Saturday, October 24, 2009
An Ideas 'Mela' in Mysore
Four-day TED-India conference to be held in Mysore (Nov.4-7) is reportedly sold out. The meet is expected to attract people from 46 countries, according to a media report. With some 40 speakers on the card, drawn from varied fields - scientist, artist, playwright, photographer, marine biologist and sports commentator - the event promises to be a mela for ideas.
As a resident of the host town, my concern, or rather my poser to organisers, is: Shouldn't local residents be allowed to benefit from the proceedings ? In a global event of this nature local enthusiasts tend to get crowded out by those from elsewhere. And, understandably, the organisers face severe space constraints, however big the venue.
Wouldn't it be nice if the they could arrange to have the conference proceedings screened through closed-circuit network in another hall - Kalamandira or some other place - for the benefit of local audience ? Or they could tie-up with the city TV channel for live-telecast of TEDIndia, as they do with Dasara concerts held at the Mysore palace grounds.
Would local residents be interested? How would TED proceedings be of local public interest ? I can't answer this question better than TEDIndia co-host Lakshmi Pratury. She says she would like those attending the Mysore conference to take back three things:
1) No one who sits through a talk or seminar is with it all the time, a hundred percent. Even if they stay focused on what they hear, for a brief moment , they should feel it is a moment when they would rather be here than anywhere else;
2) Her expectation is that on gatherings like this one meets at least one person who becomes a friend for life; and
3) Her hope is that those who sit through the proceedings would pick up an idea or two that is not necessarily related their prime interest.