x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Odyssey

This event occurred on
May 26, 2023
Bangalore, Karnataka

"Not all those who wander are lost".

For centuries, we've looked up at the night sky, flickering specks from galaxies so far away that they are ghosts;
glitching remnants of stories that have already come to pass.

But one, in particular, has stood out to humanity, a trusty beacon, unwavering and bright. Polaris, the North Star.

Aligned with the planet's rotational axis, Polaris is a reliable indicator of true North, used by sailors and explorers to gather their bearings when lost on an odyssey.

We face volatile times in our own lives that can infect us with a fatal yearning for meaning or a purpose.

History speaks of tyrants, driven to madness by the seductive taste of power or obstinate faith in a cause. Perhaps in their haste to bring about their vision for the future, it is easy to forget that progress is a double-edged sword and find themselves lost in the pursuit of something greater.

But whether we are pages in a cosmic plan or victims of anarchy, there is comfort in the thought that when we stumble off a carefully plotted course, we can always look up at Polaris, an anchor in the sky, to find our way back home.

MVJ College of Engineering
Near ITPB, Whitefield
Bangalore, Karnataka, 560067
Event type:
University (What is this?)
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Bruce Lee Mani

Singer and songwriter, lead singer of thermal and a quarter and director of taaqademy
Bruce Lee Mani is a renowned guitarist and musician from Bangalore, India. He gained fame as the lead vocalist and guitarist of the Indian rock band Thermal and a Quarter. Born in 1977, Bruce Lee Mani started playing the guitar at 13. In 1996, he co-founded Thermal and a Quarter with Rajeev Rajagopal and Leslie Charles, and the band quickly garnered a huge following in India and abroad. Their music blended rock, jazz, blues, and Indian classical elements. Bruce Lee Mani is revered for his exceptional guitar skills, earning him a reputation as one of India's finest guitarists. His unique playing style has captivated audiences nationwide, establishing him as a significant influence in his generation. Recognizing his contributions, Bruce Lee Mani has received several accolades. In 2011, he was honored with the Rolling Stone India Award for Best Guitarist, underscoring his talent and impact on the Indian music scene.

Divya Hegde

co-founder and CEO of Baeru Environmental Services
Divya Hegde is a visionary leader in environmental sustainability and social impact. She is the co-founder and CEO of Baeru Environmental Services, an innovative organization that encourages coastal communities in India to participate in climate action. Divya has been instrumental in Baeru's success in addressing ocean plastic pollution and supporting the health of India's coastal ecosystems. In addition to her work at Baeru, Divya serves as a board trustee for a Karnataka-based NGO that promotes climate action and ocean pollution mitigation. Her collaborations with Google on sustainability projects, combined with her pioneering efforts in climate action and gender equality, have earned her two UN Women's Asia Pacific Leadership Commitment awards, solidifying her as a remarkable force in making the world a better place.

Praachi Nagpal

Model, Miss Grand India 2022
Meet Praachi Nagpal, a trailblazing fashionista and a formidable force to be reckoned with. From elegantly strutting the runway and becoming Miss Grand India to advocating for social awareness, Praachi's odyssey is one of perseverance and determination. She is a graduate of the prestigious National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) and is currently pursuing an MBA in luxury management at IFA Paris. Praachi entered the world of modeling and pageantry at the age of 18, and after seven long years of relentless effort, she was finally crowned Miss Grand International India 2022, becoming the first type-1 diabetic beauty pageant winner from India. Besides being a prominent figure in fashion and modeling, Praachi is also a community volunteer; she is closely collaborating with the World Health Organisation to spread awareness about type-1 diabetes among the people of India, and she actively supports animal welfare by providing help in funding and in the adoption of stray dogs.

Punya Arora

Stand-up Comedian, Screenwriter
"A Punjabi by nature and South Indian at heart!" and a biryani connoisseur, she is an individual who loves spreading joy and sunshine wherever she goes. Punya Arora is a stand-up comedian with a witty and sarcastic sense of humor who receives critical acclaim for her sharp and insightful jocularity. Punya Arora is a talented and innovative stand-up comedian whose unique voice and fresh perspective have made her a rising star in the world of comedy. Her genre of comedy is observational and lighthearted, which often incorporates different accents. They say laughter is the best medicine, and she’s got the whole pharmacy. She is known for her unique perspective on everyday issues such as relationships, dating, and social norms. Gaining a growing fan base and establishing herself as one of India's most exciting comedians, she now has a YouTube channel, gaining over 34.6K followers for all her comedy stunts. The eager beaver is one of the renowned writers of Masaba Masaba on Netflix.

Vishnu Ambat

Graffiti/Street artist
We are excited to share with you the story of a man who turned his passion for wall art into a thriving business. Vishnu Ambat is a graffiti and mural artist, illustrator, and art curator who has spent the last ten years working on all types of wall art. He is none other than the founder of Kalakarah, India's #1 graffiti mural crew! From a small town in Kerala to the big cities of India, he painted his way to fame and fortune. He ditched his corporate job and picked up his paintbrush. He teamed up with his old buddy and started 'kalakarah', a wall art venture that turned his passion into his profession. Without any knowledge of business and with no degree in fine arts, they faced many challenges and rejections, but he never gave up on his childhood dream. The team has now completed over 200 projects and is India's largest commercial wall art collective. From mess to masterpiece, they paint a success story. He is living proof that persistence pays off, as long as you love what you do.

Vishnu Vardhan

An Investment Banker, Investor, and former Executive Director in the world's largest Investment Bank, Morgan Stanley.
An investor, former executive Director at Morgan Stanley, Vishnu Vardhan, has 20 years of experience in the field of banking and technology. He has worked with Industry giants like JP Morgan, Barclays, Standard Bank, and Wipro Consulting. He serves as a true inspiration for being a successful self-made person, originating from a really humble background. A career break transformed him into a socially active person. He utilized the power of words to create public awareness of issues relating to people with physical disability and transgenders. His urge to find a unique path molded him to be a public speaker, Leadership & executive, Emotional Intelligence expert, Neuro-linguistic Programming, and Neuro semantics Coach.

Organizing team


Bangalore, India