I attended the TEDx event in Hyderabad today. With the second edition of the speaker event in Hyd; TEDxHyderabad carried the theme of “Crafting Our Future”. The event brought together stories and ideas that proudly announced that the onus of adapting the canvas of a blank future to a new set of colors is in our own hands. The talks put a special emphasis on aimpact*.

Kiran Kanojia, is a blade runner. A brave heart who had to have her leg amputated following an accident. Kiran said and I quote “I was never a runner. Prior to my predicament, I worked a nine to five job”. She fought against all odds to become a marathon runner. She crafted her future with an astounding persistence and adoptimism*.

Asha de Vos is a Sri Lankan marine biologist, ocean educator and pioneer of blue whale research within the Northern Indian Ocean. She is known for the Blue whale project. Ted TalkBeing laughed at for studying subjects that would never make her money; she continued to pursue marine biology. She claims that while we set on countless expeditions to search for life in far reaching corners of the universe, it’s greatly surprising how little we know about the marine life, here on our own planet. Oceanic flora makes up for 70% of oxygen that we breathe. Asha asserts that the answer to counter the deteriorating environmental conditions on earth lies in the mysteries of the ocean and she is dead set on unravelling those mysteries. Does she aspire to craft a sustainable future for the planet earth and humanity? Affirmative.

Srikanth Bolla is the first international visually challenged student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 2012, Bolla started his career by founding Bollant Industries, which provides employment to several hundred people with disabilities.
Jasminder Singh Gulati, co-founder Digital-Desh. His company helps get businesses in rural areas online. Among a hoard of interesting stories to tell, he narrates the one about Pawan from Pushkar, Rajasthan. Pawan used to work as a middleman for desert safari operators. A benevolent tourist introduced him to the internet and guided him to put up the camel safari offerings on TripAdvisor. Pawan now owns 400 camels. A handful of people and the internet helped Pawan craft his future.

I often hear people say that whatever is destined to happen, will happen; and that we act as mere pawns to enable what has already been etched in stone. I beg to differ. I have always been a firm believer of “I write my own destiny”. We can choose to write it whichever way we desire to. Today at TEDx I heard folks narrate extraordinary excerpts from their life, wherein they not only wrote their own destiny and but are continually making efforts to craft the future of many other people by enabling progressential*; in ways that strike a chord with them and resonate with their heart.

*As folks at TEDx like to put it; aimpact* is “aiming to impact”, adoptimism refers to “adopting optimism” and progressential designates “progress that is essential”.

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