Keynote Speakers

Richard Anderson

Professor, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Washington
Title: Making good ideas last

A goal of HCI research is to invent technology that improves people’s lives. In this talk I will reflect on challenges in sustaining innovations as they transition from researchers to organizations or governments who deploy them at scale.  I will draw on examples from low cost Video-Based education, mobile data management for national immunization programs and training in global health projects. The main theme of the talk is to formulate a set of downstream research challenges that target the post innovation phase of HCI research with the hope that this will strengthen long term impact.


Richard Anderson is a Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, where he has been on the faculty since 1986, with brief leaves to Indian Institute of Science, Microsoft Research, and PATH. His research has focused on computing for the developing world since 2005, when he became involved with the Digital Study Hall project. In 2009, Richard spent a sabbatical year working with the Digital Health Solutions group at PATH, a global health NGO based in Seattle. This opportunity allowed him to increase his efforts on applying computing technologies to challenges in global health. While working with PATH, he co-founded the Projecting Health project, which used the Community-Led Video Education model to promote healthy practices in rural areas in India. His research interests in ICTD include technologies for behavior change communication, improving tools to support the use of data in strengthening health systems, and digital financial services. In 2020 he received the ACM Eugene L. Lawler Award for Humanitarian Contributions within Computer Science and Informatics for contributions bridging the fields of computer science, education, and global health.


Manohar Swaminathan

Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research
Title: Ludic Design for Accessibility in the Global South

We present a new methodology for the design of solutions for accessibility that puts play and playfulness at the center. The ongoing work of introducing computational thinking to children in schools for the blind is used to illustrate the methodology. This work is in partnership with Vision Empower Trust and the Center for Accessibility in the Global South at the IIIT Bangalore and this is the fourth year of this partnership. We highlight the power of play in mitigating the host of challenges faced while creating solutions in the Global South. We also touch upon the unique challenges of doing HCI research using the Ludic Design methodology.


Manohar Swaminathan is a Senior Principal researcher at Microsoft Research India. His current research in accessibility is built around Ludic Design for Accessibility a new methodology which puts play and playfulness central to all technology solutions for accessibility. He is also a founding co-convener of the Center for Accessibility in the Global South at the IIIT-Bangalore. Manohar is an academic-turned technology entrepreneur-turned researcher with a driving passion to build and deploy technology for positive societal impact. He has a PhD in CS from Brown University, was a Professor at the Indian Institute of Science, and has co-founded, managed, advised, and angel-funded several technology startups in India, including PicoPeta Simputers and Strand Life Sciences.

Marianne Kinnula

Associate Professor, University of Oulu, Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, Finland
Title: Democratizing design – children as future design protagonists

What technology we use, who uses it (or does not use it), how we use it, and what we use it for, are central questions, increasingly guiding and leading our lives into certain directions. In this talk I argue for ‘democratization of design’ – the importance of everybody having some design understanding to be able to question and reflect on their own technology use as well as its design. I discuss this from the perspective of children learning design skills as part of their basic education.


Marianne Kinnula is an Associate Professor in human-centred design and digitalization at University of Oulu and vice-leader of the INTERACT Research Unit in University of Oulu, Finland, with her research in the crossroads of Information Systems and Human-Computer Interaction fields. Her research focuses on user participation, inclusion, and empowerment in technology development. She would like to see a world with sustainable innovations: users able and willing to question technology use and technology solutionism and developers designing technology so that it brings value to all stakeholders. She holds an editorial position in International Journal of Child-Computer Interaction and has published actively in leading Human-Computer Interaction and Information Systems conferences and journals. Her associate professorship is part of the University of Oulu ‘Generation Z and beyond’ profiling theme that aims for co-evolution of human capabilities and intelligent technologies in the 21st century


Nimmi Rangaswamy

Professor, Kohli Centre on Intelligent Systems, IIIT, Hyderabad
Title: Thick HCI: Anthropology in the midst of Technocracy

In this talk, I will briefly outline my journey as a social anthropologist in the field of HCI working besides computer and engineering scientists. Through my research projects, I will trace the evolution of the anthropological lens in understanding and broadening HCI and technology adoption in the context of developing nations. Having spent the last two decades doing ethnographic fieldwork on the use of new information technologies resource constrained contexts, I’ve encountered time and again a host of technology practices that flagrantly defied stereotypical understanding and framing of Internet technologies in the global south displaying rich, informed and focussed use of mobile and internet technologies.

I will bring together stories about crafting technologies anchored in low-cost but ubiquitous channels in the ‘developing’ world. As technologies move deeper and away from resource rich contexts it will be critical to see how the use of information technologies provide an opportunity to question, discuss and modify some of the basic premises of technology use in development contexts.


I am a Professor at the Kohli Centre on Intelligent Systems, Indian Institute of Information Technology, IIIT, Hyderabad. I will be bringing an anthropological lens to understanding the impacts of AI research and praxis. I am currently working on a book volume about qualitative methods in HCI research.

I am also an Adjunct Professor at the Indian Institute of Technology, IIT, Hyderabad where I teach courses at the intersections of society and technology.

Formerly, I was a senior research scientist and lead the Human Interactions research area at the Xerox Research Centre India. I worked in the building of technologies in the areas of consumer-centric health care and urban mobility. My long stint at Microsoft Research was a combination of theoretical analysis and ethnographic field research to understand technology use in developing countries.


Kumaar Bagrodia

Founder, NeuroLeap; NeuroScience, Brain Computer Interface, Mental Health, High Performance, Futurism, Neuro Economics
Title: Brain Computer Interface

Founder of NeuroLeap, India’s leading applied Neuroscience company leveraging Brain Computer Interface technology for better mental health and brain Enhancement. Often called India’s ‘Brain Enhancer’ Kumaar was invited by the Hon’ble President of India to the official residence of the President in 2017. He was again invited in March 2018 to speak on Innovation. Kumaar holds an MBA degree from the University of Oxford, and has a Masters in Applied Neuroscience. He is a Country Champion and Ambassador for the Oxford Business Alumni in India. He is on the advisory board of IIT Indian Institute of Technology, Mandi ihub. He is a mentor to IIM Udaipur’s incubation centre.

He is on the national startup council and on the healthcare council of CII. He is on the health & wellness committee and the startup & innovation committee of IMC. He is on the Apex Council of the India Innovation Initiative by the Government of India.

He has been featured in various media in India and abroad including Knowledge@Wharton, Wall Street Journal, India Today, The Economic Times, Hindustan Times, Bloomberg TV, Times NOW, CNN News18, CNBC Awaaz, ET NOW,Tata Sky, Fortune and BBC to name a few. He co-authored an article in Harvard HBR.

He is a speaker at leading podiums including the Bombay Stock Exchange, IIT – Indian Institute of Technology, Mint Digital Innovation Summit, The Economic Times, has chaired international leader sessions in Israel, China, Singapore and has spoken at fora under the banner of Australian Government, United Nations Environment Program and the Government of India.

He was a speaker at G20 Summit yea in China 2016 and in the G20 Summit yea in Germany 2017. He was a speaker at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London in 2018 and was also an invitee to the palace by His Royal Highness Prince of Wales. Was a keynote speaker at the World Neuron Congress in Finland and at the World Brain Congress in UAE. He delivered a workshop along with Henry Mintzberg & Philip Kotler at the Global Peter Drucker Forum in Vienna. Led discussions at London School of Economics, was invited to the House of Lords, UK, was a speaker at the UK India Leaders’ Summit. Was one of few startup founders invited by Government of India to speak at Global VC Summit.

Deepak Menon

VP leading Product Experiences at Microsoft IDC | Angel investor | Xoogler | Ex- CPO at Myntra
Title: Why do we need to build inclusive experiences and how does it lead to Innovation for everyone

“If we need to design for the world we truly need to represent the world”. Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging are not just aspects of a company’s aspired culture; they can determine a product’s usefulness and success. In this talk, we will delve deep into the importance of being “Inclusive by Design” and explore a few real-life case studies to understand what it takes to conceptualise and build experiences that truly uphold Diversity, embrace Inclusion, and foster Belonging and how those in turn lead to innovation that the world needs.


Deepak Menon is Vice President at Microsoft India, leading the Product Experience, Design and Research teams across products in the Experience & Devices (E+D) and Security, Compliance, Identity and Compliance (SCIM) divisions at Microsoft India. They include products like Windows, Teams, Office, Edge, Search, Bing, OneDrive, SharePoint, Outlook, and Loop. Deepak’s team helped define the enquiry around ‘What is productivity for billions of mobile-only users’ which has led to product innovations like Kaizala and Microsoft Office – mobile products that helps businesses connect with their value chain to collaborate and complete consumer and business workflows. Deepak was also responsible for designing and defining the Ribbon interface for Microsoft Office. He was also the driver for the Microsoft Centre for Information work which reimagined the future of productivity and won the IDSA gold reward in 2003.

Deepak has worked at Google leading User Experience teams in India and Seattle. He was also the Chief Product and Customer officer at Myntra where he led teams across multiple functions.

Deepak completed his B.Arch. from REC Trichy, his M.Arch. on a fellowship and M.F.A. from The Ohio State University. He loves sports of any kind and lives in Hyderabad with his wife Ashwini, 2 sons Adhvai & Prathyai and his dog Dash.