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TEDx IIM Ranchi 2019 :: Kaleidoscope of possibilities

Ranchi, Jharkhand | March | 10, 2019 :: TEDx brings the spirit of TED’s mission of ideas worth spreading to local communities around the globe. TEDx events are organized by curious individuals who seek to discover ideas and spark conversations in their own community. The eighth edition of TEDxIIMRanchi was hosted on March 10, 2019 at CMPDI. TEDxIIMRanchi 2019 was a platform to inspire people to look into the “Kaleidoscope of possibilities”. Kaleidoscope of possibilities” is a phrase drawing analogy from various patterns and designs one can see in a Kaleidoscope with a contextual meaning of discovering a myriad of options and opportunities which are unfathomable to the masses. Most of us at some point in time run out of options, give up our ambitions and give-in to the seemingly unmanageable circumstances. However, it is the creative and persistent ones who change their prism of vision and pave a new way to make it big in life. The event hosted a number of national and international speakers who have realized their vision in a variety of fields including technology, entrepreneurship and public administration to name a few.

The event began with the inaugural address by Dr. Shailendra Singh, honourable Director, IIM Ranchi. Post this, the convenor, Arpita Pati, welcomed the audience and thanked everyone for being a part of the event. The first Speaker was Supriyo Sinha, CEO-Education, Pratibha in the ABP Group. Invoking the audience to draw inspiration from a woodpecker, he played the sound of a woodpecker to explain that the specialty of the bird is that he picks one spot, of a few millimeters diameter and keeps pecking exactly at that spot with tremendous force and intensity. He asked the audience to imagine a little bird hitting 20 times/sec with 1000 times force thereby describing the power of focus and intensity. He also stated that having spent a lot of time with the wildlife in the jungles of Africa, he has learnt that some of the finest lessons can be learnt from the natures which even the management lectures of B-schools cannot teach. We can learn to be fearless from the buffalos and honey badgers, the woodpecker teaches us the importance of intensity while the trout and salmon demonstrate the importance of being unique. He drove home the point that conditions and tasks make us feel afraid but if you think you can, you can, if you think you can’t, you are right.

Pankaj Bhadouria, the winner of MasterChef India season 1, was the next speaker of the day. She highlighted the fact that Indians have a spoilt palette that makes staying healthy and fit difficult. She brought forth the point that it is not what we eat but how we eat that makes all the difference. Expressing the need to change our cooking style, she stated some of the faults in our cooking such as overcooking the food or deep frying it. She reiterated the fact that good food cooked in the right manner could prove much more effective in losing weight than rigorous exercise. She also described happiness as one of the most integral part of being healthy and encouraged everyone to find the right diet for themselves as the same diet does not have the same effect on everyone.

The next speaker was Raj Shamani, one of the youngest Indians to speak at the United Nations Headquarters, Vienna. He began his address by asking a simple question- When people know that they desire more. Why do they settle for less? In this generation, when everyone wants to create an impact in the society, how do we do that? The solution, he said, is pretty simple – We are underestimating what we can do this very moment, we can start impacting the world, right here right now, by appreciating the person sitting right next to us, giving him an honest, positive construct and social validation. While the need for getting social validation keeps on increasing, we tend to ridicule people when they are trying to do something. He encouraged the audience to be honest, for example, if someone’s work is horrible, we must be upfront in saying that while appreciating their courage and hard work at the same time. We must start appreciating people more to make them feel courageous and pretty about themselves. Give them a reason to feel bold and audacious about themselves. The magic is in the person sitting right next to you. Imagine if every person we know starts appreciating – helping people around to strive and thrive instead of survive, that’s the idea worth spreading.

Harshika Singh, an IAS officer, was the next speaker. She began her address by telling her own story, how she could be described as a little girl from a small city, a little girl with big dreams, introvert but happy whose life oscillated between school and home. The true turning point in her life came when as a secondary school student she accompanied her parents to a book stall and got fascinated by the cover page of a competitive magazine having the photograph of an IAS Toper on the cover. Though she couldn’t comprehend a single word yet the two words – IAS Topper intrigued her to enter into the fascinating world of civil services examination. Always excelling in her academics, she did MSC in Economic History from London School of Economics. While studying there with batchmates from Harvard and Princeton, she got a standing ovation from an audience including noble Laureates for her consistent hardwork and perseverance. After completing her education, she flew back to India to pursue her dreams. In her first UPSC exam, she got an AIR of 640. Being disheartened, she gave another attempt during which she could feel the Almighty asking her to sit down and continue doing her work despite the harsh conditions outside. Consequently, she scored an AIR 8 in the 2012 examination. Thanking God for bringing her to her destination, she felt glad at the Kaleidoscope of opportunities that life throws at all the dreamers in small cities.

The next speaker, Abhijit Naskar, one of the world’s celebrated neuroscientists, stated that how one thinks, feels and behaves is all governed by the brain. He expressed that society is but a bunch of individuals who try to make you feel, think and behave in their way thereby curbing progress because progress requires original thinking. He brought to light the fact that we all need freedom, but mind actually hates freedom because freedom brings fear of the unknown, describing the purpose of belief as self-preservation as having a belief takes away the anxieties. However, if everyone left things to destiny, there would be no progress in this world. He also enunciated that Mother Nature drives us on the path of love and attachment. We all yearn to have someone next to us while we pursue our dreams and if we keep neglecting our dear ones in the pursuit of our dreams, any purpose in our lives will not matter. He also asserted that change requires tangible human actions and encouraged the audience to take up an idea, go out into the world and act keeping the conscience intact so that generations of tomorrow feel grateful to you for delivering a world of acceptance, humaneness and unified progressive mankind.
Farrhad Acidwalla, a 25-year old entrepreneur and investor, addressed the audience next. He described life as a set of unique circumstances, advantages and disadvantages wherein, sometimes, feelings and emotions cloud our objective. He asked the audience to reflect whether we are actually taking advantage of the technology that our previous generations were not so fortunate enough to leverage. He also questioned if anyone had ever thought of using data in their personal lives. He asserted that confidence and skills go hand in hand. The more skilled you are, the more you are likely to have confidence. He also emphasized that taking feedback too personally hampers you. One should think of it objectively as data and work on it. He shared how he brought objectivity into his life, tracking emotions and productivity, analyzing clients and understanding objectively how various things affected his life. He stated that the problem with every motivating speech was that though we felt inspired while listening to it yet the feeling soon withered away. He also described how as a student entrepreneur, he failed far more times than he could remember bringing forth the point that failures are indeed a stepping stone to success. He ended the talk by reminding everyone that experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you actually wanted, the key is to never repeat those mistakes again.

Col. Prabir Sengupta, a professional with 35+ years of experience in leadership, management, administration and recruitment in the Indian Army, was the last speaker of the event. Citing the recent incidents in J&K, he prodded a no of people to ask him questions. He also told that social media

has spread recommendations to people for joining the Indian Army. He thrilled the audience with shouts of How’s the josh invoking an enthusiastic response of “High Sir”. Describing some of the many struggles of the soldiers, he talked about his first speed posting in Arunachal Pradesh where he was tied up with his team under the canopy with heavy rain, no network, no batteries and a teammate with fractured ankle and had to survive on local boiled leaves. He stated that for the Army the safety , honour and welfare of the country comes first, of the men you command comes next and your own comes last. Proclaiming integrity as one of the greatest qualities of men in uniform, he asserted that whenever in life you will come across a crossroad when you have to make a choice – choose the road less travelled and the journey will be beautiful one you take this call.

Following this, the host of the event, Subhash, first year student at IIMR, called upon Professor Asit Mohapatra for concluding remarks on the ceremony who conveyed his appreciation on behalf of IIM Ranchi to all the speakers and also thanked the organizing team post which the director felicitated all the guests and the event came to an end. The platform helped the audience garner new perspectives and insights on different matters which would not only help them lead a better life but also prove fruitful in serving the community in a better way.

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