Tag Archives: Ashu Blogs

Love wins…yes, it does!

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Ashu Bolar

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IIMI Plexus Conclave

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Alumni Meets, a very interesting concept. You meet and greet professors, senior and junior batchmates, peers, friends, once-upon-a-time/ongoing frenemies, batch-competitors (read rivals), some good characters, some annoying-species. But all in all, it is a great networking opportunity.

I have been lucky in life to be an alumnus associated with many academic institutes, but this year, for the first time, I attended IIM Indore PGPMX Alumni Meet scheduled on Saturday, 24th February 2018 at IIMI Mumbai Campus and Park Hotel, CBD Belapur, Navi Mumbai.

The event initiated at IIMI Mumbai Campus with the inauguration of PGPMX (Post Graduate Programme in Management for Executives) Batch-9 followed by PGPMX Alumni interaction with the IIMI Director, Prof. Rishikesha Krishnan and Professor Kajari Mukherjee, Chair – PGPMX, IIMI.

There was an interesting and informative session (as always) on ‘Indian Economy – the present and the future’ by Prof. Ganesh Nidugala, Faculty – IIM Indore. He is the favourite economics professor of almost everyone. I doubt if anyone could have taught International Finance as best as he did – at least to me – because being a medical graduate, and yet I understanding International Finance means some great job done!

Professional Trainer’s Team from SAS Institute enlightened the alumni with a bird’s eye view on Business Intelligence & Business Analytics through application of SAS. Technology can do miracles. And every data narrates a story. Connect the two and one can be a modern day magician.

Later in the evening, at Hotel Park, all participants experienced an ice-breaking and engaging Plexus Conclave – thanks to Dale Carnegie Training Team for all those intersession activities! The conclave had two illustrative sessions by IIMI Faculty members – Professor Abhishek Mishra and Professor Omkar Desai and two intriguing sessions by Industry Guest Speakers – Mr. Sushil Borde, Head, Reliance Innovation Leadership Centre and Mr. Tushar Pradhan, CIO, HSBC Global Asset Management.

And the evening concluded with photo session, all alumni receiving a box containing Indore Sweets and Farsan, as well as a handy IIMI branded Leather Organizer, and of course, all of us relishing a delicious dinner.

Thanks to Sanjay Gupta (PGPMX-1) for all the coordination and to the IIMI Student and Faculty teams that contributed in making this event a success.

Some glimpses from the event as below and more can be read on the webpage: https://www.iimidr.ac.in/news-events/first-pgpmx-alumni-meet-and-conclave-plexus-held-at-mumbai/

Looking forward to Plexus-II…

…Ashu Bolar

TEDXGateway 2018

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TEDXGateway | Sunday 4th February 2018 | 9.30 AM onwards | Dome@NSCI, Worli | Silver Zone

It was a Sunday well spent. And I am thankful to my friend from IIM Indore PGPMX Batch, Lalita Chandel, who had motivated me to join her in this event. If I would have not, then I guess I would have missed something big time.

Seated in the B row of the Silver Zone (tickets when we registered were Rs. 2500 per person), with Gold and Platinum Zones priced on the higher side; and considering the NSCI seating arrangement, Silver Zone was good enough.

The event started at 9.30 AM with performance by participants as young as 5 years and as old as 60 years – a mix of Mallakhamb by boys and Aerial Rope Gymnastics by girls—a beautiful rhythmic visual delight! And then the host – Rives – one of the best hosts I have come across, ensured no matter what, but the audience remains engaged and entertained.

There were many speakers – almost 30, including the host and the Chris Shedrick’s video talk. I may not remember all speakers in sequence but will try my best from as much as I can recollect, in this article. And it went something like this…

Dr. Anne Madden – a session on Microbiology and role of microbes in the environment
Take Away: The invisible microbes can break an make depending how we use it for the benefit of our planet, our environment.

Dr. Shelja Sen – A talk on Child Psychology
Take Away: No child should be left invisible – normal or specially-abled. WOW could be the way…
W – Your are Worthy as you are
O – You are Original
W – You are Welcome

Dr. Arun Sundarajan – A description of Interactive Digital World as a growing and connecting Media channel
Take Away: Content is king and with the constant use of the Internet, everyone today is a Media Channel. Thius, contact plus connections you make values in the Digital world. News today is a hub to spoke model—trackable hub to spoke model and vice versa, where spoke to spoke interactions are possible. For growth, innovate. For exponential growth, connect. Success today comes from understanding people better not just by creating content or new technology.

Prateek Sharma – On pollution and why use NasoFilters
Take Away: Delhi/Mumbai pollution cuts life by 50 minutes. From among the top ten most polluted cities in the world, four are from India – a list not to be proud of. Particulate pollution is rising on the city roads. PM2.5 in lungs can be dangerous. Every 23 second a person dies in India of air pollution. And it is not just outdoor; indoor is five times more polluted than outside air. Therefore, there is a need for NasoFilter that can stop the inhalation of particles as small as PM2.5 micron particles. NasoFilter, by NanoClean Global, is a nanosolution by India for a massive global problem of Air Pollution. (And there was a sample NasoFilter in the kit provided!)

Dr. Bronwyn King – A Radiation Oncologist on knowing where you invest
Take Away – Majority of the banks and insurance companies invest in tobacco company. That means we invest in tobacco companies. And tobacco is the main culprit behind the rising cancer cases. Tobacco is a major cause of cancer, leads to 50% of deaths in India. About 19700 deaths a day are due to due to tobacco consumtion.So do you really want to make long term investments with good profits by investing in tobacco companies? A matter to think. So, be a heath hero. Invest in company that have tobacco free investment plan. Investment shapes the world. Is investing in tobacco shaping the world? (Think it over people!)

Dr. Jimmy Lin – A Geneticist on the future with advanced Cancer Diagnostics
Take Away: Cancer is a haunting word. Cancer Genomics, Precision Medicine, Immunotherapy – play a significant role in the early detection and treatment of cancers. Medical procedures, Medical Biomarkers and Medical Imaging are important when it comes to detecting cancer. What if from only two vials of blood, we could detect all cancers? It is a possibility in the near future. Early diagnosis means better prognosis. With Targeted Therapy and many ongoing researches, there is a hope and yes, good days are coming soon enough.

Anushka Naiknaware – On managing chronic wounds
Take Away: Chronic wounds…like say diabetic ulcer. It can be debilitating…could lead to amputation. The timing for the change of dressing is important and to know the right time is a possibility. By overcoming all scientific and social hurdles, being just a 14 year old girl did not matter as I got support from the established in the scientific community.

Tharanga Goonetilleke – Opera and Passion…
Take Away: Opera…My Passion…
Passion is a Parasite. Passion sucked the hatred out of me. And the world appeared beautiful.
Passion is an Opportunist.
Passion is a Realist. A small country (Sri Lanka) I come from, does not mean I am a small person.
Passion is a Taskmaster. Passion is a Mentor.
Pride is toxic. Humility is essential.
And With Passion I Fly…

Linsey Pollak – Flute and Music and Music and Flute…
Take Away: Music is the real joy, so play, share and keep playing.

Ajit Narayanan – On visual speech for the Autistic and Beyond…
Take Away: Visual speech, a FreeSpeech app for the autistic. It is impactful in kids with learning disability. However, it can also be used to teach other kids a second language. Uses skill engine algorithm. A useful, impactful tool in giving an artificial voice to those in need of it.

Manisha Mohan – On on-body safety via the seamless integration of wearables into users’ existing clothing
Take Away: Choose between embracing silence or roaring. World is full of emotional, physical and hierarchical domination. It is difficult for a woman to survive without being taken advantage of at some point in life. Sensitive receptors in the clothes connected to mobile technology helps a person even in shoc to connect with friends in time of need (like sexual assault). It gives voice to the silent me-toos. How important is a voice to protect a community, society at large, and the world together? Every voice against sexual abuse matters. Embracing silence is not the answer; learn to roar.

Rothna Begum – Human Rights of Immigration Workers in the Gulf
Take Away: There is an immigration risk working in the Gulf especially among the labour class. So one must be aware of the risks as well as the benefits of the human rights. With the changing laws in the Gulf, in the future, the scenario would be different, a better scenario for the immigrants.

Bharat Anand – Internet Government versus Real Governments and Democracy
Take Away: Citizens of Google, Federation of Facebook…the Governments of the Future…
Key words: Censorship, algorithm, artificial intelligence, democracy – How to deal with these abd your own privacy? By demanding…Transparency with Algorithm fairness + Data Property Rights + User Inclusive Decisions + Due power – one must insist on it. Inspire, as without a user, any digital platform is helpless. Design your own reality. Democratize your own platform.

Prof. Shubha Tole: On Neurons, Neuron Regeneration, Neuroscience and Behaviour
Take Away: The more you activate your grey cells, the more neurons you grow. So grow neurons by having a learner’s attitude that will help develop a better society, a more tolerant society.

UnErase Poetry = Simar Singh + Priya Malik + Anuj Kumbhat + Ramneek Singh + Joshua Thomas – One of my favourites from the event!
Take Away: There is an artist inside all of us. But why is that Art has no gender, but an Artist has? Why is it a writer, who happens to be a female, is mentioned as a female writer? Is just being a writer not enough? What role a gender plays in profession? Blackboard – makes rules and teaches many things, but is itthe backboard teaching what you want or what others want you to learn? Go forward, and then rewind – learn from the past and change your mind to suit the best for the present and for the future.

Ricky Kej + Darlene Koldenhoven + Hai Phuong + Ron Korb + Mehmet Ali Sanlikol + Rajesh Raman Aka Blaaze + Manoj George + Muthu Kumar + The Raveolution String Section + The Raveolution Choir – On Climate Change and its Impact
Take Away: Climate change will be submerging many island nations.And there will be a rise in a new set of immigrants – the climate refugees. Two songs – Song of the New Beginning and Love Divine ending with National Anthem conveyed a deep message to the audience.

Jagdish Mahapatra – On Cybersecurity…
Take Away: To avoid hackers constant efforts to hack your system/device…Change your passwords on the Home Internet. Do regular Cybercheck. Delete the unwanted apps on your phone. Backup every device, every day. Home is where we are most vulnerable; so protect your devices, protect yourself.

Tashi & Nungshi Malik – The twin sisters on mountaineering and girl rights
Take Away: Unlike humans, mountains do not discriminate any gender. There are visible mountains that you can climb, but many invisible dark mountains of discrimination are yet to be fought and invaded.

Joseph Redmon – On Computer Vision
Take Away: Computer vision can save lives. YOLO (You Only Look Once) algorithm has a simple goal: to deliver image recognition and object detection at a speed that would seem science-fictional only a few years ago. With application of such solutions, car accident numbers can go down. And lives can be saved. This is just an example. There can be numerous other fruitful and useful applications of this algorithm.

Shriva Shrinivasan – Bharatanatyam, Proprioception and Prosthetics
Take Away: To dance, and to enjoy the dance of life, one must feel. Are the current amputation surgeries and prosthetics good enough? The answer is ‘Yes’, there can be better ways of dealing with lost limbs and then connecting them to robotic prosthetics to make the person feel. Feeling is fundamental to our existence. It is just the beginning; with ongoing research, there is a long way to go.

Dr. Saurabh Rane – An XDR TB Survivor on Tuberculosis…
Take Away: Change starts with us. TB is treatable, but the stigma associated with it isn’t. Along with medicines, a change in thinking is the need of the hour to treat and support a TB patient.

Richard Browning – Gravity, Anti-gravity…Human propulsion…Humans to fly…a possibility!
Take Away: Have a big vision, work on it, be prepared to fail, be prepared to learn from failing, work on them, bridge the gaps, win, and change the world.
And the demo in the end of the event was worth it. I felt for a moment I was looking at Tony Stark in a different Iron Man outfit. To watch the demo click: https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1555229751197267&id=113501915370065

Akash Manoj – On Cardiac Biomarkers to detect onset of Heart Attack
Take Away: How cardiac biomarkers can help in the early detection of Myocardial Infarct, of about 6 hours earlier from the time of onset of a Heart Attack by using FABP3. Aim in making the current healthcare system, which is more of ‘Sick’ Care to an actual ‘Health’ Care scenario.

Washington Wachira – Bird Watching and Bird Learning
Take Away: Birds are intelligent creatures and there is a lot to learn from them. From nesting to feeding to mating to migrating to flying and flying higher – every species narrate a beautiful story.

Afreen Khan – The Ultimate Storyteller…Yes, she is!
Take Away: Child Abuse is not a matter to be taken lightly or ignored. It is a serious matter and a matter of concern. We can’t change corrupt minds, but we can teach our kids the difference between a good touch and a bad touch. So yes, all the closed drawers have to be opened, and all the suppressed voices have to be heard, to put an end to this grave crime and to save many innocent minds.
I speak Urdu, but I had no idea that in Urdu a matter as grave as Child Abuse could be narrated with such an effect, without a tinge of vulgarity, yet describing the entire episode, conveying a complete message, bringing tears in the eyes of all those heard the story, and creating an impact that subtly, yet confidently, expressed a very Big Message. Yes, Afreen and her narration in Urdu on the story of a young 11 years old girl, Alia, who was molested by her step dad, indeed deserved a standing ovation from the audience!

I doubt if I have missed any of the speaker or mentioned any wrong speaker name. In case I have, then apologies as every speaker deserves a correct mention.

Organized in collaboration with Aditya Birla Group, JSW, Infosys, Rustomjee, BASF, Facebook and Qatar Airways, I liked the kit which I received, especially the Orange Stole from Liva by ABG.

A perfect blend of Science, Medical Science, Technology, Arts, Music, and Social Cause, TEDXGateway2018 was indeed a memorable event.

Some links for reference…

Speaker list: http://www.tedxgateway.com/speakers/all-speakers/

Event Pictures: https://www.facebook.com/events/884339795047184/
and https://www.facebook.com/TEDxGateway/

Some of my clicks…

Special thanks to Lalita, to whom goes the photo credits as well!

…Ashu Bolar