Tuesday, November 11, 2014

DICE and IBA Come Together for INVENT-2014








DICE and IBA Come Together for INVENT-2014

In one his satirical essays Mushtaq Ahmad Yusufi wrote a tongue in cheek sentence about the discontent of Englishmen: anytime the English see a need for something they cannot find in existence, they quickly invent a contraption to fulfill their particular need.  Dr. Khurshid Qureshi, a Michigan based Pakistani engineer, wants his countrymen to be afflicted with similar discontent.  DICE (Distinguished Innovations, Collaboration and Entrepreneurship— http://www.diceinnovationportal.com/ ) Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by Dr. Khurshid Qureshi has been working to foster a culture of innovation in Pakistan.  DICE is an innovation platform.  Since 2007 an annual DICE Competition & Exhibition event has been regularly held in Pakistan.  In these events student competitors display their innovative projects and win prizes.  DICE Foundation’s activities are being financially supported by the Pakistan Council for Science and Technology (PCST); the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO); and the British Council.
In parallel to what DICE has been doing, a similar activity has been taking place at the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) in Karachi.  Through an annual event dubbed INVENT, started in 2011, IBA’s Entrepreneurship Society (IBAES) had been providing enterprising students a chance to increase the visibility of their innovative ideas and take the ideas to the next logical step: a business based on the new idea.
It was only natural for DICE and IBA-ES to come together and do a mega entrepreneurial event together.  This year’s INVENT is that very program.  DICE-INVENT 2014 will be held at the IBA campus, December 19-20 .  Entrepreneurs wanting to participate in the competition have been submitting their project write-ups to the organizing committee.  Winners of the competition will be given cash prizes along with a chance to use IBA’s incubation facilities for the commercial-use development of their ideas.
Read more about DICE-INVENT 2014 here:

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

She didn't come to stay








She didn't come to stay




A late Iowa evening.  Weekend. Time to hang out with friends till the talk later in the day.  Memorial Union at Iowa State is an old building--a Victorian edifice with round, stone columns; its façade punctuated with tall arched windows; a pair of wood half-spiral staircase at the entrance that squeaked under the climbing steps; and mosaic floor with zodiac, buffed under the shoes of hundreds of thousands of students that had passed through there.
Most of the African-American students at Iowa State came from Chicago.  Jamila was one of them.  She was also there for the talk.  We walked together. Then I saw a familiar face, walking towards us, in the hallway.  "Are you Maya Angelou?"  I asked her with excitement. She answered in affirmation, and looked at the two of us with curiosity.  I mumbled something to the effect that I had read 'Why the Caged Bird Sings' and thought very highly of her.  There was some small talk and then she moved on.
The reading session with Maya Angelou that evening was enlightening.  Her heartfelt conversation that day, and her books made it possible for me to foray in the world of identities, the sense of belonging, and the standards of beauty.  This is what great literature is about.  It can take you out of yourself and make you look back at everything through the eyes of a keen, detached observer.
Maya Angelou is gone.  She didn't come to stay.  No one does.

[Photo courtesy of http://www.udel.edu]