Bengaluru girl impresses at World Economic Forum

A 24-year-old data scientist from Bengaluru recently spoke at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Geneva, Switzerland. Smruthi Swaminathan attended the annual Global Shapers Curators Summit there.

Leaders from 150 countries attended the conference between September 2 and 4, and she says she was among the youngest.

With Global Shapers Community, a network of young thinkers, Smruthi had created a bilingual manifesto-building website for the 2021 elections in the state of Tamil Nadu. This earned him an invitation to the WEF summit.

The website was designed to inform voters about politicians who were running for office. The goal was to reach 10,000 voters, but Smruthi’s team ended up connecting with 1.2 crore citizens, she claims.

“During the ‘Strengthening Civic Engagement in Local Communities’ workshop, I spoke about the importance of data in driving democracy,” Smruthi shares. She now plans to develop similar websites for elections in different cities, states and countries.

She also plans to “collaborate with Bengaluru members of Global Shapers to work on issues of mental health, sustainability and civic engagement.” These projects will be deployed in the coming months.

“Attending the summit made me realize that people’s issues are common globally and that it’s important to collaborate instead of working in silos,” she concludes.

Melvin B. Baillie