Dr. L. Miguel Encarnação, Speaker at this year’s Impact Conclave in New Delhi, India

From August 30 – 31, QED’s Chief Technology and Innovation Officer, Dr. L. Miguel Encarnação was a speaker at this year’s Impact Conclave in New Delhi, India. The central focus of the conference was on the National Development Agenda of India within the broader framework of The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030 Agenda.

Miguel was a speaker in the panel discussion on “Furthering inclusiveness through innovations and partnerships,” where he spoke on how the intertwined relationship of diversity, innovation and human-centered design. “Diversity and inclusiveness are not only a recommendable output of innovation but rather the fuel that drives innovation itself.” He remarked, and further emphasized that innovation by definition requires a diversity of perspective, experience and thought so that inclusiveness and diverse partnerships become a prerequisite. According to Miguel, a complex and diverse ecosystem impacted by the SDGs agenda would furthermore require human-centered design as a prerequisite in understanding this diversity consisting of different target audiences and by allowing that, “innovation can be measured by rate of adoption through the target audience.”

The Impact Conclave brings together development practitioners, policy makers, multi and bilateral organizations, academia, civil society organizations and federal bodies to provide and exchange insights and critical reflections on current global issues and to examine existing implementation models, and explore emerging tools and methods to build effective evidence for scaling up interventions. Discussions at the conference also highlighted the need for building partnerships and inclusion to foster innovation as well as the challenges that come with trying to align the different agendas of diverse stakeholders with different standings and roles in society.

Some additional key takeaways from Impact Conclave 2017 include:

  • From the panel on “Big Data: Transforming the Research Environment”
    It is important to realize the need for developing organizational data cultures before the full value of data and analytics can be put to bear.
  • From the panel “Partnerships for SDGs: Ensuring sustainability and promoting prosperity in a changing world”
    One cannot expect for different stakeholders to agree on objectives or that all stakeholders’ objectives can be met at all times. Instead, mutual understanding and respect of each other’s objectives and the willingness to pursue suboptimal solutions were contemplated towards ensuring overall progress.