Global to Local: The Think Tank brings TedX to Manipal University5 min read

January 30, 2017 4 min read


Global to Local: The Think Tank brings TedX to Manipal University5 min read

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Manipal: TEDx Manipal University was organized by The Think Tank, a student-run club of Manipal Institute of Technology (MIT), on January 29 at the MIT Library Auditorium with the theme E.D.G.E: Explore, Discover, Grow, and Engage.

The lineup of speakers included students of Manipal University and renowned professionals from various fields, speaking in three sessions. Dhruv Suri, Event Head, said, “We applied for the license in my name last year. It usually takes two to four months for TEDx to revert back but we got a reply in two days. After we got the license, it took us time to contact the speakers, find sponsors and get permissions from the university. But majority of the work happens few weeks preceding the event.”

Speakers (from left – Geeve George, Tushar Lall, Sanah Rizvi, Padmanabh Pandit, Ganesh Nayak, Dwiref Oza, Sabyasachi Sengupta and Lolit Sahu at Tedx Manipal University pose on stage || Photograph Courtesy: Shitiz Goel


On Success, Failure, Networking and Self-Expression

The first session began with Sanah Razvi, a graduate of the University of Massachusetts, who spoke about how there is no fixed formula to become successful. Talking about the three clichés of success (talent, doing it alone and getting one shot), she said that talent is a combination of patience and grit which can never be done in the first attempt or without any support from those around us.

Sanah Razvi speaking at TedX Manipal University || Photograph Courtesy: Shitiz Goel


The next speaker Dr. Valiathan, a renowned cardiac surgeon in India, spoke about his experience creating the TTK Chitra Valve which was the first ever artificial valve in India. Sabyasachi Sengupta, an investment banker and economist, meanwhile moved from Kolkata to The Netherlands in 2008 during the economic crisis where he attended several career fairs and devised the three golden rules of networking.

To end the first session of the event, MIT’s Dwiref Oza addressed the gathering on how creative expression lead him to self-discovery. He explained that art is a form of self-expression through which humanity is trying to understand itself and the world around it.

Tushar Lall graces Manipal University

Founder of the Indian Jam project, Tushar Lall was the first speaker in the second session of the event. The 22 year old Mumbai based singer and composer, who shot to fame for his Indian interpretation of western music, stressed on recognising and saving the artist inside us irrespective of what we are studying or where we are working. He emphasised on the need to find a balance between imagination and technique so that the soul of the art is not compromised.

The sixth speaker Avani Awasthee, a student of School of Communication, Manipal and an environmental crusader, started the ‘Cycle to Recycle’ initiative to clean up the city of Pune using bicycles. She steered the conversation to climate change and urged the audience to take the initiative by using solar panels, adopting rainwater harvesting and segregating wastes.

Environment crusader Avani Avasthee speaking at TedX Manipal University || Photograph Courtesy: Shitiz Goel


16 year old prodigy Geeve George closed out the second session of the event. A student of Little Rock Indian School, Geeve is a programmer and techie who has worked with MIT Media Lab, Boston to develop new technologies. He talks about the power of solving problems at home which resulted in him creating a wearble digital microscope called MagniWear. An advocate of open-sourcing, Geeve announces that MagniWear will be open sourced to make it accessible and modifiable all across the globe.

On Education

The final session of the event began with MIT student Padmanabh Pandit taking the stage. A passionate poet, filmmaker, photographer and designer, he talked about the inter-dependency of arts and science while also discussing the stigma attached to choosing humanities. He underlined the need for a more inclusive and holistic education system offering major and minor subjects to students, similar to foreign universities.

The penultimate speaker Ganesh Nayak, a faculty member of MIT, narrated his inspiring story of how he quit smoking and improved his health by cycling to work and in an around the Udupi region. However, he did not stop there and took to long-distance cycling, travelling through the Himalayas on his trusted cycle.

The smoker who quit and the cyclist who didn’t, Ganesh Nayak at Tedx Manipal University || Photograph Credits: Shitiz Goel


The final speaker Lolit Sahu, founder of Phyzok Learning solutions discussed how everything is customized today from groceries, to marriage proposals and break ups, so why not education? He believes that “flipping” the education system in India by personalizing education produces better results. He offered this to 300 underprivileged girls in India through the project ‘Udaan’ in 2013, 143 of whom were able to clear IIT JEE in 2015.

TEDx is an international community that organizes TED-style events locally. Due to the rules, not more than 100 delegates were allowed to attend the event because it was independently organized. Students from various constituent units of Manipal University attended the event. Speaking about their first experience at a TEDx event, Shaleen Tripathi and Srishty Pundir of Manipal College of Dental Sciences, Mangalore, said, “TEDx events give you a lot of exposure. There were many elements we enjoyed in each talk but if he had to pick one, it would be Ganesh Sir.”

This was the second time a TEDx event was organized in Manipal. The Think Tank plans to continue hosting TEDx events in the future.

Featured Photograph: Tushar Lall of the Indian Jam Project at TedX Manipal University || Photograph Credits: Shitiz Goel

The Manipal Journal will be uploading an album of pictures from the event on Facebook. Stay tuned.