It has been my dream since I returned from Chicago, three years ago after being exposed to some fantastic events there, to create some in India. These are more than just events. They are platforms or properties, if you may. One of the idea was to create an ideas summit which is a collection of talks, discussions and sessions that are not linked yet make an impact on the audience. And for the last three years N Madhavan – senior journalist (who just completed a close to a decade with Hindustan Times before moving on) has been sharing with me his dream of bringing to a life a talk-fest that is different from the rest.
Finally, last year he connected me to Meena Vaidyanathan – veteran communications professional (who successfully runs niiti consulting) to explore the possibility of the three of us bringing this idea to life. After several meetings and brainstorming sessions we arrived at a plan to create Knowledge Factory – which is a mix of mentally stimulating talks and quizzes, exciting demonstrations, a mischief laden comic act and more.
Later this week this dream will become a reality as we bring this labour of love and passion to life with a two-day festival, which we are confident will become an annual property and also go to other cities. Creating a property from scratch is a no easy task. It requires four things coming together – the concept and the organising team falling in place and then the most important combination of partners, speakers and attendees coming together. We struggled for four months between September and January to find a sponsor. But suddenly in February the stars aligned and four brands came on board with crucial commitments to support what they believed was a cause. In a week we had Nissan India, Godrej Properties, Viacom 18 and Paytm on board because they believed platforms like these enrich minds of people. We can’t thank them enough. And the beauty is that these decisions are being taken at the communication department level which also speaks volumes of the empowerment and good standing some communications professionals have in their organisations.
The line-up is fantastic and we can’t thank the speakers and moderators enough – we refer to them as Knowledge Catalysts. They include ad gurus and writers Santosh Desai and Anuja Chauhan, author and HR professional Abhijit Bhaduri, classical vocalist Kaushiki Chakravorthy, business leaders Suresh Narayanan and Vijay Shekhar Sharma, economist and politician Jairam Ramesh, musician Rahul Ram, actor Swara Bhaskar, sportsperson Aparna Popat, environmentalist Bharti Chaturvedi, former bureaucrat V S Ravi, urban researcher Vandana Vasudevan and Professor Keval Arora among others. Don’t miss the equal mix of men and women. Besides these we have N Madhavan, Meena Vaidyanathan, Vikram Sampath, Rini Khanna, G Rajajram, Chitra Narayanan, Shivani Singh and Megha Viswanath anchoring the various sessions.
Additionally, we have five gentlemen Papa CJ (stand-up comic), Pradeep Gidwani (beer expert), Vikram Achanta (cocktail expert), Gaurav Sri Krishna (quiz on business) and Rajdeep Sardesai (quiz on politics) promising to offer the audience unforgettable experiences.
The two-day festival of ideas, insights and trivia is definitely going to be a treat for knowledge seekers. If you have not bought yourself a pass, do so now. It is on March 10 and 11 in New Delhi. We have also partnered with a cause to save little hearts through The Aara Project, whereby 33 individuals who buy donor passes will contribute most of the amount to the causes supported by Genesis Foundation. Reputation Today is glad to be a magazine partner.