TEDxKIITUniversity 2021 was conducted online on 4th April 2021 through the video conferencing platform Zoom. With 14 speakers and performers of repute from India and abroad, the event was a runaway success as it saw participation of around 200 attendees. It was inaugurated by Prof. Sasmita Samanta, Pro-Vice Chancellor, KIIT Deemed to be University and the guests were welcomed and introduced by Dr. Shyam Sundar Behura, Deputy Director Student Services, KIIT.
The speakers included Priyanka Srivastava, Space System Engineer, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and Member of NASA Mars 2020 Mission; Usha Rani Naik, a tribal woman from Mayurbhanj district of Odisha who successfully steered the wheel of empowerment through Sabai grass handicrafts venture that was started with only 20 women and is now employing over 200; Walter Volpatto, a renowned senior colourist from Company3 Hollywood, Fellow in Leadership of the Colourist Society International and member of Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; Praveen Chauhan, a Gaya-based environmental activist who with his organization MATR has innovatively recycled floral waste into dyes along with promoting Khadi in international market; Kallol Ghosh, a social entrepreneur who has transformed lives of hundreds of HIV positive people making them financially independent; Varshita Ramesh, a singer-songwriter from Bengaluru who with her passion for music and love for jazz has performed at major music festivals and toured with the band of AR Rahman; and Pranshu Chatur Lal, a celebrated tabla percussionist and recipient of ‘Tabla Ratna Award’.
The other speakers were Cristina Zenato, Shark behaviourist with 23 years of shark diving experience who oversaw removal of more than 300 hooks from the sharks’ mouth that got her featured in the BBC, CNN and Nat Geo; Anand Swaroop, recipient of ‘Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award’ and an Indian representative to the UIAA, the International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation; Dr. Jitendra Agrawal, Founder of Sarthak Organization that is touching thousands of lives of Divyangs strengthening their lives with optimism; Madhushree Bhattacharya, an eminent musician and winner of Sony Stardust Award Best Female Sensation (Playback Singer); Maj. A. K. Singh, Kirti Chakra Awardee and the first physically handicapped person to circumnavigate the globe on a yacht; Dr. Omesh Kumar Bharti, a field epidemiologist recognized by WHO, who was awarded Padma Shri for his work on economical care for rabid dog bite; Cicely and Christina, the electronic duo of Kaleida that has over 100 million streams.
The organizing team of TEDxKIITUniversity thanked all the speakers of the event and Prof. Achyuta Samanta, Founder, KIIT & KISS for supporting the venture. Dr. Behura thanked Aditya Chaubey, CEO, TEDxKIITUniversity; Alankrita Tewari, Licensee; Devraj Bora, Co-organizer and their entire team for making the event a grand success.