Postcards from INK 2013 – All that Matters

INK is a platform for a global dialogue to take place with an emphasis on idea exchange between India and the world. Their cornerstone event is the annual INK conference in association with TED, which brings together the world’s movers and shakers to share ideas in India. INK is a springboard to launch ideas into creative action. You get to meet extraordinary people who believe they have the potential to transform society, if only they had a little extra help. INK acts as an accelerator for select ideas and people, derived from their events, and they work to turn these ideas into realities. Here are some pictures of the speakers and also the fun moments which we had at the conference.

More Pictures from this conference here

Vandana is an independent musician and playback singer with an eclectic range of influences. She grew up in Qatar where she trained in Carnatic music, moved to London where she explored the sounds of the Bangla migrant community, and finally moved to India to pursue her passion. She is the lead female vocalist for Staccato – a Chennai-based band that was chosen out of 10,000 entries from Asia to perform at the London Olympics.


Dr. Jakob van Zyl is the Associate Director at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory responsible for Project Formulation and Strategy. He has more than 20 years of research experience in various aspects of satellite remote sensing.

Jakob van Zyl

Varun Agarwal is a 25 years old filmmaker, entrepreneur and a bestselling author. He is the co-founder of Alma Mater, India’s biggest college apparel/memorabilia company, author of bestseller ‘How I braved Anu Aunty & Co-founded A Million Dollar Company’, and also the co-founder of Reticular, a social media marketing firm. The pursuit of his interests brought about collaborations with A.R. Rahman, Preity Zinta, and many others.

Varun Agarwal

Andrea hails from Goa, and is currently a PhD student at the MIT Media Lab. Her research focuses on creating novel user interfaces in the smart-everything era. Recently, she invented a miniature, low-power 3D sensor for touch-less gestural input to mobile devices and other wearable tech (like the Google Glass). Andrea is also an aspiring tech entrepreneur – her startup, 3dim, is producing a compact, low-power mobile 3D camera. In her spare time she enjoys mentoring young geeks. In 2010 she co-founded the Media Lab Design and Innovation workshop series, conducted annually in partnership with top Indian universities.

Andrea Colaço

Based in Botswana, Tendekayi produces high quality low-cost solar powered hearing aids made for deaf people by deaf people. Most children in Africa cannot sustain use of hearing aids due to lack of electricity or the cost of batteries – solar power solves this problem of accessibility. Deaftronics now operates in Mexico, Singapore, China, Jordan and India, and have sold 10,000 hearing aids and 50,000 batteries to over 40 countries. Tendekayi has also worked on creating sign language dictionaries for banking and HIV vocabularies.

Tendekayi Katsiga

For over 42 years now Usha Uthup has spread a message of love and unity, peace and harmony, tolerance and integrity, and happiness – through music. From discotheques to concerts, across India and the World, she has addressed the youth about the values of music that makes us human. She lives as she believes, presenting even the most contemporary songs dressed in traditional attire projecting the fact that India is a true melting pot of cultures, with its own distinctive cultural identity.

Usha Uthup



Tod Machover is head of MIT Media Lab’s Opera of the Future group. An influential composer, he has been praised for creating music that breaks traditional artistic and cultural boundaries; his music has been performed and commissioned by some of the world’s most important performers and ensembles. In 1995, he received a “Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres,” one of France’s highest cultural honors, and in 1998 he was awarded the first DigiGlobe Prize from the German government. He has composed five operas and is the inventor of Hyperinstruments, a technology that uses smart computers to augment virtuosity. Hyperinstruments have been used by performers such as Yo-Yo Ma, Prince, and Peter Gabriel. Machover is also the creator of the Toy Symphony, an international music performance and education project. His research group is currently examining ways to use music in therapy for emotionally and physically challenged individuals.

Seventeen year-old Aisha Chaudhary was born with an immune deficiency disorder and overcame a predicted life expectancy of only one year to have become an accomplished artist today. Despite a serious lung disease called Pulmonary Fibrosis, her persistent optimism, extraordinary maturity in the face of impossible odds, and calm perspective on life’s challenges have been an inspiration to many.

Aisha Chaudhary

An entrepreneur, inventor and industrial designer with a diverse technical background, Mark is a filmmaker who has undertaken artistic projects that are epic in scale, entail great technical complexity and innovation, and transcend an ordinary view of the world. Producer, co-writer, co-editor of award winning films Chronos (1985), Baraka (1992), and Samsara (2012), he has taken crews to over 50 countries in search of profound and one of a kind imagery.

Mark Magidson

Shankar Tucker is an American-born clarinetist and composer who creates music that explores contemporary and traditional Indian sounds. He collaborates with other musicians to represent new generation Indian artists – bringing their music to an internationally and culturally diverse audience, both on- and offline.

shankar Tucker



Anupam Mukerji

Tina Sharma


Roger Fisk has had a key “behind the scenes role” in President Obama’s organization since then-Senator Obama announced his run for president in February 2007. He has seen from the beginning the development of cutting-edge organizing strategies, the application of agile on-line organizing tools, and a truly innovative, thoroughly modern mobilization of social media. With 6 months of service on the President’s successful 2012 re-election, Roger has worked with all of those tools as they were perfected in the second campaign.

Roger Fisk

William Pennell Rock developed ORIGINS, a methodology for presenting insight into self-development and realization in workshops and performing arts. He began his professional career as a child actor appearing on television and theater.

William Pennell Rock


Rekha Parameswaran is a healer, educator and writer. She is currently the chair of the Hemostasis Study group of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer, the largest multidisciplinary organization of its kind. Rekha has special expertise in taking care of people with genetic bleeding and clotting disorders by working closely with the highly skilled surgeons at Memorial Sloan Kettering to ensure that people can safely undergo extensive cancer operations.

Rekha Parameswaran

asima is a boundary-breaking vocal and percussion ensemble from Trivandrum, Kerala. The word “asima” in sanskrit means “beyond boundaries”, and the ensemble combines elements from India’s rhythmic and melodic systems with harmonic traditions of western music.

Asima Ensemble


It was totally a family affair there. Brother Tao Issaro with the percussion on stage performing, mother Daksha Seth dancing with Isha in the background.




Coming from the margins of society, Sabriye Tenberken developed an intrinsic interest to create ethical social change. She studied Tibetology/Central Asian Sciences at Bonn University. Travelling on horseback through the Himalayas she discovered that Tibetans who in majority are Buddhists have a stigma against people with disabilities. Especially blindness is seen as a punishment for something you have done in your previous life. Accordingly blind children are often neglected, locked away in dark rooms or sent to the streets to beg for money. Experiencing this situation inspired Sabriye to start the first school for the blind in Tibet. This school formed the foundation of Braille Without Borders, an organization that empowers blind people to take their lives in their own hands. In 2005 she co- founded kanthari, the International Institute for Social Entrepreneurs and Innovators in Kerala, South of India. kanthari fosters participants from all over the world, who, like Sabriye, have a passion to make the world a better place and strength to be forces of good rather than victims of circumstance. Sabriye is the driving force behind the academic program.

Sabriye Tenberken

Stefan Sagmeister is one of the most celebrated figures in the world of visual communication. He has won two Grammy Awards for his work in album covers and packaging design. Sagmeister & Walsh produces work that stands out among mediums and disciplines of graphic design.

Stefan Sagmeister

Isha began her journey in dance at the age of 8 under the guidance of her mother and Guru, Daksha Sheth. She trained in yoga, gymnastics, and various movement traditions from different states of India, including Kathak, Kalaripayattu, Malkhamb, Aerial ring technique and Mayurbhanj Chhau. Today, she is one of India’s most prominent young dancers. She has also acted in both Bollywood and Malayalam films, and has films like “Luck by Chance”, “David” and “5 Sundharikal” to her credit. She has performed at various venues, including “Lets Dance” Festival in Leicester, Jamshed Bhabha Theater in Mumbai, The Perth International festival and at The South Bank Center in London.

Isha Sharvani


Uma uses genetic data to understand the history, present and potential future of populations. Her early research explored how choosiness for mates impacts genetic variation, and the relationships between African click-speaking hunter-gatherer groups. Uma now applies her research to wildlife, using non-invasive DNA sources (like poop!) to investigate tiger population sizes over the last 200 years, connectivity between populations, and how species came to the Indian subcontinent, given their recent arrival to Asia. She is a National Board for Wildlife member, Ramanujan fellow and DAE Outstanding Scientist.

Dr Uma Ramakrishnan

David Gallo is an American oceanographer and Director of Special Projects at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution – a preeminent, globally recognized scientific laboratory. For more than 25 years, David has been at the forefront of oceanic exploration, participating in and witnessing the development of new technologies and scientific discoveries that shape our view of planet earth. He has been described by TED as “an enthusiastic ambassador between the sea and those of us on dry land.” With more than 8 million views on his TED talk, “Underwater Astonishments” is among the top 3 most-viewed TED Talks to date.

David Gallo


More Pictures from this conference here 

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