18 Feb

Technology and creativity – unboxed!

By Catriona McCarthy – Deputy Director, International Office

“Never stop thinking out of the box”. It’s a well-known phrase but over the last few days in India, I’m reminded of why it’s so important.


On Monday evening, an audience of some of India’s brightest minds at the Indian Institute for Technology – Bombay learned about and witnessed Li-Fi, firsthand.

Our own Professor Harald Haas urged the audience to ‘never stop thinking out of the box’.


Wise words from a man whose pioneering technology could have a potentially transformative impact worldwide, particularly here in India where it has the capacity to help bridge the digital divide and empower many rural communities with internet connectivity.

I’m sure our brilliant student Hackathon team would very much agree on the importance of such invention and creativity.

I had the pleasure of meeting our students in Mumbai where, having spent just a few days at IIT Bombay, they seemed very much at home, tackling energy issues.


It also got me thinking about some of the guests at the Make in India’s CNN business forum earlier this week.

We heard from a stellar speaker line-up which included business heavyweights such as Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chairman of the Aditya Birla Group and Anand G Mahindra, chairman of the Mahindra group.

These business leaders have helped lead huge change in India and like Prof Haas, their capacity not to ask ‘if’ but ‘how’ was critical.

The speakers, at various points, talked of their career challenges and how they faced questions where answers simply didn’t exist.

Their response was to resist convention, challenge boundaries, create new solutions and think very much out of the box. Professor Haas would, I think, approve!