Sharath M. Gayakwad is an Indian Paralympic swimmer who has over 30 international and 40 national medals to his credit, one of them being a bronze medal at the 2010 Asian Para Games. Sharath is also the first Indian swimmer to qualify for the Paralympics and competed in the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London. At the 2014 Asian Games, he broke P.T. Usha’s record for most number of medals by an Indian at any multi-discipline event by winning 6 medals.
Pavitra Mohan started MASALA CHAI, a blog that showcases South Asian or ‘desi’ art and design from around the world. The idea was to scour the web for sub-continental art that was innovative and broke the ‘brown’ mold. She refers to this new breed of art and design as ‘desihip’, and has showcased over 450 artists and designers.
She has also worked with retail giant Harvey Nichols on an Indian themed exhibition, where she curated the up and coming designers under fashion and interiors.
An emerging artist whose skill and imagination is at once striking and impressive, she describes her own art as self-reflexive, introspective and thought-provoking. The conflict and fragility of the mind is a constant theme that pervades her body of work.
Benitha completed her MFA from the Government College of Arts & Crafts, Chennai, in 2002 in painting and printmaking.
Arshiya Bose is a conservationist and coffee addict who founded the Black Baza Coffee Co, a social/environment enterprise that supports coffee growers in India to follow biodiversity-friendly farming practices by providing incentives and guaranteeing a buy-back of coffee harvested from participating farms. Black Baza Coffee’s vision is to have a world where coffee farms support biodiversity and all producers have secure and stable livelihoods.
She completed her PhD from the University of Cambridge in 2014 on markets for sustainable coffee and continues to do impact-oriented research that can enable sustainable coffee production either through her own enterprise or voluntary policy mechanisms.
Angad Singh is a cofounder of Lemonade.io, a Silicon Valley startup that is building groundbreaking technology to measure and improve creativity. He believes that creativity is the most important skill for the 21st century workplace, where technology is rapidly eating jobs. Lemonade is supported by some of the world’s most prominent venture capitalists, angels and academics.
Some of Angad’s formative experiences include learning to program at age 10, teaching design at the Stanford d.school, getting invited to meet the Dalai Lama, learning 6 languages and working for startups on 4 continents.
Alexandru Ionut Budisteanu is a young innovator and a computer geek born and raised in Hackerville – the cybercrime capital of the world. Alexandru puts a lot of passion and dedication in creating all kinds of software and devices in order to improve people`s lives. He won the $75,000 Gordon E. Moore award at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, for a low-cost self-driving car that was using Artificial Intelligence. He also received the $10,000 IEEE Presidents’ Scholarship for a device that was trying to help blind people to see with their tongue. TIME magazine listed Alexandru as one of the Most Influential Teens of 2013.
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.
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.
Suhail Yusuf Khan is a classically trained sarangi player. Suhail has been training and performing since he was 7 years of age. Suhail’s career highlights to date includes appearing in Forbes India 30 under 30, being awarded an honorary scholarship at Wesleyan University in the US in 2016 and being an Indian ambassador for ‘Arts for the British Council’. Suhail is a part of the GIMA award winning band ‘Advaita’ and is currently signed with Domino Record label band ‘Yorkston Thorne Khan’ and also touring with Indo- Welsh folk/jazz band, ‘Khamira’, Indo-Korean collab ‘Hauz Khas Connction’.
Apart from creating worthwhile music, Suhail’s aim is to take sarangi to new audiences and celebrate its tradition, emotion and vibrancy.
Shravya works as the Director of Transformation and Strategy for a school in a tier-2 town in Telangana. In addition to transforming the learning process, Presidency School has leveraged on innovation in process automations, people and talent management and customer support management to build schematics for school operations.
Her immersive experience in a tier-2 town over the last 3 years has helped her understand the fundamental problems and challenges to successfully implement innovative programs in education in rural India. Her vision is an open source blueprint – Schools 2.0, that schools across the country may use to upgrade their existing systems and processes ensuring sustainable education reform and get on an equal footing as the best schools in the world.
Before relocating to Nizamabad, she worked in Oilfield Operations and Business Development in Africa, US, Mobile East and India.
Sandith is the chief naval architect and Founder of NavAlt Solar and Electric Boats that aims to make water transport more efficient. His team has built India’s first solar ferry, a 75 pax boat efficient, powered by the sun with no fuel on board. Sandith has completed MU graduation in Naval architecture from IIT Madras in 1999. After working in Gujarat and leading shipyards in South Korea, he completed MBA from INSEAD, France.
After that, it was time to start Navgathi, a venture aimed at designing and building better boats and ships. In 2013, along with two French co-founders, NavAlt was born to build solar and electric boats with focus on the Asian market. After proving their technology in passenger ferry sector, the next step was to develop hybrid solution to extend speed and range thereby offer better solution in other markets like RORO ferries, cargo vessels and fishing boats.
Kourosh Ziabari is studying MA International Multimedia Journalism at the University of Kent’s Centre for Journalism on a Chevening Award by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. He has been contributing to open Democracy since 2016 and successfully applied for individual membership to Chatham House in 2017.
In November 2016, he had the chance to cover the World Forum for Democracy in Straousburg, France on a Fellowship by the Council of Europe. In April 2016, he became the first Iranian speaker/delegate to give a speech to the American Middle Eastern Network for Dialog at Stanford (AMENDS). Kourosh has been a reporter and correspondent with the San Francisco based Fair Observer since 2014.
Gary is the co-founder of TOTO Express, an organization that seeks to redefine the way artisans monetize their work by digitizing the entire value chain. TOTO Express builds tools to allow artisans to take full control of how their art gets used, determine how they get paid, and simplify the movement of goods. But prior to TOTO Express, Gary has built a variety of ventures from food businesses in the US and China, to tearing apart old buses in India to create mobile classrooms. There were many failures along the way, but Gary has lived to tell the tale.
Originally from Silicon Valley in California, Gary is a recent MBA graduate from Stanford University where he was awarded their Social Innovation Fellowship. His current orgranization has also been honored by various organizations such as Echoing Green and Halcyon Fellowship.
Devi Murthy returned to India to work on her family business of sheet metal fabrications after graduation from Drexel University in 2008. She led product development and the business development teams selling to the likes of Ashok Leyland, with over 200 products under her belt over a stint of 4 years. The desire to build a company that impacts the bottom of the pyramid by creating value was sparked during an entrepreneurship program at IIM Bangalore.
She noticed a huge need for affordable precision farm machinery during trips across Karnataka. Insights derived from multiple conversations with farmers and understanding their concerns in mechanization motivated her to use her metal working background and create working solutions relevant to small and marginal farmers and her brainchild Kamal Kisan was born in 2013.
Shivam Sai Gupta is a 14 year old student of Class nine in St. Mary’s school, Patna, Bihar. He develops games, 3D animations and Visual effects. After the Mumbai Terror attacks on 26/11/2008, he was so disturbed that he began developing a first person 3D shooter game called ‘Project Fateh’. Without any formal training in programming, Shivam built the whole game in 8 months, braving constant body pain due to a rare genetic disease, and has today launched the game as a free download.
Sandesh Reddy is steadily climbing the ladder to become one of India’s most promising chefs. It is his love for good food and more importantly the art that goes behind it, that fuels his passion. What sets him apart is his ability to deconstruct cuisines and reinterpret existing dishes that provoke the senses and promote personal memories. Sandesh’s expertise lies across a broad range of culinary traditions, from the spicy ethnic fare of his ancestral hometown Nellore to contemporary trends in international cuisine.
Pulkit is a writer and filmmaker based in New York City. Growing up in six countries across four continents, Pulkit’s global upbringing drives him to discover and tell stories that connect people intrinsically to one another beyond traditional and restrictive boundaries. With a background in cinema studies and film/TV production from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and Miami University (Ohio), he has worked in creative and production capacities on a range of international projects including narrative films, Sundance-backed documentaries, web content, commercials, short films and multimedia campaigns. Pulkit’s first short film as writer/director “Jason.” was screened at numerous festivals, won the Reel 13 online vote competition and was broadcast on PBS. He has also produced the documentary “The Forgetting Game” (distributed by IndiePix Films), experimental short “Acetate Diary” (Official Selection, Tribeca Film Festival 2014), and executive produced “Three Shades of Brown,” a British-Asian comedy web series. As a writer, Pulkit has also written numerous arts and culture articles for Buzzfeed, The Aerogram, NewsLaundry, The NRI, and more.
Pulkit is currently developing his debut feature film as writer/director, titled “Colony.” The project was one of ten selected from around the world for the Cine Qua Non Lab in Mexico, as well as one of 25 selected in the ‘Emerging Storytellers’ program by IFP (Independent Filmmakers Project) in New York City.
Nishikant’s research work lies at the intersection of Medical Imaging, Computer Vision, Parallel Programming, and Computer Graphics. He primarily works on accelerating an ultrasound-based technique called elastography that enables surgeons to perform cancer tumor detection during a surgery.
Combining 3D B-mode and 3D elastography visualized over time gives a 5D ultrasound system. Nishikant has developed the world’s first 5D ultrasound system. The 5D ultrasound system work has been published in the International Journal for computer assisted radiology and systems. Nishikant has developed these systems as a real-time system capable of acquiring data from an ultrasound machine to elastography processing.
A highly motivated young innovator, Susant Pattnaik from Bhubaneshwar, Orissa, is helping differently-abled individuals with his range of innovations. The ‘Breathing Sensor Apparatus’ assists physically challenged people to operate an electronic wheel chair that uses changes in the breathing. Through this technology, they can even type messages in a specially designed cell phone for better communication. The National Innovation Foundation and Techpedia have filed for a patent for his invention.
Sai Gaddam is a computational neuroscientist, a data geek, and the co-author of A Billion Wicked Thoughts, an internationally acclaimed book about desire. He believes understanding how our brains tick is the way to truly discovering and liberating ourselves. Sai is currently working on a book about anger. His parents are still holding out hope he will come to his senses and put his IIT pedigree to better use.
BOOK: A Billion Wicked Thoughts
Charles Ma was initiated into the sacred world of Bharatanatyam under Guru Smt.Vidya Shimladka. His dance stands out for its distinct individuality, personality and control. Charles is also a contemporary choreographer and teacher. He believes that dance is sacred and the essence of his dance is a deepened spirituality and respect for its tradition and aesthetics.
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.
Having spent the first fourteen years of her life in Bali and the following fourteen in the United States, Elora left her position as the sole print designer at Donna Karan International in New York, returning to Bali to found Ibuku, an international design/build team providing fully functional homes and furniture made from natural substances allowing the occupants to live in an authentic relationship with nature. Her key realization was that with the right nurturing, Asia’s creative minds, skilled hands,growing global perspective and unique natural materials will provide the force for positive change in our global future.
Ugesh Sarcar is India’s first and only contemporary and revered street magician. Ugesh was trained in the art of magic under the stewardship of his father – the “Living Legend” Prof. M. C. Sarcar. Thereafter, “Ugesh Sarcar’s 3rd Degree,” his first national TV appearance, became an instant hit and the highest rated show for the channel in over 3 years. There has been no looking back ever since, and his performances have won him accolades the world over
Alok Shetty is Principal of Bhumiputra Architecture, an internationally acclaimed architecture and design firm based in Bangalore City. Operating across many scales, Shetty’s firm consistently works towards new built environments that improve the quality of life in emerging economies.
Alok started his practice at the age of 19 by completing a multispecialty hospital while still in architecture school. He later pursued his Masters’ degree in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University in New York where he was the youngest recipient of the Lucille Smyser Lowenfish Memorial Award for Design Excellence.
Notably, the work of Bhumiputra and Alok has been exhibited and published extensively by several international publications. Alok has been featured on the “30 under 30” young achievers list by Forbes Magazine, one of “India’s Future Leaders” by National Geographic Magazine, one of six “International Next Generation Leaders” by Time Magazine, one of ten “International Young Architects Changing Skylines Around the World” by Complex Magazine, one of twenty “Young Achievers to Watch in 2015” by Elle Magazine and was recently the awarded the “Top 50 Young Architects” award by Architect & Interiors Magazine.
Shubhendu Sharma, an experienced industrial engineer turned eco-entrepreneur, is the Founder & Director of Afforestt, a company which creates urban forests. Developed using the Miyakwaki methodology for growing saplings from Japan, backed by robust management, intensive research and cutting edge technologies, Afforestt can create a “100 year old natural forest” in just 10 years. Shubhendu is an INK Fellow from the class of 2012.
Ronak is the co-founder of NowFloats, a start-up aimed at make the internet relevant for India’s innumerable small businesses. NowFloats helps business owners without access to the internet or a computer set up and update their own websites entirely by SMS. An inventor at heart, this 2013 INK Fellow is also the co-inventor and chief advisor of Bolt, the world’s first smartphone charger for bikes, and the co-designer of a ‘Speech Glove’ which recognises finger gestures and converts them to speech
Gingger Shankar is a singer, virtuoso violinist, composer, model and songwriter, and was born into one of the world’s most influential musical families. Her accomplishments include working with top producers and film composers, and recently contributing to Katy Perry’s album “Prism” on the single, ‘Legendary Lover’. Gingger is an INK Fellow from the class of 2015. She is also the only female in the world to have mastered the 10-string double violin, an instrument that covers the entire range of the orchestra’s double bass, cello, viola and violin, and of which there are currently only two in existence.
Deepak Ravindran is the Founder and CEO of Lookup, a free and secure messaging app that connects shoppers with local businesses. A serial entrepreneur, Deepak has founded three mobile messaging companies in a decade: Innoz, Quest and Lookup. A 2011 INK Fellow, he has been recognized as one of the outstanding innovators under 35 by the MIT Technology Review and one of Asia’s 21 emerging leaders under 40 by the Asia Society. Recently, Business Insider described Deepak as the “Mark Zuckerberg of India”.
Kalyan Varma is a wildlife photographer and filmmaker specializing in environmental issues in India. He is a freelancer with many of the world’s leading magazines and channels like National Geographic and BBC.
He has co-founded India Nature Watch, the largest online community of wildlife photographers, and also shares his knowledge of photography and wildlife with people in various platforms.
Kalyan is a BBC earth explorer, and freelances with BBC Natural History unit and National Geographic Channel. His work has appeared in many publications worldwide, including National Geographic, BBC Wildlife, GEO, Smithsonian, Lonely Planet and other magazines.
WEBSITE: Kalyan Varma Photography
BBC DOCUMENTARIES: Mountain of the Monsoons, Million Snake Bites
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC DOCUMENTARIES: Secrets of Wild India
Trisha is a social activist, lawyer and UN Young leader for Sustainable Development Goals. Her work focuses on working with and for the youth towards the advancement of the UN’s SDGs by bringing a gender specific approach to multiple disciplinary areas.
SheSays is a youth-led NGO that stresses on civil society engagement to promote gender equality. SheSays functions are in the domains of sexual violence, education, healthcare and sanitation, security and public policy. The organisation has been leading the movement to eliminate sanitary napkin tax, under the viral campaign #LahuKaLagaan that got bipartisan political support.
So far, SheSays has successfully engaged more than 150,000 people. She has also mentored youth in the Arab region and Singapore in response to the SDGs. For her work, Trisha was recently recognised by President Obama as a civic leader and is a Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia, Class of 2017 listee under the Social Entrepreneurs and Pioneer Women categories.
Nitesh K. Jangir is a co-founder of Coeo Labs, a medical device company solving unmet clinical needs in the field of emergency and critical care. VAPCare is one of the products which he has developed at Coeo. VAPCare is a patented device to reduce chances of contracting ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP), a fatal lung infection which kills more than 250,000 patients in India alone. His work has won many awards including MassChallenge Boston, Millennium Alliance, 3M Young Innovators Award, ASME I-Show, American College of Cardiology, 1776, Tata Social Enterprise Challenge etc.
Karthik Reddy is the co-founder and Managing Partner at Blume Ventures, one of India’s leading early stage Venture funds. Blume focusses on seed to Pre-Series A stages of funding and has made over a 100 investments across its 7 year history.
Karthik’s stints at American Express, Reuters Instinet and Bennett Coleman (Times Group) have given him a breadth of experience across the US and India in Financial Markets, Technology and Media. He is an alumni of IIT (Roorkee), IIM (Bangalore) and The Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania.
At Blume, he has led the majority of the investments, and advises and serves on the boards of some of the leading investments at the firm – Zopper, Belong, Exotel, Grey Orange Robotics, Unacademy, Chillr, Healthify, Mettl, Nowfloats, Railyatri amongst other emerging stars. Blume has had early success through significant exits in companies such as Taxiforsure (to Ola), Promptec (to Havells) and Zipdial (to Twitter).
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.
Shayamal Vallabhjee has over 12 years of experience in the sports industry, working with the world’s best creatives, personalities and industrialists. Some include: the South African High Performance Cricket Team, Indian National Cricket Team, Indian Olympic Association, and many others. He has authored 5 books on sports science and motivation. Also, Shayamal is the director of Speed Kids — a program that caters to the bio-mechanical gross motor development of children between the age of 3-8 years.
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
Manvendra Singh Shekhawat’s love lies in hotels, heritage conservation, design, experiential real estate and social entrepreneurship. His work is a representation of a unique way of life, carefully preserving the traditions of the past yet framing them in a modern idiom. His hotels take the path less travelled and his NGO, I Love Jaisalmer, was responsible for launching the city’s largest cleanliness and conservation drive. Manvendra is currently working on building experiential hotels known for their intuitive and genuine hospitality, development of a renaissance township and the restoration of a 350 year old military fort.
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”
Deepthi Sasidharan is an art historian, curator and founder Director at Eka Archiving, a cultural advisory and works on heritage and museum projects across India with the government, private and corporate clients. Deepthi has led Eka projects have been path-breaking in India, including setting up museums, seminal exhibitions and the creation of archives like those for Kalakshetra at Chennai, City Palace at Udaipur, Mumbai Police and Tata Trusts, Mumbai.
Anurag is a Delhi based musician and social worker singing verses of Kabir and Gandhi in folk fusion form for last 10 years. Anurag is one of the co-founders of a Delhi based choir band and non-profit Manzil Mystics. Manzil Mystics as a band write and compose songs based ideas of Kabir poetry and as a non-profit they setup music classrooms in government and low-income schools to create demand of music in education setting. Manzil Mystics believes that music creates a happy and safe space for everyone specially children in learning setting. Music is not just a piece of entertainment.
Alok Medikepura Anil is Founder & Director of Next Big Innovation Labs (NBIL) and Member of World Economic Forum’s Expert Network and Global Shapers Community. Alok is passionate about using 4TH Industrial Revolution technologies such as 3D Printing, to create large scale societal impact. Team NBIL have been successful in their mission to bring Made-In-India bioprinting technology to the labs of large global conglomerates such as the Merck Group in Germany. NBIL is working towards its vision of developing novel 3D Bioprinted solutions to revolutionise the fields of personalised testing and precision medicine. NBIL through its patented technology and proprietary 3D Bioprinting platform, has already developed products such as InnoSkin (3D Bioprinted Skin), to be used across industries developing skin products and applications, as an alternative to animal testing.
Ajith Mohan Karimpana is the Founder and CEO of Furlenco, India’s fastest growing furniture and home living Subscription Company. He is a versatile entrepreneur with a great knack for spotting transformational business opportunities, a trait that also led him to establish Furlenco. Ajith’s vision for Furlenco was based on two key 21st-century trends: rising disposable incomes; and a preference for experiential lifestyle among millennials. He decided to cater to this dynamic market using his core competencies and technology with Furlenco. Ajith has focused on creating award-winning designs that give Furlenco’s customers the best of aesthetics and utility. Under his leadership, Furlenco has grown at a CAGR of 130% year-on-year. Ajith is a BTech graduate in Industrial Engineering from the National Institute of Technology, Jalandhar. He has an MS in Computer and Information Science from Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. Apart from being a successful and inspirational business leader, Ajith is a voracious reader and has a penchant for languages. He also loves watching Bollywood movies.
Sophie Morgan was born in the south of England, then educated in Scotland, before she returned to study at the University in London, where she now lives and works managing her own company. She is a product designer, a television presenter, a model, a campaigner, an artist and, as a result of a car accident seven years ago, a paraplegic wheelchair bound for life. Her work is centered on changing how disability is perceived and considered within society.
Making the adage, ‘necessity is the mother of all inventions’, ring true is C Mallesham, who, moved by his mother’s suffering, innovated an automatic loom, that is also reviving the dying tradition of the Pochampally silk sari weaving. Laxmi Mallesham is now perhaps the happiest mother in Sharjipet, a village of handloom weavers in Andhra Pradesh. She, and many women weavers, is now free from pain and stress that consumed her for hours on the manual loom.
Anupam is best known as the man behind India’s biggest viral sensation – The Fake IPL Player. He has gone on to start Pitch Invasion as an alternate, interactive online live cricket commentary platform. An entrepreneur for 9 years in areas ranging from sports documentaries, marketing consulting, marketing communications, online social media marketing, and sports media, Anupam is also the author of a best-selling novel, and a general prankster.
Anupam recently launched Scoryboard.com, which is fast becoming the most popular product for live cricket updates on-the-go.
BOOKS: The Gamechangers
Dr. Vivek Nair had stumbled upon a process to convert carbon emissions into carbon nanotubes (a material stronger than steel). His discovery led him to start a company focused on automating this process and turning carbon emission into a useable resource for many applications. Vivek was named one of the today’s disruptors and tomorrow’s brightest stars by Forbes “30 under 30” list,for the year 2012 & MIT Technology Review outstanding innovators under 35, for the year 2012.He has also received the National award for meritorious invention from NRDC, Gov. of India. Vivek has also been named by Tehelka as “Tipping point – Architects of the Future”, for the year 2012. He was also the winner of Ashoka/Staples Social Youth Entrepreneur award. In addition, Vivek is a double doctorate from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore & Loughborough University, UK .
Sunil’s goal is to help Indians bridge the ‘language’ and ‘digital’ divides, due to the dominance of English on the internet and in technical published texts. He has developed digital dictionaries for mobile phones and computers with a repository of 9.6 million audio and textual words in 16 domains, like Legal, Agriculture and Pharmacy, in 22 different Indian languages. Educated in Marathi-medium in a village near Nashik, Sunil believes the root of the rural inferiority complex is the linguistic divide, due to which many abandon their education. He hopes to reverse this with his free platform
Dale J. Stephens left school at twelve to become an unschooler, the self-directed branch of homeschoolers. Instead of going to middle and high school he organized collaborative learning groups, found mentors, and volunteered in his community. Dale leads UnCollege, the social movement empowering students to create their own education.
Uma uses genetic data to understand the history, present and potential future of populations. Her early research explored how choosiness for mates impacts genetic variation, and the relationships between African click-speaking hunter-gatherer groups. Uma now applies her research to wildlife, using non-invasive DNA sources (like poop!) to investigate tiger population sizes over the last 200 years, connectivity between populations, and how species came to the Indian subcontinent, given their recent arrival to Asia. She is a National Board for Wildlife member, Ramanujan fellow and DAE Outstanding Scientist.
By the age of 25, Varun Agarwal was already a filmmaker, entrepreneur and the bestselling author of ‘How I braved Anu Aunty & Co-founded A Million Dollar Company’. He is the co-founder of Alma Mater, India’s biggest college apparel/memorabilia company, and also the co-founder of Reticular, a social media marketing firm. The pursuit of his interests brought about collaborations with A.R. Rahman, Preity Zinta, and many others.
Hungary-born Balazs is a leader in the practice and theory of photojournalism, with a vision to reshape modern media practice for the 21st century. His multi award-winning work includes in-depth coverage of the Afghan war – much after media attention had turned to Iraq – and initial photography of daredevil Felix Baumgartner during his jump to earth from the stratosphere. His project ‘Facing Water Crisis’ is an independent worldwide expedition exploring the far-reaching consequences of water scarcity. The latter has evolved into Azdarya, an online documentary magazine solely dedicated to water, which he recently launched with his wife.
Photo credit: Ssgt Jeremy Colson
A CNN Hero of the Year 2012, Pushpa set up a home in Nepal for children who once lived in prisons with their incarcerated parents. For seven years, she has been running a centre to provide them with education, food, medical care and a happy childhood outside of prison walls. The children call her “Mamu” because of her loving and motherly care. With about 80 children still living inside prison walls, she is determined to bring them out and live out her promise as “Mamu” to these children in need.
While serving in the US military, Robin had a bone to pick with her big bosses: along with several other activists, she campaigned against the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy, which forbade lesbians, gay and transgender people from serving openly. Herself a lesbian and survivor of abuse, Robin’s interest in girls’ and women’s issues led her to work with NGOs around the world for 10 years before starting her own NGO in Mumbai to challenge the status quo. Kranti empowers girls from Mumbai’s red-light areas to turn round the ‘victim’ status and become agents of social change.
Dr. Karanth is Chief Conservation Scientist and Director at the Centre for Wildlife Studies, Adjunct Faculty at Duke and National Centre for Biological Sciences. She has a Ph.D from Duke (2008), a M.E.Sc from Yale (2003), and, B.S and B.A degrees from the University of Florida (2001). Her research in India and Asia spans 22 years, encompassing many issues in human dimensions of wildlife conservation. She has conducted research assessing patterns of species distributions and extinctions, impacts of wildlife tourism, consequences of voluntary resettlement, land use change and understanding human-wildlife interactions. She has published over 100 scientific and popular articles. Karanth served on the editorial boards of journals Conservation Biology, Conservation Letters and Frontiers in Ecology and Environment. She has mentored over 200 young scientists and engaged 700 citizen science volunteers in her research and conservation projects.
Her work has been covered by nearly 150 international media such as Al Jazeera Television, BBC, Christian Science Monitor, GQ India, Harper’s Bazaar, Mongabay, Monocle, National Geographic, NPR, New York Times, Scientific America, Time Magazine and Indian outlets such as All India Radio, Deccan Chronicle, Deccan Herald, Down to Earth, Kannada Prabha, LiveMint, New Indian Express, Prajavani, The Hindu, and Times of India. Karanth’s conservation and research work has been featured in 3 award-winning BBC Series – The Hunt, Big Cats and Dynasties, and documentaries by CBC and PBS. She has co-produced 3 documentaries Wild Seve, Humane Highways and Wild Shaale.
Kriti Karanth is National Geographic Society’s 10,000th grantee and 2012 Emerging Explorer. Her more than 40 awards and recognitions include World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, University of Florida’s Outstanding Young Alumnus, INK Fellow, India’s Power Women by Femina, Women of the Year by Elle India, Vogue Women of the Year and Seattle Zoo’s Thrive Conservation Leadership Award. In 2019, she received the WINGS Women of Discovery Award for Conservation, GQ Man of the Year- Environmental Hero and was awarded the Rolex Award for Enterprise.
Bilal Ghalib is an Iraqi American promoting the maker spaces (a “Do-It-Yourself”/ open-source platform) around the world. His makerspaces fostered ideas such as landmine detection systems and a heart monitor that works without the use of electricity, a limited resource in developing nations.
In 2011, along with a friend, Tushar Vashisht conducted a lifestyle experiment living at the government-stipulated poverty line of Rs 32/day. The experiment and its documentation gave scientific voice to the poor, creating empathy amongst India’s privileged, and providing concrete policy solutions to the government. It also inspired him to co-found HealthifyMe, the world’s first Indian nutrition and calorie tracker for healthy living. HealthifyMe has gone on to serve 15 million users and has raised $35M in equity capital.
Prior to this, Tushar worked as a banker, and also helped initiate the Indian Government’s Unique ID project.
After working as a banker, Alicia took up a full-fledged career in illustration as a designer for Chumbak, India’s trendiest home-grown souvenir company. A year and a half later, she set out on her own as a freelancer, drawing cute and quirky everyday cartoons for a sizeable and loyal online fan-base, and illustrating for some of India’s oldest institutions – like Tinkle magazine!
Param is the 19-year-old founder & CEO of Ecoviate, a research and development company focusing on disposable green-technologies. Since the age of 13, he has innovated bio-fuel preparation, designed highly effective bioreactors, created a device that mitigates motor vehicle emissions (currently patented), and many more. Param was named to the 2012 & 2013 Forbes ‘30 Under 30: Energy’ list for his work in green-technologies. Aside from being a Junior at Vanderbilt University, studying Mechanical Engineering & Economics, Param has consulted as a research associate and even a rocket scientist.
Joi Barua is a musician from Assam, India who fell in love with music at the age of four, after his father gifted him a violin. Growing up, his town had one piano and no music teachers, and his father had to cross the border and get him a keyboard from Bhutan. Since then, Joi has been making waves in the advertising, music, and film circuit in Mumbai with his musical stylings and melodious voice. He is also the lead vocalist of the band Joi and has a mixed musical style incorporating elements of rock, soul, jazz, folk and world music.
Kelli is an American-born cultural anthropologist based in Indonesia, whose work focuses on the role of the media in the construction of religious identity. With a strong belief in the potential of new media to change perspectives, she is launching a collaborative platform to facilitate the circulation of stories and voices from the communities of Eastern Indonesia. Her work has landed her in interesting situations – she once lived with and studied the Toraja people of South Sulawesi, whose practice it is to live with the mummified bodies of their deceased relatives.
As a Civil & Environmental Engineer, Anu is passionate about providing more reliable government services to citizens. NextDrop began by tackling the problem of erratic water supply – in most of urban India, water is available only a few hours at a time or a few times a week, but residents have no way of knowing when. Working with operators in the field, NextDrop sends text messages 60 minutes before water arrives in your tap, while also offering utility boards the tools to better manage and track leakages in water supply. Anu has also been selected to the Forbes “30 Social Entrepreneurs Under 30” list
Shankar Tucker is an American-born clarinetist and composer who creates music that explores contemporary and traditional Indian sounds. He collaborates with other musicians to represent new generation Indian artists – bringing their music to an internationally and culturally diverse audience, both on- and offline.
Elishai is the principle investigator of the Neuro & Biomorphic Engineering Lab (NBEL-lab.com) and an Assistant Professor at the Open University of Israel. In his research, Elishai studies the realm of brain-inspired machines, using artificial brains to develop new frameworks for robotics and vision processing. He is also the founding director of NBEL Innovation Workshops at Biohouse, Hadassah Medical Center — a design and engineering company which integrates computer-aided design, electrical and software engineering to develop novel medical solutions.
Elishai is an academic consultant at the Weizmann Institute of Science for Computational Neuroscience and a university lecturer for artificial intelligence, mathematical modelling, software engineering and computational biology. He is a graduate of Singularity University (2012, NASA Ames Research Center, California), INK fellow (2013, India), INK Trailblazer (2014, USA), Aeroli.to speaker (2016, Brazil), and Dean fellow for Neuroscience (2018, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel). Elishai Holds degrees in Life sciences (B.Sc), Philosophy and History (B.A), Computer Science (M.Sc), Bioengineering (M.Sc, PhD) and Computational Neuroscience (Post Doc).
Having grown up collecting exotic teas from around the world in her father’s old trunk, Snigdha went on to train as a Tea Taster in Sri Lanka. Under the tutelage of Tea Master Nao Kumekawa from Japan, Snigdha specialised in crafting hand-blended teas, and finally set up her own line named after her childhood treasure chest – Tea Trunk. Snigdha works closely with a number of tea estates across India to promote quality Indian teas – to her, India without tea is like France without wine. She next plans to launch a global learning hub for tea in India.
Satya’s 9 year long journey has ranged from scoring for Indian films to collaborating with Indian artists and musicians. While her artistic footprint has evolved from eastern traditional to western electronica, Satya’s spiritual vision is moulded by a blend of the two. Her label, Tabula Rasa, hopes to play a key role in revolutionizing the electronica movement.
Gazal did a B.Tech in Chemical Engineering from NIT, Jaipur, and went on to work as a software engineer with Infosys Technologies for 2 years, before she decided to pursue one of the two biggest dreams of her life. She moved to Mumbai in 2005 to work in the movies. Today, she writes films for some remarkable people in the Hindi film industry, namely Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Govind Nihalani, Prakash Jha and Tanuja Chandra. In 2007, she took another life changing decision. She went through a medical process to fix a disorder she was born with. Her journey to being who she is, has been two-fold – the external path to find a place for herself in the daunting business of the movies… and the internal path of combat with her own identity and destiny.
Steve, a conservation biologist featured by National Geographic, is the Scientific Director of the Wild Bird Trust in South Africa, an organization that works to preserve wildlife and advance the research and education on the conservation of all birds in Africa. The organization’s work has been instrumental in getting the Okavango Delta wilderness in northern Botswana listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and its annual expeditions across the wilderness represent the most comprehensive biodiversity survey ever undertaken in this remote area. Steve recently completed a major National Geographic-sponsored expedition across the Okavango Delta to promote broader protection for the watershed and its wildlife
Neeraj is co-founder and CEO of Hector Beverages, the makers of Paper Boat drinks, traditional Indian beverages. Their other brand is Tzinga Energy Drink, the second largest selling energy drink in India. Prior to starting with Hector Beverages, Neeraj had an impressive career with The Coca-Cola Company for 8 years.
Neeraj is a graduate from Wharton Business School and was awarded the highest academic honour, the palmer scholar, in the University of Pennsylvania business program
Shashwat co-founded Robo Shack Microtronics with the aim of making learning about technology fun and engaging. Electro Bricks, the low-cost electronics kits designed for children by Robo Shack do not need any prior skills in programming or soldering. The bricks are pluggable with each other and one can create complex circuits using a number of different combinations of the bricks.
Shashwat has also worked in fostering the makers movement in the small town of Meerut in Uttar Pradesh. He is passionate about bringing elements of the maker culture into primary and secondary education in India.
Shravani Hagargi is a young social entrepreneur from Dharwar, India with a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work. Sharavani co-founded Safe Hands 24×7, an innovative venture employing women security guards so as to help promote the ideas of gender equality, provide women with the ability to become financially dependent and also provide top-notch services.
Daniel is a PhD candidate for the Tangible Media Group at the MIT Media Lab, where his work focuses on human computer interaction. He believes that computers could be much more powerful if their interactions would engage with human bodies more fully. Daniel’s goal is to build a new generation of human computer interfaces, one that can render dynamic, physical shapes that we can touch and transform to express ourselves and collaborate with others. Already, Daniel has built a number of tangible prototypes based on his vision.
Daniel’s projects have been presented at Ars Electronica, Siggraph and the Science Center Singapore and published at ACM ITS, TEI, CHI and UIST conference. He has received the Austrian State Prize for Multimedia, Europrix Top Talent Award, Laval Virtual ReVolution Award, RTT Emerging Technology Award, Siggraph Research Challenge, UIST Student Innovation Contest and best paper awards at UIST and CHI.
Anjney is a partner at the American venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, where he focuses on consumer digital investments and ProductWorks, the firm’s newly launched platform to help entrepreneurs develop transformative products through Engineering, Design, and Product Management. Anjney joined KPCB from First Round Capital’s Dorm Room Fund (DRF), where he was a founding Managing Partner. While at DRF, Anjney focused on the fund’s investments in early stage internet technologies.
In 2012, Anjney was named the youngest Google Policy Fellow, and in 2014, organized the first Stanford Cryptofolks summit for applied cryptography. Anjney pursued undergraduate and graduate coursework at Stanford University.
Trained in classical neuroimaging at the Harvard-MIT-MGH Martinos Center and Stanford Medical center, Rohan started a company called BrainBot which helps people be more mindful through biology. His work is based on his first-hand research with sadhus and monks in the Himalayas, where he recorded their brainwaves and heartbeat patterns during meditation. This culminated in a forthcoming consumer wearable device for increased calm and emotional self-awareness
Harshvardhan is an independent visual artist who makes street art across India. He has been running his travel studio, Inkbrushnme since 2007 which has been producing children’s illustrated books, graphic novels and character designs for animation and gaming projects.
Making a work of art for Harshvardhan is a ritualistic performance. Born in India and exposed to its rich cultural and literary heritage, he has dedicated his time in discovering mythologies and reinterpreting its essence through street art and digital paintings.
Anshulika co-founded India’s first and most successful crowdfunding platform for creative ideas. So far over 250 projects across films, music, dance, comics and more have raised well over USD 1 million by over 11,000 backers using Wishberry. Inspired by Dagny Taggart and Miranda Priestly, this ex-McKinsey analyst discovered crowdfunding while on a project at McKinsey. It fascinated her so much, she ditched a US job opportunity and flew back to India to pioneer this concept. Anshulika doggedly believes that crowdfunding is a lifeline for all budding creative artists in India
Nina Tandon is CEO and co-founder of EpiBone, the world’s first company growing living human bones for skeletal reconstruction. She is the co-author of Super Cells: Building with Biology, a book that explores the new frontier of biotech. She has a Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering from the Cooper Union, a Master’s in Bioelectrical Engineering from MIT, a PhD in Biomedical Engineering, and an MBA from Columbia University. Her PhD research focused on studying electrical signaling in the context of tissue engineering, and has worked with cardiac, skin, bone, and neural tissue.
Tandon spent her early career in telecom at Avaya Labs and transitioned into biomedical engineering via her Fulbright Scholarship in Italy, where she worked on an electronic nose used to “smell” lung cancer. She was named one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company, a Crain’s 40 under 40 people who have achieved success in business before turning 40, and a World Economic Forum Tech Pioneer.
Srikanth Bolla was the first visually challenged student in India permitted to study science beyond grade 10. Since then, he has blazed new trails with Bollant Industries, an organization that employs uneducated and disabled employees to manufacture eco-friendly disposable consumer products and packaging solutions. They also offer adhesives, printing inks, printing products and intermediate products for disposable product manufacturers. Bollant Industries now operates five manufacturing units and has sales crossing USD 70 million each year
Anand Varma’s photos tell the story behind the science of everything from primate behavior and hummingbird biomechanics to amphibian disease and forest ecology. He started photographing natural history subjects while studying biology at the University of California, Berkeley. He spent several years assisting other photographers before receiving a National Geographic Young Explorer grant to document the wetlands of Patagonia. Varma has since become a regular contributor to National Geographic. His feature stories include “Mindsuckers” about mind-controlling parasites and “Quest for a Superbee” about the science behind honeybee declines
Mainak is the co-founder and Co-CEO of GPS Renewables (Green Power Systems). GPS is one of Asia’s most promising cleantech firms, having received awards from various international and national platforms. He was listed as one of the top Indian innovators under the age of 35 by MIT Technology Review. Fortuna Media recently named him as “The Bioenergy person of the year, 2015”. He is also a Global Shaper, World Economic Forum, as a part of which, he works towards making Bangalore a better place for its citizens
Aparna received her Ph.D in medicine from University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy. As a senior research scientist in Molecular Engineering Laboratory in Singapore, she is currently heading a stem cell differentiation project to develop in vitro cellular models for neurological conditions.
She is also actively involved in the Stem Cell Society of Singapore and is the chairperson of their biennial Young Investigator’s Symposium
Named the ‘youngest headmaster in the world’ by BBC in October 2009, at the age of 16. Babar Ali is an Indian student and teacher from Murshidabad, West Bengal. He started a school, Ananada Siksha Niketan – Home of joyful learning, in his backyard when he was just 9-years-old, now with 300 regular students. It is an outdoor school and counts a total of 10 teaching and non-teaching staff who are providing their voluntary service. There are no tuition fees, thus making it affordable for the poor in this economically deprived area and thereby helping increase literacy rate there.
In 2009, Babar Ali won a prize from the program Real Heroes of the Indian English news channel CNN IBN for his work and was awarded the NDTV ‘Indian of the Year’ award. His story became a part of the syllabus for the CBSE 10th standard English textbook, PUC English textbook for Govt. of Karnataka, and also in a curriculum in Luxembourg, Europe. He was featured on Aamir Khan’s TV show Satyamev Jayate in July 2012
Alarmed by the rising rates of suicides and stress levels in India and the concurrent social stigma attached to seeing a psychologist, Richa Singh co-founded Your D.O.S.T — an emotional support network for people to anonymously discuss their problems with qualified and experienced individuals. Since its launch in December 2014, over 50,000 people have sought support on the portal and the numbers continue to grow
Listed by Forbes as one of Asia’s most influential under 30 year olds, Samyak leads X Billion Labs – an eco system of impact enterprises. Through his unique ability to align different stake holders such as governments, private sector & grassroot organizations – he is building future relevant businesses in areas such as employability, agriculture, population control, healthcare and rural development. He is currently developing a skilling model to enable India’s youth to remain professionally relevant in a digital economy (Skill Lab), an information access platform for rural Indian youth (Netpar – Tech Lab) and a behavior change model to positively influence people’s choices (Action Lab). In the past, he has founded some of the country’s pioneering youth platforms such as Operation Black Dot, The Indian International Model U.N, The Green Batti Project, Youthportal.in, UN Young Changemakers Conclave & Nimaya Foundation which have collectively engaged a million + young citizens.
Through all his work, Samyak’s core aim is to enhance the quality of life & raise the standard of living for India’s next billion
Neville is a Dutch architect who has been active in China since 2003 as the head of the Dynamic City Foundation, an international research platform investigating hyper-speed urbanization. At his design studio, Mars Architects, Neville works on sustainable projects on all scales – from buildings and furniture to urban master plans. Working on the premise that urban growth is essentially organic, Neville has applied his radical new Evolutionary Planning methodology in response to China’s accelerated and pressured market conditions. His most fascinating projects include the new Sino-Dutch Ecocity in Shenzhen and an ongoing sustainability strategy for Mumbai with the BMW-Guggenheim Lab. Neville is a 2013 INK Fellow
Priyanka Kohli–a 2015 INK Fellow–leads People Operations at GreyOrange, a pioneering Indian startup that designs, manufactures and deploys advanced robotics systems for automation at distribution and fulﬁllment centres. The company’s two key products are The Sorter, a high-speed sortation system for order consolidation and routing and The Butler, a bi-directionally scalable material handling system for goods-to-man
Anand is a filmmaker, playwright and artist, deeply interested in philosophy, evolutionary psychology and sci-fi. His first feature film, Ship of Theseus, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, where it was touted as the ‘hidden gem of the year’. It has since gone on to win accolades worldwide – the only contemporary Indian film to be short-listed by the Critic’s Circle (UK) as one of 15 life-changing films of all time. Besides making films, Anand illustrates, writes songs, plays chess and dabbles in magic.
Kaushal is the founder of Teabox, a startup that is disrupting the $40 bn global tea industry. On a mission to build Teabox as India’s first global tea brand, his company uses technology and supply chain innovation to ensure that its global customer base can access the freshest and best teas, within days of production. Teabox has already been noticed for its innovations with Business Today’s coolest startup award (2014) and the Asia Pacific Online Food Retailer of the year (2015). In another first in the tea industry, Teabox launched a patent pending personalised subscription service that uses Artificial Intelligence to help customers select the right type of teas.
In less than three years, the company has shipped over 30mn cups of tea to customers in over 80 countries. Started in 2012, Kaushal has successfully raised over $7mn from global marquee investors to build Teabox, which now has sourcing and fulfilment centres in multiple countries including India’s first state-of-the-art cold storage facility, a pioneering step for the Indian tea industry
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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”.
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.
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’.
Born in the rural St. Lawrence Valley of New York State, Shannon has travelled across four countries and three continents to dedicate herself to promoting the biodiversity and chemical ecology of India’s remarkable ecosystems. Shannon heads the Naturalist-Inspired Chemical Ecology (NICE) group at the National Centre for Biological Sciences, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Bangalore.
Shannon is a chemical ecologist, committed to using the universal language of chemistry to understand the interactions of plants, animals, and microbes in India’s diverse ecosystems. A Fulbright Scholar and Ramanujan Fellow, Shannon is helping to lead a national-level effort to promote chemical ecology in India. Her favorite thing about being a scientist is the privilege to observe and learn, every day, something completely new, and the possibility that it could make a positive difference in this world.
Sanvar Oberoi is the Co-Founder and Director of Finance and Digital Technology at Bombay Hemp Company (BOHECO), a hybrid social enterprise transforming agriculture in developing economies. BOHECO is South Asia’s pioneering help company and is working with governements, scientists, farmers, industry and consumers globally to build an end-to-end ecosystem and self sustaining model which unleashes the supercrop’s tremendous socio-economic and environmental benefits at large scale.
He leads the BOHECO Innovation Lab, the organisation’s moonshot and fundamental research and nanotechnology domain. He has always been deeply affected by the growing number of farmer suicides and their state. He has mafe it his life’s mission to reinstate the status-quo of farmers, women artisans and producers in society and develop interventions to continually and sustainably improve their quality of life significantly. He’s a Ph.D research scholor in Business Economics and has been awarded the INK, Rajeev Circle and Ashoka Fellowship
In May 2009, Krushnaa Patil became the youngest Indian woman to successfully climb Mount Everest. Patil was also the first Indian woman to climb the highest peaks in Antarctica, South America and Europe, and has successfully climbed the highest peaks on six of the seven continents. Patil is currently pursuing her MA in Political Science from Pune University.
Patil started climbing in 2007 by doing mountaineering courses from the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering in Uttarkashi, Uttrakhand. In 2008 she climbed Mt. Satopanth (7075 mtrs.) in the Garhwal Himalayas, becoming the youngest person in the world to have scaled it at 18 years. In May 2009 Patil climbed Mt. Everest, becoming the youngest Indian girl to do so. She followed that up with the 7 Summit quest, which is to climb the highest peak on every continent. Patil was the first Indian woman on the highest peaks in Antarctica, South America and Europe. She was on Mt. Mckinley in North America in May 2011, but had to turn back. She has successfully summitted all 6 other peaks.
Patil has also been a part of a Cycling rally with WANI (Women Adventure Network of India) from Kolkatta to Kanyakumari (3000kms) in Feb 2011. She is keenly interested in rafting, paragliding, rowing, and horse riding. Patil is currently pursuing her MA from Pune University in Political Science.
I started climbing to get out of the city. It was claustrophobic, and the mountains gave me time, space, and the openness to think how I wanted to, to realize things that I didn’t feel or know in this apparently real world. In society emotions have a background of society pressure, of pre-conceived notions, and of traditions, which are sometimes mindlessly passed on. But in the mountains I fell in love! I could dream of anything and I could do everything. There were no boundaries, no heights! I climbed as much as I wanted and I dreamt even more. Everest was not a dream though, just the mountains were. I wanted to climb, it didn’t matter what. Everest seemed like the next logical step. For me it was just another mountain, one of my firsts! My journey had just begun! And love can be painful, we just don’t realize that when we start enjoying it. Mountaineering is extremely painful, but it’s just exactly twice as much fun. I’ve climbed in different parts of the world, but being extremely biased, I think the most peaceful place is the Himalayas. And I know you do think differently in the mountains!
WEBSITE: The Burning Face
Saba Ghole is an architect and urban designer turned education and technology entrepreneur. As the Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer of NuVu Studio, Saba leads a innovation center for middle and high school students. NuVu’s focus on creativity and experimentation sets the stage for students to collaborate with experts on projects ranging from new medical technologies to interactive games to brainwave-generated music and art.
Andrea hails from Goa, and is currently a PhD student at the MIT Media Lab. Her research focuses on creating novel user interfaces in the smart-everything era. Recently, she invented a miniature, low-power 3D sensor for touch-less gestural input to mobile devices and other wearable tech (like the Google Glass). Andrea is also an aspiring tech entrepreneur – her startup, 3dim, is producing a compact, low-power mobile 3D camera. In her spare time she enjoys mentoring young geeks. In 2010 she co-founded the Media Lab Design and Innovation workshop series, conducted annually in partnership with top Indian universities
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
Gadhadar has been passionate about space since childhood. He pursued this interest by attending summer schools about Space and also received an Honors Diploma in Space Sciences. In these courses, he learned Quantum Physics to explain stability and evolution of stars. This coupled with a burning desire to build stuff led him to Nanotechnology. The poster child of Nanotechnology for Space Applications being Carbon Nanotubes.
He founded NoPo Nanotechnoligues to pursue this passion. NoPo is developing technology for space by solving problems on the ground such as water filtration and transportation using Carbon Nanotubes. He led his team to win the 4th International Space Power Competition of SGAC in 2015 for a concept on Carbon Nanotube based Space Power. He attended Singularity University’s Global Solutions Program in 2016 as the sole Indian participant. NoPo is ranked among Bangalore’s Top 3 Technology Startups by EO CARES and India’s Top 5 Innovative companies’ in 2017 by Lockheed Martin-DST- Tata Trusts.
Shekar Naik was born completely blind to an economically weak family in Shimoga, who couldn’t afford even an eye check up. When he was 8, he underwent surgery with the help of a health check-up camp organized in his village, and managed to regain sight in one of his eyes.
During primary school, Shekar started getting interested in cricket. He was told he could not play because of his blindness, which in turn made him more ambitious towards the sport. Seeing this strong interest, his PE teacher in the blind school started guiding him on the rules of Blind Cricket. In 1988, Shekar was selected to play for his school team.
He was then selected for the district and zonal levels, and after that got a chance to represent the State. Due to his performance at the State level, he was asked to attend a camp for Indian Blind Cricket team, becoming a team member and then finally the Captain in 2010. He was presented the prestigious Padmashree award in the year 2017 for his dedication and contribution towards Blind Cricket.
Somdev is a former professional tennis player, who started his career playing tennis in the NCAA, representing the University of Virginia. He made it to three consecutive finals at the NCAA, winning back-to-back finals in junior and senior years. His 44-1 win-loss record in 2008 is tied for the best in NCAA history.
In 2011, he received the Arjuna Award from the Indian Government. In March 2017, he was appointed as the national observer for tennis by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India.
When Somdev hit stardom in 2009, he had a dream of starting a movement to create a healthier and happier India through sport. Life is a ball, his initiative positively impacts 15000+ kids through sports programs. Among all the accomplishments, providing a sporting platform to underprivileged kids has been the greatest.
Pooja Dhingra is the founder of Le15 Patisserie and Studio Fifteen Culinary Centre in Mumbai. Pooja has also opened her first cafe at Colaba in 2016 called Le15 Cafe in collaboration with a culinary school friend called Pablito Naranjo. Armed with a degree in hospitality from Cesaz Ritz College, Switzerland and a Patisserie Diploma from Le Cordon Bleu. Pooja returned home with the single goal of creating Parisian styled culinary experiences in India.
She has been featured in national dailies and is a regular in fashion and lifestyle glossies not just for her abilities in the kitchen but also as a dynamic businesswoman and inspiration to women – she was selected by Forbes India for their ’30 Undeer 30′ achievers list for 2014 and the Forbes 30 under 30 Asia list.
Prerna Sharma is a scientist and Assistant Professor of Physics at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore. She is an experimentalist in the area of soft matter and biophysics. She studied at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai for a Ph.D degree and followed that up with a three-year post-doctoral fellowship at Brandeis University, USA.
She has been one of the youngest in the recent history to join IISc as a Professor at the age of 28. Her early research was focused on quantitative understanding of variety of interfacial phenomena such as adhesion, peeling and flow through porous media. She is currently involved in using tools of physics to address problems in membrane biophysics and ciliary beating.
Farid is the Co-Founder of ShareChat, India’s homegrown social network, and also the leading local language platform of India. He has a Bachelor’s degree from the IIT, Kanpur (2014).
ShareChat was born out of an experiement to solve the question of the “Where does the content variety in Whatsapp groups come from?”. The growing demand for digital vernacular content made this demand-supply equation very apparent to him and his team, and kickstarted their journey for serving the social needs of the next billion internet users in India.
A go-getter with tremendous passion and enegy, Vita Dani resembles the new age woman of today, who is keen to make a substantial difference in the world through sports and philanthropic activities.
Vita is the co-owner of ‘Chennaiyin FC’ team along with Abhishek Bachhan and MS Dhoni. She is also the President of MCDTTA (Mumbai City District Table Tennis Association). 11Even Sports conducts activities in table Tennis in 29 states in India under her guidance. She believes that Indian kids have tremendous potential in sports and is involved in popularizing football and table tennis.
Dia Mehta Bhupal originally from Mumbai, now works and practices in Hyderabad, India. Educated at The Parsons School of Design in New York, she holds a BFA in Photography. Prior to enrolling at Parsons, Dia completed her foundation studies at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London. During her time at both Parsons and St. Martins, Dia has focused extensively on photography, with a particular emphasis on redefining everyday images as commonly interpreted by society. Dia creates fine art photography, primarily working with the constructed image.
Travis co-founded LumiereVR with the determination to bring empathetic cinema to life through Virtual Reality. He uses his background in computer science to build tools and and softwares that empower and challenge filmmakers to explore new depths with this new medium. Now LumiereVR not only employs a suite of productions tools and workflow, but are also partnering with artists and corporations, setting up VR theatres across the United States to make VR content available to the general public.
Judith is a Ph.D student and Research Assistant in the Fluid Interfaces Group, MIT MediaLab. She graduated from MIT with a Masters in Media Arts and Sciences, she helped run VR/AR at MIT as a co-president. She holds a Multimedia Engineering degree from LaSelle University, Barcelona, Spain and has a Computer Science background, design focused on UX, UI and filming.
She previously interned as a Human Computer Interaction (HCI) researcher at Microsoft Research and at R&D at URL Barcelona developing Augmented and Virtual Reality experiences and at the Google Creative Lab as a creative Technologist. Her grants, awards and publications include over 19 scientific papers, 3 patents, a 2016 Facebook Graduate Fellowship, 2015 Lego Foundation sponsored research, 2016 Finalist Innovation by Design Awards. She also received the 2017 Scent Innovator Award by the Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW) and IFF (International Flavours and Fragrances)
Advait is the co-founder & Managing Partner at Supari Studios. In late 2012, at the age of 26, Advait quit his job as an investment analyst at a VC firm to join hands with his younger brother Akshat to pursue opportunities in the emerging digital content space and set up Supari Studios. With a strong focus on online video, Supari has developed a body of work that ranges from interactive video content to immersive virtual reality experiences. Advait is currently focussed on growing the company’s capabilities across three primary functions – original content, branded online video and new media technology.
Dr. Kalyan Veeramachaneni is a Principal Research Scientist at the Laboratory for Information and Decision System (LIDS) at MIT. He directs a research group called Data to AI in the new MIT Institute for Data Systems and Society(IDSS). Kalyan believes that artifical intelligence and machine learning can have a powerful impact in a variety of societal arenas, from education and public health to transportation and e-commerce. His group aims to solve the foundational issues currently preventing these techniques from reaching their full potential, and their recent work focuses on making human interactions with data seamless and efficient.
Kalyan has published over 60 papers, 3 of which have won best paper awards at international conferences. His work on AI-driven solutions for data science and cybersecurity has been covered by major media outlets, including the Washington Post, CBS News, Wired, Forbes and Newsweek.
Kalyan has also co-founded two startups: Feature Labs and PatternEx. Feature Labs helps organizations transform their raw, noisy data into intelligent representations using data science automation tools. PatternX is a cybersecurity company, focused on developing the first active learning-based solution for identifying new and constantly evolving security threats. He received his Masters in Computer Engineering and Ph.D in Electrical Engineering in 2009, both from Syracuse University. He joined MIT in 2009.
Ankit is the Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer at Leap Skills. He is the driving force behind the innovation and technology based approach at Leap. As an impact oriented skill-development organisation, Leap mentors’ train and provide employment opportunities to students, unemployed youth and existing workforce through technology and classroom training. Over the last 4 years, Leap has trained over 6000 learners across 11 states in India through various programs and workshops.
An alumnus of The Doon School and College of Business Studies, Delhi University. He brings with him significant start-up experience at organisations like Zomato, Happily Unmarried and has worked as a part of the Risk Advisory practice at Ernst & Young India. He is also the youth representative for Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Program, a youth focused recognition program for students from across the world. He has represented India at several award councils both domestically and internationally.
Lakshmi Pratury brought TED to India in 2009, when the first TEDIndia conference was held in Mysore. In December 2010, she curated and hosted the first INK Conference, in association with TED, which carried forward the momentum created by TEDIndia. Lakshmi Pratury brings with her a varied and rich experience that spans for-profit enterprises, venture capital and nonprofit organizations. Featured in the list of ‘100 Most Powerful Women’ by Forbes Asia in 2010, Lakshmi has traversed an incredible distance professionally.
As a social entrepreneur, Lakshmi was a leading force at the American India Foundation (AIF), where she was part of the management team that raised over $30M in five years to channel towards development activities in India. She was the founder of the Digital Equalizer program, which brought technology education to over 100,000 children and 2,000 teachers in India.
Prior to AIF, Lakshmi was a partner at the venture capital firm Global Catalyst Partners. At Global Catalyst Partners, she established relationships between GCP, the development community in India, and key executives in India.
Before this Lakshmi was with Intel Corporation for 12 years and had various roles in marketing, marketing communication, advertising, and evangelizing the developer community.
Lakshmi holds a Bachelors degree in Mathematics from Nizam College, Hyderabad, India. She attended IIT, Mumbai, and has an MBA from the Bajaj Institute, India, and a second MBA from Portland State University, with a minor in theater arts.
Lakshmi has published articles in San Jose Mercury, San Francisco Chronicle, Mint (leading business daily in India), interviewed celebrities, contributed to radio shows, including National Public Radio, and acted in local (US) theater.
Lakshmi has spoken at high-profile conferences like TED Conference in the US, the DLD Conference in Germany, WIRED conference in UK, and more.
Gary is an environmental-and-water activist, and filmmaker. His foundation, Make a Change World, uncovers uplifting and inspirational stories with an aim to give a voice to the underrepresented and bring about social change. With his younger brother Sam Bencheghib, he has launched a series of expeditions – from kayaking the world’s most polluted river in Java on plastic- bottle kayaks, to standup paddling down New York’s most toxic waterways – to bring to light the impact of growing water pollution. In the past 2 years, Gary’s videos have been viewed by over 500 million people worldwide.
Ankit Agarwal is the Founder and CEO of Helpusgreen®, a social enterprise that has pioneered the flowercycling® technology, converting the waste from places of worship into patented lifestyle products, to save the river Ganges. Awarded as Fast Company’s 2018 World Changing Ideas, Helpusgreen® is the world’s first lean and profitable solution to this monumental problem, bringing hope to revive the lifeline of more than 420 million – The Ganges. Ankit has worked on sustainability projects across 26 countries and is amongst the 21 young leaders selected for extraordinary skills by the Asia Society. Recently, Ankit was named in the Forbes India 30 Under 30 list and received the Unilever Young Entrepreneur Awards 2017, GSG Millennial Honor 2018 and the prestigious United Nations Young leader for Sustainable Development Goals award 2018.
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.
Hanif Kureshi is a multidisciplinary artist and designer living and working in New Delhi, India. His work is focused on the intersection of art, typography and street culture. He is a creative director and Co-founder of St+art India Foundation which aims at making art accessible to a larger audience in India through the series of street art festivals. His ongoing project,handpaintedtype.com attempts to conserve and archive the vernacular street typography of India. His work has been exhibited at the London Design Biennale, Venice Biennale, Centre Pompidou in Paris, and Triennale Design Museum in Milan, among others.
Navneeth Sundar is a composer, keyboardist, iPad musician and performer. Started as a musical prodigy, Navneeth Sundar owned the stage since a very young age with his performances by creating a distinctive approach to classical-fusion music.
Making his presence felt in the classical and fusion music scene, he is one of the most technically complex artists, well known for being the first musician to explore Carnatic music beyond the constriction of instruments with the help of an iPad, acknowledged by the Limca book of records.He has scored the music for films in Telugu, Malayalam and Tamil and also runs his band “Navneeth Sundar Ensemble” performing his independent music scores and also covers of famous songs, rearranged by him.
Growing up in a small town in Gujarat, Nirman developed a passion for programming when he got my first computer. By 17, he had published 200 apps with over a million downloads. After high school, he ran a profitable startup called CircuiTricks and went on to pursue Entrepreneurship from MIT in Boston and Computer Science from Hampshire College in Amherst. During this time, he built USA’s first interdisciplinary Hackathon event with partners like Google, Viacom and Star Trek.He now works at the intersection of Machine Learning and Behavioral Economics with his startup called Obviously AI, a web app to help SaaS companies predict customer behavior.
Zain Memon is a story-teller, media-tech specialist, futurist and Media-Producer based out of Mumbai and Goa. He co-founded Memesys Culture Lab, a cinema and new media studio at the intersection of science, philosophy and culture.
In the past few years, Zain has created the world’s first open-source film project, ran India’s largest crowdfunding campaign for a documentary and created India’s first Virtual Reality Platform. He is currently working on Shasn, a political strategy board game. His well-rounded expertise in storytelling, technology, narrative design, and game-design allows him to bridge the gap between technology and effective storytelling.
A certified Bitcoin professional and co-founder of MainChain Research & Consulting, Shikha Mehra holds a degree in Bachelor of Economics and Physics from the University of Pennsylvania, as well as LLB and LLM from the Jindal Global Law School, specializing in Tax Law. She is on the advisory panel to IMAI’s (Internet Mobile Association of India) sub-committee on crypto currency and blockchain. As a subject expert, her expertise is sought from audiences as varied as the OECD, the Russian Parliament, the UK Government (F&CO), Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC), YPO, and Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, amongst others.
Vaibhav is the Co-founder of ftcash, one of India’s fastest growing fintech company which aims to empower India’s 60+ million underserved micro-merchants through the power of financial inclusion using loans and digital payments. Previously, he was a Director, Global Development at XPRIZE, leading the world’s first global prize that targets access to water. He had previously been associated with The World Bank, LGT Impact Fund and ZS Associates. Vaibhav was selected as Davos50, Global Shapers (World Economic Forum), Asia Development Fellow, and Acumen Fellow. Vaibhav is an engineer from National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli where he was awarded Distinguished Alumni Award and an alumnus of the Harvard Kennedy School.
Charlene Ren is the founder of MyH2O Water Information Network, a crowd-based platform that connects clean water resources to rural communities in China. Since its inception in 2015, with a thorough data collection from over thousands of villages, solutions have been delivered to over 1,000 beneficiaries. Charlene has a dual MS degree in Environmental Engineering & Technology and Policy from MIT, with a thesis focused on the water and sanitation monitoring policy structure in rural India. She was selected as 1 of 4 Chinese representatives for Homeward Bound 2018 fellow, an initiative focused on raising profiles of women leaders in STEM, that included a 3-week training expedition in Antarctica. She’s also a 2016 Echoing Green Fellow.
A passionate microbiologist, Anjana is currently an Assistant Professorat the National Centre for Biological Sciences at TIFR (Tata Institute of Fundamental Research), Bangalore. Her lab investigates the mechanisms by which cells maintain genome integrity, a process essential for life. It alsogives research opportunities and training to PhD aspirants, young researchers and technicians, with an aim to understand the “mechanics of DNA repair”.Anjana received her PhD at the University of Oxford, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)..
At 21, Priya was the first Indian woman to start an open-source hardware company in India. At 28, she built Bay Area’s first women-centric co-working space. Presently, at 30, she is the first Indian woman working to build a decentralized internet free of net neutrality, censorship and fake news. She is a community builder and teacher at heart and firmly believes in the power of technology to improve the lives of people. She views entrepreneurship as a deeper path towards self-discovery. Lately, she has found her anchor in Vipassana meditation.
Siddharth specializes in Medical Device Innovations, currently pursuing his doctoral research at Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru. His broad research area is Collaboration and Success in Healthcare focusing on product design, development, commercialization and sustainability. With a passion for accessible healthcare, he founded Fyrsta Innovations in late 2012, where he was involved in the design and development of ‘ReLive – An Innovative platform for Tele rehabilitation’. He is an active member of various techno-social communities and enjoys sharing his experiences with budding professionals and entrepreneurs. He envisions to solve various socio-economic problems by developing cost-effective and innovative solutions.
Munaf Kapadia worked at Google India as an Online Advertising Consultant to some of the country’s largest financial institutions. The Bohri Kitchen (TBK) started out as a weekend project to keep his mom-chef busy, but her exceptional culinary skills combined with his social media talents kickstarted a Bohri food revolution! Now he’s the full time Chief Eating Officer of TBK, recognized as the ‘Best Bohri Food Restaurant’ by the Times Food Guide. He hopes to take Bohri cuisine all over the world. Munaf enjoys reading and sailing in his free time.
A Product & Brand Marketing specialist, Ritu has held pivotal profiles across the Telecom, Media and Health Technology industries, ranging from: being Head of Programming for Radio stations like Red FM & RadioOne; developing award- winning and multi-million dollar mobile products as well as launching landmark advertising campaigns like ‘Har Ek Friend Zaroori Hota Hai’ for Airtel. A successful entrepreneur, her health-tech startup, Obino, touched over a million lives, raising funding from foreign investors. A prolific speaker, she also mentors other startups and assists in TiE and Google-related startup forums in a bid to give back to the startup ecosystem that nurtured her.
Orin Hardy is the co-founder of The Kul Kul Farm and Bamboo U, two hands-on education enterprises in Bali. He dedicates his time to creating space and opening up new possibilities for people to learn how to incorporate sustainability into their lives. He loves facilitating and teaching courses related to hands-on living, permaculture design, gardening and bamboo construction. He and his team have welcomed hundreds of people from all over the world to participate in these programs. Raised in a Balinese village, surrounded by rivers and jungle, he then moved to North America were he witnessed the disconnect between humans and nature in the modern world. He now spends his time devoted to reconnecting people to nature.
A special educator, accessibility trainer, a social activist, and a motivational speaker, Tiffany, a born fighter, did not let her disability become a hindrance in her journey forward! Despite all challenges, she steered ahead, with sheer determination. After completing her BA English, and her BED special education, she started a mobile blind school, where she went to the nooks and corners of her state in search of blind people, with an aim of transforming them from liabilities, to assets!! She then started the Jyothirgamaya Foundation, whose sole aim is empowerment and inclusion of visually impaired. As an activist, she charges at every opportunity to raise her voice for the rights of her community. As a lover of adventure she has done paragliding, skydiving and has enabled her students to do some of these adventures.
She has 5 ted talks to her credit, is a national award winner, and has also been appreciated by the Late DR APJ AbdulKalam former president of India, for her work.
Utkarsh Amitabh works at Microsoft and is the Founder of Network Capital, a global peer mentoring and career navigation platform with over 50,000 mentors active in 104 countries. He is passionate about using technology to match talent and opportunities, and was part of the team that built India’s first smart village which is now recognized in the Prime Minister’s book of pioneering innovations.
Utkarsh is a World Economic Forum Global Shaper who represented the community both at Davos and Dalian. He has an MBA from INSEAD where he was recognized as the Andy Burgess Scholar. He is a TEDx speaker, Penn Social Impact House Fellow, Raisina Young Fellow and the Torchbearer of Ashoka University’s Young India Fellowship. Utkarsh has a weekly column with Mint, one of India’s largest business newspapers, and his articles have been published by the World Economic Forum, Indian Express, The Economic Times, Times of India and Scroll. Utkarsh is also a trained actor and played “Major Metcalf” in the world’s longest running play.
Prashant Gade is the Founder & CEO of Inali Assistive Tech as well as head of the R&D department at Inali Assistive Tech. Inali Arms is India’s most affordable bionic arm for the differently-abled. Unlike most prosthetics that are connected to muscle movements, Inali Arms operates by detecting brain signals.
Prashant founded Inali with an intent to provide affordable yet advanced prosthetic arms to the underserved living in developing countries with upper limb amputation. Till date Inali has given a new lease of life to over 1,500 amputees in India.
Forever a social innovator, rising to the need of the hour, Prashant has now been working to create low cost ventilators which could be easily manufactured across the world to aid the fight against Covid-19.