Dr. Jennifer Mankoff HCII
Mr. Kranthi Kiran Vistakula Dhama Innovations
Mrs. Apala Lahiri Chavan HFI

Dr. Jennifer Mankoff is an Associate Professor in the Human Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, where she joined the faculty in 2004. She earned her B.A. at Oberlin College and her Ph.D. in Computer Science at the Georgia Institute of Technology advised by Gregory Abowd and Scott Hudson. Her research focuses on addressing critical social problems through interactive technologies that empower people. Dr. Mankoff's work leverages mobile, desktop and social web technologies to help individuals and effect positive social change. She uses empirical methods to uncover problems, innovates new technologies and methods to address those problems, and constructs enabling tools and processes. Application areas of her work include persuasive techniques for encouraging energy saving behavior, web accessibility for the blind and mobile transcription services for the deaf. Dr. Mankoff is an active member of the ACM ASSETS, CHI, and UIST research communities, and has served on the program and conference committees at all three conferences. She helped found the sustainable-chi group (sustainable-chi@googlegroups.com). Her research has been supported by Google Inc., the Intel Corporation, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft Corporation, and the National Science Foundation. She was awarded the Sloan Fellowship in 2007 and the IBM Faculty Fellowship in 2004 & 2006.

Kranthi Kiran Vistakula is the founder and CEO of the technology venture Dhama Innovations Pvt. Ltd. Kranthi is the innovator of the breakthrough ClimaCon® technology, that went on to secure a patent and win numerous international awards and accolades right. ClimaCon® is a unique technology incorporating novel heat transport mechanisms that can be readily embedded into apparel, accessories, products and systems to provide heating/cooling on demand. As the CEO of Dhama Apparel Innovations Pvt. Ltd, Kranthi is the company’s spearhead for innovation, strategy formulation, business and product development. Kranthi is also instrumental in building into the organization a culture of innovation, creativity, leadership and teamwork. Kranthi has also been the Co-Founder and Co-Managing Director of Intact Labs, Cambridge. In the capacity of this position, he was the Co-Principal Investigator leading a research team in a NASA project to create a mechanism to generate electricity using proteins for space applications. Kranthi pursued his Masters degree in ‘Mechanical Engineering and Technology Policy Program’ at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, after having completed B.Tech in Biomedical Engineering from the Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Hyderabad.

Apala was responsible for starting up Human Factors International's UX consulting operations across Asia ( Mumbai, Bangalore, Pondicherry, Shanghai and Singapore) since joining HFI in 2000 as MD - India and VP - Asia. Apala is an award winning designer ( International Audi Design Award) and specialises in the area of Cross Cultural Innovation and Design. Apala has taken on a new role recently in HFI as Chief Oracle and Innovator.

Apala and her contextual Innovation team have helped designers, marketers, product managers and ethnographers in Fortune 500 companies apply her innovative techniques to develop exciting new concepts and products. She systematically guides the ideation process to uncover subtle patterns in ethnographic and market data to reveal the exciting breakthrough ideas that can drive business and generate more revenue and profit on the one hand and improve quality of life for users, on the other hand.

Recently, her focus has been on the emerging markets. She has written a book on this subject, Innovative Solutions: What Designers Need to Know For Today's Emerging Markets.

Her recent videos on emerging market ecosystems can be viewed at:

Her video blog can be viewed at: