Adhik first visited Kashmir in 1997 to study the political conditions and local problems. His initial efforts were centered around volunteering, working for various NGOs from Mumbai, Pune, Delhi, Jammu and Srinagar, and UNICEF supported projects.
After countless visits and a deep understanding of the ground realities, he took up the cause of upliftment of the Kashmiri children and women especially orphans and widows. On 12th May 2002, Borderless World Foundation launched its first project; Basrea-E-Tabassum (Abode of Smiles), a Home for girl-orphans in the frontier district of Kupwara (Sulkoot village) in the Kashmir Valley. Though he faced stiff resistance and threats to his life from religious heads and clerics, he refused to abandon the project and work in a safer place.
Today the NGO is running four orphanage homes for girls in the four districts of Jammu and Kashmir . From just 2 girls in 2002, today BWF has more than 180 girls across the 4 centers. BWF is also one of the winners of the CSO Partners Outstanding Annual Report Awards 2009, for transparency, accountability and best documentation process in NGO sector in India.
Akshay Nanavati is a Marine Corps veteran, an adventurer, an entrepreneur and the creator of Fearvana. A recovery from drug addiction, PTSD from fighting the war in Iraq, and a battle with alcohol that pushed him to the brink of suicide, Akshay decided to dedicate his life to mastering the forces that drive human behavior.
Fearvana is art of learning to find bliss in the face of struggle by using coping mechanisms that allow you to embrace fear. Today, Akshay runs a global business helping people embrace their fears to live limitless lifestyles. He has just finished writing his book ‘Fearvana: The Art And Science Of How To Find Bliss Through Fear’, which will be published early in 2017.
Akshay uses the proceeds from his work to fund his nonprofit, the Fearvana Foundation. It is the change-making arm of his lifelong mission to run across every country in the world to create enduring peace, one community at a time.
Anshul is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of YouthKiAwaaz.com (YKA), India’s largest online platform empowering young people to express themselves on issues of importance. He has worked across new media and online journalism and is a first generation entrepreneur. Anshul is an Ashoka Fellow; he has also served as a Director on the Board of Collectively, a World Economic Forum and Unilever collaborative non-profit, to help make the future better.
Having started YouthKiAwaaz.com in 2008, he gained extensive experience in citizen media, new media, social media and how to mobilise and engage young people in participatory and collaborative journalism to create a larger impact on a mass audience.
YouthKiAwaaz.com has now become India’s number 1 youth portal with millions of readers every month, over 50000 contributors from across the world, and more than 2 million readers a month.
Avinash is the CEO and Co-Founder of zoojoo.be, a social wellness platform that is helping companies around the world drive positive and healthier behavior, within their workforce. Zoojoo.be is an IIM Bangalore incubated startup that has raised $1 Million in seed round from Round Glass Partners, a US based venture firm.
Avinash is passionate about research in the field of behavior change, behavioral economics and behavioral psychology. Him and his team have been able to help over 75,000 people spread across 7 countries, form healthier habits
Chandan studied Philosophy at St. Stephen’s College, Delhi (2009). Themes of beauty, imitation and abandonment interest him as a photographer.
He won the India Habitat Centre Fellowship for Photography in 2011, Oslo University Scholarship to participate in Chobi Mela in 2012, Neel Dongre Award in Photography in 2013 and the Foto Visura Spotlight Grant in 2014. He was also nominated for the Prix Pictet Award in 2015 and the Joop Swart Masterclass in 2016.
His artist book, ‘This World of Dew’, published by PHOTOINK, was released in 2015 and went on to garner much critical acclaim. ‘This World of Dew’ has been shown at the Benaki Museum, Athens and Parc Des Ateliers, Arles. He currently teaches at the Sri Aurobindo Centre for Arts & Communications, Delhi
Dheeraj is a neuroscientist and Presidential Graduate Fellow at MIT. Following his graduation, Dheeraj pursued a prestigious research assistantship at Harvard University, where he realized his passion for neuroscience. He has been at MIT since 2013, in the lab of Prof. Susumu Tonegawa, who received the 1987 Nobel Prize in Physiology & Medicine.
Dheeraj’s research in the field of learning and memory is focused on cases of amnesia, using animal models. Recently, he discovered that seemingly lost memories might be retrievable if we developed novel strategies. Extending this work to models of Alzheimer’s disease, Dheeraj found that not only were memories stored in the brain during the early stages of Alzheimer’s (even though these animals were amnesic), but that there is a way to bring these supposedly lost memories back permanently
Keshav is a third generation entrepreneur from the Indian conglomerate, GVK. He graduated with a MBA degree from MIT Sloan School of Management and an Industrial & Operations Research Engineering degree from UMich-Ann Arbor. Keshav is a Board Member of GVK Biosciences, GM-Commercial at GVK Mumbai Airport and Managing Partner at the Family Office, Reddy Futures Fund.
A pure enthusiast, Keshav has varied interests, from startups, space exploration, innovations to reading
Haleem Khan grew up in a rich mix of Islamic and Telugu cultures, and was drawn to the classical Indian dance form of Kuchipudi. At 9-years-old, he started his training under the revered Guru Sri K.V Subrahamanyam, disciple of the venerated Guru Sri (Dr.) Vempati China Satyam. Haleem lives in Hyderabad and has given more than 800 solo and group performances all over India and abroad.
He has vast experience in teaching dance, choreographing both conventional and fusion, conducting workshops for both private and corporate groups. Haleem enjoyed immense success on his recent road shows in the United States and Malaysia, and immensely enjoys travelling and the continuous learning.
Harshit Agrawal is an artist, HCI researcher, poet and traveler who builds tools to study how technology can help enhance human creative expression. He studies this from a human augmentation, cultural integration and human-machine collaboration aspect.
Harshit thoroughly enjoys making things and looks at them as performance objects that convey a narrative. As a result, he has been traveling on a journey of explorations to think deeply about, and build tools for creative expression that help other people make things in different ways.
His body of work includes Tandem- a collaborative human-artifical intelligence drawing and description tool, Protopiper- a device using which one can physically sketch room-sized 3D objects with tape, Flying Pantograph- a drone drawing tool that lets you experiment with the interplay of drawing with a drone, Fabcode- a visual programing language for creating 3D models for 3D printing as one explores math and computation constructs among others.
As Co-founder and CEO of SproutsIO, Jennifer leads the development of new technologies that redefine our interaction with food. Drawing from her childhood experience growing fruits and vegetables in the suburbs of Detroit, sher believes the spirit of the gardener extends beyond growing plants- it represents the ability to thoughtfully nurture and participate in the world around us.
Jennifer has an M.S. in Media Arts and Sciences from the MIT Media Lab, an M.S. Advanced Architecture Design from Columbia University, and a BArch from the University of Miami. She has taught at Columbia University, Pratt Institute, and at the New York City College of Technology, and continues to lecture internationally. She was selected as an Innovation Fellow by Wired Magazine, a Tech Hero by Glamour Magazine, a finalist for the Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards, and is now also an INK Fellow.
Kalyani is the Co-Founder of Inclov, the world’s first matchmaking app for people with disability and health disorders. Inclov is accessible to people with visual impairment and cerebral palsy amongst others. The app matches people on the basis of cure availability, medical condition, level of independence and lifestyle choices. Kalyani successfully crowdfunded Rs 6 lakhs for the prototype of this app with the help of 143 global backers, on India’s leading online crowdfunding platform, Wishberry.
Today, Inclov has 1000 matches within six months of its launch and Kalyani has demonstrated early success with two Inclov users getting married in May 2016
Kenta is the Founder and CEO at GAKKO, a collective of thinkers and makers working through design, technology, and pedagogy to question the way people learn. GAKKO’s mission is to craft experiences that inspire reflection and action, and through education, to form compassionate and engaged citizens of the world. GAKKO aims to make education richer and more accessible by re-modularizing it through thoughtfully designed digital learning tools and experimental summer camps created by collaborators around the world.
Prior to this venture, Kenta worked at Palantir Technologies and a handful of start-ups as a designer and engineer. He is also a professional magician, and a magic trick inventor
Laura is an Architectural Choreographer, known for her groundbreaking work in Augmented Dance; the fusion between movement and technology. Her most recent work includes Mass Crane Dance (www.masscranedance.org ) which was launched as part of her Creative Fellowship with WIRED Magazine. Mass Crane Dance is a spectacular meeting of music, light, and synchronized construction cranes dancing across the skyline at night.
Laura founded her award-winning and innovative dance company Guerilla Dance Project (www.guerilladanceproject.com) to specialise in Augmented Dance. They are resident at the Pervasive Media Studio, in Bristol, creating installations and spectacle shows. The company have been commissioned worldwide including USA, Brazil, Ireland, Croatia, Dubai and Indonesia. They are currently working with 7 UK and European Universities on a new touring shows Slow Into Motion, Kicking the Mic and Transference. Guerilla Dance Project have won multiple awards for digital innovation
Mahesh was moved by the plight of HIV+ children when he first got a detailed look into their lives and problems back in 2008 whilst he was on a volunteering project. During this process he observed that there were many HIV + children, most of them orphans with no shelter and no one to care for them.
He began adopting HIV children and considered opening a hostel for them. Unable to find good rentals owing to the associated social stigma, Mahesh persuaded his family to help him provide accommodation to the children in his home.
Today the Mahesh Foundation has 55 HIV+ infected children in their home, 1,600 children who benfit through educational & nutritional support , over 28,000 HIV+ infected people positively impacted through various programs & 60+ full time employees working hard to achieve their goals
Neha Bagaria is the founder & CEO of JobsForHer, an online platform to connect women with companies, community and skilling to start, restart and rise in their careers. Over the last five years, JobsForHer has worked with over 1.7 million women, 7000+ companies, 1000+ mentors and 400+ reskilling partners across India to enable women to accelerate their careers.
JobsForHer is not Neha’s first entrepreneurial venture. Right after she graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Neha founded her first company Paragon, an educational startup to bring the Advanced Placement Program to India. When marriage brought her to Bangalore, she started working with Kemwell, a biopharmaceutical manufacturing company, in the fields of HR, Finance and Marketing strategy.
Neha took a 3.6-year break in her own career when she had her children. During this personal journey, she became aware of the various difficulties a woman faces in order to re-enter the workforce. She then became committed to the cause of enabling women to accelerate their careers and founded JobsForHer.com on International Women’s Day, 2015.
Neha has been listed in Forbes India’s WPower Trailblazers list of 25 ground breaking women achievers as a game-changer and innovator who is shattering stereotypes, and was also featured by Deccan Herald as “19 Changemakers to Watch Out For in 2019”.
Nirali is an Indian Classical Vocalist from Mumbai. She nurtured the dream of being a classical vocalist from her childhood; backed by support from her parents and her music Guru Vikas Parikh. Nirali was the recipient of Shrestha Sadhaka Award by Gujarat Sangeet Academy.
Nirali’s horizons expanded when she formed a world music act called ‘MaatiBaani’, with her husband Kartik Shah (a music Composer and Producer). MaatiBaani literally means ‘language of the earth’ and the duo collaborate with musicians all over the globe; through the internet. Each song is a story in itself and often speak of ‘one love’.
Pallavi is the Founder and Managing Director of FifthEstate, a not-for-profit that works in partnership with the state governments in India to create collaborations between social entrepreneurs, Government departments and Corporates. She also sits on the State Innovation Council of Uttar Pradesh and has been a guest lecturer at Indian IAS Academy, Mussoorie and UP IAS academy.
Pallavi is an Ashoka Fellow and a Management post-graduate from the London School of Economics with over 10 years of experience of working in the UK, Singapore and India across domains spanning from software engineering to business consulting and social development. She specializes in Open Innovation and Technology for socio-economic development of emerging economies
Pavan is the cofounder of Cocoon Cam, a Silicon Valley startup that is developing a the next-generation of smart baby monitors. Cocoon Cam uses computer vision to analyze video streams and provide real-time insights on the safety and wellbeing of your baby. It detects and streams your newborn’s heart rate, respiration and skin temperature to a secure mobile app, without ever touching your baby, giving parents peace of mind they deserve.
Pavan and his team presented Cocoon Cam to President Obama at the first-ever White House Demo Day (2015) and are currently running a paid pilot program with 100 parents and have started an IRB-approved study this summer in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford.
Prasenjeet Yadav is a molecular ecologist turned photographer and a National Geographic Explorer. Prasenjeet holds a masters degree in molecular biology for several years at National Centre for Biological Sciences in Bangalore, India. Early in his scientific career, he realized that his real passion lay in storytelling. He now combines his experience in research with his photography skills to popularize ecological and conservation sciences in the wider society. Prasenjeet is one of the very few photpgraphers who integrates sciences deeply into his photo stories. He chooses ignored subjects, landscapes and species and find ways to develop engaging and accessible photos.
For every story, he collaborates with researchers, managers, policymakers as well as conservationists. Along with the larger stories, he also produces stories that are directed at specific audiences who have the power to create lasting change. His previous projects helped bring light on sensitive issues such as climate change and its effects to high elevation Himalaya and effects of windmills on the surrounding ecosystems raising questions about how green is our green energy. He is a Founder for “Shoot for Science” which is an initiative to train scientists in science communication. Under his explorer’s project, he produced a story on the evolution of species in the Shola Skyislands of the Western Ghats which was published and exhibited at Telluride, Banff, NCBS etc. He is represented by National Geographic Creative and is currently in Western Ghats and North East India. Prasenjeet’s luggage is currently based in Bangalore, India and he is constantly on the move
Pratik works at the intersection of nanotechnology, imaging, low-cost diagnostics, entrepreneurship and scalable solutions for improving human health. He is leading the health and technology efforts run by the MIT Media Lab’s Camera Culture Group. Patik has scientific expertise in clinical imaging for machine learning, low-cost diagnostics, non-profits; startups, medical devices and several high-throughput approaches, including massively parallel DNA sequencing, digital gene expression technology, proteomics and metabolomics. He is developing and deploying the next-generation of non-ionizing clinical imaging systems powered by computer vision and machine learning platforms.
Pratik is the recipient of a National award from the American Society for Microbiology, as well as an independent fellowship award from Massachusetts General Hospital. He holds a BS, MS and a PhD in Microbiology and completed fellowship training at The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School.
Sameer has over 8 years of experience in the restaurant business in both India and the USA. With a degree in Chemistry and an MBA, he started his career in banking before realizing that his interests lay in the world of hospitality and restaurants. Sameer’s time at Shalom in Delhi became his education in the business and from here he went on to Cornell University’s Hotel School and to work in New York. Whilst in New York, Sameer had the opportunity to work at some of the finest names in the business – Chef Daniel Boulud’s Bar Boulud and Danny Meyer’s North End Grill.
Driven by the passion to build a restaurant that fit in the Indian context, both socially and culturally, in 2013 Sameer joined hands with Yash Bhanage, and Chef and Mentor Floyd Cardoz to develop the concept behind The Bombay Canteen, where they have formed an environment that is not only welcoming but places a strong emphasis on excellence in both service and food.
Sandhya is an internationally rated chess player who completed her MCA from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University (JNTU), Anantapur. In the span of a few years, Sandhya has already been awarded the Silver medal in the 2015 Women’s World Amateur Chess Championship (Greece), 3rd place in the 2015 Women’s World Open Chess Tournament (USA), Mixed Doubles First place in the 2014 World Open Chess Tournament and Millionaire Chess open (USA), Gold medal in Sri Lanka Open (Women’s) Chess Championship.
Sandya aspires to be the Women’s World Chess Champion and is now focusing on improving her ratings. Her current rating is 1929 and she is very close to being defined as a Woman Grand Master
The 26-year old Sarvesh founded Zorba along with his Guruji, India’s Happiest Chain of Yoga studios in 2013 when he was just 21 years of age. An ardent cricket fan,he was Vice Captain of the Tamil Nadu cricket junior team and has subsequently had the privilege to travel with the Rajasthan Royals and Kochi Tuskers for 3 years as an official net bowler to the teams. Even though cricket was his first love he had realized that yoga was more than just an hour’s practice, it was a way of life, and thus, the journey of Zorba began.
Zorba thrives on the principle of using yoga, mindfulness and beyond as the tool with which to empower people to lead happier and healthier lives. Despite preconceived notions that yoga is largely for the elderly and is best suited to only improve flexibility, Sarvesh wanted to capture the 500+ million people in India under the age of 30 years, with a mission to make yoga – which is the unification of mind, body, and spirit – appealing and enjoyable to all giving birth to the 25 interesting forms of yoga that forms the core of Zorba’s program. Connecting seven billion breaths is Zorba’s ultimate goal. Currently, zorba is spread across 75+ studios in 38+ cities in India with an extremely exciting global expansion plan.
A charismatic speaker with an entrepreneurial spirit, Sarvesh has shared his story and revelations at conferences like the INK conference, TEDx, UN’s Youth Change Makers Conclave and has been featured by CNBC Young Turks, Bloomberg TV, Forbes, BTVi and various other channels and publications. Sarvesh was named India’s Youngest CEO in the Health and Wellness Sector by Bloomberg and was named by Better Homes & Gardens as one of the Top 10 people in India to watch out for
Sattvik started ScoopWhoop in 2013 as an experiment with 4 friends – he had no intention of being an entrepreneur or starting a company. He spent 6 months doing his day job at an advertising agency whilst simultaneously working as the CEO/Content Writer for ScoopWhoop.
In 2014, ScoopWhoop went from an experiment to one of the leaders in the media-publishing space. In the last 12 months ScoopWhoop has grown almost 300%. The startup clocks about 20 million unique users, 80 million page views, and over 100 million video views per month. So far ScoopWhoop has raised $5.5m from Kalaari Capital and Bharti-Softbank, making it one of the few media companies in India the market is ready to back.
Fortune India included Sattvik in their prestigious 40 Under 40 list two years in a row. He’s also been featured in Forbes’ 2016 ’30 Under 30 Asia’ list
With more than 20 years experience as a chemical ecologist, Shannon combines cutting-edge science with compassionate listening to help communities, organizations, businesses, and governments develop sustainable climate resilience that incorporates their needs and values. Shannon is the founder and Global Director of the echo network, an international social innovation model that uses the scientific process to ensure better translation of new knowledge & technologies to enhance sustainable development in emerging economies. Shannon also serves through the echo network’s international hub as Special Scientific Envoy to India with the Danish Academy of Technical Sciences (ATV).
Sheetal is a public health expert, disability specialist and social entrepreneur. She currently works as Chief Executive Officer and Board Member for one of India’s leading non-profits, Maharogi Sewa Samiti (MSS), Warora. She operates from one of the most backward districts of Central India, building livelihood capabilities of most marginalized people, especially those with disabilities like- the leprosy afflicted, orthopedically handicapped, vision and hearing impaired and primitive tribal populace for last 67 years.
She is also a member of various policy level education, agricultural, entrepreneurship development and healthcare innovation committees that include governmental and non-governmental apex committees.
Suranga is an Assistant Professor from the Engineering Product Development Pillar at Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD). In 2011, he founded the Augmented Human Lab (www.ahlab.org) to explore ways of creating ‘enabling’ human-computer interfaces as natural extensions of our body, mind and behaviour.
Suranga seeks a sense of ‘humanity’ in technology. This ranges from practical behavioral issues, understanding real-life contexts in which technologies function, and understanding where technologies can be not just exciting or novel, but have a meaningful impact on the way people live.
For the totality and breadth of his achievements, in 2014, Suranga was recognized as a Young Inventor under 35 (TR35 award) in the Asia Pacific region by MIT TechReview
Veera is the CEO of Sustainable Living Lab, a sustainability consulting firm with operations in Singapore, Indonesia, India, and the US. He is concurrently the CEO of edm8ker, an ed-tech firm that delivers teacher professional development. He has more than a decade of professional experience in sustainability, foresight, corporate innovation, and AI skilling.