An eager team of six Year 12 students; Rhea Bhatia, Hemani Kalucha, Mallika Sarupria, Anandita Arneja, Rhea Patil and Karan Dharia came together in June 2014 with the common passion of TED and the common goal to plan and host a fabulous TEDx event with inspiring, innovative and creative speakers having orignal ideas, inventions and perspectives to share with our community. With just that seemingly small idea, the students were able to achieve, from scratch, and then host TEDxYouth@DAIS, the school’s second annual TEDx Event. Eight other students, from Year 10, 11 and 12, were then brought in to help out on the day of the event as the brilliant hosts, photographers or backstage help.
At the Dhirubhai Ambani International School (DAIS), we extend our learning experience outside the classroom, to places like the world of TED Talks. Over the last few years, we have increasingly used TED Talks to enrich ourselves, resulting in our growing passion for it. Bringing TEDx to our school is our way of giving back to the TED community, and hopefully build a strong TED culture in our school.
The event was held on the 21st of September, 2014 and showcased 6 live speakers, along with 2 pre-recorded TED talks. These 8 talks covered a wide range of topics including; business, imagination, community service and types of learning.
The entire event was planned by the core team of 6 students who worked effortlessly, day and night, while seamlessly managing their academic and personal lives along with the immense stress and work that the event brought onto them. They were in charge of not only the brilliant talks that were showcased on the day, but also the small details that needed attention during the planning of the event. From permissions and stage decor to the placement of the tables and guests, the core team handled it all.
The event started off with a young entrepreneur who happens to be one of our very own DAIS alumni; Harshil Karia, the co-founder of FoxyMoron. Harshil showed us the importance and influential role of brands today and what they can do to make a difference in society. The audience was 100% on his side and was completely engrossed in his new and enlightening take on the matter. He truly inspired us all; especially the future entrepreneurs out there.
Next we had Mr. Ramaprasad Raghavan, chairperson of the NGO Agastya, who spoke about sparking curiosity and nurturing creativity through hands-on learning and innovation. He taught us that innovation comes from creativity and most importantly from within. He had us all hooked with his wit and charm and had members of the audience keen to speak to him during the break.
Up next we had our first pre-recorded TED talk by Susan Cain, a well-known speaker, attorney and writer. Her talk, titled the Power of Introverts centered on what introverts are really like and how much they really benefit society. The gripping talk showed us all in the audience that we, or the people around us, may have introvert-like qualities and that is completely okay!
Before we broke for lunch, we had the regional director from Child Rights and You (CRY), an Indian NGO. Kreeanne Rabadi spoke to us about change in society – a change that can and should take place with the help of the current creative, young generation. She especially caught held our attention with her powerful and inspiring anecdotes from people from all walks of life that she has encountered throughout her journey at CRY.
We then broke for lunch that included not only delicious, red-velvet cupcakes with ‘TEDx’ inscribed on them, but also members of the audience engaging in conversation with the speakers.
Once everyone was resettled in the auditorium for the second half of the event, we started off with our very own student speaker, 16 year old Gauraang Biyani. He spoke about the loss of one’s imagination and how it can be regained so simply. He taught us that there are always unique perspectives and that imagination can be found and is useful everywhere, regardless of the sphere of life; truly thought-provoking.
Next up was the long anticipated speaker: Mr. Nick Pillow, DAIS’s English Literature and Performance as well as Drama teacher. He spoke about kinesthetic learning and its usage of it in a variety of subjects. He used hilarious anecdotes and stories in order to put across his point, making him a very entertaining speaker.
We then had our second pre-recorded talk, Jim Holt’s ‘Why does the Universe Exist.’ The essayist and philosopher made us truly introspect and question science and things around it as we delved deeper into the engaging matter of origins of the universe.
We concluded the event with founder of Humans of Bombay, Karishma Mehta. She shed light on several, inspiring, touching and personal stories and anecdotes that had not been given this sort of platform before. She showed us how the role and power of a social media platform can transform the city we live in.
We then called it a wrap and are proud to say that the event went off without a hitch and received great praise regarding the execution and the brilliant and inspiring speakers that graced our stage at DAIS.
After all the months of work, all the hours and hours of rehearsals, planning, coordination, meetings, fights, excel spreadsheets, staying back in school, Starbucks runs and so much more, we did it. We had amazing time planning it and hope you had an amazing time attending and left feeling inspired!
The event served as a unique platform to reach out to our community and share original ideas most certainly worth spreading. The event was a huge success and we hope to keep the TEDx tradition alive in our school for years to come.
By Rhea Bhatia
(If you missed out on the event, you will be able to see photographs and the actual TEDxYouth@DAIS talks that will be shared very soon! Keep yourself updated by following and liking our social media sites: