Chicago: More than 2000 IITians are expected to attend the largest entrepreneurship conference of PanIIT, to be held in Chicago from October 9 to October 11, 2009. PanIIT aims to be a platform to provide networking opportunities for IITians, contribute proactively to nation building and enhance the IIT brand.
The importance of PAN IIT, which represents alumni from all IIT campuses, in the U.S. can be seen as around 60 percent of Silicon Valley startups have at least one IIT graduate in the founder's rank. "In 2007, CBS 60 minutes brought the IIT brand front and center, and in 2005, the U.S. Congress had honoured the alumni for their contributions to the U.S. economy," says Piyush Agrawal, Marketing Chairman, PanIIT.
The worthy names of the industry will gather at this conference to discuss the different issues, the world is facing today. To add value to the conference and reflecting IIT's status across the world, former U.S. President Bill Clinton will join the IITians to share his views. The former president will address the gathering about challenges and opportunities in today's key global issues such as public health, education, and climate change with a focus on transforming ideas into action.
This seventh Global Alumni conference of PanIIT, will acknowledge the importance of 'Entrepreneurship and Innovation in a Global Economy'. The event will see business leaders from leading corporations delivering their experiences in the line of entrepreneurship. The Indian origin, U.S. Federal Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Aneesh Chopra, will deliver the keynote address at the conference which will be opened by India's Minister for Human Resource Development, Kapil Sibal. The other keynote speakers will include Nathan Myhrvold, CEO, Intellectual Ventures and Founder of Microsoft Research, Carl Schramm, President and CEO, Kauffman Foundation, Jim Owens, Chairman and CEO, Caterpillar and Jim Rogers, Chairman and CEO, Duke Energy.
The winners of 2009 PanIIT award have been selected from over 200 nominees by a panel of luminary judges. The Lifetime Achievement Award will be awarded to Dr. (Late) Rajeev Motwani, who was an advisor to Google founders Sergery Brin, Larry Page and many more. The Academic Excellence Award will be given to Dr. Pradeep Khosla, Dean, College of Engineering, Carnegie Mellon, the Corporate Excellence Award to Padmasree Warrior, Chief Technology Officer, Cisco. Dr. Suhas Patil, Chairman, Emeritus Cirrus Logicand Chairman, Digite and Cradle Technologies will be awarded the Entrepreneurial Achievement Award and the Technology Leadership Award will be given to Dr. Ravi Sethi, President, Avaya Labs. "These individuals have helped to make the IITs in India one of the most elite educational institutions in the world today," said Umang Gupta, Co-Chairman, Board of Directors, PanIIT and CEO, Keynote Systems.
Over the years, PanIIT has taken many initiatives including improving the quality and global relevance of engineering education in India. At its 2006 conference held in Mumbai, the Faculty Leadership Institute was formed by the Indo-U.S. Collaboration for Engineering Education (IUCEE). Ashank Desai, President of PanIIT and Chairman of Mastek said, "The FLI will help in creating a better education system, and India as a nation will be recognized for its intellectual capability and competitiveness. It will enable students to be trained and be more industry-ready. This will empower the youth to face the challenges posed by the ever-changing global economy."
With the brand of PanIIT, IITians are not only taking initiatives to improve the technical education in the country, but also water problems being faced in the remote corners of India. During the PanIIT 2007 conference in Santa Clara, CA, Jeff Immelt, CEO of GE, in his keynote speech said that his company would focus on two areas - water and alternate energy. "If you run short of oil, you can exploit other forms of energy. If you run short of water, you have no other recourse," said Immelt. The rural watershed project was chosen as a response initiative along with the PanIIT2008 conference.
PanIIT, in collaboration with Dhan Foundation, which works towards bringing significant changes in the livelihoods of the poor through innovations in themes and institutions, completed 10 projects early this year in the country. Villages that had for decades little or bad drinking water now have good water
Today, PanIIT has become much more than simply organizing conferences. It is also an ideal vehicle to enable noble causes.