The best way to predict the future is to invent it!

India is interestingly poised today. About half of India’s 1.25billion people are under the age of 25 and by 2020, India will be the world’s youngest country with an average age of 29. According to the World Bank, India’s will overtake China to become the world’s fastest growing big economy by 2017-18. The scale of opportunity – and of course the challenge – in India is unprecedented. Millions of jobs have to be created in the coming years. Wealth has to be created. At an increasing pace and in   an ever changing world.

It is clear to all, including the government, that technology will play an ever more important role in the future. The inevitability of that fact is slowly but surely seeping into the consciousness of all decision makers at all levels. That technology needs to be embraced and leveraged in improving the lives of Indians.

New technologies and platforms are rapidly emerging – e.g., IoT, Mobile/Smart phones, Cloud, Aadhar, Payments – that can and will have profound impact on how we as a country think about the next 5-10years. Our future.

It is clear that continuing to do what we’ve done since 1947 isn’t going to get us far into the future.

“The best way to predict the future is to invent it” and “Change is the only constant” are two popular adages usually bandied about in seminars, corporate-speak, by VC s and successful entrepreneurs! What’s left unsaid are – how do I invent the future? How do I deal with change? And from there on to, what are the possible futures? What are the possible changes? What’s causing them? How will different industries like Financial Services, Retail, Healthcare be likely impacted?

These are the tough questions. Successful entrepreneurs, investors, corporations, academics and governments spend – or, need to spend – a lot of time thinking about such issues.

What are new ways of framing the potential and overcoming these challenges? What is unique about India and what solutions and resources can be shared from around the world? How can India utilize the enormous, young and entrepreneurial energy to craft scalable solutions to impact lives? What are the emerging global megatrends that can be harnessed that will enable India to leapfrog decades of inefficiency and empower people?

We have done this before: From mainframe computing to client-server. From land line to mobile. From paper based to digital identity.

Can we do this again across multiple areas? What will it take?

Answers will be found through debate and discussion by various stakeholders invested in the India of a new India– government, thought leaders, practitioners, entrepreneurs, executives among others. A forum for learning, discussing, debating, sharing of ideas of a future impacted by technology would be very impactful. To catalyse conversations, connections and collaborations that would help provide the answers to the questions.

A journey of a million miles begins with a single step. It is time for that 1st meaningful step to be taken!