India workshop panel image_Nair

Workshop Title: No cash, no intermediaries? Different scenarios for a digital economy
Date: Friday, November 11, 2016
Location: IIIT Bangalore, #26/C, Electronics City, Off Hosur Road, Bangalore 560100
Contact information: Kavitha Narayanan at

What happens when a culture of primarily cash-based and mediated financial transactions encounters the world of digital financial platforms that promise cashless and direct transactions? In a world abuzz with conversations about digital financial transactions, we explore how they work among different low-income social groups in a one-day workshop on November 11, 2016 at IIIT-Bangalore.

The workshop comprises three panels spread over the day. It will bring together diverse voices on digital financial transactions, who have earlier engaged with these issues on separate stages, to discuss changes in the nature of financial transactions. Together, we will explore possible ways to rethink cash-less and intermediary-free economies, and examine how best to incorporate the values associated with cash and financial intermediaries into the world of digital financial transactions.

The inspiration for this workshop comes out of a research project that Elisa Oreglia (at SOAS, London) and Janaki Srinivasan (at IIIT Bangalore) have been conducting this past summer on the circulation of cash and digital money among communities of small-scale fishers and farmers in Kerala (India) and Shan State (Myanmar). Supported by the University of California Irvine's Institute for Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion (IMTFI), this project is one among several that IMTFI has supported since 2008 towards its goals of understanding the everyday uses and meanings of money, as well as the technological infrastructures being developed as carriers of mainstream and alternative currencies worldwide.

Read about their compelling initial findings in their recent blogposts: "Intermediaries, Cash Economies, and Technological Change in Myanmar and India (Part One)" and "Intermediaries, Cash Economies, and Technological Change in Myanmar and India (Part Two)"

Workshop Schedule (Tentative)
0900 – 0945 Registration
0945 - 1000 Welcome
1000 - 1130 Session I: Logging In - Speakers: Jayshree Venkatesan (Independent Consultant), Pravin Agarwala (BetterPlace Safety Solutions), Anupam Varghese (Eko) & Indrani Medhi Thies (Microsoft Research India)
1130 – 1145 Coffee Break
1145 – 1315 Session II: Making Payment - Speakers: Pawan Bakhshi (Gates Foundation, India), Sanjay Jain (IndiaStack & iSpirt), Anubhav Sharma (National Payments Corporation of India) & Tara Nair (Gujarat Institute of Development Research)
1315 – 1400 Lunch
1400 – 1530 Session III: Transaction Complete - Speakers: Shruti Gonsalves (SEWA Grih Rin), Milan Mitra (McKinsey Digital Labs), Elisa Oreglia (SOAS) & Janaki Srinivasan (IIIT-B)
1530 – 1600 Coffee Break
1600 – 1700 Session IV: Logging Out (Concluding Remarks)

Click here for a report on the workshop and Centre for Information Technology and Public Policy (photos and workshop handout).

For questions,  contact Kavitha Narayanan at
Centre for IT and Public Policy, International Institute of Information Technology – Bangalore (IIIT-B)

Photo: Tara Nair of Gujarat Institute of Development Research speaking.



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