JOSH TALKS co-founders Shobhit Banga and Supriya Paul talk to Sangeeta Yadav about the ongoing Josh Talk Leap at the Capital’s Thyagraj Stadium
- Tell us about the speakers at Josh Talks Leap?
Shobhit Banga: We’ve got 20 speakers on board. Saket Modi, the cyber security expert and founder of Lucideus; Ritu Karidhal, director of Mangalyaan Mission at ISRO and Zeishan Quadri actor and scriptwriter of Gangs of Wasseypur. There is Arunachalam Muruganantham, social entrepreneur and TIME’s 100 Most Influential People In The World; Sonam Wangchuk, Educator from Ladakh on whom Aamir Khan’s role of Phunsukh Wangdu 3 Idiots was based on. There is Kuldeep Dantewadia, social changemaker and co-founder of Reap Benefit; Vicky Roy, world class photographer; Ishita Katyal, child prodigy and youngest TED conference speaker and Deepak Ramola, life skills educator and founder at Project FUEL and many more.
- What was the idea behind launching Josh Talks?
Shobhit: Ted came up with the TedX model in 2008 and India was one of the first countries that picked it up. Anybody who believes in the concept of spreading ideas can ask for a licence to conduct TedX at an education institution or community. India has over 2,000 licenses so far. Over the past seven years that TedX have been running in India, only two talks have ever made it to ted.com and those were also recently from the TedX Gateway held in Mumbai. Chris Anderson, the boss of Ted said that India is the big disappointment. We looked at the model and realised that the reason why TedX are so well done is because Ted curates great talks and works with the speakers for months. In India, whoever conducted TedX at their community, nobody was doing justice to this. There are thousands of people across the country who have been doing a remarkable work. But they are not professional speakers. That’s why we thought we have to start Josh Talks.
- How many talks have been conducted by Josh Talks?
Supriya: Over a year-and-a-half, we have done 15 events and have got 125 talks curated.
- What’s the biggest challenge?
Shobhit: The challenge is how do you find the people who have the most valuable things to say. Take Angam Parashar, Intelligence enthusiast and founder of Parallel Dots. His entire talk is not about his life story as an entrepreneur but about how his artificial intelligence will impact journalism.
- How do conduct the training?
Shobhit: Our content team works for a month to train them. After we decided on the people that we will get on stage, we asked them within 15 minutes share what they think is the most meaningful thing they can share with an audience. We first get an expression of interest to speak at the event and if they are willing to commit time in curating their talk. We see how we can make those 15 minutes of talk most productive for the audience. That’s a very responsible work.
- What’s been the most inspiring talk so far?
Supriya: That of Sheetal, the daughter of a sex worker. There was a time when her mom used to put her under the bed and serve customers. She lived a traumatic life in Kamatipura. She was fascinated by the sounds of dhols during Ganpathi Visarjan and she picked up playing drums and joined Kranti NGO. They educated her and looked for opportunities that exist in the musical field. She won a full scholarship to the US at the best drum school in the world. Now she has her own company called Taal and she is coaching other such children.
(The article also got published in Pioneer Newspaper – http://www.dailypioneer.com/sunday-edition/sunday-pioneer/backpack/time-to-talk-with-josh.html)