I am Hrishikesh Ballal, welcome to my website. I have had this site in one form or the other for the past 25 years or so. In real life, everyone calls me Hrishi. The H is silent so it is pronounced as ‘Reeshee’. The etymology of my name, ऋषिकेश in Sanskrit, is religious related to Hinduism. There is no equivalent in the English alphabets for the original Sanskrit character. Rishikesh is also the name of a ancient city in the foothills of the Himalayas. This site provides Atom or RSS feeds and you can subscribe to them to get the latest. I am @hrishiballal Twitter and also on LinkedInGithub and Geodesignhub. If you want to get in touch, email is the best way to do so.

I am Mechanical Engineer by training specializing in Engineering Design, Operations Research with degrees from University of Michigan and MIT. In 2015, I completed my PhD at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at University College London with a focus on geodesign. My thesis was around early stage design and is entitled Collaborative planning with digital design synthesis. It was supervised by Prof. Mike Batty, Dr. James Cheshire and Prof. Carl Steinitz. My focus at work and study has always been a mixture of Engineering Design and System Architecture.

After my PhD, I founded Geodesignhub a company that provides software for mediation and negotiations about the future of a place. In addition to enabling negotiations using our technology, we provide project organization and management support around implementation of the negotiated outcomes. As a part of this we run two complementary products: Geodesignhub.com and Geoforage.io.


Given my expertise and work in the “geo” domain most of which is open source, I also am an active member of OSGeo Ireland chapter and a huge advocate of open data for governance and public policy.

I feel like I have had many lives professionally. I have written a lot of closed and open source software, worked in the automotive industry, United Nations, spent time in Japan, worked at Microsoft among other things. Prior to my focus on Geodesign, I also worked quite a bit on consumer electronics. It all started when I was offered a fellowship to work on solving the collection and end-of-life aspects of e-waste and it was the thesis for my degree for which I was awarded a Public Service Fellowship.

All content in this site is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Unless otherwise stated, everything here is © 1996 ~ 2019 Hrishikesh Ballal.

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