Creative Disruption – TEDxMDAE event

TEDxMDAE, an event organized by the students of the Meghnad Desai Academy of Economics took place on 27th May at the World Trade Centre.

The event saw 11 speakers from diverse backgrounds sharing their journeys and their learnings with the audience at large. Theatre, Development, Agriculture, Banking and Music were the few themes touched upon at TEDxMDAE.

The event started with a performance by the famous Jazz musician Merlin D’Souza. Merlin talked about her humble background and her growth as a musician. She described instances from her life that brought her close to music and the life that she lives today. She played the synthesizer and the ax inorder to entertain the audience and do a live demonstration of what she had learnt from music herself.

Juxtaposed to music, banking was next to be discussed. Tamal Bandopadhyay, a well respected columnist, author and editor at Live Mint talked about his experiences in banking. Having come from an English Literature background, he evolved into a financial journalist and told the audience about the inspirations in his life. He touched upon his involvement with Bandhan Bank that is growing at a fast pace and how the idea of banking itself evolved.

Gaurav and Raahil- spoke after Tamal. They were from Dalberg, a firm that provides solution to issues in the underdeveloped economies. Gaurav spoke about decentralization and the implications it would have going into the future while Raahil spoke about education and how the landscape in India is changing. He talked about the necessary mindset changes required to keep India abreast with the rest of the world as far as education is concerned.

Praveen, next, spoke about data in electoral politics. He talked about his analysis on how the 2014 elections were engineered and won. He argued against prevailing narratives and shared his insights from data and what it tells us about voting patterns in India. His talk was very well received and people went back rethinking their own reactions to news reports, tv show debates and opinion editorial pieces printed in magazines.

Sameera Iyengar followed next. Having studied Math at MIT and a Phd in theatre from University of Chicago, Sameera travelled India and experienced theatre in villages, towns and tier-2 cities. She discussed her learnings with the audience and through a dramatic gestured brought her emotions alive.

The first session ended a talk by Prof. Indradeep Ghosh. He discussed the implications of the Global Financial Crisis and discussed what his interpretation of the crisis was. He challenged existing Economic notions talking about the idea of ‘extensive’ and ‘intensive’ time and what part of either is modeled in Economic theory. One could hear participants brooding over this as they stepped in for lunch.

The second session started with Ashok Gulati, Infosys Chair Professor at ICRIER discussing ‘creative disruptions’ in the field of agriculture. He talked about the use of new-age technology in enabling farmers to increase their produce and in-turn reduce suicide rates. The 3 revolutions in agriculture- Green, Gene and Brown revolutions were discussed in detail while explaining the evolution in agriculture.

Choiti Ghosh, an objecteur, was next. She attached a higher, symbolic meaning to everyday objects and demonstrated the effect with the help of a potato. She peeled it, cut it and marked its end with it turning into potato chips. The audience was spell-bounded on how with everyday objects, one could attach so much emotion and reason.

Anirudha Dutta, a finance professional turned author talked about his experiences while meeting women pan-India. His book, ‘Half a Billion Rising’ is about how the attitude of women in India is changing. From rural districts of India to urban parts- everywhere women are more empowered and this empowerment is supported by the society as well. Anirudha left the audience with a heavy heart thinking about themselves and women in their communities. Anirudha highlighted the changing India in his fascinating talk.

Last speaker was the renowned singer, Mrs. Rekha Bharadwaj. She encapsulated memories from her childhood and from her adult hood and tried to explain what brings about her voice as she has it today. She also hinted on her meditation processes and communes that she visited to find herself. She ended her talk with a performance of Zikhr and Whirling- a sufi way of remembering god.

The audience however got more when Merlin D’Souza and Rekha Bharadwaj decided to collaborate on-spot for a classical-jazz fusion.

The event then ended with a vote of thanks and everyone moved to high tea.

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Date(s) - 27/05/2016
10:00 am - 4:00 pm

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