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#FUTURE Sets Stage for Govt Meeting with Industry Leaders

Kochi: Senior state government officials will hold talks with industry leaders and top executives of some of the world’s leading companies as they gather in Kochi for #FUTURE, Kerala’s first-ever Global Digital Summit which will be inaugurated by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday, March 22.

Special interest groups for various sectors, consisting of top officials from the departments concerned, have been constituted to lead these official meetings to discuss business, investment opportunities and a range of other subjects while the two-day summit itself will be a collective brainstorming exercise with the aim of creating a roadmap for Kerala’s digital future.

Meetings have been scheduled with Nandan Nilekani, Non-Executive Chairman, Infosys; Christoph Mueller, Chief Digital and Innovation Officer, Emirates Group; Roland Schuetz, Group CIO, Lufthansa Group;  Alok Ohrie, President and MD, India Commercial, Dell EMC; and Byju Raveendran, founder and CEO, Byju’s.

The government will also hold talks with Natesh Manikoth, Chief Data Officer, Federal Aviation Administration, US; Thomas Zacharia, Director, Oak- Ridge National Laboratory;  T.K. Kurien, Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer, Premji Invest and Dinu John Parel, Global CIO, Dover Corporation

They are among the nearly 30 global experts who will be sharing their knowledge and experiences during discussions scheduled over two days covering sectors from travel and transportation; big data and health and sustainability to education & skills; technology and banking, finance and retail.

“We do not intend #FUTURE to be simply about IT as a business or service; we want this to be more of a window into the digital world of tomorrow where technology touches the lives of people in ways that may be inconceivable now. We want Kerala to be ahead of the digital curve, and our young entrepreneurs and startup founders to take advantage of the opportunities it presents,” said M Sivasankar, Secretary, Electronics and Information Technology, Government of Kerala. “The inputs of people who are at the forefront of technology will help us frame policy and action plan for the future.”

#FUTURE is a brainchild of Kerala’s High Power IT Committee (HPIC), headed by Infosys Co-Founder S.D. Shibulal, and one of the outcomes of the summit will be the formation of a 150-member ‘Digital Achievers Network of Kerala Origin’ who will become the brand ambassadors of Kerala and championing the state’s efforts to become a knowledge industry hub.

The Chief Minister will inaugurate the summit at 10 am on Thursday. Sivasankar, Shibulal and V.K. Mathews, Member, HPIC & Convenor #Future, will address the delegates comprising  professionals, entrepreneurs, academicians, key influencers and other stakeholders from across the globe.

Raghuram Rajan, former RBI Governor; Nandan Nilekani, Co-Founder and non-Executive Chairman, Infosys;  Kris Gopalakrishnan, former CEO of Infosys and member of HPIC; Gita Gopinath, Professor, Harvard University;  Azad Mooppen, Founder-Chairman, Aster DM Healthcare; and Ajith J Thomas, Professor, Harvard Medical School are among those taking part in the discussions.

There are six key panel discussions scheduled over two days where experts from various domains will share their insights into how the industry will shape up over the decade; the digital transformations being brought about by new technologies such as Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, how to make these inclusive and how entrepreneurs in Kerala and elsewhere can leverage these efficiently.

These sessions will be moderated by leading journalists from digital, broadcast and print media such as Swati Khandelwal, National Corporate & Automotive Editor – ‎BTVI; Nandagopal Rajan, New Media Editor, The Indian Express; Zakka Jacob, Deputy Executive Editor, CNN-News18; Darlington Hector, Managing Editor, YourStory;  Sagarika Ghose, Consulting Editor, Times Of India; and Shereen Bhan, Managing Editor, CNBC-TV18.

Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft and Joseph Sirosh, Head of Artificial Intelligence of the company, will lend their presence at the event through video conference.

The valedictory session on March 23 will be attended by Leader of Opposition in the Kerala Assembly Ramesh Chennithala, IT Secretary M Sivasankar, NASSCOM President R. Chandrashekhar, KPMG India Chairman Arun Kumar and Kris Gopalakrishnan.

A major highlight of the event is the digital experience theatre — a state of the art, virtually simulated and interactive platform — that would be set up at the venue of the event. Select global companies from different verticals undergoing digital transformation will provide a wholesome digital life-style experience to visitors. This exclusive, one of a kind experience will enable delegates to have a sneak preview of what the future in those verticals would look like.

Also, #FUTURE will be the first-ever completely digitised event in Kerala using mobile-based services for registration, entry and communication. True to its digital premise, entry for the requested delegates would be seamless during the summit. QR codes will be used for entry instead of ID cards.  Delegates can get in touch with the speakers through Microsoft-based platform Kaizala, which enhances the conference experience using artificial intelligence.

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