[ Theme : Technology for Impact and Scale]
Development Dialogue 2023

The theme of the conference was “Technology for Impact and Scale”. It was a two-day event, witnessing a participation of over 350 leaders from various sectors. A keynote session on the theme was followed by sessions on agriculture, edu-skilling, micro-entrepreneurship and startups.

The conference highlighted the potential of technology as a powerful tool in bringing about rural transformation. It also provided an opportunity to social entrepreneurs, leaders from non-profit and for-profit organizations, government officials, grassroot practitioners and impact investors to share their insights on the use of technology as part of solutions to enable faster, cheaper and better services for rural India.

[ Theme : Aligning Intention, Innovation and Impact]
Development Dialogue 2020

The dialogue was focused on discussion for achieving lasting and scalable impact that would require innovation, new ideas and approach that aligned public, private and civic intentions in order to address common societal challenges. The dialogue provided an opportunity to leaders, implementers and policy makers to share innovative ideas and best practices and to build collaborations through which scalable social impact could be achieved.

The event brought together the leading corporate CSR organizations and their partner NGOs to share successful program ideas, novel methods and innovative approaches and offered a platform for knowledge sharing and opportunities to partner and build stronger solutions to the social issues. The dialogue helped bring to notice the unaddressed challenges, areas of collaboration and opportunities to align the efforts of participants.

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[ Theme :Reimagining Impact]
Development Dialogue 2019
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The event challenged the attendees to think creatively to ‘Re-imagine Impact’ and had a dialogue about new models, collaborations and mentors that can address development issues facing our country.

The conclave is poised to bring together over 400 practitioners and social innovators, thought-leaders and experienced professionals from around India and the world to address the role of Partnerships, technology, fundraising, business models and organizational practices in achieving impact at scale, and with sustainability.The sessions reinforced the conference theme with plenary sessions re imagining key sectors like skilling and agriculture and additional panels on key dimensions that need to be re imagined to deliver accelerated impact. Attendees will have an opportunity to continue with in-depth discussions in a number of workshop sessions that will address key operational questions facing NGOs as they grow.

[ Theme : Collaborating for big bets]
Development Dialogue 2018

The dialogue emphasized and deliberated on the need of collaboration in spirit. Including keynote address the panels and sessions discussed being collaborative in aptitude and in action is critical for any idea to scale. Collaborative aptitude at the present times is particularly relevant as we observe cascading impact of innovations and geopolitical situations throwing challenges and opportunities at humanity, all at once. Therefore, prioritizing shared goals, making big bets and converging efforts to deliver solutions as approach to problem solving underlines the theme of one and half day long Development Dialogue 2018.

[ Theme : Scaling Effectively]
Development Dialogue 2017

The theme of Development Dialogue 2017 was ‘Scaling Effectively’ in the space of social entrepreneurship. Effective scaling implied scaling faster, with better results and lesser resources. It is easier said than done and hence a Dialogue over one and half days presented very rich insights into the theme through conversations among social enterprises, startups, philanthropists and other like-minded participants who believe in putting entrepreneurship at work to make larger impact.

We were proud to host over 30 international delegates and over 100 speakers along with an equally awe-inspiring audience of select 450 people who travelled to Hubballi to contribute to the Dialogue. Year 2017 marked a special space in our journey ahead as Sandbox, as we announced the launch of Skill Center and Incubation Hub for startups in Hubballi.

[ Theme : Execute Locally, Innovate Globally]
Development Dialogue 2016

The theme of Development Dialogue 2016 was ‘Execute Locally, Innovate Globally’. The discussion focused on the necessary elements to achieve impact, such as relevant and co-created innovations, execution ability, appropriate infrastructure and government support.

The 2016 Dialogue hosted 70 Speakers of national and international repute and included over 450 delegates. The highlight was the Keynote Speech by Nobel laureate Prof. Muhammad Yunus, and the event also included 17 panel discussions on a variety of topics such as ‘Scaling Up Skill Development’, ‘Including Diversity’, ‘Livelihoods’ and Public-Private Partnerships’.

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[ Theme : Scaling Effectively]
Development Dialogue 2015

The theme of Development Dialogue 2015 was ‘Scaling by Proving’, emphasizing the path to truly scalable developmental impact. By ‘Failing Small, Failing Early, Failing Fast’, organizations can test hypothesis and new approaches at a small scale, rapidly pivot ideas, learn from mistakes and make quicker midcourse corrections early in their implementation.

Panelists discussed how during this early ‘Proof of Concept’ phase organizations can also create networks and coalitions, test the relationships and put enact processes that lead to rapid growth. The Dialogue showcased several examples of organizations that tested alternatives at early stages, learnt from their successes and mistakes and then moved ahead to scale their implementation in different dimensions.

[ Theme : Counting What Matters]
Development Dialogue 2014

Development Dialogue is a platform for social entrepreneurs to showcase their proven ideas and programs that have transformed the local and international communities. The conference brings together diverse participants including: for-profits, not-for-profits, global visionaries, as well as local communities to share proven models, innovations, and transforming perspectives.

The 7th annual Development Dialogue between 20th, and 22nd January will focus on ‘Counting What Matters’ and invite you to deliberate on what counts the most for the people and the ecosystems that we are creating the change for.The Key Note speakers of the Development Dialogue 2014 are Mr. Jairam Ramesh, Mr. Deep Joshi, Mr. T.V. Mohandas Pai,
Mr. Kimmane Rathnakar and Mr. R.V. Deshpande.


Key note speakers:

  • Mr. Stewart Beck, High Commissioner to the Republic of India, Government of Canada
  • Mr. Jairam Ramesh,Hon. Ex Minister of Rural Development, Member of Parliament, Government of India
  • Mr. Deep Joshi, Co-founder, PRADAN
  • Mr. T.V.Mohandas Pai, Vice President B.PAC
  • Dr. Gururaj ‘Desh’ Deshpande, President & Chairman, Sparta Group LLC
  • Mr. R.V. Deshpande, Hon. Minister of Higher Education & Tourism, Government of Karnataka
  • Mr. Kimmane Rathnakar, Hon. Minister of Primary & Secondary Education, Government of Karnataka
  • Dr. Ajit Kanitkar, Program Officer The Ford Foundation
  • Mr. Raju Reddy, Executive Vice President, Global Services, Hitachi Consulting
[ Theme : Tipping Point ]
Development Dialogue 2013

The 6th annual Development Dialogue discussion focused on the ‘Tipping point’ as a precursor to success among legends like Ratan Tata, Narayana Murthy, Dr. R. Mashelkar and Sudha Murty, who have had phenomenal successes in their respective fields and a life time of learning to share with those who are charting a humbling path to attain a ‘tipping point’ in their endeavours. We also deliberated on such frequently and widely talked about critical factors that an able ecosystem must integrate – building younger leaders or ‘social entrepreneurs’ as we know them, space of innovation and inclusion and financing models that allow for a proven program to move beyond innovation and merge with markets and communities.

Bringing home the eventual need for a proven program to link up with the government program in order to impact a large number of people, the conference had a special focus on the nuances of working with government. Conference included discussions among NGOs, Government Functionaries and Foundations who are working together for effective implementation of prestigious government schemes.

Key note speakers:

  • Ratan N Tata, Chairman, Tata Sons
  • Sudha Murty Chairperson, Infosys Foundation
  • N.R.Narayana Murthy, Chairman Emeritus, Infosys
  • Raghunath Mashelkar, President of Global Research Alliance & CSIR Bhatnagar Fellow
  • Gururaj “Desh” Deshpande, President & Chairman, Sparta Group LLC
  • Adam Woodward, Director, Kalkeri Sangeet Vidyalaya
  • Ajit Dayal, Founder and Chairman, Quantum Advisors, Bombay, India
  • Anand Sudarshan, Director, Manipal Global Education Services Private Limited Bangalore, India
  • Anoj Viswanathan, Co-Founder and President, Milaap.org
  • Anup Akkihal, CEO, Logistimo
  • Mr. Chanchala Pathi Dasa, Vice Chairman, Akshaya Patra Foundation
  • C P Viswanath, Director & CEO, Karadi Tales Company Pvt Ltd.
  • Mr. Dilip Chenoy, MD & CEO, National Skill Development Corporation
  • Dr. S.S. Jena Chairman- National Institute of Open Schooling
  • John Yates, CEO, Manipal City &Guilds (MCG)
[ Theme : Thriving in the Ecosystem ]
Development Dialogue 2012

The conference, now in its 5th year, is the Foundation’s attempt to accomplish two things. First, to gather together all of our partners and grantees to collectively take stock of our progress and to dialogue about the Sandbox and what we can do moving forward. Secondly, the conference serves as a vehicle for outsiders to learn about development, NGOs nonprofits, challenges and what type of philanthropy and activism they may wish to undertake in. Whether for one or three days, we bring together hundreds of practitioners, academics, investors, grassroots activists, philanthropists and entrepreneurs from across the world. The key theme of Development Dialogue 2012 was ‘Thriving in the Ecosystem’. Panel topics in addition to round table discussions included: Building Institutions for an Inclusive Ecosystems, The Art of Institutionalizing ‘Value Chain’ work, Making Market work for: the Bottom of the Pyramid, Building Human Resources for Development: Insights and Livelihoods through a Rights-Based Approach

Keynote Panelists and Speakers:

  • Mr. N.R. Narayana Murthy: Chair Emeritus, Infosys, Visionary, Philanthropist, and World Renowned Entrepreneur
  • Gururaj “Desh” Deshpande: Chairman, Tejas Network, Co-Founder, Deshpande Foundation
  • Ms. Neelam Chhiber, Managing Director, Mother Earth, Co-Founder of Industree
  • Mr. N K.Chaudhary, Founder-Chairman, Jaipur Rugs Pvt. Ltd.
  • Mr. Girish G Sohani, President and Managing Trustee, BIAF Development Research Foundation
  • Padmashree Shri Aloysius P. Fernandez, Chairman, NABARD Financial Services Limited
  • Ramji Raghavan, Chairman of Agastya International
  • Dr. H Harish Hande, Co-Founder and Managing Director, SELCO Solar Light
[ Theme : Leveraging Opportunity]
Development Dialogue 2011
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The 4th Development Dialogue Conference at Deshpande Foundation’s accomplishes two things.First, to gather together all of our partners and grantees to collectively take stock of our progress and to dialogue about the Sandbox and what we can do moving forward. Secondly, the conference serves as a vehicle for outsiders to learn about development, NGOs nonprofits, challenges and what type of philanthropy and activism they may wish to undertake in. Whether for one or three days, we bring together hundreds of practitioners, academics, investors, grassroots activists, philanthropists and entrepreneurs from across the world. Each year, we feature site visits to NGOs working in the field, keynote speakers by dynamic leaders .

In development and entrepreneurship, cases and stories from our partners, and cultural showcases. Through discussions, panels, and small-group breakouts, delegates share and collaborate on strategies to improve our approach to social innovation and entrepreneurship. In India, the Development Dialogue is hosted at the Deshpande Center for Social Entrepreneurship in Hubli, Karnataka. In the United States, the Development Dialogue is held at the University of Massachusetts – Lowell in Lowell, Massachusetts.

Keynote Speakers and Panels:

  • Dr. D. Veerendra Heggade: Dharmadhikari, Shri Kshethra Dharmasthala
  • Anil Chitrakar, Ashoka Fellow
  • Rahul Bose, Actor, Social Activist
  • Ashwin Naik, Founder and CEO, Vaatsalya Healthcare
  • Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak: Founder, Sulabh International
  • Eranna F. Hombalimath: Entrepreneur, Hubballi
  • Narayanna Reddy: Progressive Farmer
  • L.H. Manjunath: Executive Director, SKDRDP
  • Prasanna: Founder, Desi
  • Rowena Gonnay: Municipal Coordinator and Farmer, RICE, Inc.
  • Smita Mankad: Program Director, Fabindia
  • Soumen Biswas, Executive Director, Pradan
[ Theme : Building an Ecosystem]
Development Dialogue 2010

Development Dialogue 2010 marked the biggest year to date, with over 450 delegates in attendance. Our keynotes were Sudha Murty, chairperson of the Infosys Foundation as well as a panel of Ashoka Fellows. We also featured over 40 speakers who spoke at various sector-based panels, on topics that included sub-sessions within Leaders in Development, Driving Sectorial Change, and Transformational Case Studies on our Partner NGOs. With a fleet of 100 volunteers moderating the content and operations of the conference, the conference featured in-depth discussions and dialogues that energized delegates for their work in the upcoming year.


Dialogue 2010 theme was Changing Mindsets, or Badalagatirruva Drustikona.Panel topics in addition to roundtable discussions included: Global Challenges in Social Entrepreneurship, Leveraging Rural Economies through Non-Traditional Interventions, Shaping Governance-Delivering Quality Education, Resource Mobilization for Bridging Communities and Entrepreneurship for Greater Good: Sectorial Perspective

Keynote Speakers and Panels:

  • Gururaj “Desh” Deshpande: Trustee, Deshpande Foundation
  • Jaishree Deshpande: Trustee, Deshpande Foundation
  • Sudha Murty: Chairperson, Infosys Foundation
  • Brij Kothari: Founder, PlanetRead
  • Lily Paul: Director, India Entrepreneur to Entrepreneur Program, Ashoka: Innovators for the Public
  • Lisa Nitze: Vice President, Ashoka: Innovators for the Public
  • Noel de Villiers: Founder, Open Africa
  • Madan Rai: Founder, Khotang Development Forum
  • Simi Fasehun: Project Manager, Global Engagement Team, Ashoka: Innovators for the Public
  • Tri Mumpuni: Founder, IBEKA
  • Vera Gainseley Cordeiro: Founder, Associacao Saude Crianca Renascer
[ Theme : Sandbox & Changing Perspective]
Development Dialogue 2009

Innovation in the Sandbox was highlighted the second year of Development Dialogue, and the event focused on the new and groundbreaking work being done by our Partners. Over 300 delegates attended the event, held at our then brand-new facilities at the BVB College of Engineering and Technologyce provided an opportunity for delegates to deeply engage on innovation occurring in the Sandbox d to also see the constraints faced by our Partners. The key theme of Development Dialogue 2009 was The Sandbox and Global Perspectives.Panel topics in addition to roundtable discussions included: Innovation Case Studies within the Sandbox, Innovation Case Studies Outside the Sandbox and Innovation and Development.

Keynote Speakers and Panels:

  • Vicky Colbert: Founder, Escuela Nueva
  • Adrian Mukhebi: Founder, Kace Kenya
  • Lisa Nitze: Vice President of Global Engagement, Ashoka: Innovators for the Public
  • Jean Claude Rodriquez-Ferrera
  • Albina Ruiz: Founder, Ciudad Saludable
  • Ashok Shettar: Vice-Chancellor, K.L.E Technological University Hubballi
Development Dialogue 2008

The first Development Dialogue was held at the IMSR Business School in Hubli, Karnataka in January 2008. This marked the first time the entire portfolio of partners of the Deshpande Foundation – over 200 delegates – came together to discuss their work in the Sandbox. Panel topics in addition to roundtable discussions included: Strong Management – Accounting, Documentation and Administration, Rapid Growth & Scaling Your Programs, Achieving Your Goals & Benchmarks

Keynote Speakers and Panels:

  • Ashok Alexander, India Country Director, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Vijay Mahajan, Founder, BASIX Microfinance
  • Bala Warrier, Manipal Medical Foundation
  • SR Hiremath, Samaj Parivartana Samudaya
  • Venkatesh Thuppil, St. Johns Medical College