Monday, March 5, 2012

Ignite Chennai 2012 - Review of sorts...

Attended Ignite Chennai at Thoughtworks on 2nd March 2012. Couldn't present this time around. Here are my thoughts/feedback about the second edition of Ignite Chennai.

  • A much better organized and attended session compared to 2010. Kudos to the organizers and Thoughtworks.
  • Each presentation is only 5 minutes and there are bells at the end of 240 and 300 seconds. People need to use this time to ignite thoughts :-)
  • 19 presentations compared to 20+ in the previous edition. 
  • starting time was 6 PM, but it was close to 6.30 PM when we started and lost some time in ice breakers ( it was good, but is it really needed?).
  • The one on marathon titled  'Don't Sprint the Marathon - Leadership Lessons from Running' was interesting, but the presentation was poorly put together. As the presenter himself said, he wasn't experienced with doing a presentation in the ignite format.
  • Vijay Prabhat Kamalakara's presentation 'Telling Stories'  was very interesting and reminded me of the potential of the ancient art in these modern times. check out
  • Using the web to help children who run away find and settle was inspiring. A perfect example of technology helping a social cause. check out
  • Then there was this presentation by Mohan, who wore a blazer, started saying that he has won awards for innovation at national level and is a CEO of his own company. He added that he wore a blazer because people wouldn't believe him and requested us whether he can remove his blazer :-). It was so refreshing and invigorating to see and hear Mohan, a 3rd year engineering student give a talk.  Mohan is available in facebook @ mohankvl. This presentation was the icing on the cake.
  • The presentation by Peter Van Geit showed us the trekking possibilities some 3 hours away from chennai. The photos shared gave us a feel of what the trekkers enjoy. The theme was on 'transforming people through trekking'. for more, please check out
  • I liked the small presentation given by Anand Krishnaswamy titled 'Troubadour Chef'. Being a food lover  and a part time cook, i could relate a lot to the presentation. I was able to catch up with him, for a short while,  post the presentation . I also liked the way the presentation was done. Probably a hidden message that serving is as important as cooking,if not more important :-)  Do check it out at once it is loaded in
  • I loved the presentation by Sharada Ramakrishnan for the profound message it carried. When you play with nature's design, many a times,  it takes  long to see the end only to realize that it all doesn't make sense. Remember a 'roll back' or 'start from scratch' option doesn't exist. She spoke about her time with tribals in Papa New Guinea and the potential impact of introducing civilization to them.
  • S Anand's presentation  'how to generate a picture with numbers was quite interesting' and reminded me of the book Freakonomics.  May be there was too much to cover in just 300 seconds, but Anand did succeed in giving  a sense of what he wanted to convey.
  • Dr Renita Rajan's presentation on 'being a doctor' gets a mention for the humor that was sprinkled in the presentation.
  • Dr Vasudha Prakash's presentation titled 'The Fool's Journey' was one of the best that evening primarily for the poise with which it was delivered and the message it carried. for more check out
  • Arvind Ashok's presentation titled 'The Emperor's New Clothes' brought out some interesting relevant and valid points on fitness and food we eat. Check out the
  • Praveen Selvam's presentation 'How I won the superbike' was interesting, but not as interesting as reading his blog. May be the message got lost in all the beautiful photos he used.
  • Bharani Shivakumar's presentation on cycling was very inspiring. i also met one person who had cycled to Ascendas for the presentation. I hope the presentation makes me take out my cycle more often, if not cycle to distances within 10 kms radius. check out
  • Sridhar Lakshman's presentation "How to service the rich and the poor in a mutually beneficial manner?" brought out some interesting possibilities to preserve nature the way it is and also ensure that the people who live close to nature are benefited.
  • Revathi's presentation on getting children to write was interesting, but the presentation could have been better delivered. is doing a commendable job. please check it out.
  • The talks  'Music - the science behind the art', 'Finding Mnemo - Techniques that can be used to remember things effectively', 'Last minute wisdom' and 'My real life story - getting rid of Asthma' were all interesting.
  • i met a friend from my CDAC days and i forgot to get his phone number. Dude, do mail me and i love to be in touch.
  • The 15 minute break in the middle is useful and serves the purpose, but we don't get enough time to catch up with the people who talk. Can we have dinner served after the session so that we can spend more time catching up? Thoughtworks, Any thoughts around this? 


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