November 6, 2009

TED India - day 2, session 4: reinventing development

sendhil mullainathan kicked off day 2 with a talk that was (i guess) about diarrhea prevention, although his speech didn't really reflect it.  i'm going to be a little catty about this talk, and for that i apologize -- although i was very excited to hear from him, i just didn't think his talk included an idea worth spreading.  the theme of diarrhea prevention was very loose (no pun intended), and i felt like he spent the rest of the talk covering interesting content, but it seemed totally unrelated to his topic.  it was as if he incorporated content from a bunch of clever internet memes into his presentation to win cheap affection from the audience and between each he'd say something like, "let me go back to diarrhea for a second."


shukla bose spent 26 years in the corporate world until one day she decided to write her own obituary and realized she had nothing to write.  she started an NGO with her savings, and she now runs schools in the indian slums.  she shared some interesting facts like 98% of the fathers of the children she serves are alcoholics.  her recurring theme was that scale was not her starting goal.  she just wanted to help one child at a time; they continue with that goal today.

TED fellow dr. asher hasan gave a 3-minute talk sharing photos of pakistanis and their stories (VIDEO).  afterwards, chris anderson led the audience in an ovation for all the pakistanis who made the sometimes dangerous journey to TEDIndia.

shaffi mather talked about his venture called ambulance access for all (VIDEO), a competely sustainable business (the rich pay more, the poor pay less, and accident victims are free).  his organization's ambulances were the first to respond in every location during the mumbai attacks.  he also shared a new idea for a for-profit bribe busting venture.

milika dutt's organization, breakthrough, seeks to get men and boys more involved in preventing violence against women.  she argued that excuses about violence towards women being "connected to our reptilian brain" are not valid.  her organization runs ads in a "ring the bell" campaign encouraging men and boys to interfere with their neighbors if they know violence is occuring.

amy novogratz, TED Prize coordinator, spoke briefly about the fruition of a recently granted TED Prize:  the charter for compassion drops on november 12, 2009.

anil gupta, founder of the honey bee network shared some of the locally-grown innovations they're seeing in india.  ventures included a man who attached a small grain grinder to his bicycle so he can grind small batches of grain for poor people (mills won't grind small quantities); a bicycle-mounted washing machine that travels from village to village; a $1 non-stick hot plate made of clay instead of teflon, which contaminates food; and an amphibious bike designed by a 70-year-old entrepreneur (in the video he says of his inspiration, "i couldn't wait for the boat...i had to meet my love").  gupta also spoke of his organization's g2G model (grassroots to global), which helps entrepreneurs sells their innovative products.  one of the most interesting ideas was putting the portrait of the innovator on the product's packaging.  according to gupta, that helped inspire consumers who would see the photo and realize they, too, could be innovators.  favorite quote:  "the minds on the margin are not marginal minds."

1 comment:

Samantha said...

hahaha, Sendhil was my thesis advisor. I can't believe he gave a talk on diarrhea. I can't wait to see that video :)