I am an interdisciplinary researcher, with a broad portfolio of projects - here’s some of the
Digital Economy Sustainable Society Network+
Role: Principal Investigator (Imperial College)
While the potential role that ICT can play has long been touted in the commercial sector, true interdisciplinary research covering the multitude of aspects involved in economically, socially and environmentally viable solutions for society is sparse. Some pockets of evidence exist that indicate the potential for ICT to have on sustainability, these remain pockets, however, and there is a need to ensure the continued collaboration around these important topics.
At the same time, digital technologies are in the process of tearing down traditional barriers between sectors, and the mobile and cloud computing platforms may be viewed as forming the “nexus of contracts” of the global economy. The role that these platforms play has a distinct role in the development of sustainable regions and nations as new communities, businesses and structures of government are formed in response to the incredible rise in data streams. For example, the vision of responsive and agile local services was traditionally hampered by a shortage of information. Today, the problem is opposite – information overload.
Research into the role of ICT in supporting the development of a sustainable society covers an extremely large number of research areas, from water, waste, energy, local and national transport infrastructures, national and international supply chains, rural and urban enterprise infrastructures, community development and social infrastructure support mechanisms. The systems that form the basis of our society are now extremely complex systems, with multiple layers and multiple interactions between the economic, social and environmental spheres – it is not possible to affect one without affecting the others. Research is required to understand the nature of these interactions and how to best deliver services within them.
Scaling the Rural Enterprise
Role: Principal Investigator (Imperial College - UK) / Principal Investigator (India) Dr D.Raghunandan
Rural contexts do not naturally nurture large scale, sustainable enterprises. Rural enterprises wanting to grow, struggle without the honed infrastructures for collaboration, communication and distribution found in urban-industrial areas. The difficulties in achieving sufficient scale create barriers to entrepreneurial activity and prohibit rural business ecologies thriving, in particular the transaction costs associated with dealing with many micro-level organisations. This project addressed the fundamental challenge of scaling up rural enterprises within the UK and India and the role of digital technologies in achieving this.
Within this project we wish to understand the next generation of rural enterprises that may be enabled by mobile devices in rural settings. First generations rural enterprises have emerged that exploit the timely delivery of information and expertise using mobile devices with considerable success in rural areas. Our focus in this proposal is the establishment of the next generation of enterprise where these mobile devices are used to scale up the activities of a rural enterprise by support the definition and management of enterprise wide processes between distributed members of these emergent rural enterprises.