How the Information Age is changing politics

What happens when radically networked societies confront hierarchically structured states?

Here’s a video recording of my talk at the Takshashila Shala in Chennai last Sunday. It doesn’t offer answers, but explores some of the questions that I’ve been thinking about.

Onto some levity. V Keshav, The Hindu’s editorial cartoonist, who spoke on cartooning and politics at the Shala, sketched this live when I was talking.

“I know where you are coming from”

Takshashila Shala // Pune 2011 – Attendee Geography

According to EventBrite’s estimates, here’s where Shala participants are coming from. It’s guessing the location based on IP addresses, so those who registered from corporate networks might show up as being at their network gateway locations. Still, it gives us a fair sense of attendee geography. The top five locations are from Mumbai, Pune, Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai.

(If you’d like to share a cab or need/can give a lift, give a shout on twitter, using the hashtag #shala)

The Takshashila Shala // Pune 2011

Getting people excited about public policy

We had two excellent sessions of the Takshashila Roundtable Conclave Programme in Bangalore and Hyderabad. We had extremely high quality discussions and a good mix of participants. This format, however, restricts the number of participants to 50 (26 actually, if my colleagues would allow me to have my way). Chatham House rules do enhance candid debate, but also prohibit video recording, webcasts and reportage.

To balance the candour of conclaves with the reach of an open event, our next event at Pune (on Sunday May 29th 2011) will take place differently. The Takshashila Shala has an innovative, informal format that blends scheduled presentations with spontaneous, even ex tempore talks from participants. Takshashila Fellows will be present to share their research and insights. Throughout the day there will be three parallel tracks on: Foreign affairs, national security and strategy; Economics and public policy; Politics, citizenship and governance.

Each of these will take place in a separate room at the Venture Center, NCL, and will be webcast. Participants can propose to speak on any topic under these themes, and if there’s interest and time, they can have the floor for 20 minutes. While this can be done on-the-spot, we recommend those interested to speak to let us know in advance.

After the main session, participants will take a bus ride to Doolally Microbrewery for, well, spirited discussions at Pune’s first microbrewery.

Finally, the following evening, Monday, May 30th, we convene at CMYK Bookstore, Goldfields Enclave, Koregaon Park, Pune for a Shala Extra for a discussion on books and magazines on current affairs.

There is no charge for participating in the event. We encourage you to make an appropriate donation to the Takshashila Institution. So if you’d like to participate, head over to the online registration page and sign-up as soon as possible.