Introducing our speakers


All confirmed speakers and their bios are listed alphabetically below:

Speaker: Anandit Sachdev; E-Speaker
Title: “Understanding Sustainable Urban Development in the Face of Climate Change: Izbat Burj Rasheed, Egypt”

Anandit Sachdev graduated as an architect from Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi with a developed sense of socially inclusive urban projects and a keen eye for historic surroundings and built heritage. He has worked in various cities including, Goa, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Delhi, Cairo and Berlin where he held various portfolios including an architect, research associate, urban designer and a design thinker. In 2013, Anandit started a self initiated project called ‘Tuzk-e-Hind’; an online platform aimed at creating awareness about the pre-partition Indian subcontinent and about how various aspects of the geographic extents have transformed, helped transform the people with time.

Presently, he is based in Alexandria, Egypt where he is studying ‘Revitalization of Historic City Districts’ at Brandenburg Technical University, Germany in partnership with the Cairo University and the Alexandria University, Egypt.Through this course, Anandit aims to tackle various challenges plaguing the historic districts of MENA region. 

Speaker: Arjun Kamal
Title: “Environmental Damage – The Biggest Terrorist

Arjun Kamal is an architect and a journalist. He has written articles on architecture, urban issues and lifestyle that got published in various magazines and newspapers. He is currently working on his debut book about landscape architecture. He is also a visiting faculty at Vastukala academy, Delhi. He holds a bachelor degree in architecture and post-graduation degree in landscape architecture.

His talk will deal with environmental damage in India and how it is being blatantly ignored by authorities in the name of any development whether it is rural or urban. He will also discuss about how governments and law enforcement agencies turn a blind eye towards environmental damage despite being reprimanded by the NGT. I will also elaborate how badly designed environments wreak havoc with overall behavior of a society.

Speaker: Elizabeth Lopez; E-Speaker

Elizabeth Lopez has been a lawyer for 26 years.  She was an employment attorney for 15 years and then was a lobbyist for 2.5 years before she became an immigration attorney.  As an immigration lawyer she focused mainly in asylum cases for 8 years before starting her own nonprofit to represent immigrants who are detained in the Imperial Regional Detention Center located in Calexico, CA.  This facility is about 2-3 hours from any major city which is a barrier for attorney representation.

In the course of her direct representation of these clients, she became aware of the cultural practice of FGM/C and the repercussions this practice causes for its subjects. From this awareness she saw the need to help these women maneuver their new lives in America. This took the shape of educating health care providers and creating a safe place for them to flourish.  This mission became a cornerstone for her new nonprofit, Southern California Immigration Project.  

Speaker: Emily Serafy Cox, Serafy Consulting
Title : “Civic Engagement in US Low Income Communities of Color”

Ms. Serafy Cox is a community organizer and power-building consultant in San Diego, California in the US.  She is currently contracting with MAAC as their Advocacy and Organizing Coordinator and with PANA (Partnership for the Advancement of New Americans).  At MAAC, Ms. Serafy Cox coordinates community engagement and advocacy programs with residents of affordable housing communities, parents of HeadStart students, and students at the MAAC Community Charter School.

Previously, Ms. Serafy Cox was a Community Organizer with Mid-City CAN, in the City Heights neighborhood of San Diego.  She was lead staff for the campaign for a Free Youth Transit Pass in San Diego.  Before joining Mid-City CAN, Ms. Serafy Cox was Executive Director at Empower San Diego, a nonprofit organization dedicated to civic engagement on local issues in San Diego.  While there, she facilitated the highly successful “Communities in Unity” Redistricting Coalition, which helped ensure increased ability for communities of color to elect a candidate of their choice in local and state elections.

Ms. Serafy Cox holds a BFA in Dance and Women’s Studies from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. After graduation, she was appointed to the Capital Long Range Investment Committee for the City of Minneapolis—a powerful citizen advisory board for CIP projects.  

Speaker: Jan Naverdeen
Title: “ Bicycle Planning in Delft: the past, the present and the future

Jan Nederveen  started his career as a researcher and teacher at the Delft university of Technology. He developed methods to measure social aspects of transport infrastructure. These methods have been tested on a large number of freeway and railroad projects in the Netherlands. In 2002 Jan transferred to city of Delft. He was the project leader of the new Delft Transportation Plan. He also had a large contribution to the urban development and transportation  project Spoorzone Delft.. In 2007 he completed his doctoral thesis,  Spatial design of large scale transport infrastructure. His thesis was on assessing  the use of residents’ viewpoints to judge the design quality of large scale infrastructure projects. Presently, Jan is a strategic advisor  for the Mayor and Councillors regarding  all the aspects of urban planning

Speaker: Nidhi Batra
Title: “
Urban Renewal by Citizens – Case of Mehrauli

Nidhi Batra is an urban development practitioner and is the Director of a not-for-profit initiative called ‘Sehreeti’. Sehreeti is a platform for collective practices in urban development that work towards co-creating people centric cities. Nidhi is a trained architect and urban designer, with specialization in environmental urban design and works as a consultant with The World Bank and Participatory Research in Asia. She is also a visiting faculty for masters’ programme in architectural colleges in the NCR. She has been actively participating in academic, research, civil society and practitioner circles to make the case for participatory planning in urban development, in India and beyond. Nidhi is a flâneur and loves exploring cities, through photography, travel , running and writing about them.
Speaker: Nick Navatta
Title: ‘Using Visual Communication to Inspire Action In The People You Want To Serve’

Nick Navatta is a graphic recorder, animator, illustrator, copywriter, cartoonist and visual storyteller. All of those skills combined makes him what he calls a ‘creative marketer’. He helps businesses connect to their ideal clients with a focus on creating engaging, fun, and easy-to-understand visual communication that gets results.  Nick specializes in taking complex concepts and ideas and simplifying them so that they are easy to digest and understand. From 2012-2016, he worked as the Creative Director for a small software startup and helped them create a social media marketing campaign, with an emphasis on video content on YouTube, creating a  channel with over 9,000 subscribers. The video content he has created has been viewed over 1 million times.

Speaker: Dr. P. Partheeban
Title: Real Time Air pollution Monitoring Using Sensing Technology  – A Case Study of Chennai City

Dr. P. Partheeban, is currently working as Professor and Dean (Academic) at St. Peter’s College of Engineering and Technology, Avadi, Chennai. He has completed his B.E. Civil Engineering in 1990 from Kongu Engineering College and completed M.E. Urban Engineering from College of Engineering, Anna University with distiction. He completed his Ph.D. from National Institute of Technology, Trichy on Transportation Engineering in 2003. He is also completed MBA from Madurai Kamaraj University.

He has been serving different institutions for the past 25 years at various levels and involved in teaching, student counseling and establishing of laboratories in Civil Engineering Department. He was worked as Principal for 2 year from 2009 to 2011at Sriram Engineering college. He has visited the United States of America, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Malaysia, Singapore, France, Greece and China for presenting papers in the international conferences. Under his guidance, Six candidate has completed Ph.D. and Seven scholars are pursuing Ph.D. in Civil Engineering. He has published a book titled “Engineering Mechanics” for engineering students. As a teacher for engineering students, received award from ISTE as best faculty teacher for the student chapter and also received Air India BOLT award. To his credit he had organized 40 Seminars, Conferences and short term training programme for engineering faculties sponsored by AICTE, DST, CSIR, DRDO, ICMR and ICSSR. He has completed more than 20 lakhs sponsored research project from AICTE, DST, IEI and recently he has received a project costing Rs. 28 Lakhs from BRNS. He had published research work papers more than 70 in the national/international journal and conferences. He has registered two patents and has developed GIS software for Transportation Planning and management.

Speaker: Rashmi Gajare
“ Inclusion through Technology”

Rashmi Gajare is a preservation architect, indologist and writer. She has obtained a Masters of Historic Preservation and Planning from the City and Regional Planing Department at Cornell University. She has worked in New York in the field of Historic Preservation. She has been a visiting faculty at Tilak Maharashtra Vidyapeeth where she earned her Masters degree in Indology.

Speakers: Sayantan Mukherjee, Subhanjoy B Roy

Title: “ VkareforU being the digital well-being partner of the elderly people ensuring inclusive cities for the Gen S.”

Sayantan Mukherjee is a student of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Symbiosis institute of business management, Pune. He along with five others co-founded a start-up named VkareforU which acts as the digital well being partner for the elderly people. Prior to joining SIBM Pune for Masters, Sayantan worked for four years at Mahindra Research Valley, the Research and Development wing of the Indian automaker. He later worked at Mahindra Innovation Cell for a brief period. He wrote papers on innovative automotive technology and business innovation which are published in various journals and presented in various conferences.

Subhanjoy B Roy is presently doing his MBA in Innovation and Entrepreneurship from Symbiosis Institute of Business Management Pune. He has done his graduation from St. Xavier’s College Kolkata with B.Sc Chemistry Honours. He co-founded a start-up VkareforU which places itself as a digital well being partner for the elderly citizens. Subhanjoy is also inclined towards the sector of Renewable and Green energy. He is also working on a start-up named enerG which focuses on solid waste management and production of Bio-CNG in eastern India.