The recently-concluded TEDx conference organised by The Calorx School last week saw several interesting speakers delivering several short and scripted talks as per the TEDx format. The event was a suite of prepared talks, some live band performances and screening of TED inspirational videos. Speakers were thought provoking, enthralling, several fostered learning and a few were revolutionary in their very conversation.
As is the format with TED, a programme with the mission ‘ideas worth spreading’, its central theme is to give communities and individuals a platform to stimulate thought and dialogue at local face-to-face levels through talks and across the world using the digital and webcasts mediums.
The speakers had a varied background that made the event so enriching and fulfilling.
Shakun Batra, a St Stephen’s student, who from a non-film background took the leap of faith when he plunged into Bollywood known for its nepotism. Starting as an assistant with award-winning Errol Morria and Emmy award winner, Christopher Wilcha, he assisted Farhan Aktar and Aamir Khan before directing his own film “Ek Mein Aur Tu” at the age of 28.
Shashi Kapoor’s daughter, Sanjana, who was in charge of Prithvi Theatre for several years, talked passionately about the need for theatre and art spaces in the urban planning of any city. She is currently chasing her passion through Junoon and bringing awareness about theatre to school students.
Economist, Prof Imon Ghosh with industry and academic experience brought excitement to his speech through the simplicity and the lucidity with which he presented a profound thought of how we could turn around the economy of India, by simply reducing the cost of financing the poor.
IIM-Ahmedabad graduate and first-generation social entrepreneur, Nirmal Kumar shared a simple thought, of giving the autorickshaw drivers of the city the due they deserve, ensuring at the same time that customers do not get fleeced. Having started with 15 autos from the IIMA gate, today he has a fleet of 10,000 autos in his network.
IT industry stalwart, Chirag Patel talked about how the age of the smartphone is here to stay and how our privacy is at constant risk. Since the smartphones record every moment of ours and every person we know and are in touch with, having access to the smartphone puts our privacy at risk. He also spoke on how little we think about it, while we give access to apps while accepting their terms.
Hrishikesh Pawar, a graduate of Palucca Schule Dresden-Hochschule fur Tarz, Germany, illustrated very artistically the importance of fluidity of movement. Through a visual journey, he brought out the intricacies of modern dance. Pawar has a Master’s degree in modern dancing.
For revolutionary Shreya Lalwani, a professor in management, TEDx was the ideal platform to share her life trapped in a “gender identity crisis”. Born as a boy, she experienced a constant struggle and even attempted to kill herself. A year ago, she went through the medical surgery of reassigning her gender, undergoing hours of operation, to change from a boy to a girl. Besides the medical intervention, the emotional and psychological challenges she underwent were heart-wrenching. The realisation that we live at a time when people are able to take such bold steps and are able to spread their thoughts at open platforms was also a revelation.
Parth Vasavada, the promoter of De Paix Yatra, is a daring youngster who undertook a motorcycle journey from Ahmedabad to Vietnam to promote youth employment and global peace. He recalled some exciting accounts from their journey.
All these speakers were able to bring their unique experiences on the platform due to TED’s celebrated format – a bias-free event, lacking in commercial, religious and political agenda. It covers a range of topics, which spread inspiration, wonder and provoke conversation that matters.
The writer is an entrepreneur and educationist