Attending TEDxHyderabad 2015 was an incredibly inspiring experience. If spending a day listening to change agents from different walks of life was inspiring in itself, being surrounded a budding community of thinkers, enablers and doers was the icing on the cake. The theme of the conference was ‘Unfolding Journeys’.
Each of the speakers spoke of their own personal journey, the choices they were confronted at different points in life, how they had the courage to listen to their inner voice and act upon it. This courage of conviction is what distinguishes Manasi Prasad who quit the corporate life to pursue her passion for Carnatic music, and Ramanjaneyulu sir for choosing to be an Agricultural scientist and work to promote sustainable agriculture instead of a career in the Indian Revenue Service.
Then there were stories of how unflinching commitment to a goal helped overcome seemingly insurmountable hardships along the way. This was especially true of the experiences shared by the young IAS officer from Nagaland Armstrong Pame who inspired the local community to build a 100 km “People’s Road” connecting Manipur to Nagaland and Assam. Kshitij Marwah, who found a way to combine his love for photography and technology, and developed novel 3D camera technology and virtual reality experience was equally inspiring. He turned down offers to develop this technology in the US and returned to India to make a 100% ‘Made in India’ product.
Then there were stories of how personal tragedy and pain was used for personal transformation. Colleen Lightbody from SA took to marathons, Iron Man triathlons and climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Everest base camp in an effort to overcome her personal limitations. Zena El Khalil from the war-torn Lebanon uses visual art to spread the message of peace and love.
Only disappointment was that Palam Kalyanasundaram from Chennai, who gave away all his savings to help people and who has been recognized by the UN for his social service, couldn’t attend the conference. Still kudos to the organisers for managing to screen a short interview with him during the conference.
A big thanks to the TEDxHyderabad organizing team for pulling off an incredibly well organized event through meticulous planning and almost flawless execution. I hope this is just the beginning for the TedxHyderabad community and look forward to being part of many more such events in the future.