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First TEDx IIMSirmaur - 2017
First TEDxIIMSirmaur Celebrates Tenacity of Indomitable Human Spirit
PAONTA SAHIB, Himachal Pradesh, November 4

IIM Sirmaur hosted its first TEDx event with the theme Resurgam, Latin for “I shall rise again.” The exclusive invite-only event featured a group of speakers from wide-ranging fields and diverse backgrounds. The five speakers were Yogesh Kumar, founder and Director of Even Cargo, Kamalika Deka, HR head, Jubilant Foodworks, Vivek Sarkar, Wildlife Biologist, Kartiki Bhatnagar, blogger and vitiligo awareness activist, and Avinash Pratap Singh, Waste Warrior. TEDxIIMSirmaur has been organised by a student team led by Abhishek Singh and Soumyadeep Das, students of IIM Sirmaur’s second PGDM batch.

The Indian Institute of Management, Sirmaur is one of six new third-generation IIMs established in 2015 by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India. Nestled in the foothills of Himalayas, IIM Sirmaur graduated its first batch of PGDM students this year. Under the stewardship of Professor (Dr.) Neelu Rohmetra, the first woman Director of any IIM, the institute is committed to revitalising higher education in the management sciences by designing future-aware training and research which engages with both local and global stakeholders.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TED Talks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)

TED's open and free initiatives for spreading ideas include TED.com, where new TED Talk videos are posted daily; the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as translations from thousands of volunteers worldwide; the educational initiative TED-Ed; the annual million-dollar TED Prize, which funds exceptional individuals with a "wish," or idea, to create change in the world; TEDx, which provides licenses to thousands of individuals and groups who host local, self-organized TED-style events around the world; and the TED Fellows program, which selects innovators from around the globe to amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.

Professor (Dr.) Neelu Rohmetra, Director IIM Sirmaur welcomed one and all and acknowledged the contributions of students, staff and faculty members in making TEDxIIMSirmaur a catapult for the institute to engage in a global conversation. “IIM Sirmaur strives not only to provide the space to discuss ideas worth spreading, but also to generate them”, Prof. Rohmetra said. Having broken through a 56 year-old glass ceiling earlier this year when she became the first woman Director to lead any IIM in the country, Dr. Rohmetra has herself effected a sea change in gender parity. Drawing on her own experiences, Dr. Rohmetra said that success is always possible if one consistently challenges the status quo.

This was also echoed by Yogesh Kumar, who pointed out that more women in the workforce means an exponential growth in India’s GDP. All of the talks presented spoke to each other in terms of successfully coming up with solutions where none are forthcoming from established systems. Laying out alarming statistics about the amount of waste generated in only a few days by tourists on pristine Himalayan trails like Triund, Avinash Pratap Singh shared the strategies he used to manage the herculean task of keeping the mountains clean. He said that Waste Warriors are able to create change because they “make cleaning up look cool,” turning on its head the stigma attached to waste-workers. Young Kartiki Bhatnagar’s talk drove home the importance not conforming to restrictive labels: “Liberate yourself from the labels that society gives you,” she said, “We humans are too complex to be labelled into such simple categories.” Studying what he calls “the loudest yet least known members of the forest orchestra,” Vivek Sarkar found that “hardships give opportunities that not everyone gets.” Kamalika Deka urged future managers from IIM Sirmaur to always remember to start ahead of time and to innovate.

Professor Vikas Kumar and Professor Nivisha Singh coordinated the event with the students. Padmanav Adhikari, a student attendee from IIM Sirmaur said that the event was “full of life-altering ideas.” Another student, Nitin Sankar felt that the event affirmed that failure begets victory.