Annapurna Mamidipudi was trained as an engineer in electronics and communications, in Manipal, in South India. She has set up an NGO that supported vulnerable craft livelihoods and worked with artisan production for nearly two decades in South India. She has trained herself in natural dyeing techniques that were slowly becoming extinct, and actively assisted production processes of artisan groups.
Annapurna’s thesis is titled “Towards theory of Innovation for handloom weaving in India.” She was invited for a month to the University of Chicago’s prestigious Neubauer Collegium as a fellow. Currently she is employed at the University of Maastricht as a part time post doc to study responsible innovation.
She is an awardee of the Global Social Business Incubator program of Santa Clara University of 2009, member Timbaktu Collective’s General Body, which works in the drought prone district of Anantapur in Andhra Pradesh to support poor farmers with food security, and on the executive committee of the Craft Education and Research Centre at Kalakshetra, the premier Music and Dance institution, in Chennai. She is the producer of a musical opera, Pallaki Seva Prabandhamu, directed by renowned musician R. Vedavalli.
Her research interests include the study of traditional craft in the contemporary world, particularly handloom weaving as livelihood, as socio-technology and knowledge; sustainable agriculture, politics of development and the role of markets in sustaining traditional arts and crafts.