Firstly, I am very grateful to Regional Studies Association for awarding me the travel grant that facilitated my travel to attend the conference called Young Scholars Initiative (YSI) Plenary: Piecing Together a Paradigm, organized by the Institute for New Economic Thinking at Central European University, Budapest during 19-22 October 2016. The RSA Travel Grant gave me the opportunity to present my work entitled “From margins to the mainstream: New hybrid spaces and the role of technology”.
The conference was instrumental for young scholars around the world to come together and present their work on a wide range of issues and topics, spanning from development studies to urban and regional economics among others. Under the umbrella of YSI Plenary, scholars and presenters were divided into focused groups based on academic (sub) disciplines to conduct parallel sessions and to accommodate all the presentations. There also have been plenary talks and panel sessions other than individual presentations. Overall,
the conference helped me to understand the current discourses surrounding interdisciplinary nature of social science research. In particular, I was able to present my ongoing research concerning the new media industry located in Bangalore and the role of technology in shaping its dynamics, and was able to receive comments and questions from the co-participants of ‘Urban and Regional Economics’ group.
The conference was an excellent opportunity to meet and interact with prominent scholars with diverse academic interests. I did utilize my presentation as well as informal discussions with other members of the fraternity to inform about the RSA membership benefits to build a strong academic career, and it’s networking advantages, through both RSA-formatted slides and word of mouth. Needless to mention that some of the co-participants showed interest in joining future RSA events and conferences to explore research and networking opportunities. The RSA funding has truly been a catalyst for me to disseminate my work.