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In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED has created a program called TEDx. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. Our event is called TEDxYouth@DAIS, where x = independently organized TED event.

TEDxYouth@DAIS epitomizes this simple truism. What started off as a simple classroom discussion seven months ago materialized into an awe-inspiring event, here at the Dhirubhai Ambani International School on Sunday, the 4th of August 2013. Living up to the TED motto, “Ideas Worth Spreading”, we saw speakers across genres and age boundaries, from a 16-year old roboticist to a 68-year old mountaineer. Months of preparation ultimately resulted to this day, where we celebrated inspiring people and their ideas

The show kick-started with our first speaker, Farrhad Acidwalla explaining to us the importance of identifying our skill sets and meeting people who complement these skill sets. Having pioneered Rockstah Media, his first company at the tender age of 15, Farrhad immediately struck a chord with the young audience, reinforcing the fact that age and money have little to do with success. He was followed by our very own home grown economist, Mr. Yassir Choonawala, lovingly referred to as Mr. Choo. Mr. Choonawala’s presentation on ‘India 2020 – Boom or Doom?’ realistically set out the problems faced by India, while offering out of the box solutions for the same. His advocacy of jugaad, roughly translating to ‘innovation’ summarized the inherent, Indian values that can be optimized to salvage our future.
Our next feature was a screened TED talk by Jinha Lee from MIT Media Labs, who mesmerized our audience with his cutting edge technology that aims to seamlessly amalgamate design and simplicity, his levitating tangible surface. Up next, Mr. Harish Kapadia, a mountaineer par excellence and an environmentalist, left the audience spell bound by his deep insight into his struggles on the Siachen Glacier and he reiterated the need to protect it. The talks left the audience inspired and determined to make a change. Our final speaker was Mr. Devdutt Pattanaik, Mythologist and Chief Belief Officer of Future Group who explained why he simply refused to believe that India was chaotic.

Using references like Rangolis and multilingual street signs, Mr. Pattanaik beautifully explored the difficult relationship between order and inclusion, leaving us with an insight to ponder on – if we see chaos, we will seek control, but if we see patterns, we begin to become inclusive.

After a sumptuous lunch and cake cutting session with our speakers, Hemani Kalucha, budding roboticist and tech aficionado brought to life her innovative idea, a robot that helps the visually impaired play air hockey. With simple demonstrations and a clear-cut vision, Hemani has won various accolades and stole the day’s show with her schoolgirl charm, coupled with unmatched intellect. Our next speaker for the day was Mr. Prasad Ankit, founder of TouchTalent.com which serves to combine social networking and art for a noble cause. Mr. Ankit’s speech reminded us that limitations only exist in the mind and can be overcome if one decides to persevere endlessly towards one’s endeavours. We concluded the event on a light note, showcasing a screened TED talk by Maz Jobrani, an Irani-American comedian who humoured the audience with pre-conceived notions and stereotypes prevalent across the world.
The organizing team from the class of 2013 (Shazma Alam, Mitali Banerji, Abhishek Dalal, Shivam Jumani, Freia Lobo, Mihir Khanna, Sanjana Purker), along with the junior organizing team from the class of 2015 (Pranav Mehta, Poorvi Bellur, Rhea Bhatia, Tara Parambi, Rishabh Shah, Diva Parekh) and host Atreyo Sinha, along with the help of the school, truly put on a conference worth watching.

The first TEDxYouth@DAIS served as an important platform to reach out to the community and share novel 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.