The webinar in progress. Screen grab-SAT
By Neeraj Nanda
MELBOURNE, 21 June 2021: India’s father of the computer and telecommunications revolution and former advisor to Indian Prime Minister’s Rajiv Gandhi and Dr.Manmohan Singh, Sam Pitroda has ushered in a new plan to rid the world of major issues plaguing the world. Locked up during the COVID-19 pandemic in Chicago and during this long period his thoughts culminated into “Redesign the World – A Global Call to Action”, a 272 pages (published 4 May 2021) action plan to ‘redesign’ the world, designed 75 years ago, around the time Sam was born.
It is this book on that the Indian Overseas Congress Australia organized an interaction (webinar) with panelists Dr. Pradeep Taneja, Melbourne University, Prof. Rolf Gerritson, Charles Darwin University, and Prof Veena Sahajwalla, Australian Research Council and attendees.
Talking about the motivation behind the book and the idea Sam said, ” I was locked up because of the Carona crisis and I thought the world was designed in 1942 with democracy, human rights, consumerism, and military strength in mind. It is 75 years old and now the world is connected. This is an old design. For the hyper-connected world, a new design is needed. It’s, basically, a product of the lockout.
The two systems – China’s is a closed system plus market and the US plus West system is an open one. But because of hyper-connectivity, all we do is obsolete and the world needs a ‘redesign’. Both the systems run on command and control.
The ‘redesign’ needs to focus on people and the planet with sustainability, inclusion, equality, equity, and justice. We need a new way of thinking.”
Taking a swipe at the recent G-7 summit, Sam says, ” They are only for their own interests, not about humanity. They have to rise above it. Democracy has to be inclusive. For example, both the US and India are not inclusive.”
Sam agreed with SAT’s observation about high tech companies not agreeing to his ‘redesign’ concept because they would get hurt economically. So, change has to come from the bottom – the desire to do that is essential, High Tech has no interest in it, he says.
Commenting on a question by Dr. Pradeep Taneja about the ‘Biden doctrine’ of a new ‘cold war’ between democracy and autocracy, Sam says, “it’s a war of ideas. China has to open up and the US has to engage with the people.”
Seventy-nine years old Sam Pitroda’s main inspirations, he says, are Gandhi and Einstein. He was born to Gujarati parents in Odhisa and educated in Vadodra, Gujarat. Later he did his Electrical Engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago. He is an internationally recognized telecom inventor, entrepreneur, development thinker, and policy maker who has spent fifty years in information and communications technology (ICT) and related global and national developments. Plus, Sam is a serial entrepreneur who has started several companies in the United States. He holds around 20 honorary PhDs, close to 100 worldwide patents, and has published five books and numerous papers. He lives in Chicago with his wife.
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