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TEDxAhmedabad is an independently organised conference that seeks to bring together brilliant visionaries engaged in the quest for innovation and rethinking across diverse fields. The conference endeavours to engage an intellectually curious audience with these thinkers to spark deep discussion and spread great ideas. At TEDxAhmedabad, we aim to provide a platform where the city’s greatest visionaries and fascinating innovators will have the opportunity to inspire others, as well as be inspired. TEDxAhmedabad provides an exciting opportunity for the citizens of Ahmedabad to peek into the exhilarating future of the dynamic financial capital of India’s fastest growing state.
TEDxAhmedabad 2010 will focus on the urbanization of Ahmedabad across a wide range of fields, including education, architecture, and technology. Hence, the TEDxAhmedabad Speakers will address the question: “What does the future of Ahmedabad look like?”
Anil Gupta created the Honey Bee Network to support grassroots innovators who are rich in knowledge, but not in resources.
Looking to the poor of India, business professor Anil Gupta saw innovations and talent that were not being supported. In response, he started the Honey Bee Network and began searching the country with colleagues, often on foot, finding a myriad of inventions developed out of necessity. These discoveries are documented and often shared with the global community, just as pollen is gathered by the honeybee to the benefit of both. Since 1988, the network’s database of original inventions has grown to over 12,000, and its newsletter is now published in eight languages and distributed to 75 countries.
Gupta also worked with the government of India to establish the National Innovation Foundation, which holds national competitions to encourage new inventors and helps sustain them through the National Micro Venture Innovation Fund. Through his efforts, Gupta has uncovered groundbreakingly useful devices such as a pedal-operated washing machine, a micro-windmill battery charger, a hoe powered by a bicycle, and many more.
Dr.Bimal H. Patel has over 20 years of professional consultation, research and teaching experience in urban planning and architecture. He is a Director in HCP Design and Project Management Pvt. Ltd., a 46 years old firm, which has full fledged divisions for architecture, interior design, furniture design and project management. Dr. Bimal Patel is the Hon. Managing Director of Environmental Planning Collaborative, a not-for-profit professional planning and development Management Company.
EPC has been doing pioneering work in developing planning methodologies appropriate to the present Indian context. EPC works with various municipal corporations and urban development authorities in Gujarat. He is also the Hon. Managing Director of EPC Development Planning and Management Pvt. Ltd. It is a consultancy whose objective is to demonstrate what a professional private-sector planning complies in India can be. He is currently the chief architect of the Sabarmati Riverfront Development Project.
Prof. Pradyumna Vyas, Director, National Institute of Design (NID) has done his Masters in Industrial Design from Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, India (IITB).Prof. Vyas has over 25 years of professional and teaching experience in different spheres of design. Since last 20 years he is associated with NID as a Faculty Member in Industrial Design Discipline. Prior to joining NID, Prof. Vyas has 2 years experience in Product Design in Bombay and 3 years overseas experience at Kilkenny Design Consultancy, Republic of Ireland.
At NID, he is teaching undergraduate and post-graduate courses besides engaging in professional consultancy and training. His area of interest lies in contextual use of technology for health and wellness, sectoral communication and sustainable development of crafts. Mr Vyas has coordinated major Design Promotion events in India and represented NID in various international and national events including the ICSID (International Council of Societies of Industrial Design) congress in Taiwan, Korea, Germany, Denmark, USA and Singapore. He also represented NID in the Asia Design Network, Japan. He has been elected as an ICSID Executive Board Member for 2009-11.
Anju Musafir is an educator and columnist with a vast experience of teaching, conducting parenting workshops and training teachers and policy makers. She has scripted and presented nearly 20 films on education. She founded the Mahatma Gandhi International School (1998), a K-12 International Baccalaureate school. It is an inclusive democratic school where learners actively construct their own learning through meaningful collaborative projects that make connections to real life.
Anju has two Masters degrees, one in English Literature, another in ‘Sciences de l’education’ from the University of Paris. She also has a post-graduate degree in Applied Linguistics to Teach French as a Foreign Language from the University of Strasbourg, France.
Anju taught at the Alliance Francaise d’Ahmedabad and was Treasurer of its committee before setting up the school with her husband Dr. Pascal Chazot, a French Diplomat and educationalist. She is fluent in English, French, Hindi, Gujarati and some Punjabi.
Atul Karwal is currently the Joint Commissioner of Police (JCP) in Ahmedabad.
He attended Punjab Engineering College for Mechanical Engineering and then gave the civil service exams and worked for some time in the customs department. He eventually joined the Indian Police Services where he stood first in the probational rank.
Karwal scaled the Mount Everest in May 2008 and was the first person from the Indian Administrative, Police and Revenue services to do so. His book, “Think Everest,” is a motivating journey of Karwal’s own experience in scaling the world’s highest mountain.
He enjoys photography, trekking, wildlife and traveling.
Anupa Mehta has been associated with art promotion for almost two decades. She is an independent arts consultant and a freelance arts-writer and editor. Founder editor of Art India, she was also the contributing editor, Asian Art News and World Sculpture News, Hong Kong.
A graduate in English Literature, she trained in journalism and arts management. Her first novel The Waiting Room was published by Penguin India, in June 2007.
Anupa is based in Mumbai where she manages a studio and art source, THE LOFT (www.theloft.in.). She also manages an arts residency space Arts Reverie (www.artsreverie.com) in Ahmedabad, Gujarat and the HAT project in India (www.hat.mmu.ac.uk). Anupa works as writer/columnist, freelance editor, and consults to a host of projects across India.
Pulkit Gaur founded Gridbots Technologies Pvt. Ltd. in August 2007.
After completing his Bachelor’s of Engineering in Industrial Engineering from Jodhpur University, Pulkit Gaur joined the Ahmedabad based Meditab Software, where he was a technical manager and headed a team of 150 individuals. However, he soon left to start his own robotic adventure.
Since his childhood, Pulkit Gaur harboured a fascination for robots. He wanted to make machines that could fulfill his wishes. During his final year project in B.E., he developed a hybrid vehicle and drove about 5 kms to the University Lab to justify his design.
Gridbots has made its mark in the field of robotics, machine vision and artificial intelligence. It has been incubated by IIM Ahmedabad’s business incubator CIIE and is also supported by the Department of Information Technology – Government of India. Set up in August 2007, the company operates in the field of consumer, industrial and military robotics. It has already worked with agencies like the ministry of Home Affairs (New Delhi), National Institute of Design (NID) Ahmedabad and the Central Intelligence Bureau.
The company has been growing exponentially both in terms of market share and technological capabilities. Today, the company has more than 30 products, which are commercial offerings. Gridbots has also started joint ventures with a few leading business groups to manufacture robots for industrial usage.
Edward Forrest is a young pioneer and thought leader in the field of Indian rural education. He established his own NGO, Educate for Life, whilst still an undergraduate at University in London.
The NGO is driven by Edward’s visionary ideals and now supports an activity-based school and experimental educational space for a tribal community of Southern Rajasthan. The school, named Hunar Ghar, is a reflection of Edward’s vision of a rural education system that works for the poor and marginalised and also brings into focus his criticisms of the current outdated, under-resourced and unimaginative educational system that is being forced upon these communities.
Principles of integrating community education and development, galvanizing participatory change processes and harnessing practical learning opportunities for the children underpin the experiment at Hunar Ghar. Edward believes such experimentation can lay the foundations for a fundamental rethinking of our understanding of rural development and education for the masses.
Amitabh Shah is the founder of YUVA Unstoppable, which provides a platform to young people to give 2 hours a week towards helping an NGO that works for children. YUVA Unstoppable, is a volunteer bank in itself, which helps various NGOs to enlighten the lives of the poor children.
“We do not believe that today’s youth is useless, they are just used less. If you contribute just two hours of your 168 hours in the week to out project, you can help make a difference to the society and spread smiles.”
Volunteers at this organization bring hope to poor children by teaching English, arithmetic, science, drama, dance and indoor/outdoor games. Besides, YUVA Unstoppable has started providing clothes, blankets, shoes, books and other amenities to hundreds of children of various slum areas. Their message to the slum children is that they do not have to lead a life of quiet desperation and frustration, or live a life of crime, or do drugs and alcohol.