Aparna is the principal faculty and Cultural Entrepreneurship program director at the University of Minnesota Duluth. She is passionate about developing an ecosystem bridging the academic and workforce needs of students and those of the public, private and nonprofit sectors. Her research is practice-led and community-engaged at the nexus of entrepreneurship, strategy and design-thinking for sustainable development and social change. She studies innovative entrepreneurial and community ownership models, and design-led interventions for solving societal issues of underserved communities. Aparna has provided leadership in the areas of strategy, organizational change management, business process improvement, and program management at Global Information Technology consulting firms. She led a technology based nonprofit organization and was a small business owner prior to taking the current position at the University in 2013. Aparna received her PhD in Management (Designing Sustainable Systems) from Case Western Reserve University in the United States in 2013 and has a Master’s in Statistics from Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata, India.