Ideas rule the world

Updated: 04 December, 2018 10:23 IST | Snigdha Hasan |

Over 20 motivational speakers from across India and the world will share their life-changing stories from the fields of science, humanitarian work and the creative arts

Countless people the world over are responding to challenges life poses in ways that can inspire many. The learning that emerges from an educator's work in Afghanistan, for instance, can help sow the seeds for uninterrupted education of girls in a remote Indian village. A conduit for the sharing of these ideas has been the TED Talks platform, where experts and change-makers from different walks of life speak of their experiences in the form of short, powerful talks. For the upcoming edition of TEDxGateway 2018, an independently organised TED Conference, over 20 such motivational speakers will share their stories with an audience in Mumbai.

"We search the year round for speakers who can inform, impact and inspire a large set of people. Once confirmed, the team follows it up with extensive sessions with our speakers over a long period of time to refine their core idea and insight from their body of work into 12-minute talks," says Yashraj Akashi, senior ambassador, TEDx India and curator of the conference. "This year, we have in store speakers working towards tackling some of humanity's toughest questions, answering them with break-through innovation, enterprise and enduring optimism. We've changed the way we've been looking at ideas by bringing thoughts that are raw, real and relatable to each one of us," he adds.

Here are some talks to listen to for a stimulating Sunday.

Log on to: (for live webcast on December 2)

Ananda Shankar Jayant

When leading Bharatanatyam dancer, choreographer and scholar Dr Ananda Shankar Jayant was diagnosed with breast cancer a decade ago, she decided to treat it as just another page in the book of her life. While undergoing treatment, she continued to dance, teach and perform on tour. A recipient of Padma Shri and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Puraskar, Dr Jayant is also a senior officer of the Indian Railway Traffic Service. Her talk has been included among the greatest TED talks by Indians.

Musical notes


As part of Indian music collective Maati Baani's collaboration with Indian and international artistes, the event will stage an array of performances, which include one by Tao Issaro. The Indian-Australian percussionist, composer and music producer divides his time between Western Australia and Kerala. His acts are a combination of percussion, movement, physical theatre and storytelling. Another performance to look forward to is a tabla recital by child musical prodigy Shayaan Udeshi.


Raghu Rai

Raghu Rai

Having chronicled the many shades of India in his memorable frames for over 50 years, Raghu Rai was nominated by renowned humanist photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson to join Magnum Photos in 1977.

In the last 18 years, Rai has produced more than 18 books, including Raghu Rai's Delhi, The Sikhs, Calcutta, Khajuraho, Taj Mahal, Tibet in Exile, India, and Mother Teresa. He has also worked on a documentary project on the Bhopal gas tragedy, and its ongoing effects on the lives of the victims. Awarded the Padmashree in 1971, he has exhibited his work across Europe, America and Australia.

Harshh A Poddar

Harshh A Poddar

Deputy Commissioner of Police, Nagpur; Chevening scholar; Oxford-educated lawyer with an interest in photography, Hindustani classical music and horse riding — Harshh Poddar wears many hats. When he left his corporate career in London to join the IPS, he knew he wanted to change the image of the police in the eyes of the common man. Apart from roping in 42,000 youngsters to fight crime and terrorism through his Maharashtra Police Youth Parliament Project, he also launched a project that provides free coaching for entrance exams and career counselling to students in semi-urban areas. In the wake of the recent incidents of mob-lynching, he led an extensive campaign against fake news in Malegaon.

Shabana Basij-Rasikh

Shabana Basij-Rasikh

From a young girl who subverted the Taliban regime by dressing up as a boy to escort her older sister to a secret school to founding a non-profit dedicated to providing Afghan girls a rigorous education, Shabana Basij-Rasikh has come a long way. A graduate in international studies and women and gender studies, the humanitarian and educator has ensured that the girls in her school represent all major ethnic groups and religious sects. Its alumni have gone on to attend 45 different schools and colleges in six countries.

Haaziq Kazi

Haaziq Kazi

When not at school, this 12-year-old Pune-based innovator is busy turning his concern for the environment into action. Passionate about cleaning the plastic waste that has been choking our oceans, Haaziq Kazi designed a prototype of a ship called ERVIS. The ship can suck out plastic from the ocean surface in a sustainable manner. The seventh grader has also been crowdfunding a library for underprivileged children in his community.

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First Published: 29 November, 2018 08:39 IST

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