Thirteen knights in shining armors descend upon the faraway land of Shiv Nadar University. Their mission- spread new ideas, and spark newer ones. The TEDxShivNadarUniversity stage becomes the royal streets for their victory march. And thus, within a few hours of a beautiful Sunday morning, after seven long months of sweat, tears, blood, and cheers, TEDxShivNadarUniversity 2017 is finally a wrap.
With only its second time around, the 2017 edition of the conference saw all previously set records and benchmarks being shattered, and all expectations being exceeded. The stellar speaker lineup included big names like Amitabh Mall, partner and director at the Boston Consulting Group; Sriram Raghavan, Director at IBM Research and CTO of IBM (South Asia); and Bianca Ghose, Corporate Storyteller. The lineup also had the luxury of having speakers with experiences as diverse as rally racing, filmmaking, theatre and systems engineering. The theme ‚ÄòSpace Out‚Äô couldn‚Äôt be any more apt in representing the diversity in the speaker lineup like that in the stars of the galaxy.
SNU’s very own Acapella group, Synergy kicked off the event with a performance which set the energy level extremely high. Amitabh Mall then took to the stage to get the ball rolling, as he opened about six things that business leaders could learn from writers, and about life in consulting. What followed was dip after dip into an ocean of ideas and experiences that held limitless potential as the other 12 speakers took to the stage. Each of the 13 speakers inspired freedom without boundaries, challenged the world with the word, and highlighted the importance of being imaginative before being knowledgeable. The one common link between all the talks, on their diverse ideas and different fields of expertise, was the sincere passion with which each idea was propagated.
Another little hero of the day was TeamIndus‚Äôs lunar rover, ECA, which made a joyous pitstop at the TEDxShivNadarUniversity stage. Hailed as ‚Äòthe offspring of WALL-E and EVA‚Äô (in a comical reference to the popular animated film WALL-E), ECA is expected to traverse the lunar surface and transmit high definition imagery data to mission control.
Thoughtfully selected TED talks screened in between speakers complemented the atmosphere and lifted the overall audience experience. The post-lunch session was energized by the beautiful voice of Amartya Ghosh and his original songs, while Sonal Sharma and her slam poetry ensured a very poetic (figuratively and literally) ending to what was a day filled with unparalleled moments and experiences.
Despite all the magic that took place onstage, the highlight of the event lay in the ease with which everyone in the conference area interacted with each other. Speakers, audience members, sponsors, media partners, organizers could be mingling together during the refreshments and lunch break effortlessly. Discussions – some impassioned, formal, some humourous and light-hearted ensued throughout the lounge area, highlighting yet another reason why TED and TEDx conferences offer an experience which is different from that of other conferences.
Every single day of the seven months of hard preparations was reflected in the grand culmination of the conference. Preset biases were already broken and mindsets were already broadened as the attendees faded away into the dark November evening brimming with a unique enlightenment. Using the analogy of a music album, TED is a compilation of chart-toppers, while TEDxShivNadarUniversity was more of a studio album – with each single having its own potential. It was a potpourri of genres – unrelated, yet in perfect synergy.