City to City conference, Hyderabad, India
Jan. 2008 - Jonathan spent 5 days in the fast growing city of Hyderabad, capital of Andhra Pradesh state in central India.
Hyderabad is actually 2 cities, locally known as the twin cities of Secunderabad and Hyderabad. It has grown very fast in the last 10 years and is the meeting point of North and South India. It has a diverse population and is a major centre for new technology.
The City to City conference was an attempt to create a dialogue between the European cities of London and Dublin with Hyderabad. Jonathan was invited to speak to the 1600 delegates and explore some issues of art and theology. The conference attempted to start conversations between professionals from east and west, giving opportunities to share experiences in a variety of areas, for example architecture, housing and planning, medicine, education, business and art. A true dialogue needs a fairly small number of people but that is not easy in a country of 1.2 billion people, therefore 1600 delegates was actually quite small!
Despite the large numbers Jonathan was able to make some really interesting connections and describes the whole experience as an opportunity to learn as ideas were shared.