Manipal University Dubai’s first TEDx event encourages youth to ‘Dream Big’

Manipal University Dubai hosted its first TEDx event based on a self-enrichment theme, “The Better You” on 9th April 2013.

TEDxManipalUniversityDubai is an independently organized TED-like event, made to inspire the new generation to push boundaries and to do great things. The full day event was held at the university’s campus and was open to a 100 attendees that included current and alumni students.

TED is a worldwide phenomenon with the sole mission of ‘Ideas worth spreading’ that asks the world’s leading thinkers and change makers to give the talk of their lives. The TEDx initiative has proven to be one of the best platforms to stimulate local dialogue, inspire people and create change.

Left to Right Speakers - Dr.Mandar V Bichu, Gayathri Krishnan, Neena Nizar, Sean Blake

Left to Right Speakers – Dr.Mandar V Bichu, Gayathri Krishnan, Neena Nizar, Sean Blake.

The event comprised of live speakers such as Sean Blake, photojournalist and creator of “The Untitled Chair Project’, Gayathri Krishnan, a young aspiring musician living the Middle Eastern dream, Dr. Mandar V. Bichu, a Child Specialist by profession but a writer by passion and Neena Nizar, special needs advocate and founder/ director of ‘ABILITY’- a drama group showcasing the talents of young adults with special needs coupled with previously recorded TED talks to give the youth some ‘food for their soul’.

The event was organized by the final year undergraduate students from the Department of Media & Communication with the sole purpose of inspiring their fellow students to becoming ‘The Better You’. All TEDxManipalUniversityDubai talks and videos will soon be available on the website for viewing on our youtube channel.

About our speakers and talks at TEDxManipalUniversityDubai:

Sean Blake, photojournalist residing in Abu Dhabi is the creator of “The Untitled Chair Project’ that aims at raising awareness about the dire need for bone marrow donors in the United Arab Emirates, by proposing a portrait photography series about people within varying environments with the common element of an ordinary chair. With his talk titled, “Challenge Yourself,” Blake spoke about how we have the ability to create something valuable for our society out of nothing – all it takes is your will to challenge yourself.

Gayathri Krishnan is a young aspiring musician living the Middle Eastern dream. Being the highest reviewed and rated unsigned artist to date by the Rolling Stone Middle East, Gayathri is a champion of independent movement with a growing fan base allowing her to raise $23,000 via crowdfunding to release her debut album, “The Unknown” within 10 days. With her performance talk on “The Art of Embracing the Unknown” she hoped to trigger change in the attitude of young individuals by reflecting her struggles and strengths as a musician.

Dr. Mandar V. Bichu, is a Child Specialist by profession but a writer by passion. Over the years he has carved a special niche with 5 well-acclaimed books in Marathi and English. His books range from fiction, artiste biographies to specialist parenting guidance. Dr. Bichu shared personal experiences of his unusual journey to keep his dreams alive and most of all reminding our students that you can do anything if you put your mind into it with his talk titled, “If you want, you can make a difference.”

Neena Nizar, special needs advocate and founder-director of ‘ABILITY’- a drama group showcasing the talents of young adults with special needs. She is recognized for overcoming physical disability caused due to the rare short bone condition known as Jansen’s Metaphyseal Chondrodysplasia. Nizar shared her experiences, reflecting on her ‘never say die’ attitude and encouraging participants to push boundaries, take chances and make the most of life with her talk, “Choices: A win-win game of life.”

Recorded TED Talk by hilarious and haunting, poet Shane Koyczan who puts his finger on the pulse of what it’s like to be young and different. His spoken-word poem “To This Day,” is a powerful story of bullying and survival, illustrated by animators from around the world.

Megna Kalvani, event curator and faculty in the Department of Media & Communication said, “The response to our first TEDx event has been sensational among our students encouraging them to push boundaries, develop courage to dream big, connect and create intellectual public domains. We hope to make this a university tradition by hosting TEDxManipalUniversityDubai every year in order to stimulate dialogue and transformative thinking with such thought-provoking talks that are capable of inspiring our student community and moulding our future.”

Special thanks to our partners ITL World Travel Management Company, KinoKuniya Bookstores, Lush Handmade Cosmetics, Yardley London, Cool and Cool, Fuji Film, Kurians Printing Press, Divine Creations, Rest ‘n’ Beans, Barakat, Sinful desires.