Student event

Digital community initiatives in pandemic times: lessons, strategies & tools

Across the world, the COVID-19 pandemic saw the rise of digital technologies as a response to crises in healthcare, education and many other facets of daily life. While governments have designed new apps and services, civic and community groups have emerged as a key tenet in delivering essential and inclusive services to citizens. Hear from experts from India, China and Germany on the strategies, tools and lessons learnt from digital community-led initiatives.


Dr. Eilean von Lautz‑Cauzanet,

Policy Advisor & Project Lead, GIZ (Germany)

Jairaj Bhattacharya, Founder/MD of ConveGenius (India)

Dr. Sahil Deo, Co-founder, CPC Analytics (India)

Dr. Shiling Xu, Co-founder, Zhuoming Info Aid (China)

Moderator: Kate Jia Yang | EMPA ’21 , Co-founder, Rhyme Consulting


About the Organiser: Asia Network is a Hertie School student and alumni-ed initiative which brings together collective experience and experts on the public and private sectors across Asia. The project aims to build a knowledge-sharing hub of Asian expertise and inspire new ideas and solutions to policy and business challenges. The community is open to members of the Hertie network who have interest and/or a background in collaborating with governments and businesses in the Asian region


  • Dr. Eilean von Lautz‑Cauzanet is an education policy specialist with a strong interest in innovation, technology, and teacher training. Associated researcher at Paris University, she has been working with UNESCO, UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP), the OrangeLabs, and GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit - German Corporation for International Cooperation) since 2011. She holds a joint master’s degree from Sciences Po Lille and the University of Münster, as well as a PhD from Ecole Nationale Supérieure Paris Cachan.

  • Jairaj Bhattacharya is the founder and Managing director of the technology group of Companies from ConveGenius, the company behind India's leading personalized and adaptive learning solutions, Leading conversational AI platform SwiftChat, and leading 3rd party assessment solutions ConveGenius Insights. A technology enthusiast and a believer in driving innovations for good, Jairaj has spent over eight years as a tech entrepreneur focused on mass-market India. Apart from ConveGenius, Jairaj is a friend, mentor, and advisor to various upcoming entrepreneurial ventures from his almamaters at Chicago Booth, IIIT Hyd, and Ashoka University.

  • Dr. Sahil Deo is a co-founder of CPC Analytics, a data-driven consulting firm with offices in Berlin and Pune. As a part of CPC, he has consulted leading private and public sector organisations such as Siemens, Mitsubishi Materials, the World Health Organization, and GIZ (German International Cooperation). Prior to founding CPC, Sahil worked for GIZ in Tanzania alongside the Prime Minister’s Office, to streamline the revenue collection process in Local Government Agencies

  • Dr. Shiling Xu is the co-founder of Zhuoming Info Aid and a lecturer at Soochow University's International Academy of Red Cross and Red Crescent. She holds a bachelor's degree in philosophy from Peking University, a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Peking University's Department of Philosophy, and a Ph.D. in History from the Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia.