Deepak Chopra on stage at the INK Conference. Photo: Gene Driskell, INK Conference, Lavasa, 2010
The INK Conference‘s second day of talks unearthed brilliant Indian innovators and placed them alongside familiar TED speakers like Adora Svitak and Tom Wujec, as well as internationally known figures like Deepak Chopra.
Thirteen-year-old author Adora Svitak shared her insight into how kids are using technology today. Joi Ito, CEO of Creative Commons, shared the principles behind his organization and explained why sharing is actually the key to success. Rama Budhihlal talked about Digital Hampi — his project to preserve India’s heritage in a digital mobile lab. Philanthropist and VC Kamran Elahian talked about doing good with technology and announced his new program MyNetbook, which will bring free laptops to thousands of Indian children. Adrianna Svitak (Adora’s sister) finished the session with an achingly beautiful piano performance.
Alexander Tsiaras, of TheVisualMD.com, talked about his project on the nine visual rules of wellness, making a plea for a new way of thinking about our health. Indian actress Deepti Naval gave a reading of the haunting poems she wrote after spending time in mental hospital as research for a role. Film producer and author Simon Lewis told the extraordinary story of the accident that landed him in coma and the experimental technology that has helped his recovery many years later. Zambian-Italian singer-songwriter Leonie Casanova gave a soulful and personal performance, including a song about her father’s last moments. INK Fellow Sophie Morgan explained how she has used fashion and design to be an activist for people with disabilities — because being in a wheelchair does not stop you from being a model. Anita Goel explained how her fascination with nanotechnoology, biology and physics led her to create her Gene-RADAR technology, which can perform instantaneous diagnosis with a single drop of blood. Deepak Chopra spoke about consciousness and the mind beyond the brain.
Conductor George Mathew makes a point Photo: Gene Driskell, INK Conference, Lavasa, 2010
Author of Slide:ology, Nancy Duarte broke the code of giving a great presentation. Founder of the “Super 30” Anand Kumar shared the amazing successes his students have had, as well as their continuous perseverance. George Mathew, conductor, revealed that a vicious mugging in New York inspired him to begin staging his concerts for causes — he realized that his muggers were just kids who were never given opportunity. Physician and musician Luis Dias explained how he started the Child’s Play Foundation to teach music to underprivileged children. Singer, composer and INK Fellow Joi Barua delivered an amazing, emotional performance of a new, original piece. Tom Wujec painted the new future of manufacturing, and says that it will be shaped by the 3 technology trends of digitized reality, infinite computing and rapid fabrication. Before he was a poet, Rives was a paper engineer, and he shared his incredible, whimsical creations.
Video game designer Corey Bridges talked about how the Internet enables collaboration. Rick Smolan told the story of a young Amerasian girl whose adoption he arranged — her adopted father, Gene Driskell, is one of his best friends and the INK Conference official photographer. Anti-trafficking crusader Sunitha Krishnan explained why, even after receiving financial funding, the business of rescuing women and children from sex slavery is inherently dangerous and unbelievably difficult. She asked that we recognize that the journey is not over until the most excluded among us are accepted. INK Fellow C Mallesha showed attendees the automatic loom he invented in order to ease the aching his mother suffered after five hours of weaving every day. Public health expert Mussarat Zaidi called for a different way of looking at hygiene, suggesting that keeping a few pathogens in our food supply might actually be best. Street. Contemporary street magician and Fellow Ugesh Sarcar related the unusual path he took to learn magic, and why his famous father’s refusal to teach him everything he knew was the best thing he could have done. Mark Koska demonstrated how his non-reusable, five-cent syringe could have a huge impact on public health. Another INK Fellow, Ashwini Akkunji shared her incredible journey — she began running by chasing cattle in her village, and was recently part of the team that brought home India’s first gold medal home at the Commonwealth Games in over 50 years.
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