Sugata Mitra is a long-term educationist and a scientist of international
repute. He has over 25 inventions and first-time applications in the areas of
Cognitive Science, Information Science and Education Technology, to his credit.
Dr. Mitra has been the Chief Scientist at NIIT and is currently Professor of
Educational Technology at Newcastle University, UK.
Dr. Mitra is a winner of "Man of Peace Award" from Together for Peace
Foundation, USA, and "Social Innovation Award" from Institute of
Social Inventions, UK. He was also conferred the"Dewang Mehta Award"by the Government of India in
recognition for his work related to Hole-in-the-Wall.
In 1999, the Hole in the Wall (HIW)
experiments in children's learning, was first conducted. In the initial
experiment, a computer was placed in a kiosk in a wall in a slum at Kalkaji, Delhi and children were allowed to use it
freely. The experiment aimed at proving that children could be taught by
computers very easily without any formal training. Mitra termed
this Minimally Invasive Education (MIE). The experiment has since
been repeated. HIW placed some 23 kiosks in rural India. In 2004 the experiment
was carried out in Cambodia.
This work demonstrated that groups of
children, irrespective of who or where they are, can learn to use computers and
the Internet on their own with public computers in open spaces such as roads
and playgrounds, even without knowing English. Mitra's publication was judged
the best open access publication in the world for 2005 and he was awarded
the Dewang Mehta Award for innovation in IT that year.
When Speaking Minds was founded in 2007 in New Zealand, little did we envisage that this would grow into an international brand with offices in India and London in less than a decade. We set up the business to share what we had learnt, from the privileges we have had in our jobs – of access to knowledge.
Bringing India to the rest of the world was our driving force.
The dna of our business is genuinely about sharing knowledge with the
world, from thought leaders and experts who are notable achievers in
their field. Raga D'silva quit her highly successful corporate career in
New Zealand in 2007, to set up a dream business of connecting
knowledge, insights, motivation from exceptional talent with the
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