Past Speakers

Dilip Jain
Dilip's life is full of adventure with a single motto of continuous evolution for the future. He is a professional turned entrepreneur turned educationist. At the age of 37, Dilip is the youngest founding member of Himalayan Institute of Alternatives, Ladakh (HIAL). He is currently on a sabbatical from his own business and is part of Sonam Wangchuk's team that is kick starting the alternative university & its ventures. He has been associated as a volunteer since beginning of the famed Ice Stupa Artificial Glacier project 3 years back. Dilip did his MBA from SP Jain Institute (SPJIMR) and is also a CA. He has worked in corporate sector for 7 years in senior management roles handling corporate strategy & planning, finance & procurement, etc. Thereafter he joined his family business and was instrumental in its 5 fold growth to number 1 position in the industry. Parallely, he co-founded a real estate company in JV with a PE fund for developing industrial parks and as it's CEO, he has completed 150 acres of projects. Dilip has varied interest but one closest to his heart is Me Too Kids Adventure Club that he runs in Mumbai. With this, he created a platform to provide experiential learning to kids by taking them closer to the nature, the biggest teacher. Dilip strives to balance his time between his work that generates income & work that creates impact. He believes that these are two sides of same coin and both fuel & feed each other, while giving deeper meaning to life.
Shammas believes that our routines should be a good mix of, quality time spent with family (the driving factor); the job (for bread and butter); our various passions (for the inner joy and satisfaction) and the responsibility of giving back to the society. Donning different hats with ease, Shammas is a software engineer by profession and his passion for systems software keeps him focused, working as India Team Lead of IBM's Mainframe Architecture Assurance System called SAK (System Assurance Kernel). Born in a musical family, he was always passionate about music and participated with his School Orchestra team in State Level competitions. In 2011 he joined an online forum of old Hindi song lovers called Bhoole Bisre Geet (BBG, http://bhoolebisregeet.in) and has performed with them as a singer for Mukesh and Talat Mahmood songs in various meet ups and charity programs all around India. An avid user of social media, in 2015 Shammas realized the menace of fake news. That is when he founded Check4spam (http://check4spam.com) along with Mr. Bal Krishn Birla, an online service to fact check posts circulating on social media. Today, Check4spam is one of the main fact checking services available in India.
Patruni is a Classical dancer who loves to perform in boardrooms and business meetings. He believes in channeling his dancing urges in order to produce unique footsteps. His inspiration for work resides in the miracle of life and interest to learn more. Working as an Analyst in Deloitte Hyderabad, his work makes him relate business with dance, which allows his perspective as an artist to remain contemporary yet traditional. Dance is the means with which he battles against the complexity of numbers and offers new ways to visualize the data to his clients. He is also an activist for LGBTQQIA rights and equality.
Subhashish is a long time Openness advocate, educator & public speaker, and the founder of OpenSpeaks, an open and collaborative project to grow openly-licensed resources and digital documentation of marginalized languages. The project won him the MJ Bear Fellowship in 2017 and is partly supported by the National Geographic Society. He currently leads the Chapter Development of Internet Society in Asia-Pacific prior to which he spent almost a decade growing the Wikimedia and Mozilla communities across Asia both as a volunteer and a community manager. Some of the other hats Subhashish wears include his role as an advisor to the Digital Language Diversity Project (DLDP), an Erasmus+ project; former Community Moderator of Opensource.com; Lingua Editor of Global Voices Odia; Ambassador for India at OpenGLAM Local; apart from being a long time Wikipedia and Mozilla contributor. Subhashish is the author of the Chapter "Rising Voices: Indigenous language Digital Activism" in Digital Activism in Asia Reader and winner of 2015 Opensource.com People's Choice Award
Dr. Sripriya
"Let food be thy medicine. Period." The above-abridged quote by Hippocrates pretty much sums up Dr. Sripriya's approach towards nutrition. She has been a follower of all things nutritious for the past two decades. What started off as a Bachelor's degree in Nutrition was followed up by a Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics and then a Doctorate in Nutritional Sciences. Her interest and passion for the molecular aspects of nutrition were ignited when she was pursuing her Doctorate degree from Rutgers University; The State University of New Jersey. Dr. Sripriya's core strength comprises of an in-depth understanding of nutrition at the molecular and genome level. Over the years, she has had a diverse work experience and has worked in the fields of enteral and parenteral feeding, hospital nutrition, cancer research, systems biology, drug discovery, nutrition education and nutritional marketing. She has also been instrumental in the design and creation of a global post-graduate certificate program in pediatric nutrition for pediatricians and other medical personnel that is currently live in about 20+ countries. Dr. Sripriya is currently in private practice and is also a Nutrition Advisor for MonkeyBox, a Bangalore based food start-up specializing in providing nutritious and tasty school meal boxes for children. She writes articles on nutrition for various newspapers and popular and industry magazines. She is a member of the Indian Dietetic Association, the professional body for Indian dietitians.
Apoorva B V
Apoorva found his passion in Bee-Keeping when he was studying Mechanical Engineering at Chitradurga and there on became a professional beekeeper & entrepreneur. He has been in the Bee-Keeping industry since 8 years. He has traveled across the country to create a network of Bee-Keepers with best practices, facilitating technology transfer to the communities belonging to grass root level. His on-field technical proficiency about bees and beekeeping is recognised by many Agricultural and Horticutural Universities, NGOs, Corporate Planters, Hobbyists, Tribal communities and Farming communities across the country. He has worked with Department of Horticulture, Govt.of Karnataka, as a consultant to implement Bee-Keeping programs in the state, through the department's "Pollination support schemes". Through "The Hive Trust" (NGO,Incepted on 2010), Apoorva has conducted various training programs in Bee-Keeping & has also presented white papers in seminars organised by various universities, emphasising on initiation of more research projects involving Bees & Honey and other Bee-Hive products. Being Chairman of 'The Hive', Apoorva is also Director of Honey Day Bee Farms Pvt. Ltd. from where commercial activities are being executed which includes manufacturing of all beekeeping equipment, pollination services, honey production, honey packing and marketing.
Natasha Singh
Natasha is a new-media artist and co-founder of Timeblur, an Experience studio. Her work explores the Human-computer interaction and New-Media technologies, she gets inspiration from the natural processes and dynamic systems. Nadi, is one of the work that is produced by the team she is building in Delhi and Bangalore. It explores the kinetics of the body involved in Yoga using motion tracking techniques. She is working towards conserving the practices of India's ancient practices such as Yoga through digital means. Finding unique patterns in the data form and creating signature styles with digital footprint is her and her team's motivation. New-media technologies and computer graphics aids in that endeavour, in crafting a rich experience with data and interactions. Her work has been majorly in the domain of Generative art and also music. Another work that the team is thrilled about is Sound and Structure, which is an interactive tool to generate audio-visual experiences. Any tiny change in the shape can create a huge impact on the soundscape it generates. Her work gives a new perspective towards the future and is looking to innovate new ways in technology to create platform for storytelling data. Major takeaways from her work are rich and dynamic experiences, data as new material for storytelling and all of this with an intention to make the experience fun and informative. She has been a TEDx speaker and her work has been featured in the Discovery Channel and the Creators project, and as a part of Future Homes by Vice China.
Harit Soni
Entrepreneur at heart and an Energy technologist by passion, Harit Soni is the Director of Ecolibrium Energy - one of the fastest growing Industrial IOT Company in the developing world, with a focus on improving energy efficiency in the Industrial and Utility sector using Big data analytics. Ecolibrium is a pioneer of the field in the developing world with headquarters in India. Its investors include IFC (World Bank), and Infuse Ventures. Harit has nearly a decade of experience in Operations, Consulting, Clean energy, Energy Efficiency and Industrial IOT, and has previously worked at various organizations in area of strategy consulting such as KPMG, Infosys and AIESEC in Canada, Middle East and US. Known as an innovator who has played a significant leadership role in India's Smart Grid and Energy Management Sector, Harit is also awarded by MIT under the TR 35 Award recognizing key innovators under the age of 35. Harit is passionate about starting, building, and leading ventures with a fundamental commitment to using technology for Impact. Harit is a Telecommunication Engineer from Bangalore, a Chevening scholar from LSE, and an alumnus of the Swedish Institute. Harit is a TEDx speaker, and he is widely covered in journals like MIT Tech Review, Fast Company, the Economist, Fortune, Mint, the Times of India, the Indian Express, Business Standard etc.
Preethi Srinivasan
Preethi was a state champion in swimming & cricket, from the age of 8 until 18 (youngest member of Tamil Nadu State Women's Cricket team at 8!), until a freak accident left her quadriplegic. Exceptional in academics as well, she was amongst the top 2% of American students in 1996, and appeared in the 1995/96 edition of the Who's Who amongst America's Students, but was denied admission in a long-distance learning program in India after the accident. It took another decade, just as it takes time for the silkworm to metamorphose into a glorious butterfly, Preethi also with the help of Grace and her parents, transformed into a spiritually awakened being! She reached a state of equipoise that allows her to smile even in heart wrenching circumstances. Having completely embraced her role as an instrument of the divine, Preethi now seeks to spread love, light and laughter in the world, as she sees this as her purpose in life. After learning about other women with spinal cord injury who are forced to commit suicide by their own families, she began Soulfree, an organisation that is working to spread awareness about spinal cord injury and to help reintegrate affected people into mainstream society, through better opportunities in medical rehabilitation, education, employment, entrepreneurship and sports. Time and again she has been recognized for her work with the most recent being "Kalpana Chawla Award" for Courage and Daring Enterprise by the Govt. of Tamil Nadu 2017. Having lost everything, Preethi has journeyed full-circle to become - The Cripple Who Is Whole!
Sudhanshu Kaushik
Sudhanshu Kaushik is a graduate student at the University of Oxford. As a passionate advocate for youth rights, he started Young India Foundation, India's first youth-oriented consulting and advocacy group, which works to align India's policy towards sustaining India's young demographic. He is the author of The Forgotten State: Haryana's Dichotomy in the 21st Century due to release in early 2018. A graduate from New York University in international relations, international development and human rights he has actively worked in the area of media relations and human rights. He worked for the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations under the guidance of First Secretary Mr. Abhishek Singh and Permanent Representative Mr. Asoke Mukerji. He also took part in the facilitation of the Prime Minister's visit of the United Nations General Assembly in 2015 and worked on media relations for the UNGA session. Working for CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS, his pitches were accepted and put on air for the show as well as for CNN's South Asia bureau. He has also researched and directed a short documentary on the Haryana Panchayati Raj Amendment Act of 2015 that mandates education requirements to contest for local level elections that premiered at film festivals. Sudhanshu was named for two consecutive years on International Literary Association's 30 Under 30 list and Washington Square Park's 2016 Up and Comers. He is also a recipient of a fellowship from the South Asian Journalist Association; a 2016 fellow at the Gallatin Human Rights Fellowship and has delivered a talk at TEDxNYU in 2015.
Peter Van
Peter Van Geit,born and raised in Belgium,is settled in Chennai for the last 14 years,working as a Project Manager in CISCO Systems India.An explorer by nature,Peter has driven over 50,000kms across India on his Royal Enfield 500CC and has conquered the Himalayas thrice. A few Years ago,he founded the Chennai Trekking Club (CTC),a non-profit volunteer based group of trekking enthusiasts who explore mountains and jungles across South India nearly all weekends of the year,which has crossed 18,000 member mark. Peter,an expert in map reading,navigation and GPS,has taken thousands of trekkers to many previously unexplored locations and discovered hidden waterfalls,beautiful gorges,ancient forts,jeep trails hidden deep inside the jungles.
Looking at the petite and tiny Jasleen Royal,in her trademark pyajamas and long loose t-shirts,all of 19 years,no one can imagine of how talented this little girl might be. But as soon as she puts her guitar around her neck,starts strumming those strings and lending her voice,we can be nothing but astounded. Studying in Hindu college,2nd year Jasleen is like any other collegiate. Random yet certain,humorous and appealing. Her love for music dates a long time back. Always inclined towards music,she taught music to kids almost her age when she was just 14. Why? Because she wanted to be independent and be financially unreliant on anyone. Although she always got her family's untiring support. Started with learning the keyboard,she used all she gathered to figure out guitar and mouth-organ herself. Now she can play two of these things at the same time. Expertise is her specialty- when the context is music. She broke the ice with being one of the semi-finalists in India's Got Talent and has performed in enumerable college fests and shows after that. No stopping the rockstar! Her songs revolve around the basics of life and the simplicity with which she expresses emotions through her songs is commendable.
Nikita Singh is the author of three bestsellers:
Love @ Facebook
Accidentally In Love... With Him? Again?
If It's Not Forever... It's Not Love!
The Promise
Her books have been sitting comfortably at the Bestselling tabs of all major online bookstores. She presently works as an editor at Grapevine India Publishers,India's first community of authors. Apart from these three books,Nikita has also contributed to the immensely successful "The Backbenchers" series. She has written the second book of the series (co-authored with Durjoy Datta)-The Backbenchers: The Missed Call!-which released in June 2012,under a pen name (Sidharth Oberoi),by Grapevine India Publishers. One of the youngest and the most prolific authors in the Indian fiction scene,her works are characterized by humour and practicality. She is seen as one of the most unabashed writers in the genre.
Harish Bijoor,Brand-expert & CEO,Harish Bijoor Consults Inc. Harish Bijoor is currently a Brand Domain specialist operating out of Bangalore. He runs a unique boutique consulting outfit branded "Harish Bijoor Consults",a brand name that has a consulting presence across the markets of Hong Kong,Seattle,London and the Indian sub-continent. Harish spent the first eight years of his career with Brooke Bond Lipton India Limited (now Hindustan Lever Limited) moving through the Sales and Distribution stream during the first four years and the Brand Management stream in the next four. Brands handled: Teas: Red Label,Special,Super Dust,3 Roses,Taj Mahal. Coffees: Bru,Deluxe Green Label,Tripti,Cafe,etc. Harish has recently published a book titled,"Marketing Trends - Smart Insights into the world of Indian Business".. a serious book written in a style that is distinctly young and MTV-ish!
Sonia H
Sonia H Mackwani,a petit young girl has both an impressive and intriguing resume. At the age of 21,she founded Touching Lives,an NGO,with a vision and mission of love and humanity. She is a Master in Clinical Psychology and Hypnotherapy. With the belief that -'It is our need to serve than saying we serve the needy,' Touching Lives is now in its 10th year of serving and serving pan India through training programs on Meta-Quantum Learning Model developed by her. Sonia is also a Trustee of Atmaviswas Vidyalaya,a residential rehab for mental illness. Mackwani started her journey of funding by her books with Magna Publication and published Tales from Indian Mythology- Mahabharata and Ramayana for children selected at Frankfurt Book Fair in 2006. She is also a healer and pioneer of Intuitive Biblio-therapy. She heals through her intuitive powers and through a process developed by her- The Master Reconnection. Holistic in her approach Sonia wishes to serve humanity through every breath she lives.
If becoming the MasterChef was the destiny of Pankaj Bhadouria,nature started her silent training in her birthplace Delhi's cosmopolitan Food environments. She grew up tasting almost all types of Indian and continental dishes at home and at various restaurants of Delhi. Her father was a real connoisseur of food,while nurturing his hobby,as an enthusiastic cook,he always experimented with regular recipes and invited his friends and relatives to enjoy new tastes Pankaj got the opportunity in the form of the 1st cookery realty show- "Amul's MasterChef of India",hosted Sri Akshay Kumar,equally known for his culinary skills,martial arts skills and of course his Acting prowess and stardom. The show helped Pankaj in exploring herself as a professional chef beyond her teaching career spanning over 16 successful years. As a winner of this prestigious Show,Pankaj is idolized as working women with a passion for her hobby. Now,as a professional Chef she is trying to encourage all to have a little more passion in routine but entertaining acts of cooking and serving,with some small changes that can bring a smile on all the faces on the dining table.
Navin Gulia a World Record Holder in all terrain driving,driving in his all terrain modified vehicle from New Delhi to Marsimik La at 18,632 feet,the highest motored mountain pass in the world,1200 feet higher than base camp of Mt Everest,in a non-stop drive of fifty five hours without sleep or break and crossing seven of the worlds highest mountain passes on the way. A record that stands un-challenged and un-defeated for six years now. Rock climbing,Para-jumping,sky-diving,powered hang-gliding and micro lite flying,are other adventure sports pursued by him besides all terrain driving. He is also a:
Social Worker
Motivational Speaker
Gursimran Khamba is India's most politically incorrect stand-up comic,one-half of India's most widely heard podcast titled All India Bakchod,a humor columnist and the brains behind one of India's most widely read blogs www.gkhamba.com He has been a web-columnist for HT Branch and written for publications such as GQ India,The Sunday Guardian,India Today,Grazia,Marie Claire,Hello! And Pragati The Indian National Review etc. He has performed nearly 100 shows across the country in cities such as Delhi NCR,Mumbai,Bangalore,Pune,Chennai,Coimbatore,Kolkata,Kochi etc. in the last 18 months. He is also a regular at The Comedy Store in Mumbai and recently joined WeirdAss Comedy as a writer and performer
Poonam Bir
Poonam Bir Kasturi having passion for design and the environment is epitomized in the elegant and practical "Daily Dump" home composting system. It was selected as one of the "Top Nominees" for the INDEX Design Award in 2007,apart from receiving several other awards. She talks about her inspiration behind this great design idea,and why composting is a much needed decentralized waste management solution. She is based in Bangalore,India.
Maya Sharma has been a television journalist for over 23 years now-part of the first batch of trained television journalists in India. She heads the Bangalore bureau of New Delhi Television as Resident Editor She was a part of the pioneering,nationwide live telecast of election results in India conducted by Prannoy Roy on NDTV and Doordarshan. Over the years she has covered news stories ranging from the devastation of the tsunami,flood destruction in Karnataka,the criminal career of the elephant poacher and sandalwood smuggler Veerappan to political stories on the change of governments in Karnataka and the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York and Washington. She has covered international sports events,interviewed business leaders,film stars,international musicians and writers - and done special stories and programs on wildlife and the environment in Karnataka. She has anchored national news bulletins and several multi-camera audience discussions on issues varying from religious intolerance to animal rights issues. Also anchored,directed and produced several documentaries telecast on NDTV. She is a Fulbright Scholar and has received awards for her work from the Karnataka state government's Media Academy and private organizations.
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