Dr. Ashwin Mahesh
Dr. Ashwin Mahesh is a social technologist and public policy researcher who studies the way cities are growing in India. He studied to be an astronomer and an Antarctic climate scientist, and worked for a few years at NASA’s Goddard Earth Science and Technology Centre.
In the past, he has worked at IIM-Bangalore, IISc, and IIIT-Bangalore. Recently, he established the Centre for Public Problem Solving, an applied research organization to tackle public problems.
Dr Mahesh co-founded and leads the social technology lab, Mapunity, which works to apply technology to tackle developmental challenges. In 2006, Mapunity built the first Transport Information System for a major city in India. He is also a co-founder of Lithium, India’s first electric mobility solution for corporate transport.
A writer for TOI and many other papers, Dr Mahesh is also the editor of India Together, which he co-founded in 1998. He conceptualized and helped implement Bangalore’s popular Big10 bus service, and has also helped steer many of the digital initiatives of the Bangalore Traffic Police. He also pioneered the community-managed restoration of lakes in the city, and is part of a team working to develop a new regime for solid waste management.
He was a member of the Agenda for Bangalore Infrastructure and Development Task Force between 2009 and 2013, and also served as the Urban Research Strategist for the Government of Karnataka. In these capacities, he co-authored the urban development policy of the State.
Dr Mahesh has been the National Vice-President of Loksatta Party since January 2015. He is also a founder-member of the Bangalore Political Action Committee, which encourages businesses in the city to take active part in development initiatives and governance reforms.
Dr Mahesh is an Ashoka Fellow for social entrepreneurship. He also won the Ma Foi award for journalism, and the Volvo award for sustainable mobility. In 2012, Wired UK magazine listed him among the 50 people whose ideas will change the world.