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Sam Pitroda addresses Chicago Technology Innovation Summit

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Chicago: Local innovative technology champion Iyka Enterprises, Inc., in collaboration with the Illinois Institute of Technology, presented its second Chicago Technology Innovation Summit for Economic Revival on October 23. It was hosted by the Northern Trust Bank in Downtown, Chicago. The techno confab was  open to business entrepreneurs, corporate, educational, governmental and technology management executives and leaders. It was emceed by Kathleen Caldwell, president, Caldwell Consulting Group.

Summit highlights included a keynote speech by internationally respected development thinker, policymaker, telecom inventor and entrepreneur Sam Pitroda, who has spent over four decades in Information and Communications Technology and related human and national developments initiatives. “Municipalities must innovate and learn to use technology to improve delivery of public services in the future,” said Pitroda in his remarks.

Pitroda holds close to 100 worldwide patents and has published and lectured widely in the US, Europe, Latin America and Asia. Chicagoland-based Pitroda is currently the Adviser to the Prime Minister of India on Public Information Infrastructure and Innovations, and is the chairman of the National Innovation Council (NInC). He has recently been appointed the founding commissioner of the United Nations Broadband Commission for Digital Development.

Credited with having laid the foundation of India’s technology and telecommunications revolution in the 1980s, Pitroda has been a leading campaigner to help bridge the global digital divide. During his tenure as Adviser to Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in the 1980s, Pitroda headed six technology missions related to telecommunications, water, literacy, immunization, dairy and oilseeds. He was also the founder and first chairman of India’s Telecom Commission. In these roles, he helped revolutionize India’s development policies and philosophies with a focus on access to technology as the key to social change.

“The summit came about because of the challenges that several municipal technology managers have shared with me over the years,” said Poonam Gupta-Krishnan, founder/CEO of Iyka Enterprises, Inc., and 2012 Summit Chair, in a prior statement. “There are two major issues that government technologists and technocrats face today. They are: keeping pace with the fast-changing technology landscape; and the government bureaucratic process itself.”

“Innovation and courage to do things out of ‘the usual’ has made our country superior, our economy strong and we have attracted talent and investors from around the word. In today’s times, innovation and an integrated approach is the only key that will insure a premium quality of life to all citizens of our great nation,” said Gupta-Krishnan at the summit.

“Our Technology Innovation Summit focuses on bringing technology experts and government leaders to define best practices to have innovation as a big part of our government technology. That will make sure of optimum utilization of our resources, jobs for everyone, great services for our citizens, and an overall sustainable economy,” she said.

Summit topics covered mobility, data center consolidation, security and cloud computing and leadership processes.

Other speakers included Praveen Gupta, director of the Illinois Institute of Technology’s Center for Innovation Science and Applications; Maria Thompson, director of Innovation Strategy at Motorola Solutions Inc.; Dr. Jim Treleaven, board member, Illinois Technology Association; Robert Kress, executive director, Global IT Audit,  Accenture; Arnold Crater, CIO of RTA (Regional Transit Authority); Lydia Murray, CIO, Cook County; Marlon Burns, CTO of Cook County Health & Hospitals System; Biff Myre, Director of Solutions, WorkNet, Inc.; Scott Propp, MD of Dentro Consulting and Michael Kerr- Association Program Executive and State Government Policy Advocacy Expert.

The  Summit sponsors included Oracle and Datalink.