The conference was organised by CivicLabs, an initiative of the Center for Knowledge Societies. The conference aimed to create a platform through which urban administrators can engage with a wide range of expertise representing innovation, public policy, development, technology and entrepreneurship. The event brought together leading global and Indian practitioners representing these fields, to share and exchange best practices, learnings, approaches and philosophies in an attempt to chart a way forward for an ecosystem for civic innovation for India’s cities.
Pavan spoke on how the city of Bangalore has seen different modes of civic innovation over the past two decades, from innovations coming from within the government to the civil society solving certain city challenges entirely independently, without involving city agencies. He also spoke about how civic innovation is not just about technological innovations, and spoke about the Bangalore Civic Leadership Incubation Programme. He argued that teaching city governance and local leadership – a topic learnt by many purely through experience – can catalyse civic outcomes in a city, and requires significant innovation.
Other panel members included Aditya Dev Sood from the Center for Knowledge Societies, Diastika Rahwidiati from Pulse Lab Jakarta, and Sriganesh Lokanathan from LIRNEasia, Colombo.
Pavan Srinath is the Head of Policy Research at the Takshashila Institution, and a Fellow at the Centre for Smart City Governance.