Podcast: India’s digital public infrastructure on Government’s Future Frontiers

Digital identity verification and secure data exchange tools are accelerating service delivery and opening new possibilities for growth in India

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Today’s guests:

  • Dr. Pramod Varma, chief architect of Aadhaar, India’s digital identity system
  • Jaimie Boyd, Digital Government leader at Deloitte Canada
  • NSN Murty, partner and consulting leader for Government & Public Services at Deloitte India
  • Bill Eggers, executive director of Deloitte’s Center for Government Insights.

Digital public infrastructure (DPI) can be one of the most effective tools to bring radical improvements in customer experience in government. DPI is more than a suite of standards and platforms, such as digital identity, digital payments, and data exchange systems. It’s a philosophy based on open, networked technology that serves the public interest and encourages the private sector to innovate for the public good.

The largest national implementation of DPI has occurred in India, and the success may allow the country to leapfrog more developed markets in creating more efficient service delivery and opening new opportunities for businesses. India’s rapid development and implementation of DPI has attracted the attention of the World Bank,1 the International Monetary Fund,2 the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation,3 and governments around the world.4

In this episode of Government’s Future Frontiers, we speak with Dr. Pramod Varma, the chief architect of Aadhaar, India’s digital identity system. We also discuss the history of DPI and lessons other governments can learn from India with Jaimie Boyd, Digital Government leader at Deloitte Canada, NSN Murty, partner and consulting leader for Government & Public Services at Deloitte India, and Bill Eggers, executive director of Deloitte’s Center for Government Insights.

According to Varma, the philosophical underpinnings of DPI may be more important than the technology stack itself:Traditionally, governments looked at applications. They would build a whole application that solves a particular problem statement. But in the case of DPI, the real concept was, ‘Can we think of underlying reusable building blocks that can be extracted out from many, many applications and make it available as an infrastructure?’”

That mindset shift doesn’t just open up possibilities for government services. It also gives businesses a powerful tool to create new markets and serve previously overlooked populations in a much more cost-effective manner. For example, research from the International Monetary Fund found that the cost to onboard a customer in India has come down from US$23 to US$0.1—a 230x improvement.5 That’s just one of the compelling reasons why India’s DPI may be propelling the country into the future of digital identity and seamless data exchange faster than almost anywhere else.

Tanya Ott: You have doubtless heard the William Gibson quote “The future is already here—it’s just not evenly distributed.” It gets thrown around a lot in discussions about the new and the next, and usually, it’s taken to mean that the richest people in the most developed countries get all the cool tech toys.

But sometimes, the future shows up in unexpected places.

Imagine being able to file your taxes with one click or renew a passport without carrying a crate of supporting documentation. Imagine a digital ID so robust that banks can verify new accounts for pennies instead of dollars, allowing even the poorest citizens access to digital payments. Imagine that system being used to get benefits to the neediest residents in minutes instead of weeks or months. Imagine your government providing instant translation of official documents into your home dialect. Imagine being able to jump out of your car and walk straight to your gate at the airport, with no waiting in line for ID checks. Imagine knowing that even if you’ve had to flee your home during wartime, your government can deliver your benefits.

Sounds like the government of some sci-fi invention like the Cyber States of America or Neo-Tokyo or the Afro-futurist utopia of Wakanda, right?

But these sorts of things are happening right now, in four countries—Ukraine, Estonia, Singapore, and India.

These four countries have gone all in on something called digital public infrastructure—or DPI. And today on Government’s Future Frontiers, we’ll be exploring what that means and taking a deep dive into how it’s been implemented in a country that accommodates more than 1.4 billion people,6 22 official languages,7 and a citizenry with incredibly varied needs.

I’m Tanya Ott. To guide us along this digital highway, I’m joined by an impressive panel of guests.

Jaimie Boyd is Digital Government leader at Deloitte Canada. NSN Murty is partner and Consulting leader for Government & Public Services at Deloitte India. Bill Eggers is the executive director of Deloitte’s Center for Government Insights. We’ll also hear from Dr. Pramod Varma, the chief architect of Aadhaar in India. He has been where the virtual rubber meets the digital road, and he has some surprising insights on how to make DPI work.

Let’s start with the basics. Jaimie, can you give us a quick users’ guide to DPI?

Jaimie Boyd:  Absolutely. DPI is essentially a suite of tools which, at its most rudimentary, you can break down to things like payment mechanisms, identity data exchange, sometimes some degree of user experience.

But more than the technology, it's a way of thinking and a road map for providing easy-to-navigate services. It’s starting to be adopted in the public sector globally, and it’s based on this philosophy of “build it once, use it often.”

Ott: It sounds like a very logical concept, but how easy is it to put that concept into action?

Boyd: The philosophy isn’t that challenging, but the implementation can be at times. Many of us who work in this space, we try to build and support tools that are so easy and delightful to the user that why would you want to build anything else?

Ott: Can you paint a picture for me of how it works?

Boyd: At its most basic, we’ve identified four categories of tools that we think can revolutionize service experiences across the public sector.

The first category of tools is essentially identity solutions. I’m from British Columbia, on the west coast of Canada. We have our BC services card, which is a unified piece of identity for health services, as well as our driver’s license. With that, we’ve got an app that many British Columbians have on our phones—the BC Services Card app. It provides highly reliable access to government services.

There are all sorts of different ways of validating identity, but it has to be based on this premise of ease, of access to those government services and ideally on the philosophy of “tell us once.” People don’t particularly care which government agency is providing the services, they just want the services.

There’s a second category of tools around data: How do we exchange appropriate data so that you are getting the right services?

There's a wonderful use case from the United Kingdom. It’s a little bit morbid, but it’s around death notifications. When we looked into this, we found that when somebody would pass away, their loved ones were having to inform different orders of government in excess of 40 times. That made it very, very challenging. The British government took on this project of “tell us once,” based on sound data exchange, and they were able to reduce that as well as create massive savings around this digital benefits. So, there can be user data [or] system data.

There’s also a third category of technology around “What I can do?” So, it could be things like payments—mechanisms to issue or collect payment. The Government of India has made significant progress here. And it’s really about transaction data so that you can have seamless delivery of benefit.

In Western Canada, where I live, we suffer from fairly major wildfires in the summer. You can imagine somebody who’s escaping a town that’s totally on fire. They’re trying to get away from their burning house. You don’t want that person to have to queue on the side of highway to say, “Hey, I’m qualified for a benefit so you can cover my hotel stay that night?” You want a seamless delivery of those benefits.

And finally, a fourth category is tooling around user experience. We’re seeing the rise of what we would call “government super apps.” You can look at the Government of Ukraine’s application Diia as a great example of that. Anything you want to do with any sort of government, virtually you can do through Diia. We’re starting to see real innovation around how all these services are being delivered.

Ott: I suppose that the first challenge is to work out what the aim of developing and implementing DPI is. What sorts of things do governments need to consider when starting down this digital pathway?

Boyd: Rather than taking a technology-first approach, we need to design the user experience first, elevate that human experience, and then find the technology tool that’s fit for the purpose.

There certainly is an expectation that when efficiencies can be achieved using digital, that’s going to be done and it’s out of respect for the user experience. It’s also out of respect for the taxpayer. I have to tell you, some of the greatest inefficiencies involve copying and pasting data between [spreadsheet] cells. You want to get over that sort of thing.

I think that the other imperative, other than just personal expectations, is the notion of building trust. [The Deloitte Center for Government Insights has] done some interesting research that looks at the relationship between customer experience of government services and how people perceive the governments that are providing them with those services. There’s a fairly direct correlation. The better the services, the more people are going to have that level of trust.

If you take a technology solution, and you try to implement it without having a really strong understanding of user needs, that’s where we’ll trip up. I advocate for doing a good discovery process, understanding what are the true needs of the humans, what’s the business value that’s associated with this technology implementation? Starting there, before we start writing any lines of code or start configuring any kind of technology, a solution that’s absolutely critical in those processes.

Ott: So far, the destination of this digital journey is very clear—improved user experience plus a reduction in repetition and time and money savings that can be made at government level. But what about the government side, the side behind the scenes, that invisible backbone shaping our digital world? I asked Bill Eggers here to talk about some of the technological challenges.

Bill Eggers: We can look at the beginning of digital government, which at the time was called “e-government,” going all the way back to the dot-com era, when we were seeing all kinds of activity in the private sector and lots of websites coming up and a lot of excitement. And of course, governments were looking at what they needed to do to serve citizens better.

The early stages of e-government were largely about putting up kind of a Hollywood storefront, where you would have a website [on which] you could transact and do a few things, but there was no real change in the back end. It was almost like putting lipstick on a bulldog in many respects.

The next stage of the digital government revolution, in [the] 2010 to 2020 time period, [saw] the United Kingdom playing a major role with the launch of their government digital services, GDS. Then countries such as the United States and Canada and Australia, many countries throughout Europe, followed and created their own digital service units. We started seeing governments [going] from just doing digital to more being digital and having a digital mindset, figuring out how they can do digital in a modern way, using agile methodologies and bringing in the best of what they were seeing in the private sector to bear on government.

I think what we’ve seen with a digital public infrastructure and these all-in-one apps that are being created—these life event–driven services—that’s really the next stage. The digital government revolution is realizing a lot of the ambition that many of us who are involved in this in the very early stages had worked on [and] written about going back two decades or more. Ukraine’s Diia, Estonia’s X-tee, India’s Aadhaar, and Singapore’s LifeSG from are really a reflection of this whole new stage in digital government. And we’re also seeing a lot of leapfrogging in this area where emerging market countries are creating some of the best customer experiences around digital in the world.

Ott: That brings us to our bellwether governments that are showing how much is possible with DPI.

Boyd: There are these pockets of innovation that, candidly, are breathtaking. I have a colleague who had a baby in in Singapore. He’s not from Singapore, wasn’t really expecting to have a baby in Singapore, and was quite concerned about all the paperwork and thought, “Oh geez! How am I going to get my kid’s birth certificate?” He spoke with one of the nurses in the hospital, and she said, “Oh, download the LifeSG app.” He downloads the app, and it was extremely easy to navigate.

I think, a wonderful example of where we’ve seen that in practice is how the government of Ukraine developed the Diia app. Anything you want to do with any sort of government, you can do through Diia. So, pay a parking ticket, get a marriage license, request a passport—you name it. They did so with a huge mix of partners. Certainly, they had core talent within the government that was driving the vision. But there were startups, there were large vendors—there’s a whole ecosystem.

Ott: Sometimes, external circumstances create just the right atmosphere for launching DPI, as was the case in Estonia. Bill Eggers explains.

Eggers: Estonia said, “We wanted to be one of the most technologically sophisticated countries in the world.” And to do that, they needed to have very sophisticated digital government infrastructure. They didn’t have all these decades and decades-old legacy systems that we might have in the United States and the United Kingdom and other countries, so they could start from scratch more and leapfrog to the latest technologies. 

They were also smaller. They didn't have all kinds of different levels of government like we might have in the UK and or the US or Canada, Australia, or multiple levels of government, which makes providing that seamless service a little bit harder. They also had a very technologically sophisticated workforce, both in the private sector and the public sector.

Ott: But DPI is something that can work in more than just small, relatively homogenous countries. Case in point: India.  

Eggers: When you look at India’s Aadhaar, it’s the largest digital identity project in the world. They issued over 1.3 billion digital IDs. I consider it one of the most successful and largest digital government efforts in history.

Ott: India may have leapfrogged more than any other country, and the World Economic Forum recently said that it’s DPI was attracting worldwide interest. It all began with the introduction of one system.

NSN Murty: The Indian Aadhaar—which is the ID card system—is both online and offline. The idea was to keep it extremely simple, [the] lowest footprint, accessible to everyone, because we knew there was a smartphone availability across a large model population, but we needed to cover 100%. It has to be all pervasive. You don’t need a smartphone to authenticate yourself on the system. It uses [a] normal feature phone. Even if you don’t have a phone, you can authenticate.

Ott: That’s NSN Murty from Deloitte’s Government & Public Services team in India. That point about being able to authenticate even without phones is an important one.

Murty: India started another program called Citizen Service Centre cases. More than 500,000 such cases have been implemented across India, primarily at the rural areas or village areas, so that if I don’t have connectivity yet, I don’t have a mobile phone. I go to that common service center, [which is] connected to a fiber. So, whether it is digital education, certificates, any kind of a bank transfers and all those things, government supports that program.

Ott: Murty has been working on DPI since the beginning, which is as far back as 2005. He’s seen the enormous change the program has wrought.

Murty: The visible implementation started happening somewhere around 2014 to 2016, when the ID project started happening. And thereafter, the large implementation of platform-based projects started happening in cities.

Ott: Before Aadhaar, only about 20% to 25% of the populations had access to bank accounts.  

Murty: There was a study by various institutes saying that India [would] take around five decades to get bank accounts to everyone across India. If you don’t have bank accounts, I can’t deliver social services to you. [For] benefits, I can’t find out how I connect you with the employment services and so and so forth.

The second side of the thing is, there were issues about credentialing. [The government would] ask you for reams of data or documents in various photocopy format or attested formats again and again, [and would] not have [an easy]  way to identify you. That creates a lot of red tape–ism.

So, you have a society about 15 years back when time was taken for delivery of services because you do not have to credentials. You will have struggle to deliver essential services, social benefits, even unemployment benefit because you do not have bank accounts.

And finally, you are actually looking at a bureaucracy which is  forcing the people to stand in the queues to avail those services. That was the kind of an era before, I could say the digital revolution around the DPS took place.

Ott: Like most countries, the endless form-filling and duplication of user data was both expensive and time-consuming.

Murty: The repetitive jobs by people and duplication of effort was definitely one of the bottlenecks in the process. In every step in every department, they’re doing the same activity again and again, [and] you are asked to identify yourself again and again in every department. A pensioner [needed] to go from one place to another, from city to city, to claim their pension, [and] every time he or she [needed] to submit the same set of documents to prove and get that pension. Those were the real challenges on the ground about 10 [to] 15 years back.

Ott: This system created plenty of opportunities for bad actors.  

Murty: There were financial frauds. The people who are supposed to get the benefit, supposed to get those services, were deprived of [them]. That created a lot of social inequality. These are the things [don’t] allow the country to move ahead in terms of speed, agility, trying to look at economic growth and so on, so forth.

Ott: Then the Aadhaar system was born.

Murty: I think the most important element is, can we find out the smallest piece important for all the processes—which is credentialing—identifying a citizen for any kind of a benefits for any kind of a services. That was picked up as the first idea, the national ID card program.

The two important [most important questions were] can we keep it very, very simple? And [can it be] extremely cost-effective? You are trying to get the credentialing or the identity [piece]done for more than a billion people. It can’t be a high cost. It can’t be a card. It needs to be an extremely small footprint. It needs to be very, very, very cost-effective.

The biggest thing was the biometric authentication of everyone. This was not just the fingerprint, it was retinal scan also. How do you convince people to come and give the retinal scan? There was social outreach created. There were camps which were held, [where] biometric entries were done. I think there was definitely anxiety. [There was a] set of people who thought that it will never happen. [But] when people started looking at the outcomes and the benefits coming out of this, the naysayers actually went down to negligible. The proof [in] the pudding was how effective it was and how simple it was. The entire process, it took just less than 15 minutes.

Ott: Such an ambitious program required strong political will, which lasted across multiple administrations.

Murty: You need to have political leadership standing and saying that this is for your benefit. The judiciary stood up to it. The Supreme Court validated the requirement of the authority, which gave it credence.

Ott: And as a sweetener?

Murty: There was no cost involved in this. I was not asked to pay for anything. There was no fancy ID card. There was nothing of that nature. It was all simple stuff. So, simplicity, leadership on the top, quick turnaround time and you can actually see the data that you have entered into the system. You can see your data in two different languages and correct it yourself. So those are the things which enabled [India] to have a much higher trust on the system.

Ott: It’s fair to say that NSN is an advocate of the system, and here’s why:

Murty: During COVID-19, when it was difficult for many of the countries to provide for food, provide for benefits, it was only a click of button with which the central government ministry was able to send the benefits to 800 million people. You have an ID? That ID is seeded into a bank account. [The government knows] the benefits that needs to accrue to you. It’s so simple thereafter. So that means you can deliver services at extremely fast pace.

Ott: That ease of use shows up in multiple ways.

Murty: Today, when I need [renew] a passport, I just need to click say that I'm authenticating myself with my address, with my name, with my other credentials. And when I go to passport office, they do not ask for any other documentation. They just take my old passport, they take my photograph, [and] biometric data again. And the process because it’s one-time done.

Ott: And … If you want to enter into an airport in India, you need to pass through  stages. The stage where it’s outside of the airport, and then you have the check-in counters, then you have the security gates, the finally at the boarding gates. Now there is an app [for] what [that] entire system did. It takes your biometric data [from] a digital wallet to be connected [with a] photograph. When I go to the airport today, I just need to look at a screen because the screen identifies my face connected to my document, which is the ticket and my other ID. No one actually looks at my ticket, my credentials or anything. It’s a free flow. So, time taken is extremely small for that. And you know, airports love it. And while this entire investment has been done by government in terms of Aadhaar, the Digi Yatra, the application, has been built by the airports in India. So the private sector has built an innovation on top of the government itself.

Ott: And …

Murty: I’ll just take one more example because it’s my favorite. It's about the climate change. How many of gallons of gas [are] wasted on the roads? How do we actually save it? [In India, billions of dollars of gasoline [were] wasted because I am waiting on a queue on a toll road to punch my card or pay a toll. [Now], the highway tolling system uses my UPI [unified payments interface] and it uses a payment infrastructure. So, when the FASTag reads the data, it connects to my bank account. It processes it. It does automatic clearance of my toll gate.

And in India last year, the amount of savings was US$8.5 billion equivalent of gasoline. Now look at that from a climate change standpoint. These are these are the numbers which can help climate change.

Ott: In so many respects, what India has achieved is remarkable. Why did it work? Dr. Pramod Varma, the chief architect of Aadhaar in India, said that had more to do with the philosophy behind DPI as the technology itself.

Dr. Pramod Varma: Traditionally, governments looked at applications. They would build a whole application that solves a particular problem statement.

But in the case of DPI, the real concept was, “Can we think of underlying reusable building blocks that can be extracted out from many, many applications and make it available as an infrastructure?”

Ott: That fundamental mindset shift, from creating a set of solutions to creating an infrastructure all reaches of society can use to develop solutions, opens up all sorts of possibilities. In part, Varma says, that’s because DPI isn’t trespassing on anyone’s turf.

Varma: When you design infrastructure, you want [it to be] so minimalistic that nobody feels threatened. It’s an extremely important mindset-breaking problem. That means you don’t threaten your counterparts, the people who are supposed to adopt your highway. [Aadhaar] is [an] application programming interface. All it does is verify your authenticity or share your data. 

Ott: But creating infrastructure isn’t enough. You also need to get it adopted.

Varma: DPI builders have to understand the success of infrastructure comes only when someone drives on that road, somebody creates economic activities on the highway. But remember, the highway builder has no control over car companies and bus companies and Transportation Authority and logistics, right? That means you have to create a value articulation and not a feature articulation. That is very, very contextual.

That means if [you’re] walking into a health ministry, finance ministry, banking, insurance companies, you have to deeply understand the cares and fears of the decision-maker on the other side.

So, it is not a sell job. It is a truly empathetic listening and careful understanding.

Ott: And one more thing to keep in mind when getting government agencies to adopt DPI solutions:

Varma: The third is the simplicity of embedding that building block. You have to create what you call a rapid iterative mechanisms for them to a celebrate wins. If you are DPI builder, your success comes from diversity of adoption.

Ott: With these philosophical principles and practical adoption strategies in place, governments can see rapid growth across the board with DPI.

Varma: Many countries talk about direct to better governance—direct to consumer citizen interactions, money transfer, and all. [It’s] even more important for growing economies.

But that's only one part. The other part is the economy by itself, which is much driven by private business players and market players—not by government.

What we were asking [was] can government create a playground consisting of a set of technological underpinnings, infrastructure elements, a set of policies and regulations that support market Innovation and create a fertile playground digital playground that allows [a] much more digitally inclusive digital economy to thrive?

If you really look—whether it's transportation, education, health care, commerce—everything is digital today. If you don’t explicitly think about creating this playground, what would happen is that you would walk into a digital divide. [If] only a small portion gets digitized, maybe 10% of your society takes advantage of it. And 90% is the informal economy, fragmented, informal bits we see in India.

The future idea of DPI is precisely this: to create the underpinning in digital infrastructure that is interoperable and portable.

[If you can] create a set of governance and policy layers that creates incentive for local market players, many, many thousand flowers bloom. Startups and innovation and enterprises innovate on top of it, thus creating [a] much more equitable digital economy on top of this infrastructure.

And India has seen this starting to play out brilliantly. [There is a] long way to go. We are a massive country with extreme diversity, so we should be super humble about this. We have at least a decade or two decades before we can get to a reasonable job in education, health care, livelihoods, and the basic stuff that people look up to. But we are on a very strong footing because the idea is as big or bigger than the internet itself.

Ott: Eggers and Boyd. Say India is an example of the power of DPI..

Eggers: It was really about having that ambition to provide the most world-class level of digital citizen experience that is possible with today’s technologies. I think the key lessons are providing these building blocks of digital public infrastructure and the transformative power of these building blocks of digital identity, data exchange systems, and digital payments. And by having those building blocks you can streamline government processes, you can cut through red tape, you can provide citizens with experiences that are not just seamless, but personalized.

Boyd: A bank’s cost to conduct a know-your-client process, which is required for any kind of lending process, on average in India, is US$23 per person. And when you’ve got an incredible majority of the population that’s unbanked, you want to hurry up and provide this, these kinds of services. After they deployed Aadhaar, the KYC process dropped down to an average cost of US$0.01 per user. US$23 went down to US$0.01 for the KYC process as part of digital banking.

Eggers: I think what they’ve shown, which is really important, is all of the knock-on effects of doing this, being able to fast-track financial inclusion in the country by nearly five decades, reaching 80% inclusion in six years compared with what otherwise would have taken 47 years. If you had asked me a decade or so ago if that were possible in such a short period of time, I would have said “no, that’s not possible to do.” [But] by providing these basic building blocks, India was able to show the way of how a country [with] such a massive population, that struggled in many respects in terms of their government services, was able to leapfrog, over many other countries and provide this sort of historical level of government transformation in a digital way.

Ott: So, with the technology in place, what’s the catalyst for taking the concept to the next level, [that is] implementation?

Boyd: Once you’ve started to create the enabling conditions, taking an iterative approach, and in many cases in my world, we advocate for approaches around digital delivery that are agile. They’re iterative. We take a few steps. We look around, we see what we’ve learned. We make sure that what we’ve built so far actually makes sense and is making the world a better place. We pause. We set our objectives for the next sprint. We take a few more steps. We pause again. I think many of us who work in this, in this ecosystem, are used to these agile ways of working when it comes to specific products, learning, understanding how it has to be matured, how it has to be sort of iterated on as we go, is almost certainly going to be your lowest risk, highest value approach to delivering value here.

Ott: And what does the future look like? Generative AI is the hot topic right now—and so of course it has a role to play.

Murty: India has built its own infrastructure called Bhashini, which is large-language-model based. We have about 12 Indian-language large-language models built. It can do text-to-text, text-to-speech, speech-to-text, and speech-to-speech transliteration. Based on the language and based on what I speak, how I speak and the information I give on a two-minute call, I can do analytics [on a caller] and tell that this person is more than 60 years of age, comes from a very remote area, belongs to a certain category of people who have no income, and they have this repetitive problem instead of typing, I speak in my own language.

Open networks are the next big wave. For example, I will go on to an app and say, “I want to go to place B, and I want to pay only X amount of money,” and it will identify and book that for you. It will be an aggregator platform. Similarly, e-commerce. It actually looks at the whole network and gives you the right choices. 

That’s something revolutionary which is happening in, in India, [in the] last two years, and it has now moved to Europe. Paris has also signed up to do this open network program during the Paris Olympics. And Amsterdam is also running.

Ott: These open networks bring up another sci-fi idea:

Murty: Let everyone be on their own networks in their own countries, but let those networks also talk to each other. I should be able to have an open network talking to each other, and these are the bits and bytes [that can] exchange between the two countries.

Ott: That’s not happening yet … but it may be coming soon. Where it will happen is up for grabs.

Thank you for listening to Government’s Future Frontiers from Deloitte Insights. Remember to follow and subscribe, so that you don’t miss an episode. Next time, we’ll be talking about the future of technology in health care, and you won’t want to miss it. 

This podcast is produced by Deloitte. The views and opinions expressed by podcast speakers and guests are solely their own and do not reflect the opinions of Deloitte. This podcast provides general information only and is not intended to constitute advice or services of any kind. For additional information about Deloitte, go to Deloitte.com/about.


Tanya Ott

United States

Jaimie Boyd


NSN Murty


William D. Eggers

United States


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Cover image by: Sofia Sergi