It’s touted as the most exciting seminar. In the United States TED Talks is a 20-year old platform where some of the most sought personalities from Donald Trump, Steve Jobs and Al Gore have shared their ideas and insights from their industries. With the motto “Ideas worth Sharing” it’s become a very popular format where time for every speaker is limited to just 18 minutes. Tickets at TED Talks are sold out months in advance and numerous industry giants lobby to be invited to speak.
Last Sunday (June 27), Mumbai witnessed an exciting session when five speakers from varied industries shared the most exciting ideas and events that have shaped their life at a forum called Leap Talks.
Arun Mehta, Director of Operations at Refex Energy talked about what it takes to build one of India’s largest 5 MW solar power plants in Rajasthan at the ripe age of 26. He discussed his education in the US and then how the film “Swades” inspired him to come back to India and make a difference. Refex Energy will also be bringing in Solar Power panels to rural towns in Rajasthan where electricity will soon touch new lives.
Shirin Juwaley is the head of Palash Foundation, India’s first and only NGO that works towards reintegrating disfigured people and victims of burns. Her speech touched the audience when she described how an acid attack 10 years ago marred her and drove her to isolation. She shared how it was the toughest time of her life and how she realised an alteration in one’s face made it awkward for her to be in public places, where it was so hard for many to treat her normally. With Palash she will be reaching out to victims of burns and the disfigured to inspire them to look beyond the awkwardness and find a new meaning in it.
Manak Singh, Executive Director of The Indus Entrepreneurs talked about the need to move towards entrepreneurship, how “Jugaad” was the new revolution that needs to be taken in our stride. He inspired both men and women to find their calling, to look beyond the need to “Study Hard, Get a good Job” mentality. He called upon students to follow their life’s mission and seek a new route, a route that gave them a renewed purpose.
Vraj Patel, Central Customs and Excise Officer, shared the story behind his personal collection of more than 75,000 books that he shares with students who are trying to appear for competitive exams.
Dr. Zahir Kazi, President of the Anjuman-e-Islam Foundation shared his expertise on what it takes to run one of India’s largest community based networks of more than 150 institutions. He also shared his journey from one of small towns in Goa to one of India’s very well known radiologists to the President of Anjuman-e-Islam.
Leap Talks is founded by the Leap India Foundation, an NGO working for the upliftment of social classes. Through Leap Talks it hopes to open students to ideas and thoughts that they have never been exposed to, thereby changing their perception of what they can be and what they can achieve.
Aamir Edresy, the Director of Leap India Foundation said, “Being the inaugural event, getting speakers to speak was easy, but getting the right speakers who have the amazing dynamism and energy is really tough. But when we manage to build the Leap Talks brand, we hope to get a good line-up of extremely powerful speakers like Nandan Nilekani, Azim Premji and the like to speak at Leap Talks.” He also mentioned that “The next Leap Talks will take place on the July 24, and will continue with one Leap Talks every last Saturday/Sunday of the month.”