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TEDxMAHE Bengaluru 2024

The theme of TEDxMAHE Bengaluru is "Into the Newness" and the event seeks to foster discussions around new imaginations and practices of social change.‘Newness,’ referring to a sense of freshness and originality, is the common factor among all the ideas that will be showcased at the event. Our hope is that this will generate and provoke conversations around how we can collectively work towards transforming the spaces we inhabit and together change societies.

In this inaugural edition, we showcase experts from various fields, ranging from the arts to the sciences to health to gaming, who will speak about ideas that are transforming their areas of work in more socially inclusive ways.

Firmly locating ourselves in the vibrant city of Bengaluru, all our speakers are based in the city and have benefitted from the cultures of innovation and openness that is the hallmark of the city.

Event Schedule

The inaugural edition of TEDxMAHE Bengaluru is scheduled for 16 February 2024. 

  • Designer, Historian and Curator | Curating for Culture 

    Ishita Shah

    Trained as a designer and historian, Ishita’s practice is rooted at the intersection of cultural preservation, creative interpretation, and community engagement, under the aegis of a collective Curating for Culture. Through the lockdowns of 2020-21, Ishita has been conducting online engagements on family archiving and moderated an exposure series, Curating Archives to discuss creatives possibilities for archiving in India and the Global South. Ishita has received the Graham Foundation Grant for Research in 2020. Over the last year, Ishita has collaborated with Biome Environmental Solutions, National Centre for Biological Sciences and INTACH Bengaluru to curate a wide range of dissemination exercises. She has also been curating a public engagement platform, Design Dialogues at the Courtyard, where diverse practitioners and academicians gather to discuss and decode complex, cultural issues. Ishita is currently focusing her research and practice onto understanding and defining feminist approaches to preservation pedagogy. 

  • Post Doctoral fellow and Coordinator | Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE) | Adivasi leader, B.R. Hills, Karnataka

    Dr. Madegowda C

    Dr. Madegowda C is a social scientist and Adivasi leader from B.R. Hills, Karnataka, India. He is currently working in the field station of ATREE in B. R. Hills as a post doctoral fellow and coordinator. He is also the secretary of the community-based organization Zilla Budakattu Girijan Abhivrudhi Sangha, Chamarajanagar. He has 24 years of experience in working with indigenous tribal people and biodiversity conservation in Karnataka. His work includes participatory resource monitoring (PRM), sustainable harvesting of non-timber forest produce, mapping of culturally sacred sites, community-based conservation, enforcing Forest Rights Act 2006 and empowering indigenous communities' movements. He also works in Non-Timber Forest Products value addition and marketing of Adavi products. His research areas include tribal development, traditional knowledge, policy, political ecology, education, socio-economic, health, culture, biodiversity conservation, and indigenous languages.

  • Co-founder, Director | The Alternative Story

    Paras Sharma

    Paras is the co-founder and director of The Alternative Story – a mental health startup based out of Bengaluru. In a career spanning over 12 years, he has worked in hospitals, helplines, corporate mental health organisations and academic institutions. He has helped set up India’s largest counselling helpline run by trained mental health professionals and has also aided in setting up and training government helplines to address violence against women in states such as Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Uttar Pradesh. He has worked with government and non-government organisations at the grassroots in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Tamil Nadu to enhance community mental health. He holds a Master’s Degree in Counselling and is soon to complete a Doctorate in Counselling Psychology. Paras lives with mental and chronic illnesses and is currently engaged in researching and creating awareness on the same.

  • Thematic Lead for Adolescent Health | Karnataka Health Promotion Trus

    Dr. Satyanarayana Ramanaik

    Dr. Satyanarayana Ramanaik is a social scientist with over 20 years of impactful work in public health and developmental issues in India. His extensive engagement with marginalized communities spans a range of critical areas, including HIV/AIDS, gender-based violence (GBV), intimate partner violence (IPV), migration, child marriage, school dropout, and adolescent health. He has been a pivotal force behind large-scale public health interventions and collaborative research initiatives in partnership with esteemed donors and academic institutions such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, USAID, WHO, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), University of Manitoba, the Government of Karnataka, and the Government of India. A highly prolific author with multiple publications to his credit, Dr. Ramanaik’s research has been funded by prestigious, international agencies. At KHPT, he spearheads efforts in gender-based violence, nutrition, menstrual hygiene, and mental health for adolescent girls in rural India.

  • Performance Artist | Social Activist | Artistic Researcher

    Shilpa Mudbi Kothakota

    Shilpa Mudbi Kothakota is a performance artist, social activist, and artistic researcher. As a first-generation urbanite, she strongly identifies with her ancestral roots. Having dedicated several years to working in the hinterlands of Karnataka as a filmmaker, she has documented women’s movements, agrarian lifestyles and cultural politics. Motivated by the search for counter-narratives and consciousness of gender, class, and caste dynamics, Shilpa's artistic research focuses on the human voice. She employs the voice as a lens to understand and challenge hierarchies in society. Currently based in Gulbarga, she is furthering her research in the folk music forms of the region and establishing a space for experiential learning of folk knowledge systems. In addition to her research, Shilpa runs an English medium school in Gulbarga, catering specifically to children from disadvantaged backgrounds. Her endeavours reflect a holistic commitment to both artistic exploration and social activism, addressing the complexities of culture, identity, and education in contemporary society.

  • Content Creator, Inclusion 360 Degrees | Knowledge Management Officer, Karnataka Health Promotion Trust

    Summaiya Khan

    Summaiya Khan works as an officer of knowledge management in KHPT. As someone interested in social sciences, Summaiya is passionate about the inclusion of various cultural identities. With the objective of giving back to society, she has started a YouTube channel, Inclusion 360 Degrees, where she creates creative and informative videos which gives the sighted an idea about the inclusion of people with vision impairment in all spheres of life. Summaiya has a Masters in Political Science and International Relations and has worked as a political research consultant, and as a research associate at Centre for Budget and Policy Studies (CBPS) and Synergia Foundation, a strategic think tank. Summaiya has also taught courses on international relations theory, public policy, political theory and the Indian constitution and has published articles relating to foreign policy, strategy and security and international law.

  • Head, Applied AI Research and Development Group | Siemens Technology

    Swathi Shyam Sunder

    Swathi Shyam Sunder is currently heading an applied AI research and development group at Siemens Technology in Bengaluru. Over 12+ years, she has transitioned through varied roles in multiple organisations, adding to her experience as a technical leader alongside numerous publications and patents. Swathi was recognised with the Siemens Inventor of the Year 2023 award for her excellent contribution to innovation in the fields of data analytics and artificial intelligence. Swathi identifies herself with causes such as diversity in tech and enablement of underrepresented groups. She has been contributing to related global programs as a volunteer and mentor. Swathi is fluent in more than 6 languages and also passionately engages in arts and crafts. Having travelled across 20 countries, she believes that such worldwide exposure has vastly broadened her perspectives.

  • Teacher, St. Joseph’s University, Bengaluru | Writer | Performer

    Vijeta Kumar

    Vijeta Kumar is a teacher and writer. She teaches Communicative English at St. Joseph's University, Bengaluru. She has written and published works about higher education, classrooms, films, books, food, caste, and media in The Third Eye, Deccan Herald, Hindustan Times, HuffPost, India Today, and The Open Dosa. She writes more regularly at She is currently pursuing a PhD on the works of Dawn Powell. 

  • Founder and CEO | Fibroheal Woundcare

    Vivek Mishra

    Vivek Mishra is a techno-commercial management professional with a diverse background spanning various industries, including medical devices, pharmaceuticals, food and nutrition, and agri-business. He started his current venture Fibroheal Woundcare in 2017 which is based on silk protein derived wound management solutions. Fibroheal works to address various types and stages of wounds, aiming to become a comprehensive wound management company from India. It focuses on addressing various types of acute, chronic, traumatic, and post-operative wounds through IP protected technology and has more than half a dozen patents to their name. Fibroheal is the first company in India to have commercialized silk proteins to heal different types of wounds. Beyond his role at Fibroheal, Vivek Mishra is actively involved in fostering innovation within the biotech and life sciences sector. He serves as a panelist on various committees, including BIRAC, IIT Guwahati, and several BioNest and life sciences incubators. His commitment to nurturing groundbreaking ideas is evident in his efforts to help these concepts materialize and enter the market.


Community Engagement for Cultural Preservation

By Ishitha Shah | 10:30 AM


Using Indigenous knowledge for biodiversity conservation

Dr. Madegowda C | 11:00 AM


Into the Newness: Navigating Mental Health in India

Paras Sharma | 11:30 AM


Community-Led Solutions in Public Health Interventions

Dr. Satyanarayana Ramanaik | 12:00 PM


Who owns Folk Music?

Shilpa Mudbi Kothakota | 12:30 PM


Who owns Folk Music?

Shilpa Mudbi Kothakota | 12:30 PM

Into the Newness

What Sets Us Apart

In this inaugural edition, we showcase experts from various fields, ranging from the arts to the sciences to health to gaming, who will speak about ideas that are transforming their areas of work in more socially inclusive ways.

Firmly locating ourselves in the vibrant city of Bengaluru, all our speakers are based in the city and have benefitted from the cultures of innovation and openness that is the hallmark of the city.Glance at our list of speakers, and you’ll also find that most of our experts are women! No chance of manels here.


09:45 - 10:15 — Shilpa Mudbi: Who Owns Folk Music
10:15 - 10:45 — Poornima Seetharaman: Exploring New Social Frontiers With Games
10:45 - 11:15 — Swathi Shyam Sunder: Break Your Own Biases
11:15 - 11:30 — Short Break


11:30 - 12:00 — Madegowda C: Using Indigenous Knowledge for Biodiversity Conservation
12:00 - 12:30 — Summaiya Khan: Into the Newness: Inclusion 360 Degree
12:30 - 1:00 — Satyanarayana Ramnaik: Empowering Voices, Transforming Lives: Community-Led Solutions in Public Health Interventions
1:00 - 02:00 — Lunch Break


02:00 - 02:30 — Farah Ishtiaq: Does Sewage Hold the Secret to City’s Health?
02:30 - 03:00 — Vivek Mishra: Silk Route to Woundcare
03:00 - 03:30 — Paras Sharma: Into the Newness: Navigating Mental Health in India
03:30 - 03:45 — Short Break


03:45 - 04:15 — Ishita Shah: Community Engagement for Cultural Preservation
04:15 - 04:25 - Technical Break
04:25 - 04:55 — Pasha Bhai: From Local to Global: The Untapped Potential of Dakhni Hip-Hop
04:55 - 05:15 — Concluding Ceremony

Inauguration Ceremony

09:00 - 09:30 — Inauguration
09:30 - 09:45 — TEDx Intro Video





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