Asia Society India Hosts 400+ at InspirED Conference

Some of the 400+ attendees at the August 2010 InspireED conference in Mumbai. (Asia Society India Centre)
MUMBAI, August 27-29, 2010 - Over 400 educators from across the country gathered here to participate in India’s only education conference based on innovation in education, InspirED. The conference was hosted by Asia Society India Center, Teach for India, Akanksha Foundation, and the American School of Bombay.

The conference successfully brought together participants from varying fields within education to take advantage of a range of workshops, panels, and presentations designed around the theme of innovation. Educators represented schools from Mumbai to New Delhi to Ahmedabad to Bangalore, and even schools from Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. It was truly inspiring to see educators with experiences from all backgrounds--from low-income government schools to elite private schools--come together and build each other’s perspectives.

The opening night was held at St. Xavier’s College, and was inaugurated by Indu Shahani, Sheriff of Mumbai and Principal of H.R. College of Commerce & Economics. The conference then shifted to the American School of Bombay, where attendees participated in 36 workshops; several presentations on education in India; a spotlight on innovative schools; a panel on the potential of youth movements to affect education policy; and a panel on implementing the Right to Education legislation.

Many distinguished figures in education from whom the attendees were able to learn participated in InspirED. These included Ashish Kumar Singh, Additional Municipal Commissioner of the MCGM; Sridhar Rajagopalan, Managing Director of Educational Initiatives; Maya Menon, Director of the Teacher Foundation; Swati Sahni, Senior Consultant to India's Ministry of Human Resource Development with the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan programme; Karan Khemka, Head of The Parthenon Group’s Asia Office and International Education Center of Excellence; and Ramya Venkataraman, Associate Partner Leading Education Practice in India for McKinsey and Company.

The workshops covered themes such as using TV as a tool of education; assessments; art and education; and professional development. They were conducted by leading educational experts from organizations such as Educational Initiatives, Idiscoveri, Riverside School, and Umeed.

The conference was sponsored by the Parthenon Group, the National Stock Exchange, American School of Bombay, Goldman Sachs, Crossword Bookstore, American Center, and Whistling Woods.