In five years, TEDxHyderabad has grown six times when it comes to number of attendees for the event.
In its effort to go deeper, TED came to India with TEDxHyderabad in 2014. Since then, the organisers of TEDxHyderabad have been trying to stand out by not only presenting ideas but converting them into social impact projects to bring about a tangible change.
Talking to Moneycontrol, Viiveck Verma, co-organiser at TEDxHyderabad, explained how licenses are issued to organise TEDx events. He said, “these licenses are given at three-four levels. It is given to corporates. So, you can have TEDx Oracle or TEDx Microsoft. Then it is given to colleges that are roughly 50-60 percent of the TEDx events globally which is typically a small 100-attendee event. Then it is about an area. In Bombay, there is TEDxBandra and in Hyderabad, it is TEDxJubilee Hill. Then the ultimate is TEDx at a city level and that’s the license I hold."
“At the city level, we are the only licensee. Similarly, there is each city around the world. And the license is on a yearly basis and we can hold one event a year.
There are no fees that need to be paid to get the license. This is our fifth edition we started our first event in 2015. Every year we do this in September. And between all the events we have done, we have had roughly 50-plus speakers,” he added.
In five years, TEDxHyderabad has grown six times when it comes to a number of attendees for the event.
“For our first event in 2015, there were 500 attendees. Then when we do the event this year we will have 3,000 people in the audience. Roughly 30-40 percent are repeat audience,” said Verma.
But how does TEDxHyderabad differentiate from other Ted platforms?
“What we have different is we have created a not-for-profit society called SAHE (Society for Advancement of Human Endeavour) and what we have done is we have changed the dimension of Ted in a certain manner.”
While TED stands for technology, entertainment and design, the vision statement TEDxHyderabad has created is building a community of Thinkers, Enablers and Doers- one idea at a time. An idea which now Ted is also promoting in a big way, claims Verma.
According to Verma, it is important to engage the audience with the idea that is being presented and this can be done when people can contribute to the idea in some way.
To take their idea of TED forward, TEDxHyderabad did its first event in a moving bus to take people to the place where the topic was relevant. “For example, one topic was water so we actually took the audience to a dry lake bed to discuss what to do to revive the water situation,” said Verma.
“The other initiative was to recharge defunct borewells. There are many defunct borewells in Hyderabad. And we created a model to use the rooftop water to recharge defunct borewell. We have roughly revived 2,000 borewells in Hyderabad in the last four years. And in the same initiative we are working towards reviving the lake and Rs 30-35 lakh will be spent on this initiative. The funding for the initiative is through corporate partnership. Corporates are willing to invest through their CSR,” explained Verma.
In another initiative, one of TEDxHyderabad speakers wanted to expand his rural library and the platform did just that.
“Each speaker that comes is essentially working on something. One of our speakers runs a rural library through an initiative called GyanKey in 50,000 places. He wanted to bring the initiative to Telangana. So we got involved and got a corporate on board to set up 110 libraries in Telangana,” said Verma.
He also said a lot of demand comes from corporate houses due to which the engagement goes up.
“Nowadays, a lot of corporates keep seeking good quality speakers who can motivate, who can talk about innovation, so we position these speakers accordingly,” said Verma.
Verma and his team don’t want to stop at Hyderabad and plan to take the platform to neighbouring places like Karnataka, Maharashtra. But the expansion will depend on the purpose of each place.
From a closed conference to a media powerhouse, TED has taken its success to another level. And now TEDxHyderabad is going beyond ideas and is leveraging its platform for tangible change.
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