LUMS Faculty Speak at TEDx Habib University

Monday, June 5, 2017

TEDx Habib University recently brought together experts from diverse fields to talk about "Unanswered Questions" that can help develop and engage with ideas enabling people to reshape the world they live in.

LUMS faculty members, Dr. Zartash Afzal Uzmi, Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering and Dr. Nida Kirmani, Associate Professor of Sociology, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences were both invited to speak at the event.

Dr. Uzmi spoke about "Innovation", while Dr. Kirmani talked about the discourse of fear in the city of Karachi.

The following is the link to Dr. Uzmi and Dr. Kirmani’s talks.

Dr. Zartash Afzal Uzmi and Dr. Nida Kirmani at TEDx Habib University. 


Below are the abstracts of Dr. Uzmi and Dr. Kirmani’s talks.

Dr. Zartash Afzal Uzmi: Innovation: What, Why and How?

From farming to steam engines to social networks and smartphones, the progress and prosperity of human race is driven by innovation — the art and science of creating or discovering something new. Innovation entails leaving your comfort zone and forcing your mind wander the unchartered territory — beyond your skillset and knowledge. Often bearing a risk and often against your wishes and nature.
In the backdrop of real-world and well-known data points, we will motivate why innovation is critically essential for the survival of an entity, be it an enterprise or a geographical unit. Without continuous innovation, economies decline, companies go bankrupt and individuals become redundant. Conversely, we have also seen too often that people, organizations, and nations thrive within a strong culture of innovation.
We will provide a coverage of the key elements and ingredients of innovation: (1) Observation of current needs and Visualization for a future need, (2) Courage and hard-work, and (3) Confidence and determination. In parallel, we will also explore the role of education in catalyzing innovation and the relationship between innovation and entrepreneurship.
Dr. Nida Kirmani: Fear and the City
In this talk I will speak about the issue of fear in the city. Specifically, I will talk about my own experience of conducting research in Lyari, which is one of the most feared areas of the city of Karachi. I will speak about my own experience of conducting research in this ‘no-go area’, particularly in terms of the reactions I receive from most people when they hear about my work. I will connect this with the ways that discourses of fear divide our cities based on ethnicity, class, and gender, and how these discourses are creating invisible walls between various groups in the city. These discourses of fear justify a variety of inequalities, as people in cities increasingly erect visible and invisible walls to protect themselves from a variety of fearful ‘others’. Fear is also used as a way of justifying restrictions on mobility to certain spaces and certain times particularly with regards to women. I will argue that, as concerned citizens, we should all be actively working to dispel these fears and overcome these invisible barriers in order to create more egalitarian, just and cohesive cities.