Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Learning Adventures - TED Talks

TED is short for technology, entertainment and design. It is a platform for creative people to share their ideas with the world, in the above three fields.

Most of the talks are eighteen minutes long, though there are shorter talks of ten and five minutes. I started watching these talks after a friend had send me a link to one of the popular video’s on the website. I became a fan of the platform after watching that first video. Here is a post about how TED helped me learn:-

TED Talks on the Internet

So the evenings I was home after college, would be spent watching these talks on the internet. I got an audio version of one hundred and twenty five top ted talks, that I put on my phone. Now whenever I traveled around the city and had some time to spare, I would put on my earphones and listen to these talks.

TED Talks while traveling

I would also listen to them while traveling on the trains (Mumbai locals)to and from a place. It is indeed a great learning resource when you are crushed between more than a hundred people in rush hour time on a Mumbai time. You cannot possibly read a book in this chaos, because people will run over you and the book. With the TED Talk on my mobile, I could just act like I was speaking to someone on the phone and nobody would bother me.

TED Events in Mumbai

TEDxTalks are similar to the TED Talks. These are independently organized TED style event at cities around the world that get people together to discuss life changing ideas.

I started looking for similar TED events in Mumbai as these environments where a great place to learn and network with creative minds. I attended my first TEDx event at the H.R College in Churchgate. I got an invite as my sister was a close friend of one of the organizers. It was a three hour event with five to six speakers.

TEDXGateway, Mumbai - First Big TED Event

In December however I got to attend one of India’s most popular TED gatherings. It was the TEDx Gateway event at the National Center for Performing Arts, Mumbai. Eight hundred people came together for a full day of sharing ideas. It started at 10 am and went on till 6 pm.

Speakers from all over the world were invited for this event. The cost of ticket for the general public was Rs 3000. This was expensive for a student living on a budget, but I needed to have this experience at least once. I knew the event would be completely worth it. So I paid for it with my savings and got my ticket a week in advance.

On event day I walked out of my paying guest apartment in Grant Road two hours before the start of the event. I reach the Chowpatty area in South Mumbai which is also the starting point of the Marine Drive walkway. The venue of the event was at the end of the Marine Drive walk way which was three kilometers away from the start.

TED on my Phone

I decide to walk the distance and listen to the TED Talks on my phone along the way. It took me forty-five minutes to get there during which I listened to over four TED Talks. I then reached the event and was welcomed with a scrumptious breakfast buffet.

The event started and I knew this was a day I would never forget. I got to listen to some really amazing ideas from around the planet at the event that day. The speakers had such amazing stories to share. I also got to meet a few of them personally. It was worth every rupee I spent on this event.

There were two young speakers whose stories really inspired me.

  1. The first was Shree Bose, a young Indian American who had recently won the Google Science Prize. She had started doing her cancer research from her early teens.
  2. Usman Riaz, was a Pakistani musician. He learnt how to play the Guitar by watching videos online. He recently spoke at the TED Conference with his hero and the person whose videos he would always watch Preston Reed. His performance was very good for his age.
I walked back home that night the same way I had come in the morning. I continued listening to TED talks walking down the Marine drive Highway watching families, joggers and young couples go by.

Let us Learn Together
Tweet @AbhishekShetty_

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