Pearl Academy explores the intersection of creativity and technology at its flagship event What’s Next

Bengaluru, 21 February 2024: Pearl Academy hosted its much-awaited annual event, What’s Next on February 16 and 17 at Taj West End, Bengaluru. Attendees at the flagship event explored the future trajectory of design-tech convergence.

Conducted in a World Cafe format, the two-day conference allowed attendees to engage in collaborative dialogue, knowledge sharing, and creating possibilities for action focussed on the critical concerns of contemporary times.

Welcoming the participants, which comprised industry stalwarts, Aditi Srivastava, President, Pearl Academy, said: “Our journey is rooted in nurturing complete creative professionals who transcend classroom boundaries to impact communities profoundly. With a focus on global exposure, tech expertise, industry-ready competencies and life skills, we empower students to be leaders in various creative domains.”

Celebrating human ingenuity, What’s Next delved into the fascinating interplay between innovation, imagination, and AI through insights from industry leaders, thought leaders, design academicians, and practitioners. The stimulating discussions focussed on the limitless potential of artificial intelligence (AI). The event also initiated a dialogue on the future of creative expression, the evolution of design processes, and the transformative impact of technology on every aspect of human creation.

In his keynote, Dr. Sharad Mehra, President, Creative Arts Education Society (CAES), elucidated the megatrends shaping society in the 21st century, influencing various aspects of life including technology, demographics, environment, economics, and culture, “Rapid advancements in technology, particularly in fields like artificial intelligence, robotics, biotechnology, demographic shifts owning to aging populations in many parts of the world, coupled with urbanisation and migration patterns, and increasing recognition of climate change and its impacts on ecosystems, present both opportunities and challenges for individuals, communities, and governments to navigate in today’s world,” Dr. Mehra said.

Featuring an array of themes, the conference included a series of sessions led by experts like Mr. Biren Ghose, MD Asia Pacific & Global Excom Member- Technicolor Creative; Mr. Alok B. Nandi, – Designer, Creative Director at Architempo, and Author; Mr. Niyam Bhushan, Design Leadership, Google and TEDx Speaker; Mr. Surya Vanka, Founder of Authentic Design, Chair-elect of Industrial Designers Society of America, and Founding Advisor of the Global Impact Collective; and Mr. Nikhil Malhotra, Chief Innovation Officer, Tech Mahindra. Mr. Malhotra announced that they will be establishing Tech Mahindra Maker’s Labs at Pearl Academy. These sessions discussed the intricate relationship between visual aesthetics, user interfaces, and user experiences; the transformative impact of emerging technologies on design education, user experiences, and creative expression; and the intersection of technology and creativity in fashion, animation, and visual effects.

Addressing the audience, Mr. Surya Vanka said, “In a world defined by uncertainty and complexity, the three things that are going to impact the future of creative learning are technology of intelligence, collective imagination, and inclusion. Moving beyond a traditional approach to learning and embracing a dynamic and flexible framework that integrates technology, design thinking, and ethical leadership has become more important than ever before. Incorporating AI-driven tools and platforms can further enable educators to provide students with personalised learning experiences and tailored support. Another critical responsibility as educators is to empower our students with the tools and values to navigate the challenges of our rapidly changing world with creativity, compassion, and innovation.”

The panel discussions in PechaKucha format allowed the participants to engage in collaborative dialogues and share insights on the next wave of innovations poised to reshape industries and societies.

What’s Next stands as a catalyst for change and inspires design professionals to reimagine the future of creativity and technology. As the industry evolves, Pearl Academy remains committed to fostering meaningful conversations and driving innovation.

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