Announcing our first keynote speaker: Dr. Anita Patil-Deshmukh

We’re delighted to announce our first keynote speaker at State of the Map Asia, 2018 — Dr. Anita Patil-Deshmukh.

Dr. Anita Patil-Deshmukh is the Executive Director of PUKAR (Partners of Urban Knowledge Action and Research) — an independent research collective and an urban knowledge production centre based in Mumbai that conducts multi-sectoral, cross-disciplinary, community-based participatory research on issues related to urbanisation and globalisation.

PUKAR’s projects are at the intersection of urbanism, culture, and communities. One of their recent projects looks at Mumbai through the structures of cotton mills in the city, creating a unique and living portrait of a community in flux—

The courtyard of the BDD chawl. Constructed in 1922 as jails, the chawls eventually became homes for the mill workers. As the years went on, families grew and residents tried to expand to make more room (the white and red makeshift balconies in the picture for example). Photo and caption by Maria Thomas for Quartz.

Dr. Patil-Deshmukh drives PUKAR and it’s central idea of community-driven research. They train barefoot researches to archive stories within their own communities, a lot like how OpenStreetMap communities document geographies. We’re excited to hear from Dr. Patil-Deshmukh about the nuances and challenges of building, training, and sustaining communities.

Dr. Patil-Deshmukh is a neonatologist by profession, a self-taught social scientist by passion, and developmental researcher by preference. She played a major leadership role within India Development Service (IDS), a pioneering Chicago based organisation supporting developmental projects in India for which she volunteered over 15 years. She relocated to India in 2005 to contribute to the developmental sector and joined PUKAR. Her research interests are urbanisation, urban poverty, health, and urban knowledge production through the lens of youth.

Thanks Arun Ganesh for his work on identifying keynote speakers. Our team is working on preparing the agenda and registrations will open soon. We look forward to seeing you at the conference!