Prior to forming Emotiv, Nam Do co-founded and ran SASme, a pioneer in providing SMPP platforms to telecommunication carriers and content aggregators in Australia and Asia. In 1995, Nam won one of Vietnam’s most prestigious study abroad scholarships. Nam came to Australia’s RMIT University under a full merit scholarship, and started his first technology company in his final year. A regular guest-lecturer at Harvard Business School, HAAS Business School and Stanford University, in 2007, Nam was voted as one of Australia’s Top 10 Digital Entrepreneurs.
UNTOLD STORY: In 2003, Nam Do had dinner with Professor Allan Snyder FRS. They discussed at length about Allan’s work on non-conscious mind with autistic savants. At 4am, Nam told Allan, you know what, the last 20 years have been the era for DSP (digital signal processing), the next 20 years will be the era for ESP (emotional signal processing). Allan loved it and that’s how Emotiv was formed.
Tom Wujec is a pioneer in business visualization, the emerging practice of using images, sketches and data-driven infographics to help teams solve complex problems. Tom�s work has been featured in many international conferences, such as TED, Pop!Tech and the Fortune Innovation Summit. Tom is also the author of three books on creative thinking and is a highly sought after international speaker, delivering visually rich innovation keynotes, workshops and knowledge maps. He has brought several software applications to market, including Autodesk SketchBook Pro, PortfolioWall, and Maya which won an Academy Award for its contribution to the film industry. Tom has worked as a creative director, writer and animator, has designed dozens of museum exhibits, and lives in Toronto with his wife and two children.
BOOKS: Five Star Mind, Pumping Ions, Return on Imagination
Simon Lewis is a film and television producer and author. After earning law degrees from Christ’s College Cambridge and Boalt Hall, Berkeley, Lewis moved to Los Angeles where his Hollywood experience includes managing writers, directors and stars as well as producing Look Who’s Talking (1989), The Chocolate War (1988), the Emmy award-winning international co-production for HBO and ITV Central Age Old Friends/A Month of Sundays (1988), and variety specials starring Howie Mandel.
He is the author of Rise and Shine (June 2010), his inspirational autobiography about his journey from near death back to consciousness.
UNTOLD STORY: Simon attributes his belief that life is best lived at the cutting edge to a Swiss friend who showed him how to ski the yellow mogul runs at Zermatt, and achieve balance on the edge of a cliff. He’s been taking creative risks and leaning out over precipices ever since.
BOOKS: Rise and Shine
WEBSITE: www.simonlewis.us; www.riseandshinethebook.com
Sandy Smolan is an award-winning director whose work spans features, documentaries and television. His debut feature film Rachel River was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance. 12 Stones, his documentary about the transformation of a group of illiterate women in Southern Nepal, won the jury Prize in 2009 for Best Short Documentary at the Tallahassee and Newport Beach Film Festivals.
Smolan has directed over 50 hours of network prime-time television series, including Brothers& Sisters, Ally Mcbeal, and Northern Exposure. He has begun using the web for both corporate branding and social advocacy, directing the original web series “In Gayle We Trust” and “First Day”, and films about sustainable development for the Gates Foundation.
Sandy directed his first documentary in North Africa. Although robbed of all his film and cameras (later recovered) the night of his 21st birthday, the experience kindled a deep love of travelling which remains undiminished.
Rives is a poet and multi-media artist from Los Angeles, who applies new technologies to ancient art forms. He has appeared on Romanian billboards, in Scottish pubs and inside a 1964 Cadillac with a supermodel for the Bravo TV special Ironic Iconic America. He is the co-host of the annual TEDActive conference and his hobby is rooftops. Offstage, Rives designs and writes pop-up books. He has appeared on multiple seasons of HBO�s Def Poetry Jam and was a member of the Def Poetry international tour group.
I was kicked out of college for attending too long. I should have been kicked out for forging my high school transcript, but I never got caught.
“I like to open the doors to people’s brain.”
Philippe Starck is an internationally acclaimed French creator, designer and architect. This tireless and rebellious citizen of the world, who considers his duty to share his ethical and subversive vision of a fairer world, creates unconventional objects whose purpose is to be ‘good’ before being beautiful. Most of his designs have become cult objects and his hotels have become timeless icons, adding a new dimension to the global cityscape.
Being an enthusiastic advocate of sustainability, this visionnaire recently developed the revolutionary concept of ‘democratic ecology’ by creating affordable wind turbines for the home, soon to be followed by innovative prefab ecological wooden houses and solar boats.
He lives with his wife Jasmine, mostly on the airplane and in Paris, Burano and his oyster farm in southwest of France.
Since 1988, Nancy Duarte’s firm has created over a quarter of a million presentations. As one of the largest woman-owned businesses in Silicon Valley, her experience working with global companies and thought leaders has influenced the perception of some of the world’s most valuable brands and many of humanity’s common causes. Fascinated by presentations as the most powerful persuasive medium, Duarte determined to crack the code on why some presentations are riveting and others are unbearable. In Fall 2010 she released Resonate—Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences which identifies hidden story structures inherent in great communication.
Nancy does her best thinking about 40 minutes in to a demanding 3-hour hike in the foothills of the Silicon Valley. At the summit, she sits on a bench and gushes over the valley because it has been like the land of milk and honey for her.
BOOKS: Slide:ology, Resonate
If Michael Foley’s behind a product, expect a technological marvel that is strong on both form and functionality.
Michael Foley first made his mark with stunning designs that gave a contemporary makeover to Titan Industries. He joined Titan Industries in 1995 as a product design intern, grew to head the Titan Design Studio in less than a decade, and later became Titan’s Chief Creative Advisor. Michael’s design experience ranges from wrist watches, sunglasses, and fashion jewelry to retail design and visual merchandising. In 2006, Michael felt the need to take design on to an even bigger platform and the studio – ‘Foley Designs’ – was incorporated with specializations in product design, packaging, graphics, space design, brand identity and more. ‘Intuitive design’ is a focus for the studio.
Michael draws an innate association to the purity and wonder of nature. The implicit simplicity, with which natural entities are created, inspires him infinitely.
BOOKS: A compilation across books on the creations of Leonardo da Vinci
Mami is a well-known singer in Mizoram. Her debut album, Damlai Par, released in 2007, was rated as the top selling album of the year and led to a hat-trick of awards at the Mizoram Music Awards; Best Female Singer, Best Music Video and Song of the Year for the title track. Her following three singles reached the top 10 leading to another prestigious MMA in 2008. Mami recently released her new music video Hmangaihna Vanduai Maw with her second album to follow next year.
UNTOLD STORY: I was recently invited to a school year function, I had a television appearance later on in the evening, so, feeling guilty, I made my excuses and left early, telling them to be sure to watch the telecast live on local cable that night. I got home, changed, did my make-up and waited to be collected, and waited, and waited… Eventually, I called them. The date was for the following week! I was totally embarrassed – the worst part is that when my mom got home – her advice was “Drink a glass of water and sleep on it!!”
Leonie Casanova is a London-based singer and songwriter. Born and raised in Zambia to an Italian father and Zambian mother, and schooled in Swaziland, England and the USA where she studied Economics and French Literature, Leonie�s colourful and almost nomadic background has deeply informed her approach to songwriting and to the intrinsic and essential story-telling element of this process. Leonie crosses and fuses genres and musical textures fluidly which allows exploration of what she calls �an endless work playground�.
UNTOLD STORY: Leonie thinks her obsession with mangoes and her ability to sit and �observe the world� may have something to do with days spent climbing and sitting on mango trees as a child in Zambia!
A social psychologist and marketer, Jennifer Aaker is the General Atlantic Professor of Marketing at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. She is widely published in the leading scholarly journals in psychology and marketing, and her work has been featured in a variety of media, including The Economist, NYTimes, WSJ, Washington Post, BusinessWeek, Forbes, and Science. A sought-after teacher in the field of marketing, Professor Aaker teaches courses, including ‘Designing Happiness’, ‘How to Tell a Story’, ‘Building Innovative Brands’, and ‘The Power of Social Technology’.
UNTOLD STORY: Jennifer, 19, was a patron at a Boston nightclub, when defending her friend from an aggressive dancer, she suddenly found herself in a dance-off. Jennifer both saved her friend and won said dance-off and now remembers the ‘80s fondly.
BOOKS: The Dragonfly Effect
WEBSITE: faculty-gsb.stanford.edu; dragonflyeffect.com
James Cameron has many avatars that allow him to be a film director, producer, screenwriter, editor and inventor. His writing and directing work includes The Terminator (1984), Aliens (1986), The Abyss (1989), True Lies (1994), Titanic (1997), and Avatar (2009). In the time between making Titanic and his return to feature films with Avatar, Cameron spent some years creating documentary films and also co-developing the digital 3-D Fusion Camera System. Cameron has also worked extensively in deep ocean exploration, diving to extreme depths with his own submersibles, robotics and camera systems.
FILMS: Avatar, Aliens of the Deep, Ghosts of the Abyss, Titanic, Strange Days, True Lies, Terminator II: Judgment Day, The Abyss, Aliens, Rambo: First Blood Part II, The Terminator, Piranha II: The Spawning
Dinh Thi Hoa grew-up in communist North Vietnam during the Vietnam War. She went to university in Moscow and later returned to Vietnam to join the Foreign Service of the Vietnamese government. In 1990, she was chosen as the first Vietnamese to receive the World Bank scholarship to study at Harvard Business School. She returned to Vietnam in 1994. Hoa has been nicknamed “a serial entrepreneur” because she is the founder/manager of number of successful businesses in Vietnam, including Galaxy, the Paris Deli cafe chain, and Thienviet Securities among several others. She also supports education and art non-profit projects.
Hoa escaped all the atrocities of Vietnam War and had the fortune to study in the former USSR and the US. She came back to Vietnam in 1994 and since then has been trying to bring new ideas to help rebuild her country.
New York Times bestselling author Deepak Chopra is acknowledged as one of the world’s greatest leaders in the field of mind body medicine.
He is the Founder and Chairman of the Chopra Foundation, Founder and co-Chairman of the Chopra Center for Wellbeing in Carlsbad, California and a Gallup Senior Scientist.
He regularly mentors corporate and political leaders through his “Soul of Leadership” workshops. Chopra is the recipient of the 2010 Goi Peace Award and numerous other international awards. Time Magazine heralds Deepak Chopra as one of the top 100 heroes and icons of the century, and credits him as “the poet-prophet of alternative medicine.”
UNTOLD STORY: In 2010, Deepak spent two weeks of silent retreat in Thailand as an ordained Buddhist monk, which included begging for food with a begging bowl and understanding and embracing impermanence and awareness of one’s own death.
BOOKS: Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul; Chopra has written more than 55 books. His books have been translated into 35 languages and sold more than 20 million copies worldwide.
Dr. Anita Goel is the Founder, Chairman and Scientific Director of Nanobiosym, an innovation engine and hi-tech incubator at the convergence of physics, nanotechnology and biomedicine, and CEO of Nanobiosym Diagnostics to commercialize the Gene-RADAR technology platform to empower people worldwide with rapid, portable diagnostic information about their own health.
MIT Technology Review Magazine named her one of the world’s “Top 35 Science and Technology Innovators”. Invited by Senator John Kerry to help reauthorize $1.5B for the U.S. National Nanotechnology Initiative, Dr. Goel is also spearheading an initiative to build a Nanobiosym innovation ecosystem in India to sustainably bring emerging technologies into emerging markets.
Anita grew up in the rural South, where black and white people lived on different sides of the railroad. She spent time meditating in nature and reading the Vedanta in the midst of backyard pets: chickens and peacocks. From the age of 8, she would “scrub in” on her dad’s operations.
“Harnessing Biological Motors to Engineer Systems for Nanoscale Transport and Assembly” in Nature Nanotechnology.
“Molecular Evolution: a role for quantum mechanics in the dynamics of molecular machines that read DNA,” in the book Quantum Aspects of Life
Responsible for strategic planning and game-creation at Multiverse, Corey is helping build a network of interactive entertainment, which includes casual games, Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOGs), and 3D virtual worlds. Over the past year, Corey has overseen development of games for McDonald’s and Coca-Cola, as well as the ground-breaking “Battle: Realms at War,” the world’s most extensive web-based MMOG.
Corey brings experience from some of the most influential companies in the high-tech and entertainment industries, including Netscape, Netflix, Zone Labs, Borland, and The Discovery Channel. In 2003, he was invited to contribute to a U.S. Homeland Security task force on Cyber Security.
Corey was the editor-in-chief of the campus humor magazine at the University of California at Berkeley. At the time, he was an entomology major. Realizing he preferred story-telling to bugs, he switched majors to English. Now in high-tech, he’s once again surrounded by bugs. Go figure.
Anil Ananthaswamy is a consultant for New Scientist in London. He has worked at the magazine in various capacities since 2000, most recently as deputy news editor. He has also contributed to National Geographic News and The Independent (UK). He studied electronics,electrical and computer engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (Bachelor of Technology), and the University of Washington, Seattle (Master of Science), and worked as a software engineer in Silicon Valley before training as a journalist at the University of California Santa Cruz. He is the author of The Edge of Physics, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (published as The Edge of Reason by Penguin, India).
Anil attributes his interest in cosmology to a thin, dog-eared copy of Lincoln Barnett’s The Universe and Dr. Einstein, which he picked up one night as a cure for insomnia, only to read it by early morning, entranced by Einstein.
BOOKS: The Edge of Physics
Anand Kumar is ushering in a revolution in the hinterlands of India by equipping youth to dream big through his education initiative ‘Super 30’ in Patna, Bihar. In 1994, he was admitted to Cambridge University but was unable to afford it after his father, a low paid postal employee, passed away. In the last eight years of ‘Super 30’, Kumar, now a noted mathematics teacher, has coached a phenomenal 212 students, most first generation learners from rural, poor backgrounds, to pass the joint entrance test of the Indian Institute of Technology. Time Magazine selected ‘Super 30’ in the Best of Asia 2010, and Discovery Channel made a documentary film on ‘Super 30’.
Anand was attacked by armed men hired by coaching Mafiosi, who did not want his style of coaching. He survived, and undeterred, continued on his path to provide free food, lodging and free coaching to economically disadvantaged students.
Zohre Elahian has been actively involved in international development for over 10 years. With her husband, Zohre started Schools Online, a not-for-profit organization that has brought computers to schools and introduced ICT in education in many countries around the world and within the US. As the Managing Director of Global Catalyst Foundation, Zohre has also evaluated many projects, addressing critical needs in education, ICT and microfinance; and her Foundation has provided funding to such projects in many countries.
Zohre has also served on the board of directors of Relief International for over 8 years working on different developmental and humanitarian projects in countries such as Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and many other countries. Prior to her humanitarian activities, she co-managed a successful private business for 15 years.
Zohre holds an M.A. in Anthropology. In 2009 Zohre received the Unsung Heroes of Compassion award and special blessing from his Holiness, The Dalai Lama.
He started his career in 1980 with the German Red Cross, and subsequently moved into leading international supply chain solutions providers, e.g. Kuehne & Nagel. From 1991-1999, he held senior management positions with TNT, including Country General Manager, Switzerland, and Director of Eastern Europe & Eastern Mediterranean Region.
From 1999-2010, he was with the French Groupe La Poste, and was President and Chief Executive Officer of the GeoPost Intercontinental, the international expansion and network vehicle, and a Member of the Board of GeoPost, the express parcel holding of Groupe La Poste.
Wolfgang has been involved in major initiatives in the Courier Express Parcel (CEP) industry. Such developments include the setting up of GD Express Worldwide, the consortium of TNT and five major postal organisations (German, French, Dutch, Swedish and Canadian), in Germany, the management of the Express Mail Service (EMS) Joint Venture between Deutsche Post and TNT Express Worldwide, the development of TNT Express Worldwide in the Eastern European and Eastern Mediterranean regions, the expansion of the express parcel business of La Poste in Europe, the integration of the European parcel network DPD into the Group�s business, and the global express parcel expansion of La Poste through strategic investments combined with entrepreneurial partnerships, resulting in taking positions in key markets worldwide, including China, India, Korea and South Africa, the United Arab Emirates and the United States of America, as well as establishing and managing the Group�s global express parcel network.
Having built the foundations of skills and competencies upon my roots in Germany and Western Europe, my journey has taken me in the mid-1990s to the emerging economies and later to the global market, with a bias towards the fast growing large countries. Along the way, I have become more and more a global citizen, enjoying living and working in various countries on different continents. The international experience has resulted into an enquiring mind towards social and economic challenges and solutions in the cultural environment encountered.
Named by The Huffington Post as one of the “Top 10 Changemakers Under 40”, Vineet Singal is a senior at Stanford University and leads 100KCheeks, an initiative to register 100,000 new bone marrow donors using the power of personal stories and social media.
In working closely with Professor Jennifer Aaker at Stanford Graduate School of Business and a team of 12 dedicated Stanford students, Vineet helped 100KCheeks reach its goal in 1 year. Vineet is currently leading efforts to register a million bone marrow donors worldwide in 2012 and jumpstart the creation of national marrow registries in countries like India and Indonesia.
Vineet wants to use his skills as a social entrepreneur and future physician to fight for greater access to quality and affordable healthcare for the underserved. His resolve solidified in Galveston, TX during the fall of 2009, when he took a leave of absence from Stanford to volunteer full time at St. Vincent�s free clinic. Back at Stanford, Vineet co-founded Anjna, a national nonprofit organization that aims to utilize technology at free clinics. Vineet helped build a network of 250+ undergraduates, medical students and faculty and is leading efforts to create health education programs at free clinics in high need areas nationwide, in addition to conducting groundbreaking pilot studies on utilizing interactive, tablet based education and SMS technology at clinics in the bay area.
Vineet has delivered talks on his social entrepreneurship work at Stanford Business School, Techonomy, TEDxTampaBay, Medicine 2.0 and at other various conferences and events. His work has been featured in Forbes, New York Times, Huffington Post, PBS, AdAge and the Clinton Global Initiative University among others.
He has completed and published research projects at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, the National Institutes of Health, Stanford University School of Medicine and the Mayo Clinic and has received research awards from Intel, the College Board, Sigma Xi, the Irene and Eric Simon Foundation and the National Cancer Institute. In 2011, Vineet was awarded the Barry M. Goldwater scholarship, a prestigious national award conferred to undergraduates studying the sciences. Vineet is an Staples/Ashoka Global Youth Social Entrepreneur, Ashoka Youth Venture Fellow, Donald A. Strauss Scholar, a Haas Public Service Fellow, a DoSomething/AT&T Fellow and a Pearson Prize Fellow. Vineet serves on the Stanford University Board of Trustees and on the board of directors for Clinic by the Bay, a Volunteers in Medicine affiliated free clinic in San Francisco.
Being a foreigner and stranger has defined my upbringing; I may well be one of the only people who has bathed in the Ganges, been taken hostage in a Saudi terrorist attack and walked the Lord of the Rings trail.
I vividly recall trying to protect my mother from the Saudi policeman’s whips (her hair wasn’t completely covered) or being physically and verbally harassed for having an Indian accent at the all boys’ high school I attended in New Zealand. However, I never ran away from who I was even in the face of physical intimidation.
When my family moved to the Bronx, I was yet again a foreigner, this time to America�s educational system and culture. However, I felt welcome in the United States. Graduating as my high school�s valedictorian and one of the top debaters in the country imbued me in perseverance and an ethic of compassion learned in adversity.
My experiences instill in me incessant empathy for my future patients, and an unyielding belief that no matter our differences, the things that unite us and bring us together are stronger and far outnumber those that drive us apart.
Vikram Bhaskaran is the CEO and Co-Founder of Samosa Media whose flagship product is Samosapedia: The Definitive Guide to South Asian Lingo.
Vikram has a background in strategy, operations and business development in the digital media sector. He is passionate about south asian culture and language and his goal is to build the most lovable south asian humor brand that makes people laugh out loud or perhaps break into an uncontrollable smile. He calls Bangalore and New York home.
PERSONAL JOURNEY: Samosapedia is as much about celebrating urban slang as it is about documenting and capturing words and concepts that are quickly vanishing. While the site is a great way to inspire young people globally to contribute entries, there is a whole community of older people who we probably never reach. The journey I want to take is an oral history project, where I travel around south asia with a small team of talented writers and documentary filmmakers to capture words, phrases and concepts that are quickly disappearing from the modern south asian landscape.
Swanand Kirkire has many strings to his bow, he is a writer, song-writer, actor, playwright and director in the Hindi film industry. Graduating from the National School of Drama in 1996 he soon moved into the world of television, and then, in 2003, progressed to film, making his debut as a lyricist & singer with Hazaaron Khwaishen Aisi.
Swanand has since won two National Film Awards for the lyrics of Lage Raho Munna Bhai in 2007 and again in 2009 for 3 Idiots.
When Swanand was in eleventh grade, students were asked to write an essay on their heroes. Whilst everybody else wrote about Mahatma Gandhi and Subhas Chandra Bose, Swanand wrote about actor Om Puri. He achieved full marks!
Globe-trotting percussion ensemble Talavya bring tabla to the center stage, distilling its age-old classical spirit and practice into a high-energy, highly accessible performance. Composed by music maestro Pandit Divyang Vakil, the quartet of Rushi Vakil, Kaumil Shah, Sahil Patel and Rahul Shrimali with accompaniment by Heena Patel moves between rousing peaks and smooth meditative passages, revealing the colours of tabla.
Shoba Murali, CEO and co-founder of The UCAN Company, helped shape the overall manufacturing, formulation, clinical trials and marketing strategy of the company. The company markets glucose sustaining consumer-based nutritional products in sports nutrition, fitness, weight management and diabetes markets.
She was also involved from start-up to IPO, as President and Co-founder of Acorn Information Services. Ms. Murali holds a M.S in Computer Sciences from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and a B.E. in Electronics from Osmania University.
An acid attack survivor herself, Shirin started the Palash Foundation to address social reintegration and livelihoods for people with disfigurement. In 1998, her husband threw acid on her after she requested divorce.
She has an MSc in Development & Human Rights and earned a distinction for her thesis, ‘Does disfigurement lead to disability due to social exclusion?’ Prior to Palash, she worked on a range of projects in the social sector.
Being burned was the best experience of my life. The many masks that I was carrying started melting one by one. The disfigurement of my face also helped in sifting out people who genuinely cared for me. Having a second lease on life, the realisation came very strong to stop complaining and enjoy what I have. I started appreciating all things made by the creator and the imperfections of life. The journey inward had begun and I am still a work in progress.
Sheena Iyengar looks deeply at choosing and has discovered many surprising things about it. For instance, her famous “jam study,” done while she was a grad student, quantified a counterintuitive truth about decisionmaking — that when we’re presented with too many choices, like 24 varieties of jam, we tend not to choose anything at all. (This and subsequent, equally ingenious experiments have provided rich material for Malcolm Gladwell and other pop chroniclers of business and the human psyche.)
Iyengar’s research has been informing business and consumer-goods marketing since the 1990s. But she and her team at the Columbia Business School throw a much broader net. Her analysis touches, for example, on the medical decisionmaking that might lead up to choosing physician-assisted suicide, on the drawbacks of providing too many choices and options in social-welfare programs, and on the cultural and geographical underpinning of choice. Her book The Art of Choosing shares her research in an accessible and charming story that draws examples from her own life.
Ruchi is the founder and CEO of Cove – a company she started with other early ex-Facebookers. Prior to starting her own company, Ruchi was the first female engineer at Facebook.
Just a few months out of school, Ruchi is credited with building one of Facebook’s key features – News Feed, a feature users rebelled against and then eventually came to love. She then led product management and strategy for Privacy, Facebook Platform and Facebook Connect.
Her current company, Cove, is a stealth Internet startup that recently raised a seed round of financing from investors like Peter Thiel, Dustin Moskovitz (co-founder of Facebook), Kraft Family (owner of Patriots) and others.
PERSONAL JOURNEY: When I was in school, I heard an impromptu speech given by one of India’s premier entrepreneurs Rahul Bajaj. He said, “I ran the race, I didn’t also run the race but I ran the race”. I’d like to embark on a simple journey. I want to run the race, I want to be an active participant. I want to build a company that creates products that impact our lives in meaningful ways.
Violinist Robert Vijay Gupta joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic in June 2007 at the age of 19.
Before joining the orchestra, Robert received a Master’s degree in Music from Yale University and a Bachelor’s degree in biology from Marist College. Parallel to his undergraduate studies in biology, he attended the Manhattan School of Music and the Juilliard School of Music, Pre-College Division. His principal teachers have included Glenn Dicterow, Ani Kavafian, and Isaac Stern.
Robert made his solo debut at the age of eleven in Tel Aviv with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Zubin Mehta. He has performed as a soloist with the New York Philharmonic, the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Bombay Symphony Orchestra among many others. He has also performed widely as a chamber musician and recitalist on an international scale since the age of eight, and frequently appears on the Philharmonic’s Chamber Music Society and Green Umbrella new music series. Robert has also performed as a guest concertmaster with the Los Angeles Opera under James Conlon and the Orquestra Comunitat de Valencia at the Palau de Les Arts in Valencia, Spain under Mehta.
Robert curates and directs a free outreach concert series for the homeless, veterans, and mentally ill on skid row in downtown Los Angeles called The Street Symphony, which brings musical activism to underserved communities throughout Southern California. The project aims to bring live musical performance to audiences without access in order to remove the stigma associated with homelessness and mental health.
Throughout his undergraduate course of study, Robert held Research Assistant positions at CUNY Hunter College in New York City, where he worked on spinal chord neuronal regeneration, and at the Harvard Institutes of Medicine Center for Neurologic Diseases, where he studied the biochemical pathology of Parkinson’s disease. He is passionate about discovering more about how music affects the brain, especially in neurological disorders. Robert is a TED Senior Fellow.
Robert recorded his debut album in July 2011 with Yarlung Records, in Walt Disney Concert Hall. The album includes solo violin works by John Harbison, Eugene Ysaÿe, and HIF Biber, as well as the premiere recordings of LA Phil principal timpanist Joseph Pereira’s Partita for Solo Violin and Gupta’s own composition upon the Indian raga “Jaunpuri”. The album was recorded on the 1716 “Milstein” Stradivarius.
PERSONAL JOURNEY: In 2008, I met Nathaniel Ayers, a homeless, paranoid schizophrenic man, that I have come to call a close friend, and certainly, amongst my most effective teachers. Nathaniel studied musical performance at the prestigious Juilliard School, where I would later attend, but he dropped out after his diagnosis with mental illness, and lived homeless in Los Angeles for 30 years. I became his violin teacher, and time after time, the music would bring him back from the very brink of a schizophrenic episode. Nathaniel showed me that music was medicine, that music was sanity.
Rob Cook was the co-architect and primary author of Pixar’s RenderMan software, which creates photo-realistic computer images. In 2001, he and two colleagues received Oscars for their contributions, the first ever given for software.
In the last 17 years, every film that has won a Visual Effects Oscar has used RenderMan. Rob has a Bachelors degree in physics from Duke University and a Masters degree in Computer Graphics from Cornell University. At Cornell, he worked on simulating realistic surfaces, taking computer-generated images beyond the distinctive plastic look they had at the time. In 1981, he joined Lucasfilm/Pixar, where he developed the first programmable shader; programmable shading is now an essential part of GPUs and game engines as well as high-end renderers. He was the first to use Monte Carlo techniques in computer graphics, which was essential for simulation of complex, realistic lights and camera effects. The latter proved particularly important in the special effects industry, because it allowed computer-generated imagery to match the motion blur and depth of field of the live-action footage with which it was combined. In 1987, he received the ACM SIGGRAPH Computer Graphics Achievement Award in recognition of these contributions, and in 2009, he received the ACM SIGGRAPH Stephen A. Coons Award for his lifetime contributions to the field. In 1999, he was inducted as a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery. He has been named to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and to the National Academy of Engineering.
I grew up in rural east Tennessee, and my family didn�t have the resources or interest to do much traveling. So it wasn�t until my twenties that I took my first trip overseas. That experience got me hooked on travel and adventure. I became enthralled with other cultures and peoples, and the excitement of traveling has stayed with me ever since.
Mr. Raghavan is the Founder Chairman of Agastya International Foundation, the world’s largest hands-on mobile science education program for economically disadvantaged children and rural teachers.
In 1998 Mr. Raghavan left a career in banking in London to create Agastya International Foundation, a transformative and innovative education charity in India. Prior to Agastya, he worked as a senior executive in financial service organizations in the US, Europe, the Caribbean and Asia .
As Chairman of Agastya, Mr. Raghavan leads a grassroots initiative to support and transform primary and secondary education in India. Operating with a fleet of 80 Mobile Labs, 36 rural science centers, 2 Lab on Bikes ( 30 in the pipeline), and a 172-acre campus Creativity Lab near Bangalore, Agastya has reached creative hands-on science education to nearly 5 million poor and disadvantaged children and 200,000 teachers and pioneered innovations including mobile science, ecology and art labs, Young Instructor Leaders (children-teaching-children) and a Creativity Lab that incorporates science labs, an interactive museum, model making, teacher training, art and ecology. Under the leadership of Mr. Raghavan, Agastya’s innovative “TechLaBike Project” was announced as one of the 4 winners of the Google Impact Challenge in India on Oct 31st 2013. Agastya received a Rs 3 crore Global Impact Award, 10 Nexus tablets and support from Google to make their project a reality.
Mr. Raghavan was a member of the Prime Minister’s National Knowledge Commission (Working Group on Attracting children to Science and Math), is a member of the board of Vigyan Prasar, New Delhi, the Karnataka State Innovation Council and executive council member of the Visvesvaraya Industrial and Technological Museum. In 2009 Mr. Raghavan was elected a Senior Fellow by Ashoka: Innovators for the public and in 2011 he was conferred the People’s Hero Award by the Confederation of Indian Industry (Southern Zone). He has written articles on education for Indian and foreign journals and spoken on creativity and leadership to audiences at prestigious forums including the Education World Forum (London), Harvard India Conference (Boston), Clinton Global Initiative (New York), Peking University, Indian Institute of Science, Indian Institute of Management Bangalore,Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, National College for School Leadership (UK), the PanIIT Conference and the IIMPACT Alumni Meet (Singapore).
Rajika Puri is an exponent of two forms of Indian dance – Bharatanatyam and Odissi – which for several years she performed internationally in solo recital (including a command performance for the President of Mexico). After playing ‘Narrator/goddess Kali’ in The Transposed Heads directed by Julie Taymor (Lincoln Center Theater, ’86), she developed a form of danced storytelling in which she accompanies her dances with songs, chants, vocalized rhythmic syllables, and a narrative in English. An evening of such stories, commissioned by the Rubin Museum of Art, was also presented off-Broadway: Devi-Malika: a garland of danced stories on the feminine divine in India (Duke on 42nd, ’08).
Familiarity with other kinds of music and dance – western classical, modern, flamenco – drew her to cross-cultural ventures. She is best known for several phases of Flamenco Natyam in which she weaves Indian dance and music, with flamenco (Works & Process at the Guggenheim, NY; Kala Ghoda Festival & NCPA, Mumbai; Habitat Centre, Delhi). The Museum of Flamenco Dance in Seville recently dedicated a week – entitled Namaste – to her lectures, workshops and performances tracing the cultural connections between Andalusia and south India. With noted singer Nora York, she also explored – through American song, and Odissi music and dance – two passionate ways of relating to deity: as lover, Krishna, and as mother, Kali (Union/Severed, Asia Society, NY, ’05).
Since 2005, her company Rajika Puri and Dancers – which includes a creative team of film/opera directors, lighting designers and musician-composers – has created thematic evening-length productions of choreographed group dances and danced stories like Conversations with Shiva: Bharatanatyam Unwrapped (Joyce SoHo, ’07) and Tapasya: Ascetic Power and Tales of the Ganges (Joyce, SoHo and on film,’09).
With a Masters degree in ‘The Anthropology of Human Movement’ from New York University (which focused on forms of communication that use the body: sign languages, martial arts, dance-theatres) she brings a cross-cultural perspective both to her theatrical productions and her writings on dance, music and theatre.
For a while Rajika was active on the western stage, and also took part in films. In New York, apart from starring in The Transposed Heads at Lincoln Center Theater, she performed in Cymbeline at the Public Theater, in Phaedra Britannica at the Classic Stage Company, and Macbeth with Theater for a New Audience. In India, she played Portia in The Merchant of Venice, and Lady Capulet in Romeo and Juliet. Her films include Mira Nair’s Mississipi Masala, Dev Benegal’s Split Wide Open, and Norman Rene’s Longtime Companion.
Deeply committed to the performing arts, Rajika and her husband both support and are actively engaged with several music, theatre, and dance institutions, and museums, in New York. She is co-curator of the Indo-American Arts Council’s Erasing Borders dance festival, and a member of the Board at the World Music Institute.
Born in Tanzania at the end of World War II when my father was fighting in Burma, I spent a peripatetic childhood. By thirteen I had been to eleven different schools – in Cairo, London, Dehra Dun, Delhi, and Kasauli – and spoke smatterings of Nepali, Arabic, and Swahili. Today, other than English and Hindi, I speak Spanish, French, and some Italian. My world changed when I was introduced to social anthropology and realized that I had, all my life, been ‘translating cultures’ as an amateur, – and that there was an art, and science to this, which I could learn.
I adore traveling and reading cultural histories of different countries I visit, even picking up a smattering of language. Apart from listening to flamenco (prefer deep song to ‘new flamenco’) and watching and listening to dance, theater, and music from all over the world, I am an opera buff. Spend far too much time, though, on the computer – updating my Facebook pages: Flamenco Natyam, Rajika Puri and Dancers, and two others I manage: World Music Institute, and NY Indian Dance – and writing emails!!
Magsaysay Awardee Prakash Amte runs Lok Biradari Prakalp to provide community services to tribal people in rural Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Chhatisgarh. The project has grown into a hospital, residential school and an orphanage for injured wild animals.
Prakash Amte is a M.B.B.S. graduate by profession but the spectrum of activities he carries out ranges from performing complex surgeries, fractures, and simple eye surgeries. He has first hand experience in hand rearing of wild-life animals from leoprads to huge bears,even the deadliest snakes have been befriended by him. He heads an rare informal court where the adivasis from far away come out of love and trust that justice will be granted. The most unusual being repairing watches and radios of the adivasis which he still continues to do.
Way back in 1970 Lt. Baba urged his sons to come for a picnic in dandakaranya forest. Prakash accompanied his visionary father Lt. Baba Amte into the dense forests of bhamragad. Moved by the extreme poverty, exploitation, illiteracy and malnuitrition Baba decided to start a project for tribal development. At that time Prakash was young and freshly graduated; seeing his aged father’s enthusiasm and dedication, he promised Baba to join him in his mission. This trip was a turning point in Prakash’s life. Shortly after, he was joined by his young and able physician wife Mandakini.
Prakashwata (Marathi Autobiography)
Tiger is one of the pioneers of the business process management industry who transformed Genpact from a unit of GE in 1997 into a leading global business process and technology management services company. Tiger began his career with the Unilever Group in India where he spent seven years in sales and marketing. He then shifted to the financial services industry and spent three years with Citibank’s Consumer Financial Services businesses, where he earned a reputation for turning around inefficient businesses. He joined GE Capital in 1994 as Head of Risk in India and went on to become CEO for GE Capital’s Global Consumer Finance and Auto Financial Services operations in India. In 2002, he was transferred within GE to the Global Commercial Lending Businesses in the U.S. as Global Head of Six Sigma and Global Operations. Tiger rejoined Genpact in 2005 and became President and CEO in June 2011.
Tiger has a degree in mechanical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai, and an MBA, majoring in Finance and Marketing, from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. By playing a key leadership role in the founding of Genpact, Tiger also spawned the business process management industry as a whole which has had an extraordinary positive impact on economic growth and workforce development in many emerging markets – opening doors to employment, training, and educational opportunities along with infrastructure and services. Genpact also indirectly contributes to the employment of an additional one million people who work in businesses that support the company and its employees.
Known for his extraordinary energy, frequent engagement with clients, and activity in social media forums, Tiger speaks at many industry and global business events including the World Economic Forum and the Wall Street Journal CEO Council. He and his wife have one son who is attending a university in the U.S.
PERSONAL JOURNEYDuring my career, I have believed in joining a company, not just taking a job. After great opportunities working in sales management for Unilever and consumer and commercial finance at Citibank, I read Jack Welch’s two books and decided that I had to work for GE. I interviewed for sales but ended up in risk management because I was so passionate about the company, and I still am. I also believe in continually taking on projects that challenge and stretch your capabilities. By doing this, you take the necessary risks that will bring you to the next level
Michael Pollack manages his family investment firm, Pollack Holdings, which has interests in a broad array of both public and private securities. He also established and now runs his private, family foundation, SCA.
SCA is active in venture philanthropy, primarily in India, where it collaborates with social entrepreneurs to scale their business models. Additionally, Michael teaches Philosophy/Ethics and Social Entrepreneurship courses as an Adjunct Professor at New York University Stern School of Business. From 2001 to 2008, Michael co-founded and was one of two general partners at Glenhill Capital, a long/short public equities investment firm. Before leaving Glenhill to form SCA and Pollack Holdings, he helped grow Glenhill into a global investment business with more than $2.5 billion under management. Michael graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1998.
Sat, Chit, Ananda. Existence, Knowledge, Bliss. These three words have become the defining philosophy of my life. I fundamentally believe that knowledge is the key to better decision making, and better decision making the key to a more fulfilled, connected, healthier life. Born the son of a social worker and teacher, I was the lucky recipient of a world class education that enabled me to achieve disproportionate financial success young in life. Three years ago I had a life changing experience, narrowly surviving 26/11. My driving aim since 26/11 is to use my good fortune to empower world-class social entrepreneurs to educate those born less fortunate.
Lisa Staprans has practiced interior design and product design for 20 years. She travels the world for inspiration and to learn and study other cultures, art, architecture and lifestyles. The book she is currently writing, The Soul of Design, features art, interior design, architecture, gardens, and other soulful spaces around the world.
Lisa earned a Bachelors degree in Fine Art from the University of California at Berkeley, and later studied at the School of Visual Arts and Parson�s School of Design, both located in New York City. Her career in design began in New York City working for large and small firms. In 1992 she and her husband founded the company, Lisa Staprans Interior Design, currently known as Staprans Design. Lisa�s clients have homes in Virginia, New York, Utah, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, and many places in California.
�I entered college intent on becoming a fine artist. By graduation I�d become captivated by the idea of using interior design to make a palpable difference in people�s everyday lives. The best part is � I get to collaborate with interesting, creative and inspiring people every day. Sometimes it�s a team of architects, contractors, artisans, craftspeople and, of course, home owners. Other times it�s a small group, just me, my project manager, and the owners. Whatever the size of the team, it�s a wonderful feeling when we unite behind a vision to create a beautiful home.�
�I also have a growing passion for finding ways to make the practice of sustainable consumption an integral part of our interior design. I find fulfillment in working with artisans and firms that have integrity and a sense of social responsibility. �Green� materials take first preference, while reclaimed lumber and antiques add a sense of warmth and history. I prefer products that are not mass-produced, but instead they are made for individual spaces by individual artists. I support the small village and family with my choices of where things are manufactured. If I use products from other countries I strive to make sure that the people creating those products are not using child labor or subjecting workers to inhumane conditions.�
Lisa frequently travels the globe, making yearly visitis to her Latvian home on the Baltic Sea, always buying treasures for projects and her small showroom in the Allied Arts Guild in Menlo Park. She travels the world for inspiration and to learn and study other cultures, art, architecture and lifestyles. The book she is currently writing, The Soul of Design, features art, interior design, architecture, gardens, and other soulful spaces around the world.
My personal journey began when I was diagnosed with cancer 7 years ago with 2 young sons at home. I had been questioning my work and how I was making a difference before I got sick. I wanted to leave a legacy for my sons so they would know why I left home each day and traveled the country and parts of the world for my work. Getting cancer helped me to realize that there is a much bigger purpose to creating and living design: we can support indigenous cultures by supporting their work through design and that we can make a difference in our communities both at home and globally if we think about the cause and effect of how we consume. This seed took root during a trip to India 5 years ago with Lakshmi (the host of this wonderful conference) and a group of extraordinary women from the Bay Area of California. Being in India helped me to see the humility in humanity and the true difference we can make in someone�s life through the choices we make and support.
Julie Taymor is an American film, opera and theater director.
Her most recent film, The Tempest, stars Helen Mirren as Prosepra (2010). Taymor’s previous film, Across The Universe, a re-imagining of 35 Beatles songs starring Evan Rachel Wood and Jim Sturgess, was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Musical/Comedy (2008). Her film, Frida (2002), starring Salma Hayek and Alfred Molina, earned six Academy Award nominations and won two. In 1999, Taymor made her feature film directorial debut with Titus, starring Anthony Hopkins and Jessica Lange. The hour-long Fool’s Fire, which she both directed and adapted from an Edgar Allan Poe short story, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and aired on PBS (1992).
Taymor is best known for her direction of The Lion King on Broadway (1997), which has presented in over a dozen countries worldwide and opens in Madrid in 2011. The Lion King garnered Taymor two Tony Awards: for best direction of a musical (making her the first woman to receive this award), and for her original costume designs, among numerous other awards. Her many other theater productions include Carlo Gozzi’s The Green Bird on Broadway (2000); an original visual music-theater work, Juan Darién: A Carnival Mass, presented at Lincoln Center (1996) which received five Tony nominations including best director, and numerous Shakespeare plays. Most recently, Taymor directed Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark on Broadway with music and lyrics by Bono and The Edge.
Taymor’s many opera directions include Mozart’s The Magic Flute, currently in the repertoire of the Metropolitan Opera in New York City; Oedipus Rex which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and won the Jury Award at the Montreal Festival of Films on Art and an Emmy; The Flying Dutchman for the Los Angeles Music Center in a co-production with the Houston Grand Opera; and Salomé for the Kirov Opera in Russia, Germany, and Israel. Most recently, Taymor directed an original opera, Grendel, based on James Gardner’s darkly comic retelling of the Beowulf tale. Composed by Elliot Goldenthal and co-commissioned by The Los Angeles Opera and New York’s Lincoln Center Festival, the opera was one of two finalists for the Pulitzer (2006).
Taymor graduated from Oberlin in 1974 Phi Beta Kappa and was presented with a Watson traveling fellowship, allowing her to travel to Japan and Indonesia (1975-79). In Indonesia, she developed a mask/dance company, Teatr Loh, which toured throughout Indonesia with two original productions, WAY OF SNOW and TIRAI (subsequently performed in the United States).
In addition to her two Tony awards, she has also received a MacArthur Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, two OBIE Awards, the first Annual Dorothy B. Chandler Award in Theater, and the Brandeis Creative Arts Award.
WORKS: An illustrated book on her career, Julie Taymor: Playing With Fire, was recently expanded and revised by Harry N. Abrams. Her book, The Lion King: Pride Rock on Broadway, is published by Hyperion. Taymor’s adapted screenplay for TITUS is published in an illustrated book by Newmarket Press. An illustrated book, Frida: Bringing Frida Kahlo’s Life and Art to Film, is available from Newmarket Press. An illustrated screenplay of Taymor’s adaptation of THE TEMPEST is also on the Abrams imprint.
Joi is a contemporary music band that mixes the sounds of rock, soul, folk and worldbeat. Their debut album, Joi – Looking out of the Window, was released December 21, 2010. Group members include Joi Barua, Pawan Rasaily, Ibson Lal Baruah, Manas Chowdhary and Partho Goswami. Their lead singer, Joi Barua, was an INK2010 Fellow and returns this year with his band to bring down the house at INK2011.
Jewelry designer John Hardy co-founded the extraordinary Green School in Bali, where kids get a holistic and green education. At the Green School, students learn in open-air classrooms surrounded by acres of gardens that they tend; they learn to build with bamboo; and meanwhile they’re being prepared for traditional British school exams. The centerpiece of the campus is the spiraling Heart of School, which may be called Asia’s largest bamboo building.
John Frame has been making sculpture in the Southern California area of the United States since the early 1980s; his work has been exhibited extensively in the US as well as in Europe, Japan, and Taiwan. From the beginning of his career, he has undertaken an in-depth exploration of the human condition. Those who review Frame’s work frequently suggest that its appeal lies in his propensity to probe the deep questions of life without arriving at easy answers. One critic captures this tension thus: �In Frame’s work the meaning eludes us while the search for meaning captivates us.�
John twice has been the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and received the New Talent Award from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. In 1995 he was awarded the J. Paul Getty Museum�s Individual Artist Fellowship. He received an Honorary Doctor of Arts degree from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle in 2009.
A survey of the artist�s work was held at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1992. In 2005 the Long Beach Museum of Art organized a retrospective exhibition, �Enigma Variations: The Sculpture of John Frame, 1980 to 2005.� In 2011 the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, in San Marino, California, mounted a major exhibition, �Three Fragments of a Lost Tale: Sculpture and Story by John Frame� The exhibition consisted of more than thirty-five pieces of sculpture, a theatrical stage, multiple sets and a short animated film using the artist�s works that had been specifically designed for that purpose. Frame also created the score for the film.
His work can be found in more than 300 public and private collections, including the permanent collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Orange County Museum of Art, the Long Beach Museum of Art, the Palm Springs Desert Museum, the Renwick Gallery of American Art at the Smithsonian Institution, and the University of Southern California. In 2011 he was invited to guest curate an exhibition of rarely seen works by William Blake at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California.
Frame has been artist in residence, visiting artist, or guest lecturer at more than 50 museums, universities, and art-related institutions around the United States. He has also taught at the University of California at Los Angeles, Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, and at the Claremont Graduate University. He lives and works in Wrightwood, California.
In the year 2000, after working for more than twenty years as a successful sculptor, I found that I had arrived at what appeared to be the end of my exploration of my chosen territory. After five years of failed attempts to find my way into the next phase of my work, I finally gave up completely and hopelessly. Almost immediately, I was awakened in the middle of the night with a vision of a vast world complete with multiple characters, scenes and a complete �Tale.� My journey since that day has been to bring that world into this.
Films: “Three Fragments of a Lost Tale” , 2011; “Happy Medium” Film, 2011
Books: Three Fragments of a Lost Tale: Sculpture and Story by John Frame, published by the University of California Press and the Huntington Press in 2011; EnigmaVariations: The Sculpture of John Frame, 1980-2005 published by the Long Beach Museum in 2005
Having completed doctorates in Ecology at Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia (2003), and in the History of Science at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts (2011), John Mathew is currently lecturing a freshman seminar on Science, History and Theatre at the latter. He hails from Kerala and remains an Indian national although he has spent significant periods in Iraq, Jordan, Libya, the United States of America, France and England. He obtained his Bachelors, Masters, and M.Phil. degrees in Zoology at the Madras Christian College, Tambaram, Madras (now Chennai). He also holds a Masters in Medical Anthropology from Harvard and has benefited from many scholarships in his educational journey, including the French Governmental Bourse Chateaubriand, the Harvard Sheldon and Krupp, and the Harvard Academy fellowships.
Blurring lines between the curricular and co-curricular, John co-founded the Scrub Society, the Madras Christian College�s environmental organisation in 1990 (still extant 21 years later) and served as the Secretary (1990-1992) of the Students� Sea Turtle Conservation Network in Madras that ran an active hatchery for olive Ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) sea turtles.
John is also an avid theatre enthusiast. His association with drama began at eight in Libya playing an angel in a Christmas pageant. He proceeded to perform regularly on stage at school and college, winning the prize for best actor, and with his co-cast and crew, best performed play at one of the largest collegiate cultural competitions in India in 1992, Oasis at BITS, Pilani, Rajasthan. In 1994, his musical on sea-turtles, Olive was performed for over 3, 500 people at the prestigious Music Academy, Madras (Chennai). In 1995, his effort, Grave Affairs won best play in the category ‘English as a second language’, for a British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) international radio-drama contest and was broadcast worldwide the following year. Grave Affairs was adapted to stage and premiered at Harvard in 2001. That same year, John co-founded SAATh (South Asian American Theatre) with Tara Deshpande (a Bollywood actress) and Sudipto Chatterjee (a drama professor then at Tufts University), the first South Asian theatre company in Boston, and served as its Artistic Director from August 2002 to August 2007. Apart from Olive and another musical, B Minor Blue, John has written five full-length plays and four short plays and co-scripted a street-play. Recently, he won the Calcutta (Kolkata) based Oxford Bookstore e-author prize for best novel (2008) in an all-India competition for his manuscript Origins and Descents.
Travelling in a traditionally hostile neighbouring land, I countenanced my most different, challenging and memorable trip anywhere. Pakistan was extraordinary. There were lathi-charges avoided at the Wagah border, receptions at Lahore airport by machine-gun wielding security guards, deflected bribery in Karachi, feudal familial fiefdoms with an army of domestic helpers, an assumed other national identity (Sri Lankan) to see Mohenjodaro of the Indus Valley Civilisation, and through it all, there was the countenancing of such unstinting hospitality, laughter in the cracks, and in the dust of little bus-by villages, the sheer pleasure of dances in the now.
Though They Be Red (New York: Playscripts Inc. 2003)
Whilst at college in Madras, 16 species of snake went through my room (actively procured from the 373 acre campus). One of them (a baby cobra) bit me once through my mother�s sent kitchen gloves, and four hours later, sans anti-venom (among the most foolhardy decisions I made) and through a cytology lab experiment, I survived, relatively unscathed, to tell the tale. Unfortunately for the cobra, it didn�t, perishing of unknown causes two days later.
Itay Talgam worked as a conductor with some of the world’s best musical ensembles and orchestras and assisted great Maestri such as Leonard Bernstein and Claudio Abbado.
As a native Israeli, he studied at the music academy of Jerusalem and Philosophy at the Hebrew University. Later he continued his studies in Italy and the United States.
Talgam’s unique approach to the understanding of music-making and conducting as a metaphor for leadership, communication and relationships, made him a desired keynote speaker in many of the most significant global conferences, including Google’s Zeitgeist, TED Global and the World Economic Forum in Davos. Besides his keynote speeches Talgam works with many organizations, universities and governmental institutes all around the world, incorporating workshop elements and live chamber music, and, in some events, conducting symphony orchestras.
MAESTRO PROGRAM The “Maestro programs” were founded on the belief that, in the orchestra as in the work place, music has the power to create community and reinforce shared values. Music embodies knowledge and innovation, individual effort and collective achievement, and offers a work-environment that is full of opportunities for excellence and self-actualization – same as in any successful business. These programs, based on continuous dialogue and active participation, offer a unique learning experience that explores relations between conductors, players and audiences to achieve inspiring new insights into leadership, management, and teamwork.
Internationally renowned conductor Itay Talgam turned to developing these programs when he observed how the elements essential in achieving excellent orchestral performances could be transformed into powerful metaphors for the corporate world.
Since 1996, the “Maestro programs” have been successfully employed across a wide spectrum of local, International and multi-national companies, including Intel, Apple, Google, Motorola, Philips, HSBC, ING, Credit Suisse, Accenture, McKinsey, KPMG, PwC, WPP, Orange, Stanford University, Cambridge University, and many Governmental organizations and NGOs all over the world.
PERSONAL JOURNEY: As a young person, I often experienced the transformational power of music, listening to my beloved Brahms or Beethoven. That made me want to conduct, to have direct access to ‘the force’. But as a conductor I often sensed a strange discrepancy between the nature my own experience and that of my players: even when we joyfully shared the interpretation, their engagement in the music was different then mine. Having to physically create the sound while infusing it with spirit, they knew the secret lies in balancing control and ‘letting go’. I am still learning today how these two faces of creative work are best combined, working with different groups of professionals, in music and in other fields, in search for ways leading to magical infusion.
The Mentor and Chairman Emeritus of one of India�s leading hospital chains, Fortis Healthcare, Harpal Singh is also the Founder Chairman of the Nanhi Chhaan Foundation, an initiative in support of the girl child and the environment. Harpal is also currently the Chairman of the Save the Children, India. He has chaired the second and third India Health Summit and delivered the prestigious �Friday Lecture� at the Royal Institute of Great Britain on Integrating Global Healthcare.
GBS Bindra, Global Director of Innovation at Logica, is responsible for driving Logica�s innovation and new business models. He has been working as an innovator for more than 20 years, leading design teams to create new products and services that leverage technology to improve business outcomes. He is also a committed community leader and a vocal advocate of children and women�s education in underprivileged societies.
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.
Composer Elliot Goldenthal creates works for orchestra, theater, opera, ballet and film. Most recently he scored Julie Taymor’s film version of The Tempest, starring Helen Mirren. In 2003, he was honored with the Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award for the score to Taymor’s film Frida. Goldenthal was nominated for his third Grammy Award for co-producing the platinum soundtrack album for Across the Universewhich featured 35 Beatles songs, he also composed the original score for the film.
In 2006, Elliot’s original two-act opera Grendel, directed by Julie Taymor, premiered at the Los Angeles Opera. The opera had its east coast debut as the centerpiece of the Lincoln Center Festival in New York, and was added to the Los Angeles Opera’s permanent repertoire. Elliot was named one of the two finalists for the 2006 Pulitzer Prize in music for his work on Grendel.
Elliot’s large-scale symphonic piece, Fire Water Paper: A Vietnam Oratorio, was commissioned by the Pacific Symphony to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War. It was released in 1996 on Sony Classical Records and featured soloist Yo-Yo Ma. Fire Water Paper debuted at the Pacific Symphony and was later performed at Carnegie Hall and at The Kennedy Center, with Seiji Ozawa conducting the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
Goldenthal was commissioned by the American Ballet Theatre to compose a three-act ballet of Othello, which debuted at the Metropolitan Opera in May 1997. Othello was co-produced by the ABT in partnership with the San Francisco Ballet and was choreographed by Lar Lubovitch. In June 2003, PBS’s series Great Performances broadcast a two-hour special of Othello, filmed with the San Francisco Ballet and Goldenthal’s original score was nominated for an Emmy Award. To date, Othello has been performed at The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, The Kennedy Center, Den Norske Opera & Ballett in Oslo and the Opéra National de Paris in Paris. In October 2009, the Joffrey Ballet showcased Othello in nine performances in Chicago.
Dibakar Banerjee is a National Film Award winning filmmaker, best known for films like Khosla ka Ghosla and Love, Sex aur Dhokha. The films went on to receive not just accolades for him but brought him in the list of new filmmakers who were bringing about a marked shift in Bollywood themes, which typically focuses on stories and characters from in and around Bombay.
Drumjam, the pioneer of interactive rhythm-based activities in India, and the record holder for the largest drum circles in the country, has introduced over 450,000 people to the joys of group drumming.
The benefits of group drumming are varied. Drumjams are a highly effective form of stress release, and bring people closer together. Barriers to communication are broken down, and interpersonal relationships improve. Participants discover their creative and musical potential. Drumjams are energizing, inspiring and fun.
DRUMJAM activities can be geared to a variety of purposes to suit specific needs, from corporate to community and children to adults.
The Drumjam team is headed by Roberto Narain, whose talent and experience as a drummer is complemented by his advanced training in drum circle facilitation and strong people skills. Trained by the founder of the World Drum Circle Movement, Arthur Hull, Roberto has facilitated programmes for many of the country’s best-known corporate houses and is one of India’s leading trained corporate drum circle facilitators.
Roberto’s musical credentials are impressive. He has been playing the drums for close to thirty years now and has performed in a variety of styles on stages across India and the world. Roberto has worked with musicians such as L. Subramaniam and his Carnatic music studies with T.A.S. Mani of the Karnataka College of Percussion have added depth and richness to his drumming. From Heavy Metal, Jazz, Fusion to Electronica, his performances on the Acoustic and Virtual Drums have given audiences a chance to experience the delights of textual drumming enhanced by eye-catching visuals.
Drumjam’s co-founder, Vasundhara Das is a singer, songwriter, composer and actress. She has starred in several films in various languages, and has worked extensively as a playback singer in Bollywood, as well as in South Indian regional language films. Vasundhara is also a qualified drum circle facilitator, having trained with Arthur Hull. She spearheads Drumjam’s community and children’s programmes.
Vasundhara Das is a dynamic stage performer, with her band. She is one of the most popular performing stars in India, and has entertained delighted audiences at a variety of events on a global scale. Vasundhara’s current focus is on music composition, and she creates original sound tracks for films as well as working on collaborative music projects.
What you see or hear is not what you get. With Drumjam, the medium is music, toned down to just drumming and the life force of all things living, your heart beat as well as your voice. The two most primitive of instruments know to mankind. To make music go beyond the traditional format and perception of musicians and non-musicians.
This is about the essence of true human expression and celebration. To believe, to do, to express, communicate, and connect with each other as well as celebrate life and living as long as the heart beats.
Claire Kremen is a Professor in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management at University of California, Berkeley, and an Associate Conservationist with the Wildlife Conservation Society. She is an ecologist and conservation biologist whose work focuses on understanding and characterizing the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem services, and utilizing this information to develop conservation and sustainable management plans, considering both protected areas and the working lands matrix around them.
Claire’s current research focuses on exploring the ecological, social and economic benefits, costs and barriers to adoption of diversified farming systems, and on restoring pollination and pest control services in intensively farmed landscapes, using both predictive modeling and field studies. Her work reaches from theory to practice and includes hands-on conservation action such as, for example, the design and establishment of one of Madagascar’s largest national parks within an integrated conservation-development framework. She was awarded a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 2007 for her contributions to ecology, agriculture and biodiversity. She is a scientific advisor for several conservation organizations and sits on the Editorial Boards of Conservation Letters and the Quarterly Review of Biology.
In high school I wanted to solve the world hunger problem. A counselor urged me to train in basic sciences.. so I studied biology, but ended up far from my original goal, studying developmental evolution. But then an epiphany! It’s futile to unravel the miracles of evolution through science, when the fabric of life itself is unraveling. I abruptly changed course, to conserving biodiversity by establishing parks in Madagascar. However – we also need to live sustainably around those parks. 20 years later I am doing what I first set out to do – looking for a sustainable solution to world hunger.
Chris Meyer’s mission is to anticipate and shape the future of business. He has pursued this goal as an entrepreneur, executive, consultant, author, and the leader of a think tank.
Chris has created new capabilities for each of the organizations he has served. He founded Monitor Networks, a Monitor Group company, and was Chief Executive from 2004 to 2009, when he became Founder of Monitor Talent. Prior to joining Monitor Group, he was the Director of the Center for Business Innovation at Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, from 1995 until its closing in December 2002. The Center fostered the conversation of leading issues among the business community, developed public conferences, established new services and businesses, and shared what it learned with business practitioners. At the CBI, he founded and served on the Board of the Bios Group, a venture that invested in applications of complexity theory to business. Earlier, he was a Vice President and Group Head at Mercer Management Consulting (Now Oliver Wyman), where from 1984 to 1995 he founded and built the firm�s practice in the information industries, comprising telecommunications, hardware, software, and information services and media. And at Data Resources, an econometrics-based consulting firm, Chris developed the product offering for financial institutions.
Chris has published three books about adaptive enterprise and network-based innovation, including the BusinessWeek Best Seller Blur: The Speed of Change in the Connected Economy, Future Wealth – the book on which Monitor Talent is based, and It�s Alive: The Coming Convergence of Information, Biology and Business. He blogs on the Harvard Business Review site, and has contributed to publications including Harvard Business Review, Sloan Management Review, Fast Company, TIME, The Wall Street Journal, and BusinessWeek. Chris’s fourth book, Standing on the Sun, will be published by Harvard Business School Press in January, 2012.
Chris holds BAs in both Mathematics and Economics from Brandeis University and a M.B.A. (with Distinction) from The Harvard Business School. In addition, he held a University Predoctoral Fellowship in Economics at the University of Pennsylvania. He attended Dalton, in New York City, and The Hotchkiss School.
He serves on the Boards of Icosystem, the Bankinter Foundation for Innovation, the Business Innovation Factory, and the New Rep Theater, and the Advisory Boards of Innocentive and LaunchCyte.
Chris lives in Boston with his wife, Mary, and has one Spanish- and Arabic-speaking musical daughter, at an undisclosed location.
PERSONAL JOURNEY: Every second year for the past 25, my father, my sister’s family, and my family have taken literal journeys, traveling together somewhere in the world for two to four weeks. This has created a kind of flip book, snapshots of the family as my niece grew up enough to bring a friend, then a boy friend, then my father died, then my daughter began bringing friends, my brother in law began aging.
The real journey has been in watching relationships change and seeing them in the context of individual growth and family evolution.
INTERESTING FACTS: I played baseball for my high school and college teams. I have a mad crush on linear algebra.
And I think the following story contains important wisdom: On my first trip to Beijing I was shown around by the son of a business colleague, a bi-cultural Chinese who had grown up in California. On our way to the Great Wall, we passed a gated community of enormous Tudor-style houses–they’d have cost $2 million. I asked him how this could be in a Communist country, and he replied: “In China, we’re very pragmatic. If it works, we call it Communism and move on.”
Arcadia, by Tom Stoppard, is one of my favorite plays. Stoppard manages to make an engrossing, entertaining drama out of an explanation of complexity theory, and includes a statement that I often affirm: “It’s the best possible time to be alive, when almost everything you thought you knew is wrong.”
I try to look for weak signals that things we believe are no longer valid and imagine what might have caused them and what could result.
I live in Boston with my wife, a consultant to NGOs. My daughter, a recent University of Chicago graduate, is looking for work with a social justice NGO in Cairo.
One of the most internationally well-known Turkish artists, Bedri Baykam was born in 1957, in Ankara. His father Dr. Suphi Baykam was a famous deputy in the Turkish parliament and his mother Mutahhar Baykam an architect-engineer. He started to paint when he was only two years old, and has had several exhibitions since the age of six in Bern, Geneva, New York, Washington, London, Rome, Munich, Stockholm, etc. during his childhood years, when he was known as a child prodigy, (wunderkind) throughout the world. Baykam also won prestigious titles as a tennis player throughout the 70s at Turkish Championships.
He studied at the Sorbonne University in Paris from 1975 to 1980 and got an MBA degree. During this time, he also studied drama in L’Actorat, Paris. He lived in California during the years 1980-1987, studied at the California College of Arts and Crafts, in Oakland between (1980-1983). He had several shows in New York, California and Europe in the 80’s. He returned to Turkey in 1987 and has been living in Istanbul since.
He has had 117 one-man-shows in various countries in addition to participating in numerous group shows. One of his most well-known books, Monkey’s Right to Paint, brings to light the rights of non-western artists and severely criticizes the one sided prejudiced attitude of the western art establishment that keeps building a one sided, all western art-history. Baykam is also the writer of a controversial bestseller The Bone, published in December 2000. A turn of the Century novel around sex, death, philosophy, technology and spying, The Bone predicted the events of September 11, ten months before it happened in full details!
Baykam is one of the pioneers of the New-Expressionism movement and of multi-media and photo-painting oriented political art as well as “4-D lenticular works that he has been exhibiting worldwide in the last five years. Since the beginning of the 80’s, he directed several 16 mm. films and has acted in several parts in feature films in Turkey as an actor. He is the author of 23 books.
Baykam has been working actively for several institutions as a political activist, taking the defense of Turkey as a secular democratic country respecting fully human rights. He has been one of the main spokesmen of the Kemalist movement in the last decades, and has been writing in the leftist-democratic daily Cumhuriyet. He is one of the central characters of the tormented Turkish intellectual and political milieu since the 80’s. Besides being a political activist struggling for democracy, human rights and peace, Baykam was a candidate for the Presidency of the Turkish social-democrat Party CHP in 2003 after being a Party Assembly Member in the 90’s.
Baykam is the founder of the production and publishing company Piramid and Piramid Art Center. Located in the heart of Istanbul, Piramid hosts several shows and daring panel discussions year round.
He married journalist Sibel (Yagci) Baykam in 1997, and they had Suphi, their son, in January 1999.
PERSONAL JOURNEY: This year at the General Assembly of world art associations in Guadalajara, as the Turkish Committee we suggested that Leonardo’s birthday became “world art day”. It was accepted unanimously. Coming back from Mexico, we celebrated that enthusiastically. A week later, I was attacked and stabbed on April 18… I almost died and the killer missed my main blood artery by two milimetera. My surgeon had miraculously befriended me a month ago at the LA Airport and he happened to save my life! He said, “This is your second birthday”. It did change the way I look at daily life and even the hours in a day.
WORKS: The Brain of Paint, 1990; Monkey’s Right to Paint, 1994; May 27 Was Our First Love, 1994; Mustafa Kemals on Duty Now, 1994; Turkey Without Concession, 1995; His Eyes Rest Always on Us, 1997; The Years of 68, The Revolutionaries, 1998; The Years of 68, The witnesses, 1999; Che the Condottiere of the Millenium, 2000; The Bone, 2000; When the army Plays Chess, 2001; Oh Wish They Made Ilhan Play, 2002; End to the Empire of Fear, 2003; The Bridge of Kemalism to the New Century, 2004; On the roud to Teheran with a European Ticket, 2007; Democratic Revolution at the CHP, 2010; No to Civil Dictatorship, 2010.
In 2007, Bhavik rowed single handed across the Atlantic, from Spain to the Caribbean island of Antigua, spending an106 days alone at sea in a 23 ft rowing boat. It was an epic 5000 km voyage which began with the battle to leave land resulting in 3 failed attempts and 2 years of preparation. It was a journey that sometimes became a living hell, stretching his mind to the breaking point as he deals with with gale force conditions, water leaks, a broken rudder, an Atlantic hurricane season, sharks, extreme isolation, sleep deprivation, muscle fatigue, a near collision with tankers, and finally a capsize.
Pushed physically, psychologically and emotionally to the limit, Bhavik survived without food rations for 2 weeks, lost the few clothes he had, hallucinated, wept, fought fear, grew a beard and nursed blisters while discovering to focus more on the beauty of the ocean and less on the hardship. Bhavik demonstrates that sometimes although a record may have been the objective, the experience gained through seeking that record becomes the reward.
Bhavik’s overwhelming positivity and ‘go for it’ attitude are contagious. Often very emotive, he shares his highs and lows, personal battles and victories, to help illustrate in a very human way that we are all capable of the extraordinary. His philosophy of ongoing personal growth will inspire his audiences to aspire, achieve and advance towards their goals both individually and collectively.
Bhavik is one of the rising sporting personalities in Endurance Sports. His other achievements in endurance include:
Cycling solo 3000 km across Europe, from Stockholm to Istanbul and a 9000 km treck across Eurasia from Helsinki to Hongkong, thru Siberia and Mongolia in the winter. He is one of the elite few athletes in the world who have ever crossed an ocean and a continent under human power and was voted amongst the ‘Top 5’ sports personalities of the Year 2007 by Outside Magazine.
�Although a record may have been the objective, the experience gained through seeking that record becomes the reward.�
Ayesha Khanna is Founder and Director of the Hybrid Reality Institute, a research and advisory think tank focused on the intersection of technology trends, data intelligence and geopolitics.
A technology and innovation strategy expert, Ayesha has over ten years of experience advising clients on scenario analysis, new product development, market entry, digital branding and customer experience. Her clients have included Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, UBS, American International Group, and Deutsche Bank. Ayesha is frequently interviewed in the media and was recently featured by the New York Times. She is a regular speaker at industry, marketing, and academic conferences related to emerging technology trends and intelligent cities.
Ayesha is the author of Straight Through Processing (Reed Elsevier, 2007), and was series editor of The Complete Technology Guides published by Reed Elsevier. She has also written for diverse publications such as BusinessWeek, TIME, Newsweek, Forbes, Strategy+Business, and Foreign Policy. She also blogs on human technology co-evolution at Big Think.
Ayesha is on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Lifeboat Foundation, a Fellow at the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies and one of the organizers of TEDxGotham. In 2010, she co-chaired the Innovation Advisory Board for the New York City congressional campaign of Reshma Saujani.
Ayesha has a BA (honors) in Economics from Harvard University, an MS in Operations Research from Columbia University and is writing her PhD in Information Systems and Innovation at the London School of Economics.
My journey started in villages in Lahore doing micro-finance and jails in Rawalpindi advocating for women’s rights. But after college, I took a sharp turn and became deeply immersed in technology and innovation strategy on Wall Street for many years. A life-long city dweller, I expanded my work from finance to entire cities, seeing the potential of how city-wide technology platforms could give citizens better government services and access to education, healthcare and information. But the path is riddled with the challenges familiar to me from my days in development economics: the need to protect civil rights, privacy, justice and equitable access. As cities become the center of all human activity in the early 21st century and countries rush to add urban intelligence to their crumbling infrastructures, one must tread surely but carefully towards technology-enabled �smart cities�.
Straight Through Processing (Reed Elsevier, 2007), and was series editor of The Complete Technology Guides published by Reed Elsevier.
Arunachalam Muruganantham of Jayaashree Industries designed, created, tested and implemented a sanitary napkin-making machine that operates on a small scale.
Contrary to a large-scale production model which requires Rs.3.5 Crores as initial investment, Jayaashree Industries sanitary napkin-making machine can be made available to a buyer for approximately Rs.65,000. This allows smaller players to adopt the business model propagated by him, and thus generates more employment and wealth in the most neglected sections of society. More specifically, an empowerment forum – such as a Self Help Group or a women’s group – can invest in a sanitary napkin-making unit to create a business that employs up to ten women. The new invention is capable of making 120 napkins per hour.
Overall, the Jayaashree Industries model helps offer livelihood, hygiene, dignity and empowerment to underprivileged women all over the world. And it does so using a sustainable business framework.
Anand Agarawala is an entrepreneur and product designer.
He created BumpTop, an innovative 3D desktop user interface powered by physics and multi-touch gestures inspired by real desks and driven by a more expressive, human vision for computing. BumpTop was Anand’s Masters thesis in Human Computer Interaction at the University of Toronto. It became a viral hit on YouTube and as Founder/CEO built a venture-backed startup company around it. Google recently acquired BumpTop and Anand is now Product Manager of Android System UI, trying to dream up the next big user interface ideas. Anand loves to help early-stage entrepreneurs and has become an advisor and investor to startups such as Qwiki, Glooko and Tagstand. He speaks on entrepreneurship and user interfaces around the world from Tokyo to TED. He was named to BusinessWeek’s Top Tech Entrepreneurs list and has been featured in various press (NY Times, Wall Street Journal, BBC, Le Monde, Forbes).
Described as the ‘Paulo Coelho of the East’ by Business World and a ‘People’s author like Jeffrey Archer’ by The Telegraph, Amish’s unique combination of crackling story-telling, religious symbolism and profound philosophies have made him an overnight publishing phenomenon.
Released in March 2010, Amish’s Shiva Trilogy (of which two books, The Immortals of Meluha and The Secret of the Nagas have been published) has over 350,000 copies in print. Amish is a graduate of IIM-Calcutta and worked for 14 years in the financial services industry before turning to full time writing.
The Immortals of Meluha; The Secret of the Nagas
Amar Sen’s devotion to the arts has brought him fame for various specializations at different stages in his life; now the world knows him for a number of things including but not limited to singing, acting, magic, graphic arts, poetry and obviously his pet art, handShadowGraphy. The field of performance knows him better for his hardcore professionalism at whatever he does.
WEBSITE: AmarSen.com; www.handshadowgraphy.com/amazing_duo.html
Alexander Asseily is founder and Executive Chairman of London startup State, a global opinion network. Alexander was founder CEO of Jawbone (Aliph) and continues to serve as Chairman.
Alexander was born to an Anglo-Russian mother and a Lebanese father. His parents relocated permanently from Beirut to London in the midst of the Lebanese civil war and Alexander completed his schooling in England before attending Stanford University in California. At Stanford, he received a BSc. in Product Design and a MSc. in Mechanical Engineering, where he focused on user-centered design & engineering.
In 1998 Alexander founded San Francisco consumer technology company Jawbone (aka Aliph) with Hosain Rahman and continues to serve as its Chairman. As Jawbone’s founding CEO, Alexander directed the development of Jawbone’s core products and built the defense business with DARPA. In 2004 he launched the first Jawbone headset to critical acclaim, followed by the industry-changing Jawbone Bluetooth headset in 2006. Today, Jawbone is the world leader in mobile lifestyle products including Jawbone Icon & Era headsets, the Jambox speaker and UP personal health solutions. Jawbone is one of the most highly valued private consumer electronics companies in the world, with approximately 100,000 points of sale globally.
In 2010 Alexander returned to London to create State with his brother Mark Asseily. State is a global opinion network founded on equitable principles; a platform for people anywhere to get counted for their opinions and connect to the world instantly through them.
Alexander advises a number of startup technology companies and charitable organizations in the US and Europe and has produced two short documentaries on forgiveness & conflict resolution in the Mideast.
He owns a bicycle and some mediocre artwork.
PERSONAL JOURNEY: I’ve spent a decade at Jawbone creating products that radically improve the experience of communications. But while the web has liberated data access, the nature of these communications has not radically changed: our cultural and political programming is still in tact because media and governments can’t accurately render the reality of our views. The discovery of shared values, of like-minded people and of humanity in our ‘enemies’ is limited by the richness of the information that is shared. A nomadic lifestyle taught me there is far more that unites communities in the world than divides them – all we need is a safe, neutral space to share and explore ideas. So I took the leap from Jawbone to create State: a way to voice your opinion on anything, large or small, and to see what the world is thinking at any moment.
WORKS: Alex has produced two short documentaries on forgiveness & conflict resolution in the Middle East. He is also executive producer of ALUNA, a feature length documentary on the respected indigenous Kogi of Colombia’s Sierra Nevada mountains, due for release in 2012.
WEBSITE: jawbone.com; http://state.it
In the early days of Disney in India, he was MD with responsibility for setting and driving The Walt Disney Company’s strategy, coordinating all business efforts in India including overseeing Disney global franchises in the market, expanding existing businesses, and creating new business opportunities.
Samat originally joined Disney in 2007 from Johnson & Johnson, where he was the Managing Director, Southern Europe, J&J Vision Care, based out of London.
Pampa is a private equity investment firm and a pioneer in agribusiness and food investing in Latin America, one of largest and most dynamic agricultural regions in the world. They serve clients worldwide.
Mr. Trujillo has more than 21 years of experience in private equity, agribusiness investing and financial markets.
To this end, his company provides innovative and sustainable solutions in the power sector that includes metering solutions, turnkey power projects that include rural electrification, and established manufacturing facilities.
Their renowned R & D Center has been recognized by the Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India.
This has enabled them to be a leading force for the development and implementation of new technology across the board.
As the Co-Owner and CEO of ByQuest, Ingrid has been a leading trend setter in brand creation and expression in packaging by continually innovating glass design and environmentally safe 100% recycled glass packaging to enhance brand value for their customers by its impactful visual identity.
Gurpreet Sandhu is a Senior Director, Client Platform & Systems (CPS), CCG. He has 23 years of industry experience in all aspects of system/product hardware design and has been leading platform & system hardware design teams at Intel for the last 15 years.
He also leads Platforms & Systems Center of Excellence (CoE) initiative that has led to collaborative development of platform, reference and product designs across various business groups.
As the Founder and CEO of Myelin Foundry, a deep tech product start-up, Dr. Gopichand Katragadda brings a wealth of experience as an innovator in developing pioneering products, collaborator of strategic technology and research, and facilitator of company growth.
Dr. Gopichand was Group CTO and Innovation Head of Tata Sons, MD of GE India Technology Centre, Independent Director at Bosch India Ltd and VP of IET, Board of Trustees, UK.
As Chief of Commercial Officer at EOS Energy Storage Balki Iyer puts his passion for renewable energy into action, affecting millions of LIVES every day.
He is a leading advocate of renewable energy and has run several organizations and promoted the use of wind and solar panels in India which has resulted in the lighting up of millions of homes across the length and breadth of India.
This Walt Disney quote best describes Atul Jalan. Atul shifts between his roles as an entrepreneur, a technologist, and a thought leader with the greatest of ease and is equally comfortable in all his avatars.
He has been fascinated by the many ways that life and technology converge and feels fortunate to have grown up in an era where science fiction is fast becoming reality.
As the MD of Patni Financial Advisors, during his leadership, the firm is in charge of managing deployment of assets across listed securities, debt instruments, real estate and other alternate assets in India, UK and the US.
As the Founder of Design Dimensions, Aparna’s Kakrania’s passion for design led her to create Design Dimensions in 1997.
Today, Design Dimensions is a full-fledged design company that provides graphic design, customized branding, logo design, website design, web development, stationery, wedding card design, interior and space design and printing and publication services in multimedia formats.
As a third generation member of the Patni family, Amit began his career in the family business.
He was involved with Patni Computers, a promoter and shareholder and former Director of PCS Technology, Co-Founder of Nirvana Ventures, Director at Campden Family Connect – a wealth management agency that is relevant for first-generation entrepreneurs as well as individuals who have inherited wealth.
As MD of AVI Global Plast Pvt. Ltd, he grew the company 50-fold from 1997 as a family run business to its current turnover of 1.5 billion with a workforce of 250 people through his excellent managerial skills and strategic mindset.
The company is a leading manufacturer of recycled rPET Packaging for packaging of consumer goods, food, fruits and vegetables, garments and Industrial goods
Vineet Agarwal started his career in 1996 and is currently the Joint Managing Director of TCI, India’s largest logistics company. He graduated from Carnegie Mellon University and the Owner President Management program from Harvard Business School. He is currently serving as a Member, Governing Council of All India ManagementAssociation (AIMA) and is a Member of the CII National Logistics Committee and CII National Retail committee. He is also serving as the Chairman, Urban Infrastructure Committee in Assocham and as the Regional (South Asia) Education chair for Young Presidents Organziation. He is involved in various social work through his family’s foundation and is an avid reader & a marathon runner.
Trishla grew up in India and attended the American Embassy School – her worlds mixed the east and the west together to enrich her worldview. She majored in English literature at Stanford and learned how to teach English to high school students at Teachers College, Columbia. She is also a self-taught artist and makes huge, textured paintings inspired by the impressionist masters Van Gogh, Klimpt and Monet. She is a spiritual enthusiast – the path of self-realization has always compelled her. Yaoga, pranayama and meditation are constant companions in her life.
Susan Wojcicki is Vice President of product management at Google responsible for the design and innovation of all of Google’s advertising and measurement platform products, including AdWords, AdSense, DoubleClick and Google Analytics. She has managed AdSense product management since inception in 2002, and has led all advertising programs on Google.com and its advertising network since 2006.
Susan joined Google in 1999 as the company’s first marketing manager and worked on the initial viral marketing programs as well as the first Google homepage doodles. She also led the initial development of several key successful consumer products, including Google Images, Google Books and Google Video.
Before joining Google, Susan worked at Intel and was a management consultant at Bain & Company and R.B. Webber & Company. She graduated with honors from Harvard University, holds a master’s in economics from the University of California at Santa Cruz, and an MBA from UCLA.
A teacher by profession, and a mentor at heart. Sunita Devadas has worked at Yokohama International School (YIS), Japan, for the past 13 years. As an English as an Additional Language (EAL) teacher at YIS, where the language of instruction is English, she considers it a privilege to have worked with students from various language backgrounds from around the world, and to have guided them in their journey of acquiring proficiency in academic English.
A valuable learning for her from this journey has been the ability to look for strengths, as a starting point in any teaching/learning situation, and to realise that mentorship is at the heart of teaching. After over two decades of living in Japan, Sunita has recently moved to Hong Kong.
After 23 years in the US, Sanjay Parthsarathy moved back to Chennai, India, with his family in 2009. He is now a very early stage startups investor in India while working on starting up a consumer Internet business. Of his 23 years in the US, 19 were at Microsoft and four at MIT. Sanjay’s last role at Microsoft was as corporate Vice President of the Startup Business Accelerator, a new division he created to focus on building startup businesses within Microsoft. He was corporate Vice President of the Developer and Platform Evangelism Group from 2000 to 2007. He built the D&PE division from 0 to over 1,500 people worldwide and grew Microsoft’s software development tools business from $500 million to $1 billion. Sanjay was the regional director of Microsoft’s South Asia Region from 1996 to 1998 and directed Bill Gates’ first ever visit to India in 1997. This hugely successful visit led to a massive expansion of Microsoft’s activities and investments in India. It also had a catalytic effect on the Indian software industry. Sanjay ran www.microsoft.com and the Internet security product unit, and started out at Microsoft on Windows multimedia and then the Interactive TV effort.
Sanjay is on the Executive Board of the MIT Sloan School for the Europe, Middle East, South Asia and Africa Region. He has a master’s degree in engineering from MIT, a master’s degree in management from the MIT Sloan School of Management, and a Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Anna University in Chennai, India.
Sanjay captained the Anna University cricket team in 1985 and have represented Tamil Nadu state and the South Zone in under-19 cricket (1982) and under-15 cricket (1980). He has also represented Tamil Nadu in under-22 cricket. He was the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) junior school cricketer of the year in 1980 and a recipient of the S.W. de Allwis Trophy (L. Sivaramakrishnan won this in 1979 and 1981). Sanjay has played for the Madras Cricket Club and Young Men’s Association in TNCA first division cricket. Sanjay loves photography and carries a camera where ever he goes.
Radha Kantipudi is the chief trustee and CEO of the The Taara Collective a non-profit Social Enterprise that identifies and enables entrepreneurship and employment opportunities for women and girls in developing nations by offering skills development and incubation support to gain economic independence. She also serves on the board of 2 educational institutions in rural Andhra Pradesh in india. These institutions offer undegraduate programs in science, business management, liberal arts and engineering (EE, CSE, IT, Civil, Automobile). She was the key promoter in setting up an institute for paramedical sciences offering diploma courses in nurses and medical diagnostics to economically backward women.
Prior to this Radha worked for over 14 years at INTEL in the US, Asia Pacific Region(including China), Japan and India covering various business functions in strategic planning, business development, deal making, program management and operational management. As Director of Business Development for Intel’s New Business Initiatives she was responsible for identifying, structuring deals and raising capital for new ventures in the areas of High Frequency Retail and Online Advertising, Rural Data Services (Affordable WiFi to rural areas to enable businesses) and Consumer Infotainment/Kiosk Based Content Distribution. In her role as Business Development Manager for Intel’s Digital Home Group she developed the business strategy, gives/gets, contract negotiation/support and relationships for enabling Fellow Travelers on Viiv platforms with broadcast companies (DIRECTV), Content Companies, Gaming Solution Providers,technology providers for content management and Carrier Companies. Prior to that Radha was the Head of the Customer Business Solutions for the APAC/Japan and her team was responsible for re-engineering and implementing solutions related to Order Fulfillment, Demand Creation, Logistics, Finance and DistributioniSupply Line in Asia for Intel products delivering over $100M in business value. She influenced the industry to implement various eCommerce standards and developed the strategy and vision for the Channel and Marketing areas in support of the channel growth goals of the Sales and Marketing Group with no increase in supply chain and distribution costs.
Radha has a masters degree from Arizona State University in Finance/Accounting and Information Systems and a commerce degree from Osmania University.
Pramod established Genpact (formerly GE Capital International Services) in 1997. Under his leadership, Genpact pioneered the Business Process Outsourcing industry in India. Genpact has also been the pioneer in this industry in China and Eastern Europe. Today, it is acknowledged as a leader in the globalization of services and technology and manages business processes for companies around the world. Genpact serves its customers from over 35 operations centers in 13 countries, with over 42,500 employees across a wide range of business processes, technologies and industries. Genpact is now a publicly traded company listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ‘G’.
Pramod was earlier an Officer of General Electric (GE). His career with GE and RCA spanned 25 years across the US, Europe and Asia. He was most recently the head of GE Capital in India and in Asia, having earlier worked with GE Capital’s Corporate and Finance Group in Stamford, Connecticut, USA.
Pramod is a Chartered Accountant from Thomson McLintock & Co., London, and holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Delhi University. He was the past Chairman of India’s National Association of Software & Services Companies (NASSCOM), and is also a member of the Board of Trustees of NASSCOM Foundation. Pramod is the current Chairman of the CII Services Council. He serves on the boards of NDTV and SKS Microfinance. He is also Chairman of the Junior Achievement India Founders Board, and is on the governing boards of several educational institutions, including IIM Lucknow, Lady Shri Ram College, and Shri Ram School.
Nikhil Kumar is the founder and chief executive of TD Power Systems (TDPS), manufacturers of large electric generators for turbine driven power plants. TDPS currently has an 80% Indian market share and exports to 35 countries worldwide. TDPS supplies hydro-electric, solar thermal, bio mass or coal fired power plants, and also builds thermal power plants on an EPC basis up to a size of 150 MW.
Nikhil enjoys a competitive game of badminton; in his teens he was in the Asian Games squad for India as well as State Champion of Karnataka. He loves outdoor sports – scuba diving, trekking, skiing are his favorites. Another hobby is to import and sell gourmet beer from all over the world in Bangalore. Beer brewed by Trappist monks from Belgium, or from small artisanal microbreweries in America and the Netherlands – Bangalore now has a choice of the finest brews.
His wife, Lavanya Sankaran, is an accomplished literary fiction writer. They have one daughter, Aarya, and live in Bangalore.
K Nanda Kumar is the Founder President and CEO of SunTec Business Solutions, the Revenue Management and Business Assurance company, trusted by professionals across the globe, with a suite of innovative products that empowers Financial Services Firms and Communication Service Providers to create real time personalized offerings through datadriven decision making, ensuring a proactively managed customer experience. He has been active in the software realm for over 26 years as a technology evangelist for customer-centric software platforms and solutions, specifically for transaction-intensive verticals.
Relationship-based Pricing, a concept pioneered by him, has been endorsed by leading industry analysts and thought leaders as a principal enabler for balanced pricing dynamics in the agile world. Under his leadership, SunTec has grown to a 600+ employee company, with its geographical footprint spanning across four continents. He has also led SunTec to win several prestigious global awards, including the Red Herring Global 100, Deloitte Technology Fast India – 50 and Deloitte Technology Fast Asia-Pacific – 500, and to secure its position among the top contenders in the Operational Excellence category at Billing & OSS World.
He holds Master’s degrees in Management and Physics.
Gopal Srinivasan is the Chairman & MD of TVS Capital Funds Limited, that has launched an India focused growth private equity fund. The vision is to develop and nurture India’s mid-cap businesses into world class companies.
Gopal, a member of the TVS family, is the founder and Chairman of TVS Electronics Limited, Director in Sundaram-Clayton Ltd., TVS & Sons Ltd. Sundaram Industries Ltd. and several other TVS Group businesses. Gopal was the Chairman of the CII Tamil Nadu State Council for the fiscal year ‘07-‘08. He chaired the ‘India@75’ Mission (www.indiaat75.in) and is currently chairing CII National Committee for Private Equity & Venture Capital. He has also served as the President of Manufacturers’ Association for Info. Technology (MAIT).
Gopal earned a B.Com degree from Loyola College, Chennai, and an MBA from University of Michigan, USA. A passionate entrepreneur, he is also actively involved in the promotion of entrepreneurship as an angel investor as well as through organizations, including TiE (The Indus Entrepreneurs), Great Lakes Institute of Management.
Gautam Godhwani has over 20 years of experience in the technology industry. He was most recently Co-Founder & CEO of Simply Hired, a job search engine, which has raised $22M in funding and receives 30 million monthly unique visitors. Previously, he was Co-Founder & CEO of AtWeb, a web site tools company, which was acquired by Netscape/AOL. He also co-founded India Community Center, the largest Indian community organization in the U.S. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Simply Hired, Intuary (‘Netflix for children’s stories’ on the iPad) and Habitera (a health and wellness company). Gautam has previously held positions at Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Microsoft.
Prior to North Bridge, Cali was the Co-founder and Vice President of Corporate Development at Agilix Labs, an award winning venture-backed mobile learning company providing solutions to firms such as Blackboard [NASDAQ: BBBB] and FranklinCovey [NYSE:FC]. “Entrepreneurship is a path to empowerment, the ability to create something meaningful out of nothing,” says Cali. “I’ve witnessed what it can do for people, their families and community.” Born in a Vietnamese refugee camp – Camp Pendleton, CA – Cali grew up the youngest of six children and spent much of his youth in the family-owned restaurant: “Whether a small family business or a Fortune 100 market leader, all businesses started with a dedicated entrepreneur and a courageous idea.” Cali likes to help entrepreneurs in the seed or Series A stages but will sometimes get involved in more mature companies. Before Agilix, Cali was at Ancestry.com [NASDAQ: ACOM], a subscription-based genealogy company, where he helped lead the firm’s early corporate development efforts and raised the first three rounds of capital. Cali started his career in investment banking at Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse First Boston. Cali received his MBA from Harvard Business School. He is also a graduate of Bowdoin College (cum laude) where he serves as a Fund Director and Class Agent. He recently completed a term on the Alumni Council. He is also on the Board of OneVietnamNetwork, a non-profit organization focused on bridging the digital divide between the diaspora of Vietnamese communities worldwide.
A graduate of the Wharton Business School, University of Pennsylvania, Anushka Singh double majored in real estate and management with an interest in the retail program. She currently works with DLF Limited in luxury residential real estate. Anushka has a keen interest in wildlife, psychology and photography.
Anuradha Gunupati has been the Founder Trustee of Dr. Reddy’s Foundation since 1996 along with Dr. K.Anji Reddy, Founder-Chairman of Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd. She assumed responsibility for the activities of the Foundation as Managing Trustee from July 2005. She is currently providing leadership for the various initiatives at the Foundation. The focus of the Foundation is in creating sustainable livelihoods for under privileged youth and education for underserved areas. Till date over 200,000 youth have been trained and placed in jobs. Over 10,000 students study in the various schools established and run by the Foundation at various locations in and around Hyderabad.
She also established Saptaparni, an organization dedicated to promoting Indian performing arts, culture and heritage.
Anuradha is a Trustee of Jiddu Krishnamurti Trust and has played a key role in establishing its centres and activities in Hyderabad. She is also an active volunteer for Society for Promotion of Indian Classical Music and Culture Amongst Youth (SPICMACAY), Hyderabad Chapter, in promoting the arts amongst the schools and colleges at Hyderabad.
Anil Godhwani, a serial entrepreneur and investor with 25 years of experience in technology and telecommunications industries. He is the co-founder of several companies, inlcuding Simply Hired, Habitera and AtWeb, which was sold to Netscape/AOL. He also co-founded India Community Center, the largest Indian community organization in the U.S. serving the community with 500+ programs and events annually. Anil has been an active angel investor, with investments in 50+ startups. Previously, he worked at AT&T and Sprint. During his free time, his passions include playing table tennis, urban farming and gardening and living a healthy lifestyle.
Anil is currently a general partner of Green Era Cpaital. Green Era Capital invests in public and private markets in the United States and India.
Read more here – http://www.greeneracapital.com/about.html
I am a search geek. – Amit Singhal is a Google Fellow. According to the New York Times, Amit is the master of what Google calls its “ranking algorithm” — the formulas that decide which Web pages best answer each user’s question. Amit got his Bachelors degree in Computer Science from IIT Roorkee in 1989. Amit holds a MS in Computer Science from University of Minnesota, Duluth, and a PhD in Computer Science from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. Amit runs a team in Google’s Search Quality group. He and his team are responsible for the Google search algorithms.
Prior to joining the Aditya Birla Group, Ajay was Chief Executive, Fund Management, Prudential Corporation Asia, based in Hong Kong. Under Ajay’s leadership, Prudential’s fund management operations grew rapidly, both organically and through acquisition. Ajay oversaw a business that spanned ten markets, including Japan, with total funds under management of about USD 70 billion, which made it at the time the second largest retail fund manager in Asia. As a member of Prudential Corporation Asia’s Board of Directors, Ajay also oversaw the development of Prudential’s retirement business in Asia.
Ajay joined Prudential in 1998 as Managing Director of Prudential ICICI Asset Management Company, Prudential’s Indian fund management joint venture with ICICI Bank. Within two years of operation, Prudential ICICI AMC had grown to become the largest private sector asset management company in India.
Prior to joining Prudential, Ajay was the deputy Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer of the Indian operations of Threadneedle Asset Management.
With a proven track record for building successful businesses, his experience in the financial services industry spans over two and a half decades.
Ajay has been engaged with several bodies, including the Financial Planning Standards Board, the CII Committee on Financial Sector Reforms, the CII Committee on Financial Inclusion, the CII Committee on Insurance and Pensions, and the FICCI Committee on Insurance. He is also a member of the Advisory Board of the City of London and a Director on PRIDE, an NGO.
Ajay holds a BA with Honours in Economics from St. Stephens College, University of Delhi, and an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.
Neil Mehta’s got your back when comes to business and investing. Neil is the co-chairman of Greenoaks Global Holdings Ltd. and the founder of Greenoaks Capital. Prior to Greenoaks Capital, Neil was responsible for real estate and special situations investments in India, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia for Orient Property Group. Neil has previously invested in private businesses at Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors in Los Angeles.
Neil serves as a board member to Greenoaks Global Holdings Ltd, Coupang, Sol Republic, Lolli & Pops, and other Greenoaks portfolio companies. He serves on the Harvard Business School Alumni Advisory Board. Neil holds a BSc in Government and Economics from The London School of Economics
Anu Aga is on the Board of Thermax Limited, the leading Indian player in energy and environment management. She retired as Chairperson of the company in October, 2004. The Government of India conferred her with the Padma Shri Award for her distinguished service in the field of social work in 2010.
Aga has been very active in various national and local associations like Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) and had served as the Chairperson of CII’s Western Region. She has written extensively and given talks on the subjects of corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, role of women and education.
Aga is the Chairperson of the Thermax Social Initiative Foundation (TSIF) which runs the CSR activities of Thermax. Along with Akanksha, TSIF has signed a MOU to support three municipal schools in Pune. She is also closely associated with the Teach for India Initiative which attempts bridging the inequity gap in education. She is keenly involved in the causes of communal harmony and human rights, especially women and children.
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”.
Ravi Mantha is one of India’s more prolific Angel Investors, with investments in several startups that he also actively helps with capital raising and business strategy. Ravi also has a very high-end and niche wellness advisory practice based in London and Mumbai. He is highly recommended as one of India’s leading nutritional and wellness experts, and is author of two best-selling books on these topics.
Raju is the Founder and CEO of Sierra Atlantic, a company that grew to be a best-in-class global services company over a period of 17 years. Under his leadership, Sierra Atlantic grew from a startup to over 2400 employees with operations in several countries and was consistently ranked amongst the best managed companies including the top 75 most admired companies in Silicon Valley, Top 25 great places to work in India and Top 10 best employers in South China.
Sierra Atlantic was acquired by Hitachi Consulting in December 2010 and it is the largest ever acquisition by Hitachi Consulting to date. Prior to founding Sierra Atlantic in 1993, Raju spent 10 years at Intel in software development, marketing, and general management. Raju currently serves on the board of Hitachi Consulting and GharPay, a fast growing consumer internet company based in India.
Raju is active in not-for-profit initiatives and is currently Chairman of BITSAA Intl, the alumni body of BITS Pilani, India’s #1 private university. He enjoys working with young entrepreneurs in a mentorship role and was instrumental in starting the TiE Chapter in Hyderabad. Raju also serves on the Board of India community center in Milpitas, CA. He previously served as a member of the Board of Trustees for Puente, a Wharton School non-profit program which helped under privileged communities worldwide gain access to technology. He also co-founded SIPA (Silicon Valley Indian Professional Association) in 1987.
Raju holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical and electronics engineering from BITS Pilani and a Master of Science degree in computer science from Virginia Tech.
After investing in about 75 technology companies as a venture capitalist, Asha is currently a top Silicon Valley angel investor, social entrepreneur, global philanthropist, speaker, a mentor to Stanford entrepreneurs, and mom to her two daughters. She lives in Palo Alto and New York.
Her current mission is to free up learners of all ages to pursue learning that is relevant to their local contexts, their personal hopes, dreams and relationships. She is creating a vibrant network of “Makers” in India and CA through Fablabs and Maker Faire. Both enable students of all ages to transform their ideas and imagination into products using a simple combination of software and digital fabrication tool. Asha and her partners in India are also launching 6 School in the Cloud pilots with help from Prof Sugata Mitra and his team.
Raghava KK is a renowned Indian artist and a tech entrepreneur, named by CNN as one of 10 most remarkable people in 2010.
He was inducted into the National Geographic Society as an Emerging Explorer for bringing together science, art, and technology in the field of exploration in 2013 and he recently wrote the foreword for Mass General Hospital’s textbook on psychiatry, in which he discusses the importance of cultural sensitivity, perspectives, and empathy in psychiatry
A four time TED speaker, his iPad art book Pop-it, launched at TED, shakes up the concept of the ideal family and presents children with multiple perspectives at the earliest stage. The book won several awards, including a Best of 2011 award from Kirkus.
Currently, he is the CEO and co-founder of Flipsicle, a tech startup out of New York and Sweden, which brings together creativity, technology, and empathy.
UNTOLD STORY: As a school kid, Raghava used to perform magic shows at children’s birthday parties to earn pocket money.
Scott Cook’s was born and raised in an LA suburb after his parents emigrated from Wisconsin. Scott was ‘nerdy’ as a kid and even programmed his school district’s one computer. Scott attended USC and later went to Harvard Business School.
Scott Cook started his career at Procter & Gamble, where he learned about product development, market research and marketing. With personal computers just coming out at the time, Scott thought there might be a market for basic software that would help people pay their bills. He launched Intuit in 1983, which today offers software and online products to help individuals and small companies manage their finances. Scott, a founder of Intuit and current Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Board, has served as Director, Chairman of the Board, and President and CEO at Intuit. He also serves on the boards of directors of eBay Inc., and The Procter & Gamble Company.
He holds a BA in Economics and Mathematics from USC and a MBA from Harvard Business School, where he serves on the dean’s advisory board. He currently serves on the boards of P&G, eBay, Intuit, and HBS. Cook funds social entrepreneurs who catalyze global leaps in education and medical research.
In 2002, Scott and his wife Signe Ostby, established the Center for Brand and Product Management at the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Business; it’s the US’s first university-based center focused exclusively on training MBAs in brand and product management. In 2005, Scott was #320 on the Forbes 400, with a net worth of $1.1 billion.
“All that matters is systematically amping up human contribution.”
Vani Kola is a Managing Director at Kalaari Capital, based in Bangalore, India. Her leadership at Kalaari centers around her commitment to the development of entrepreneurs and her conviction that Indian companies are poised to become global players. Vani brings 22 years of Silicon Valley experience as a founder of successful companies to her role as a mentor and enabler of startup companies in India. She serves on several company boards and speaks widely on entrepreneurship and leadership
Jose Thomas (J.T) is a 2nd generation entrepreneur with over 44 years of extensive experience in the world of business. He owns and is the Managing Director of the Choice Group of Companies and serves as the President of the Choice Foundation. His businesses include ventures into fields of frozen food and seafood, farming, shipping, construction and IT. The Choice Foundation, a non-profit initiative of the Choice group, includes the running of a school (The Choice School) & a center for performing arts (JTPAC). The Choice Group has a total global turnover of $250,000,000 USD.
More about Jose Thomas’ thoughts, ideologies and outlook can be found in his blog, www.josethomas.in
Vidya Shah is the CEO of EdelGive Foundation, which is the philanthropy arm of the Edelweiss group. Former Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for the Edelweiss Group, she is now part of the board for various prominent organisations like Agastya International Foundation, Asian Venture Philanthropy Network, Common Purpose, Women on Wings, Toolbox India Foundation and Masoom in addition to Edelweiss. In each of these organisations, her role enables her to contribute strategically which helps them build a stronger presence by implementing useful plans in an efficient manner.
She attained an MBA degree from IIM, Ahmadabad and spent the first 11 years of her career in the field of investment banking with companies like ICICI, Peregrine and NM Rothschild wherein, her role was to advise the corporate in Capital Raising and M&A transactions. Later, she worked in the capacity of a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for the Edelweiss Group while also heading the Human Resources and Administration functions for the firm.
Apart from being an active member of the CSR and business fraternity, Vidya is a connoisseur of art and spearheads Edelweiss’s art event called Palette. Her love for the field of art is not limited to collecting artefacts and paintings, it extends to appreciate music and the same is visible in the efforts she is putting into learning this skill.
After having gained a diverse experience, she set up the EdelGive Foundation and has been its CEO since its inception. Under her leadership, over the last seven years, EdelGive has become a catalyst of change, dedicated to collaborative philanthropy in the fields of education, livelihoods and women empowerment.
The Muthoot Pappachan Group (MPG) is one of the leading family promoted corporate houses in South India with a total business turnover of Rs. 20,000 crores and a loyal business base of over one million. The multifarious economic activities of the MPG include Retail Banking & Financial Services, Power Generation, Hospitality, Real Estate and Health Care. Thomas John Muthoot was awarded the “Business Man of the Year” title by the Chamber of Commerce in 2009
While most kids were grappling with the realities of growing up, Vishal took a head start and started his first company – FACT, soon after finishing school at the ripe young age of 16.
In 1999, he founded Indiagames, then a five member team and today a global operation with over 300 employees and offices in Mumbai, Beijing, London and Los Angeles making Indiagames one of the leading mobile game companies globally. He is recognized as being instrumental in starting and growing the Gaming Industry in India. He sold Indiagames to Disney and headed the Digital business for Walt Disney in India before starting his new venture GOQii Inc. that integrates wearable technology with personalized coaching.
Gurpreet ‘Sunny’ Singh is a serial entrepreneur devoted to healthcare accessibility and wellbeing. In 1996 he founded Edifecs, an industry leader delivering innovative, integrated solutions for the healthcare ecosystem. It is now one of the fastest-growing health-care technology companies in the United States. He established SabTera, a philanthropic foundation that works with under-resourced communities to provide wholistic schooling for children and sustainable employment for women.
In 2014 Sunny founded RoundGlass, a socially-conscious global organization, to spur innovation in digital health and wellness. The company mentors disruptive entrepreneurs and facilitates collaboration to create a vibrant ecosystem of innovation in the healthcare field.
Sunny is an avid golfer and photographer. He enjoys travelling to new places and learning about different cultures.
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).
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.
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.
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.