Cities, a think tank that has influenced Urban Transformation in India for over a decade.
Ms Gopal contributed to the design of the '100 Smart Cities Mission' of India and has been invited to speak at the launch of the Mission by the Prime Minister. Her innovation SCULPT YOUR CITY- 2009 (a crowd sourced protocol) has shaped the Mission guidelines and has been declared a National Best Practice.
Governments of Singapore, Sweden, UK, Philippines, UAE, Turkey, Israel and USA have invited her for inputs on Smart Governance. In 2018, Ms Gopal was invited by the Prime Minister of UAE to address their flagship event – World Government Summit at Dubai
In 2015, Ms Gopal served as senior advisor, Union Ministry for Housing and Urban Affairs on behalf of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She was also one of the urban experts to have carried out a mid-course evaluation of the National Mission Program ‘Clean India – Swachh Bharat Abhiyan on behalf of Asian Development Bank (ADB). In the past, she served as an Urban Expert for The WORLD BANK, DFID (Department for International Development, UK), USAID (United States Agency for International Development) & ADB (Asian Development Bank).
In 2010 as a member of Chief Minister's Advisory Council of Andhra Pradesh (erstwhile united Andhra Pradesh) she was instrumental in forging a Sister State Partnership between Washington State (USA) and Andhra Pradesh
Her current initiative SURGE (Smart Urbanization Reinventing Growth with Equity) is about transformative policies for ushering a NEW INDIA.
Mr. Pradeep Panicker is the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd. (GHIAL). Prior to joining GHIAL, he has held various portfolios at GMR Delhi International Airport including that of Executive Vice-President (EVP) & Chief Commercial Officer for Aeronautical Business.
He comes with a vast experience of over 25 years working in leading infrastructure and financial institutions viz. Feedback Ventures (P) Ltd., L&T Group, IDBI, and Price Waterhouse Coopers.
Mr. Panicker has been one of the key members of the successful team that won the bid for modernization of Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA), New Delhi and its takeover.
As the Founder President of Air Cargo Forum India (ACFI), a not for profit association that offers a common platform to the air cargo community, his guidance has been pivotal in Process simplification, Policy formulation, Innovation, Benchmarking, etc.
Mr. Panicker is a Chartered Accountant, Cost & Works Accountant and holds Diploma in Merchant Banking and Financial Services. With his proven expertise as an Industry leader, Mr. Panicker has presented insightful papers and shared his knowledge at various conferences including those of CII, FICCI, ASSOCHAM, Aerodrome India, Business Standard, CRISIL, Indo-US Aviation, Construction India, British Airport Group, Forum Asia-Bangkok, Dubai Future of Borders Conference, PHD Chamber of Commerce, Air Cargo Agents Association of India, Federation of Freight Forwarders Association of India and so on.
He is an in-house faculty who has been instrumental in developing and delivering various training programs related not only to Aviation but also Management. His transformational coaching and mentoring skills have added to a whole new learning curve in creating leadership pipeline for the industry.
Sudhanshu Mani, is ex-General Manager of Indian Railways' Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Chennai and the Chief Architect of India’s fastest train, ‘Train 18’ also known as the Vande Bharat Express
Mr. Mani belongs to the 1979 batch of Indian Railways Service of Mechanical Engineers (IRSME) and retired recently on 31 December 2018. He has over 36 years of experience in Indian Railways and has worked in areas like workshop management, railway operations, project management, planning and R&D.
Train 18, made news for being the first engine-less as well as the fastest train in India. Its production and manufacturing was completed within a record-breaking time span of 18 months and made possible under the Project leadership of Mr. Mani. During his tenure, ICF has also completely offset the emission and became the first organisation of Indian Railways to achieve Carbon Negative status; he has authored a coffee table book on the subject detailing this environmental journey.
He also spearheaded the organisation to achieve a record production of 3,262 coaches per year in the year 18-19, which was successively increase from the level of 2005 coaches in the year 15-16 before he joined as Its head, a phenomenal jump of 63% in less than three years. His work ethics and contributions to the Indian Railways, including the record-breaking Train 18 will remain one of the splendid achievements of India's progress in this space.
He has also developed a new genre of art & railways in visual arts, brought about through a movement called Safar (Support and Appreciation for Art & Railways) initiated by him in 2011 and continued till 2018. He has chronicled his experiences in four coffee table books written between 2012 and 2019.
Heena joined Google this year as a Director in CorpEng. She leads the internal tools team within Googler Technology & Engineering group that builds applications and intelligent automation to drive productivity for Googlers.
She has two decades of rich experience in Technology and Product Engineering, wherein she has led multiple product and service vision, design, development and GTM efforts. Over the last few years, she has set up Machine Learning / AI COEs grounds up and successfully taken innovation from lab to production in the area of Sales & Marketing Intelligence and Operational Intelligence. She has successfully led globally distributed teams to achieve top organisational initiatives from idea to execution, delivered multi-generation roadmap while consciously developing a culture of high energy and customer empathy in her teams.
Before joining Google, she led the ML/AI COE at CA Technologies to harness existing data assets into their latest product - CA Operational Intelligence. Prior to that, she was with Microsoft for over 11 years delivering many enterprise scale solutions for both internal and fortune 500 customers. Some of the projects that she delivered for MS corp were amongst top CIO initiatives, such as Customer 360 Master Data Management services, Honouring Customer Permissions services, Enterprise Integration platform. During her time with Microsoft Consulting, she led teams to deliver marquee projects for Ford Smart Car, UK Guide Dogs, Norway Healthcare, Dubai PMO, Singapore CPF. She led ‘AI for the enterprise’ vision of Microsoft's Sales transformation and delivered an advanced analytics platform that drives smart experiences and intelligent decision making for MS Sellers. She has coached several enterprise customers on strategizing the roadmap for driving digital maturity. She is a well known speaker on the topic of ML/AI for enterprises. Prior to Microsoft, she has worked with GE Product Engineering, ABB Corporate Research, Larsen & Toubro R&D, where she developed Product life cycle management software and deployed them across the globe.
She believes that her career is built on change, constant learning, obsession with creating value for customers, moving to new challenges and conquering new frontiers. She is extremely passionate about entrepreneurial growth and so in her spare time, she helps local startups and students. She is on the board of Thermaissance, a patient care startup and contributes to Literacy Projects. She enjoys the ‘learn it all’ attitude, is a big advocate of sustainable lifestyle, spends time on wellness, loves trekking and reading. She is married to Hari and has two boys - Alay and Aran.
After (un)graduating out of IIT-Madras as an Engineer in Electronics and Electrical Communication, Rajendran was part of the founding team at Zoho Corporation, then called Vembu Systems.
Later, he spent seven years at Xerago, Asia's largest New-Age Marketing Entity, as their Chief Algorithms Officer, managing projects and services for clients including Citibank and Sify.
After rejoining Zoho Corporation in 2004, he has been serving a dual role at the company. He spearheads mobile development at Zoho, with a bunch of hundred odd creative designers and developers that builds mobile Apps for Zoho’s 30 million+ customers. He is also a TEDx speaker and a technology evangelist who tries to share hard-earned advice and best practices from his two dozen years of professional experience. He is also a prominent faculty member at Zoho University, Zoho's own ongoing social experiment seen by many as a viable alternative to conventional college education.
Beyond work, he is a contra-academician at heart. Feeling strongly that the education system in India needs a reboot, he also walked the talk, doing his own small bit by ‘free-schooling’ his 18-year-old son at home. His son is now his colleague, at Zoho Corp!
Satyarup Siddhanta is a Bangalore-based Indian mountaineer who holds the world record for Youngest person to climb the 7 summits and 7 volcanic summits. He is also the President and founder of ABETO – "A better tomorrow" foundation.
He made a world record and became the Youngest in the world to climb both the 7 summits (highest mountain of each of the continents) and 7 volcanic summits (highest volcano of each of the continents).
As a child, Satyarup Siddhanta was an asthmatic kid who couldn’t even run a 100m without using an inhaler. His next epic expedition – North Pole last Degree Ski
Srikanth Mopidevi has over 20 years of experience in IT industry. He has deep engineering background, having worked at companies like Microsoft as product unit head for enterprise products. Srikanth is also an entrepreneur and co-founded technology startups. In his recent role, he is Executive Director and head of consumer banking & BigData analytics at DBS Asia Hub
Prajakt is an entrepreneur and entrepreneurship evangelist. His personal mission is to assist and encourage a 100,000 people to become entrepreneurs.
He is the founder of Applyifi wherein he helps startups sharpen their business plans and investor pitch decks. He is also the founding partner of The Growth Labs which helps corporate manage their innovation & startup engagement programs.
Before starting Applyifi Prajakt was the head of operations at Indian Angel Network, founding member of a leading incubator, and the Asia-Director for TiE. Previously Prajakt had co-founded Orange Cross, a healthcare services company, and was part of the founding team member of Idealake Technologies. While in college Prajakt had founded a printing business and has spent over 10 years working in leading advertising agencies.
Prajakt’s book, ‘Starting Up & Fund Raising’, helps startups understand an investor’s perspective, and helps them improve their odds of getting funded. The book also helps entrepreneurs understand the building blocks of a business.
He also volunteers time with TiE.
Title: Design thinking and innovation in disruptive era Relevance of the presentation
“The last eighteen years has seen a seismic shift in global brand rankings. It is almost impossible to believe that less than two decades ago brands such as Apple, Google and Amazon were barely a glint in the world’s eye”. source Truly Deeply.
As Yuval Noha Harari, author of 21 lessons for 21 st century, frames it, ‘Technology is forcing humankind to ask difficult questions, philosophy has never been this central to decision making’.
The new challenges of this era of disruptive technology and innovation have no history. Some of the recent economic failures and increasing rate of complexities at systems level have battered businesses and led to collapse of traditional organisational management processes.
These disruptions demand a shift in how the world views the classic job profiles with fixed boundaries. While on one hand technological disruption has helped merge boundaries, innovate faster, it is demanding every individual to adopt and reinvent oneself on daily basis in order to stay relevant.
More and more companies in the recent times find themselves in a crisis, not knowing how to respond to change and there are no quick fixes and magic wands for that.
The question being, how do individuals, organisations and brands reinvent themselves in order to stay relevant? Amongst all the approaches, what does design thinking offer? How can design thinking help in staying relevant in times to come?
Objective of the presentation:
Unlike the traditional critical thinking of breaking down, design thinking is a paradigm shift, entails building up approach to future possibilities, opportunities and scenarios!
The presentation is aimed at sensitising the audience on role of design thinking as a tool to understand, analyse and map the problem at hand. ‘Design’ often mistaken as the discipline which is concerned with how something looks, the presentation shall address and inform the audience on key features of design and design thinking. And about its efficacy in helping organisations, managers, decision makers to weave functionality and intangibles, like customer’s aspiration in building innovative solutions. Incremental increase in product or service value through iterative process and effective communication design can help organisations, decision makers helps to create a win-win for all the stakeholders. Balancing between the interface of risk management and innovation, design thinking can help address internal and external problems in nuanced ways.
‘How we frame the problem, changes how we perceive, address, respond and solve the problem’, is the underlying principle for design thinking.
The presentation while discusses design thinking approach, also brings awareness on what is not design thinking. The presentation creates a case for design thinking companies versus hiring design thinkers, asking management to not only participate but also facilitate a culture of design thinking for innovation culture within the organisations.
Sumeet, currently, heads the product development for Cybersecurity suite of products for Broadcom’s Enterprise Software Division.
Sumeet has 25 years of experience in building teams & software at scale across Cloud, Automation, Big Data and Cybersecurity domains. He has led multi-product, multi-functional, geographically dispersed teams to deliver products across all stages from Ideation to mature product lines in multi-billion dollar markets. He has successfully transformed large product organizations from “non-predictable deliveries” to “being Predictable” to “being Productive” to “being Thought Leader” by building a culture of high performance, high engagement & customer driven innovation.
He has had leadership roles, in US and India, across companies such as CA Technologies, Cisco Systems and Nortel. Sumeet also holds multiple patents in his name.
Er. N. Venkateshwarlu joined the Department of Irrigation & Command Area Development in the year 1986 as Assistant Executive Engineer and rose to the top level of Chief Engineer in a span of 29 years through sheer hardwork and dedication. During his tenure some of the key achievements include; NTPC, Lift Irrigation Scheme with a capacity of 8.5 TMC, Yellampally Project on River Godavari with a capacity of 20.17 TMC, Manthani Lift Irrigation Scheme, Stage I & II with a capacity of 2 TMC. As Chief Engineer, took the complete responsibility of prestigious Kaleshwaram Project consisting of Three Barages and Three Lifts namely; Medigadda, Annaram and Sundilla which are expected to be completed in a record time of 24 months and 18 months respectively under his able supervision. Kaleshwaram Project is Claimed to be the costliest irrigation project to be taken up by any State till date with an estimated cost of 80,500 crore, the project holds the key to the State Government’s promise of providing irrigation facility to one crore acres of land under all projects/tanks. The unique features of the project, include the longest tunnel to carry water in Asia, running up to 81 km, between the Yellampally barrage and the Mallannasagar reservoir, the project would also utilise the highest capacity pumps, up to 139 MW, in the country to lift water. His innovative and visionary leadership in particular with analysis and design of structures has made him one of the most prominent Irrigation Engineer in the state of Telangana.
Er. Venkateshwarlu is a dedicated, community service-oriented person, despite such achievements and plaudits; he remains extremely modest and easily approachable to his colleagues. His fearless approach, deep study of the complexities coupled with his sincere work ethic, ensured significant development benefits to the region. His frankness, commitment and style have always been thought-provoking. Admirably, he has put State interests over his own personal safety. A rare trait indeed! Smt and Sri. N. Venkateshwarlu are blessed with a daughter Dr. Manasa, a dentist and son Mr. Anudeep, a software engineer. In recognition of Sri. N. Venkateshwarlu’s outstanding contributions in the execution of flagship project of Telangana which would not only irrigate the parched lands of the State, but also provide drinking water and livelihood to lakhs of people. University College of Engineering, Osmania University is truly proud to confer on him this Distinguished Alumnus Award.
Meher is General Manager of Core Platform Engineering at Microsoft, leading high-performing engineering teams focused on building and enhancing the central nervous system that authors, powers and drives Microsoft’s Digital Transformation.
In her current role, she builds and runs a range of services that enable Microsoft’s Digital Transformation and showcases Microsoft first party products in the enterprise. These include Enterprise Integration, Electronic Signatures, SAP, Dynamics and Core Networking and Infrastructure. She constantly strives to innovate and leverage modern technologies to deliver these services.
As key enabler of cross geo strategy, she leads various teams such as Supply Chain, Infrastructure and Services, Business Platforms, Cloud Connectivity Engineering, Business Applications and Services to innovate, execute flawlessly with service reliability and customer obsession.
Prior to this role, Meher was the Chief of Staff for the CVP of Strategic Enterprise Services IT in Redmond, where she led the strategy, investment, portfolio planning, business operations, budgets, operational excellence and change management at Microsoft that provides enterprise processes, services and standards across IT and Microsoft to drive product and operational excellence, agility and customer focus.
She is passionate and super supporter of Diversity and Inclusion at Microsoft and has conceptualized and enabled multiple programs such as:
Prior to Microsoft, Meher held several leadership positions with GE. She provided strong leadership in establishing technology centers of excellence consistently delivering commitments on time and within budget. She led projects in area of ITO, OTR and Procure to Pay Cycle; some of which were cited as case studies by Oracle. She graduated from General Electric’s prestigious Experienced Information Management Program (EIMP), projects included developing strategy for managing rights for television and cable network of NBC Universal Organization, USA and the CRM Strategy for GE Commercial Finance, Europe.
Meher has over 25+ years of experience in IT Industry and was part of the founding class of ISB PGPMAX in 2010.
Manish joined Amazon in 2009 and is presently the Chief Technology Officer for Amazon Pay in India. He is chartered to build innovative digital products for on-Amazon and doorstep payments experience, financing programs, issuance of gift cards, stored value accounts, co-branded credit cards, third party merchant acceptance and high frequency digital categories. Prior to joining Amazon Pay, he headed the World Wide eCommerce Platforms group in India and spearheaded multiple Amazon internal innovations which resulted in top-line and bottom-line growth in the field of Front-End optimizations, Shopping Cart, Checkout, Ordering, Storage, Seller Central, Gift Wrap, Aggregation Services and Operational Excellence. While at Amazon he co-founded 2 new businesses like Amazon Home Services and Amazon Custom.
Before Amazon, Manish has worked for 2 Start-ups and for companies like FedEx Office and JP Morgan Chase. Manish has a Masters in Computer Science.