TEDxShivNadarUniversity’17 : Spaced Out

While the 12th of November 2017 was just another lethargic Sunday, for some of us, it was not only a day of awakening, but also a day that helped us to “space out” from the laborious assignments and the taxing preparations for quizzes. On this day, the team of TEDxShivNadarUniversity brought to us the finest array of speakers, proficient performers and presented a perfectly curated TEDx conference.

By 8:45 a.m., the 3rd floor of B-block was teeming with suited up men and women with the curiosity to witness what was going to unravel in a few minutes. As the guests walked on the royal red carpet towards B315, a crew of TEDx volunteers ardently aided the guests with the registration process. It was really incredible how the TEDx team plugged in innovation in even the tiniest details of the event. One of the examples was the ID card given to everyone who attended the event which had a slot that said “You can talk to me about ___”. Along with the ID card and a cordial smile, the volunteers handed the guests, their merchandise kit which put an exuberant smile on every face. The kit consisted of a customised notepad with pen, a water bottle, a wrist-band, a badge, a cute miniature table lamp and KitKat dessert delight (the product was launched in the conference) and Redbull.  Another ingenious idea was to have TEDx related games outside the hall to engage the guests which made the waiting time imperceptible. As the guests started to move in and take their seats they were stunned at the sight of the utterly and ornately transformed interior of B315. With the posh red dot, the perfectly lit stage and the backdrop that was painted by the TEDx’s own creative team, the ambience was truly abiding to the theme “spaced out”.


The event started with the MCs briefing the audience about TEDxShivNadarUniversity and lighting of the lamp by Mr.Rajiv Swarup, President, Shiv Nadar University. Following a brief address by Mr. Rajiv Swarup, the spirit of the audience was piqued as Synergy (Shiv Nadar University’s A-capella group) introduced its new set of adept musicians. Their new set included “Quicksand” – an original composition by Ishan Gupta, founder of this group. Rijul Ghosh, SNU’s very own beatboxing superstar enthralled the audience yet again and deserves a special mention.


With the energy imparted by synergy, the audience was ready for the first speaker of the day, Mr. Amitabh Mall, partner and director in Boston Consulting Group. He drew parallels between being a great business leader and great writer and emphasized the importance of sharing a unique perspective. Mr.Amitabh Mall was fittingly followed by a young corporate storyteller, Bianca Ghosh. Her thought provoking talk instilled a sense of identity and how our life stories change the way people perceive us. She concluded by offering a few key notes on how to carve the perfect path. Afterwards, Shriram Raghavan, being a bigshot in the technological field, spoke predominantly on strategies in business technology. His main focus was on the “Blockchain” technology. The next speaker, Mr.Sanjay Seth addressed the necessity to purge the venomous habit of tobacco consumption amongst the youth. The energy of the atmosphere was recharged by Mr.Abhineet Sonkar, a person with a fine humour who talked about the boundless potential of creativity within every individual and asserted that our life is not to analyse and plan but to discover ideas, fall in love with them and pursue them.

Filling in the footsteps of creativity was Nikheel Aphale, an expert calligrapher, who passionately demonstrated his expertise in the Devanagari script. He wrapped up the session by creating a final piece of art using different tools. Reema Ahmed, a sexuality educator came to us as a woman of sheer elegance and courage. After weaving her tale of conquering each obstacle that life threw at her and overcoming pain with unparalleled strength, the audience looked at her with their eyes brimming with reverence. She inspired and instilled hope that it’s possible to fight against any misfortune and live life. Next up was Zorian Cross, a perky theatre artist and producer, someone with a painful and inspirational life story. He quoted a beautiful line by Carrie Fisher – “Take your broken heart, make it into art” and explained how pain creates great artists.


A lone wolf howl pierced the darkness, bearing the wisdom of a thousand lives yet also the pain.

This is how Reshma Valliappan, a schizophrenic set the stage (She’s not a human, she’s an alien from a different planet). She described how she dealt with the mental disorder and  infused an overpowering message put in a beautiful way – “When I have an imaginary friend they call it delusion. When the society does, they call it religion”. She pointed out that for a real conversation to happen, a connection between hearts is more than enough.

Following Ms. Reshma was Karan Vaish, a system engineer of team Indus, in his early twenties who has become an inspiration for most of the aspiring engineers. He briefed on how team Indus grew from scratch to the pinnacle of success. The best part was that he had brought along, ECA, the rover that’s going to land on the surface of moon in few days.

Stalin. K, filmmaker, Director of “India Untouched” had the unique ability to make the audience laugh as well as expose them to hard realities. He also elucidated on how vulnerability creates learning and facilitates in accepting problems.

Garima Avtar is a peculiar blend of an executive and a professional rally racing driver. She gave some insights on the difficulties as well as the satisfaction she gets from the male dominated motorsport.

Shreya Soni, founder of Delhi Secret Supper Club, is a prosperous young entrepreneur who has marked her territory with her unique business idea. She gave her peace of mind on the ups and downs of becoming and being a successful business woman. Her point was that, unique business ideas need to be executed and they should be backed up with solid research and hard work.


Apart from the astounding amalgamation of speakers and mouth-watering lunch menu, this year’s conference was loaded with screening of a few remarkable TEDTalks and two enthralling performances by accomplished artists. A Delhi based singer and songwriter – Amartya Ghosh played a few slow yet soothing songs with contemporary lyrics. A powerful poetry appreciation session by Sonal Sharma from Lucknow acted as the perfect ending for the conference.

Thus the team of TEDxShivNadarUniversity’17 pulled off a well-planned, engaging TED conference that acted as a perfect platform to create, explore and spread ideas and this time, the ideas were certainly worth spreading!


About the author

Priyadarshini Srinivasan

Loves to read, write and sketch
Quite an introvert and can be a workaholic sometimes.

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