Sustainable development, as defined by the Brundtland Commission, is “development meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs”. Since 2015, this agenda has been captured and encapsulated by 17 interlinked Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and accompanying targets to be achieved by 2030. These cover a range of societal challenges, including the eradication of poverty and hunger, access to clean energy and water, and climate action.
Indo Data Week 2020 brings together practitioners, decision makers, researchers and others in a week-long event to explore synergies between data science and sustainable development with applicability in the Indian context. Partners include WorldStartup, Cisco LaunchPad, Climate Collective, RICH and JADS, among others.
The sustainability challenges we face cannot be understood in isolation from one another. Siloed or disconnected approaches are insufficient in addressing root causes of long-standing problems. There is a growing movement to understand and solution from the “systems” perspective that recognizes and works with complex interrelationships between issues of concern. Energy, food and water in particular form a “nexus” of interwoven problems where vulnerabilities, risks and leverage points for change emerge from the linkage between systems.
I am therefore excited to facilitate a panel discussion at Indo Data Week exploring challenges and opportunities in this nexus in regard to artificial intelligence and data science. The panelists are eminent experts, including a serial entrepreneur in the sustainability/clean-tech space (Mr. Ganesh Shankar), a senior Government strategic and operational leader working in food & agriculture (Mr. Bhubesh Kumar), and a leading AI researcher and innovator (Ms. Tanuja Ganu) with more than 13 years of industry experience in building large scale system design and innovation projects.
We’ll be looking at where data and AI are being applied to create environmental, social and economic value addressing critical challenges in the food-energy-water nexus. What are the use-cases for AI? What kinds of AI models are being built and for what purposes? What are the benefits of leveraging AI? How does AI enable new business models for sustainable development? What challenges might occur with respect to equity, inclusion and privacy by applying AI in this nexus? Can we solve not only for India but for other emerging/Global South markets as well? And what vision do our panelists have for the further application of AI and data science in this nexus?
It promises to be an interesting learning experience for me! I look forward to seeing you at the discussion on Thursday 19 November, at 11:30 AM IST. I’ll further be at the Indo Data Week Hackathon For Good as an enabler and mentor to teams where we are addressing a problem in this nexus- so hope to see you there as well!