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The Opportunity for Self-driven Education Powered by Digital Data-backed Incentives

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Innovative technologies for better education have been in the spotlight recently because of COVID-related remote learning, but the development and deployment of educational tools reaches far beyond immediate classroom needs. From child to adult learners, the opportunities for new forms of self-driven education, particularly paired with digital data-backed incentives to engage and inspire, open windows for educators to discover and test new models and methods to keep students excited about learning on an ongoing basis.

Session Host

Kunal Basu, Founder, Swirl Music

A Computer Engineer by education, I have found my true calling in the space of Music Education, where I have been working since the year 2000. With over 20 years of teaching the Guitar, Bass, Vocals, Keyboards, Drums, Mandolin, Ukulele and Harmonica in the UK, and India, I have taught and mentored children from over 30 countries, inspiring them to love their instrument, unleash their creativity and express themselves musically. Using a fun, interactive and performance-based approach that focuses on being creative, I have managed to engage and excite people of all ages about music and developing a bond with their instrument.

Apart from teaching privately, at workshops and at clinics, the schools that I have taught at include the German School (9 years), The French International School (8 years), the American School of Bombay, where I have taught for over 17 years and the Cathedral and John Connon school where I head the IGCSE Music department. In 2009, I have also written and published the hugely successful ‘Guitar Chord Wizard’, a hand held teaching and learning tool for the guitar, that has sold in India, the UK, USA, Australia and South Africa.

Session Participants

Pradeep Goyal, Founder, Chairman and Managing Director, Pradeep Metals Limited

Pradeep Goyal was brought up in Mumbai in a family with a background of technical and social work.

He completed his B Tech in Metallurgical Engineering at IIT Kanpur in 1978, graduating with the First Rank. Awarded silver medal by the President of India.

Indian Institute of Metals awarded him the Best Metallurgist of the year.

He completed Masters in Metallurgy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, with a full scholarship.

After a small stint of work in USA, returned to India in 1983 to start PRADEEP METALS LIMITED. The company is a leading manufacturer of machined forgings.


Suresh Iyer, President, Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation of USA

Suresh Iyer, a veteran in IT and management consulting,had brief stints at Air India in their flight simulation division and Tata Consultancy Services in the U.S. before he launched Infospectrum in 2002, a software products company.

In 2018, he took over as president of Ekal, which devotes its efforts to providing basic education to children in rural parts of India. He began his involvement with Ekal in 2002 after a friend asked him to host its founder Shyam Gupta. Discussions between the two men led to Iyer’s deeper involvement in the organization. He became a donor and a volunteer – then chapter president and chairman of the board. Iyer was raised in a family that had little money but instilled the importance of education and service in him. After graduating school and securing his first paying job as a scientist with the Indian Space Research Organization, he funded the education of several children at his school in Bengaluru who were unable to afford tuition.


Ian Bernstein, Founder and Head of Product, Misty Robotics

Ian Bernstein has always been a tinkerer and a problem solver. As far back as he can remember he was taking apart cameras, cassette players, and other electronics to create new inventions. In elementary school, Ian began homeschooling and started to learn more about electronics from one of his father’s students. At the age of 12 he attended the BEAM International Robotics Games and his lifelong passion in the field of robotics was sparked. Under the mentorship of Mark Tilden, a notable robotics physicist and founder of the BEAM Games, Ian spent his teen years building robots not only as a hobby, but also for university research students, for international robotics competitions, and even the Space Center Houston Science Center just to name a few. In line with his passion, Ian studied Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at New Mexico Tech and Colorado State University. His senior year, Ian he dropped out to learn about business by starting a web development company. Over the next four years he did web development while maintaining a part-time job at RoadNarrows Robotics doing research and design to keep his engineering skills fresh. One night in late 2009 while playing with his iPhone, Ian wondered why he couldn’t use this amazing computing device he was holding in his hand to control the robots he was working on. Armed with this thought and hungry to do something big, Ian started a new company called GearBox, later renamed to Orbotix, with the mission to create the next generation in gaming devices – specifically, interactive smartphone controlled gaming robots. In the summer of 2010 with the backing of TechStars, a seed accelerator/investment program, Ian and his co-founder Adam Wilson created their first product, Sphero, an app-driven robotic ball. Today Ian spends his time at Orbotix working on Sphero and other new robots that he hopes will revolutionize the gaming industry.