INKtalks salon at HP

When I joined INK, I always found it intriguing that everyone said that I absolutely need to attend an INK Salon to fully grasp the quintessence of INK.

So here I was, in a huge auditorium, geared up for my very first INK Salon at HP to see what all the fuss was about.
The auditorium was completely full and brimming with the INK spirit, with people even sitting on the stairs. The same atmosphere prevailed in the hall outside the auditorium where there was a live streaming feed of the salon.

The INK team with the speakers take the stage at HP

The event started and we were all warmly welcomed by the VP of HP, who saw the salon as an unique opportunity for his company to learn from our amazing innovators. Lakshmi Pratury then took to the stage and highlighted how everyone at INKtalks tries to see the world from different perspectives, instead of simply complaining how bad the world is and doing nothing to change it. ‘’I collect people,” said Lakshmi, ‘’people across the world from different disciplines, who are doing their own bit to change the world- people who are valued for their ideas and contributions for a better world.’’ This beautifully depicted the essence of INK.

Anupam Mukerji, founder of The Fake IPL Player blog, was our stunning host of the day. He introduced our  first speaker, Mansukhbhai Prajapati, who is a  rural entrepreneur. A clear message seeped out from Mansukhbhai’s talk– if something is wrong, one can come up with his own solution with whatever resources one has to solve the problem. After starting a ‘tawa’ making factory, he went on to create a water filter and a refrigerator – with clay! He now aims to create a ‘mitti cool house’ that would run on solar energy.

Clearly awed by our first speaker, the audience were waiting in anticipation for the next speaker to sweep them off their feet, which is exactly what Naganand, co-founder and president of Embrace did. As one of the creators of the ‘’infant warmer’’ – a low-cost product that keeps premature babies warm without using electricity.  He believes that ‘’social enterprise is 1% production and 99% distribution.’’ This is why his team is now aiming at empowering rural mothers by making this easy-to-use product accessible to them as well as decreasing the infant mortality rate in India.

“The number 1 reason people don’t follow their dreams is that they settle for something good,” highlighted our next speaker, Karthik Naralasetty, founder of socialblood.org. His organisation came to life on Facebook after he realised that it was extremely difficult for people to find blood donors in time. Socialblood.org allows people to post requests for blood as well as donate blood, and already has presence in 20 countries.

Prasad Balasubramaniam, employee at HP, was announced as the winner of the ‘’Ideas Under 99 Seconds’’ competition organised by INK in association with HP. He gave a brief talk about his initiative for empowering women by enabling them to earn a living by selling apparel they designed themselves.

The next speaker on stage was the gaming revolutionary, founder of IndiaGames, Vishal Gondal. His talk focused on his team’s efforts at popularising games for people of all age, locality and profession- from the ‘rickshaw-wala’ to housewives and elderly people in India. His team has been to villages with tablets to give children the opportunity to discover and explore the gaming world.

However, Chris Kirchhoff, our next speaker, questioned the efficiency of technology. Having worked with the chief of military of US and having been part of the Columbia Space Shuttle Disaster Commission,  and he showed the audience how one should proceed with care when dealing with technology. We should all learn from the disaster of the Columbia Space Shuttle so as to prevent such technical failures from happening in the future, he said.

Our final speaker, Raghava KK, artist and TED speaker, spoke about his unconventional approach to art and technology.He explored how art and technology could be merged to create different perspectives. One such initiative is an innovative application that he created – a children’s book for all children, including children in single-parent or single-sex families.

‘Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of moments that take our breaths away.’ concluded Lakshmi, as she closed the event.

I can say with certainty that each and every moment of these 90 minutes were truly breath taking moments. Each and every member of the audience left with a determined spirit and renewed motivation to bring about positive changes in their daily lives, inspired by all our speakers.

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