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Hyderabad Civic Entrepreneur to Speak at World Economic Forum

Civic Entrepreneur from Hyderabad Selected to Speak at World Economic Forum Meeting in Davos

Dipika Prasad, a civic entrepreneur from Hyderabad has been selected by the World Economic Forum to represent the voice of youth at its influential Annual Meeting to be held from 23rd to 26th January at Davos in Switzerland. Dipika, who is Co-Founder of an urban governance initiative called Lakeer will be joining over 150+ Indian industry leaders and 3000+ global leaders at Davos. She will also be speaking at Davos on the topic of citizen-action to build liveable cities as part of a “Big Ideas” session. Delegates at Davos include heads of countries, leaders of the world’s largest corporations, and civil society leaders.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is slated to address the gathering at Davos, joining Telangana's Minister for IT, Industries, and Municipal Administration KT Rama Rao; Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis; and Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu. Also in attendance will be business leaders such as Mukesh Ambani, Chanda Kochhar, Eric Schmidt, Sheryl Sandberg, and Satya Nadella.
Dipika is a member of the Global Shapers Community, an initiative of the World Economic Forum. The Global Shapers Community is a youth led organization with 7000 members in 150 countries who are working towards making a positive change in their communities. She is Curator of the Global Shapers Community in Hyderabad, and one of the four Indian global shapers selected to represent the voice of youth at the World Economic Forum in Davos. She was selected in recognition of 8 years of her work in using technology to solve social challenges in South Asia and East Africa. Prior to setting-up Lakeer she lead Intellecap’s Innovation Lab and award-winning virtual incubation platform StartupWave.  Appreciating her selection, Telangana State Minister KT Rama Rao said, “It is heartening to see a young entrepreneur from our state being selected to address such a prestigious summit.”
Dipika’s focus at Davos will be to highlight the importance of making cities in the developing world, especially in India, more liveable for everyone. Speaking about her key goals at the Davos meeting she said, “Every hour, 1800 Indians move to a city to access better opportunities. The pace at which India is transforming into an urban economy is unprecedented and irreversible. Yet our cities are failing us on every metric of quality of life. From the cancerous air of Delhi to the foaming lakes of Bengaluru - our economic powerhouses have become ticking time bombs. I think Hyderabad is the last liveable metropolis left in India but we need to act now and act together to keep it that way. I want to use the World Economic Forum platform to find scalable and citizen-driven solutions to making our cities inclusive, sustainable, and economically productive. I’m especially keen to build consensus for action amongst Indian leaders who will be there, and to create knowledge and experience-sharing partnerships with civic leaders from other countries.”
Lakeer was set-up to transform Indian cities, one neighbourhood at a time, with strong involvement of citizens and civic technologies. Its work is currently focused on Hyderabad, where it is working with a small cluster of neighbourhoods in which citizen champions are selected and supported to identify and solve local problems. These problems are addressed in collaboration with municipal authorities, business solutions, and citizen action. Some common focus areas that are emerging across neighbourhoods include water scarcity, waste management, and gender equity.
The founding team of Lakeer comprises of young professionals with backgrounds in technology, consulting, venture capital, and digital marketing. Between the founding team members, they have raised more than $3.5 million for social change initiatives; launched award-winning social change programs; and worked with Fortune 500 companies, leading philanthropic initiatives, and large public sector programs. Others on the team include Mohammed Salahuddin, a serial entrepreneur who runs digital marketing agency W3Shastra; Raj Janagam, who leads a social enterprise accelerator called Surge Impact which is focused on the Sustainable Development Goals; and Varun Pawar, who works with a global early-stage venture firm called Village Capital. 

The World Economic Forum, committed to improving the state of the world, is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation.The Forum engages the foremost political, business and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.
It was established in 1971 as a not-for-profit foundation and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. It is independent, impartial and not tied to any special interests. The Forum strives in all its efforts to demonstrate entrepreneurship in the global public interest while upholding the highest standards of governance. Moral and intellectual integrity is at the heart of everything it does.
The Forum’s activities are shaped by a unique institutional culture founded on the stakeholder theory, which asserts that an organization is accountable to all parts of society. The institution carefully blends and balances the best of many kinds of organizations, from public and private sectors, international organizations and academic institutions.
The Forum believes that progress happens by bringing together people from all walks of life who have the drive and the influence to make positive change.
The theme of the 48th annual meeting is “Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World”, and will be anchored by a dynamic and forward-looking programme built around four key objectives:
· Driving Sustained Economic Progress: If technological change and environmental degradation have fundamentally changed how the global economy works, then what new economic models could put us on a path to shared prosperity?
· Navigating a Multipolar and Multiconceptual World: If economic uncertainty and geopolitical competition have driven efforts to reclaim national power and sovereignty, then what balance between global cooperation and local autonomy could prevent the disintegration of world order?
· Overcoming Divisions in Society: If outrage cycles in media and political rhetoric are widening societal fault lines and undermining tolerance, then what solutions can be jointly developed to restore the social compact?
Shaping the Agile Governance of Technology: If recent technological advances have the potential to fundamentally redefine modern life, then what ethical foundations and adaptive policies could ensure that society benefits from equal access and equal protection in the future?

Lakeer is an urban governance initiative that mobilizes citizens to make their neighborhoods more liveable. We are bringing citizens back to the center of how cities are governed. We do this by building a network of citizen champions who solve local issues using insights generated by a decentralized data platform and mass communication tools. Our vision is to make cities more innovative, inclusive, and economically productive.

Dipika Prasad, Co-Founder, Lakeer

Dipika specializes in using technology to identify and amplify systems change. She co-founded an urban governance initiative called Lakeer which is focused on making Indian cities liveable through citizen action and civic tech. She has spent the past 8 years working on inclusive development issues across South Asia and East Africa. She has advised and supported organizations such as the World Bank, IFC, the Rockefeller Foundation, Bosch, Unilever, GIZ, Shell Foundation, and PRADAN.

Prior to Lakeer, Dipika co-founded the Intellecap Innovation Lab - an initiative focused on using exponential technologies to drive social change. She also built and scaled India's first and largest virtual incubation platform called "StartupWave". The platform was recognized by the World Economic Forum and Harvard Kennedy School as one of 12 breakthrough ideas shaping the future of global inclusive development.

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