Sunny side up: Simon Lewis (left) rehearses his talk with INK curator Lakshmi Pratury at INK 2010. Simon’s brother David looks on. (Photo credit: Gene Driskle)
It was the last day of the first INK Conference. The INK team was finally breathing easy and had gathered for celebratory drinks. Amidst all the chatter and laughter, one could catch snatches of conversation that pretty much had the same subtext: “can’t wait for the next one.”
Slowly, we were joined by the extended INK family of Speakers, attendees and voltuneers who were yet to leave. Producer and author Simon Lewis and his brother David were among those who had dropped by for one last goodbye. Simon Lewis’ talk had had a deep impact and his story made us marvel at the human spirit.
The ever smiling, soft-spoken Simon has a way of surprising even those who know him well. After an exhaustive three-day conference, that involved a lot of travelling and preparation, he was ready for more. He was going on a 10-day trip to Rajasthan where, he told us, he planned to climb old forts and ride camels. We knew Simon always believed in taking “creative risks and leaning out over precipices,” but to actually meet him and hear his story first hand was a great learning experience.
Simon’s book, ‘Rise and Shine’ and his INK talk (click here) details his journey from near death to consciousness. There’s some more good news for those who would like to know more about Simon Lewis. ‘The Atavist’ released his biographical profile, ‘Blind Sight’ today. It was released on Kindle (text-only) and iPad/iPhone (enhanced multimedia version) simultaneously.
Says Simon, “I’m so grateful to both INK and TED organizations for spreading my ideas into both hemispheres. This is beyond my greatest hopes when I wrote the first words of ‘Rise and Shine’.”
Bangalore INK Salon: (from left) Fake IPL Player Anupam Muhkerji, TEDIndia Fellows Gautam John and Arun Raj, and INK Fellows Director Nikhil Velpanur. (Photo credit: Godwin Dhas)
Fifteen minutes before our first-ever INK Salon on Aug 11 was to start, the Bangalore Monsoon
showed its face. For those of you Indians reading this, monsoon rains are passé I’m sure.
But as a newcomer to Karnataka, I am continuously thunderstruck by this region’s ability
to pour on an onslaught. I don’t think I could get wetter if I jumped into the ocean.
The deluge of monsoon rain is why I’m so particularly pleased to tell you that the
INK Salon was a huge success. In fact, we couldn’t fit any more people into our office
space—so perhaps it was a good thing it was raining so hard! A crowd of 50 people
showed up to hear Arun Raj, Gautam John and Anupam Mukherji speak about their
Power of the Journey.
I’ve been thinking about these three talks, and I’m
struck in particular by a serendipitous similarity I’ve noticed between them.
Let me give you a little background. Arun is the founder of Ashwa Racing, a Formula
SAE student group that built and raced the first Indian Formula SAE race car. Gautam
works in open sourcing at Pratham Books, a non-profit that has utilized the creative
commons licensing system to become one of the world’s largest children’s book
publishers, in hundreds of languages. Anupam is author of the famous “Fake IPL Player”
cricket blog, which provides alternative cricket commentary—to say the least!
So what do these guys have in common? I think the word is persistence. Arun’s team
didn’t back down on building their race car, even though they had 1/10th the funding
of their competitors. Gautam is spreading worldwide literacy by using every medium
possible to put a book in a child’s hand—even refuting the restrictions and protections of
traditional copyright by using the creative commons licensing system. Anupam became
a celebrity by posting his controversial commentary about cricket, even when he worried
about getting arrested.
It’s not like I didn’t already know that good things come through persistence. But one
of the best parts about INK is that you can be re-inspired about things you already
know, from sources you never knew to expect. Despite the odds, it appears there are
commonalities between building race cars, open sourcing and cricket commentary. And it takes INK to see them.
Bangalore, Aug 10: The INK Conference, in association with TED, will be hosting an
INK Salon in its Indiranagar* office in Bangalore tomorrow, Aug 11, from 6:30-8:30
PM. INK Salons are informal, monthly gatherings of the INK Community and local like-minded individuals—entrepreneurs, social activists, artists and other inspiring people
doing pioneering work.
At INK Salons you can network and showcase your ideas, plus
listen to great talks by other members of the INK Community.
Our inaugural INK Salon features a stellar line-up of speakers:
TEDIndia Fellow Gautam John works with the Akshara foundation and Pratham books
using Creative Commons and Open source technologies to impact primary education.
Gautam will be talking about The Power of Open: Without Collaboration there is no
TEDIndia Fellow Arun Raj is the founder of Ashwa Racing, an organization that designs
and tests Formula SAE race cars. Arun will be talking about The Power of Coefficient of
Performance in Life.
The Fake IPL Player Anupam Mukherji is the author of a bestselling blog and book and
founder of the Radio station Pitch Invasion, which provides alternative wacky cricket
commentary. Anupam will be talking about How one freak event made Danny deVito
look like Tom Cruise.
September’s INK Salon will be in Mumbai; date and location to be announced. Future
INK Salons will be taking place monthly all over the world.
For details about INK Salons, contact: email@example.com
*INK office address: 397, 9
th Main, HAL 2nd Stage, Bangalore 560008