Ayah Bdeir is an interactive artist and a graduate of the MIT Media Lab. Bdeir’s work has been exhibited at numerous venues including The New Museum, Ars Electronica and Location One. Bdeir has been awarded fellowships with Eyebeam and Creative Commons, and has taught graduate classes at NYU and Parsons. Bdeir was a mentor in the reality tv-show Stars of Science promoting technology innovation in the Middle East. Bdeir works between Beirut and New York. In 2011, Ayah Bdeir received the highly prestigious TED Fellowship which includes an invitation to give a talk at the TED event in Long Beach in 2012.
Ashwini Chidananda Shetty Akkunji is an Indian sprint athlete from Udupi district in Karnataka, India. Ashwini, who specializes in 400 metres, won gold medals in the 4X400 m relay at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India, and the 2010 Asian Games at Guangzhou, China, and an individual gold medal in the 400 metres hurdle in China. Born in a village to farmer parents, Ashwini grew up on a farmland of arecanut plantations, often running around barefoot.
Anand Giridharadas is the author of “India Calling: An Intimate Portrait of a Nation’s Remaking,” which will be published by Times Books in January, 2011. He writes the “Currents” column for The New York Times and its global edition, the International Herald Tribune: it explores fresh ideas, global culture and the social meaning of technology, among other subjects. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, and a graduate of the University of Michigan, he worked in Bombay as a management consultant until 2005, when he began reporting from that city for the Herald Tribune and the Times.
Varun Sivaram is the Philip D. Reed fellow for science and technology at the Council on Foreign Relations. He is also a professor at Georgetown University, a senior research scholar at Columbia University, and a member of the advisory boards for the Stanford University Institutes for Environment and Energy. Forbes named him one of the 30 under 30 in Law and Policy, Grist selected him as one of the top 50 leaders in sustainability, and Rise ranked him as one of the top 5 global thought leaders on solar energy. He is the author of the forthcoming book, Taming the Sun (MIT University Press, February 2018).
Varsha Patra is the CEO & Co-founder of Homegrown. She comes from a marketing background spanning over a decade in both digital and traditional media, having worked in both India and Los Angeles. Her experience in marketing started out in a cloud-computing technology startup, continuing to build the Kraft-Foods (Cadbury India) account at Ogilvy Mumbai, and further continued to develop the brand and business strategy for a startup online video entertainment platform in Los Angeles. She holds a Master’s degree in marketing from the University of Southern California.
Tarun is pioneering the use of agricultural produce as building materials in India, making farmers economically relevant to the construction industry. He recognises the impact of construction on climate change and the importance of farmers in its mitigation. As the Founder and Managing Partner of GreenJams Infrastructures LLP, Tarun manages product innovation and the commercial scale development of carbon-negative bio-aggregate building materials from hemp stalks in collaboration with CSIR-CBRI, Roorkee. He hopes to see these miracle walls adorning everyone’s homes in the days to come. Tarun is also pursuing a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering and holds degrees in Civil Engineering and Environmental Science.
Sneha Khanwalkar is an Indian music director who works in Bollywood. She is best known for her score for the film, Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!, and also for Gangs of Wasseypur Part 1, Part 2; the latter earned her a nomination in Best Music Director category at the 58th Filmfare Awards.
Pulkit Garg is a civil engineer by training and a civil servant by profession. Graduating from IIT Delhi in 2014, Garg went on to become one of the youngest individuals to clear the prestigious Civil Services Examination at 23. An IAS Officer of the Uttar Pradesh (UP) cadre, Pulkit has served as an Executive Magistrate of Bulandshahr district for a year, handling over 150 government departments ranging from development areas such as education, health, PDS (Public Distribution System), ICDS (Integrated Child Development Services) to regulatory bodies like mining, armaments and land for a population of 2 million residents. His field of special interest is urban development and unlocking the land’s potential as a tool for economic development. He is currently posted as Executive Magistrate in Baghpat District, Uttar Pradesh.
Pranav Kothari is the head of the Large Scale Education Programmes division at Educational Initiatives (EI). He leads EI’s work in student assessments and the implementation of their adaptive learning software (Mindspark) in vernacular languages in government and affordable private schools across India. He has spoken on various platforms advocating the need to leverage the twin levers of cutting-edge educational research and technology-based solutions to revolutionize how children in the K-12 space learn. Pranav is an alumnus of Georgia Institute of Technology and Harvard Business School and has previously worked with GTI Capital and Boston Consultancy Group.
National Awardee Nitin Sisodia is the Founder and CEO of Sohum Innovation Lab, a social enterprise working at developing solutions to improve health and income of people living in resource-poor settings. A 2010 Stanford India Biodesign fellow, Nitin was named one of the top 20 Indian innovators by MIT Tech review in 2013. He received NASSCOM ICT led Healthcare Innovation Award in 2016, Indian Merchant Chamber Inclusive Innovation Award in 2015 and the Sankalp India Award in 2016. He has received several grants including the Grand challenges Canada Star in Global Health, Center for Innovation in Global Health award, BIRAC Biotechnology Ignition Grant & Siemens grant for his research in developing an innovative hearing screening device for newborns. Nitin has a degree in Electrical Engineering from NIT Bhopal, and Industrial Design from NID Ahmedabad, India.
Nirupa Rao is a botanical illustrator based in Bangalore. Her illustrations are inspired by field visits into the wild, and are informed by close collaboration with botanists. In 2017, she was named a National Geographic Young Explorer, and received a grant to pursue her work. She has been published in Harper’s Bazaar India, and named in their list of Indian Women to be Proud of; in Chickpea, USA and Medicor (published by the Karolinksa Institutet, Sweden). Her first book, Pillars of Life, with 80 beautiful illustrations of trees native to the Western Ghats rainforests, has been published by the Nature Conservation Foundation and authored by botanists Divya Mudappa and Shankar Raman.
Xiangkun (Elvis) Cao (https://www.elviscao.com/) is a Ph.D. Candidate at Cornell University working on converting CO2 into solar fuels. Past awards include: Forbes 30 Under 30 in Energy (2018), EarthX 30 Under 30 (2019), AACYF 30 Under 30 (2019), BP Advancing Energy Scholar (2019), WEF Global Shaper (2019), and UN SDSN-Youth Local Pathways Fellow (2018-2019). Past degrees include: M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell (2019), M.Eng. (thesis) in Materials Engineering from McGill (2016) with joint training in Nuclear Engineering at MIT (2015-2016), and a dual bachelor’s degree (B.Eng. in New Energy & B.A. in English Literature) from Xi’an Jiaotong University (2013).
Shonali Bose is an internationally-acclaimed Indian film director, writer and film producer. Both her narrative feature films — ‘Amu’, and ‘Margarita with a Straw’ — opened to critically-acclaimed theatrical releases in India, North America and Japan. They have been screened in over 150 film festivals including TIFF and Berlinale and won over 50 prestigious international awards. The Sky is Pink is her third feature narrative. It had its premier at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2019 where it was the only Asian film in the Gala Presentations. It opened theatrically in 25 countries on October 11 and is now on Netflix. Bose is also the author of a Penguin published novel based on her screenplay — Amu; making her the only Indian to releaser her own novel and feature film simultaneously. Bose has an MA in Political Science from Cambridge University and an MFA in Directing from the UCLA Film School. She lives between Los Angeles and Mumbai and is most proud of being the mother of her two sons — Ishan and Vivan.
Sarah Elizabeth Chawla co-founded Delhi based online music magazine and events company Wild City in 2011. Over the last 8 years the company has evolved into a brand that champions alternative music culture in the region through events, concerts, parties, workshops, skills development platforms, cultural collaborations, and consultancy projects. In 2013 Wild City co-founded Magnetic Fields festival – an annual music and arts festival now going into its 7th year. Growing from a small gathering of 400 guests to 4000 attendees in its last edition, the festival has organically evolved to represent India’s emerging creative community seamlessly marrying this alongside traditional Indian culture.
Neil Gaikwad advances the field of societal and urban computing, through the lens of human-centered machine learning, design, and evidence-informed policymaking for sustainable development. His research at theMassachusetts Institute of Technology seeks to understand and reform broken urban systems and markets (e.g., financial, gig-economy, and agricultural) that continue to endanger socioeconomic and environmental sustainability. His human-centered machine learning research is targeted to improve global food security by helping marginalized farmers and policymakers mitigate the impact of meteorological disasters and institutional breakdowns. His honors include the Facebook Research Fellowship, MIT Arts Scholar, and Karl Taylor Compton Prize, MIT’s highest student award.
Monishwaran Maheswaran, age 18, is one of the youngest Computer Scientists working in the field of Deep learning, Cognitive Computing, and Quantum Computing. Monishwaran excelled in several Olympiads and went on to pursue research in Mathematics at Harvard University. Over the past several years, Monishwaran has developed numerous projects, using Artificial Intelligence, ranging from accelerating the diagnosis of Schizophrenia to combating Malaria using blood diagnosis. He has collaborated with several companies in the hopes of building a better world. His most recent collaboration was with Microsoft QuArC, where he has been developing Quantum Algorithms alongside the QuArC team. He has also collaborated with MIT to provide content for the MITx 6.00.2x course on the edX platform. Being a leader in the field of Artificial Intelligence, Monishwaran Monishwaran has been invited by several universities to give Master Classes and Guest Lectures in the field of Artificial Intelligence and Quantum Computing. Monishwaran was selected as the Wai Wai Glocal Teen Hero India 2019 from a pool of teenagers all over India for his innovation and ideas. Monishwaran aims to spread the knowledge of computer programming and guide novice developers and children through his books and lectures. His book C++ Simplified has become an all time favorite for teachers and students alike. The book uses a new approach to teach students the C++ programming language. Monishwaran’s aim is to educate 1 billion people with programming. He believes programming needs to considered as a primary language, and should be taught to everyone. He is currently involved in bringing the power of Quantum Computing to the hands of common people
Manu S Pillai is the author of the critically acclaimed The Ivory Throne: Chronicles of the House of Travancore (2015), Rebel Sultans: The Deccan from Khilji to Shivaji (2018), and The Courtesan, the Mahatma & the Italian Brahmin: Tales from Indian History (2019). Formerly chief of staff to Shashi Tharoor MP, he is also a winner of the Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar (2017). His other essays and writings on history have appeared in Mint Lounge, The Hindu, Hindustan Times, Open Magazine, The New Statesman, and other publications.
Kiran, who performs as Madame Gandhi, is a Los Angeles-based musician, activist and music industry thinker who was recently listed as Forbes 30 Under 30 Class of 2019. Madame Gandhi holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics and Women’s Studies from Georgetown and an MBA from Harvard. Her 2018 TED Talk “Own Your Voice” about making music that is purposeful has been viewed over 200K times. Having gained recognition as the drummer for MIA, and as the viral free-bleeding runner at the London Marathon 2015, Madame Gandhi’s mission is to elevate and celebrate the female voice.
Ketaki Sharma is the Founder and CEO of Algorithm Research, a bespoke analytics and research firm based out of the UAE. Algorithm Research was a part of Y-Combinator startup school as well as past winner of various regional entrepreneurship awards.
Ketaki Sharma is a senior economist tracking MENA and India for over a decade. Prior to founding Algorithm Research, she was involved in setting up the research desks from scratch at two of the leading banks in the UAE and has worked with Nomura Securities as India Economist in Mumbai. She has a sovereign rating background, having worked with Standard & Poors’ as a rating analyst covering the EMEA region
Dr. Jayant Ratti, Ph.D. is an Experienced innovation leader, engineer and roboticist with extensive business development experience focused on engineering, Intelligent Systems, Artificial Intelligence, Unmanned autonomous systems and aerial vehicles. Founder and CEO of NAYAN INDIA Science and Technologies (“NAYAN”); He is a Council Member of Dubai Future Council of Community Security. He has over 30 Publications in the Field of Robotics & Intelligent Machines and over 40 Patents around the world in the Field of Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. He has a Ph.D. in Robotics & Intelligent Machines and a Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology, and is a University of Delhi, Alumi.
James Sebastiano is a documentary filmmaker. He He has spent the last 3 years exploring the root causing of anxiety and mental health issues which has resulted in the making of ” Chasing the Present”. In addition to filmmaking , he is also a marketing expert, conscious entrepreneur, passionate about ethical and environmentally sustainable business and is currently studying psychology.
Fashion entrepreneur Gayatri Jolly’s brainchild MasterG, a design and skill development ecosystem based out of Delhi, UP and Haryana. She is a qualified Fashion Designer from Parsons, New York and a Business Graduate from Babson College, Boston. She worked for about two years in the fashion industry in New York with companies such as Armani, Diane Von Furstenberg, Dennis Basso and has designed costumes for clients of international acclaim such as Dana Fuchs, Jay Hill etc and worked on costume design for Lady Gaga at Diane Von Furstenberg. She divides her time between designing and training of individuals who aspire but lack access to quality training and opportunities. MasterG enables women from low-income communities to question the baggage of societal norms and to empower themselves financially through the vocation of fashion design. Through its emphasis on safe and labor laws-compliant factory space and wages, and an empathetic and equitable gender dynamic, MasterG aims to humanize the garment manufacturing supply chain and uphold dignity in the industry through a three-pronged approach – MasterG Training Centers, the MasterG Studio, and the in-house brand, HEIMA.
Gautam is an inspiring teacher skilled at reaching global audiences, creating meaningful connections, and artfully guiding people through self-awareness exercises to reach a higher purpose.
He brings the right balance of experience, empirical evidence and anecdotes to his audience.
At the very core of everything he creates, lies the playful, adventurous, and passionate energy that Gautam brings to the table.
With his vision of building the Disneyland of Learning & Education, Gautam has built an international reputation as a high-performance entrepreneur, community architect and Keynote speaker.
He has spoken at stages such as Mindvalley, TEDx, UNESCO, AIESEC, IIT etc and his TEDx Talk has over 7 Million views”