Hyderabad Civic Entrepreneur To Speak At World Economic Forum

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 48 th 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

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