Inspire, Innovate, Engage: Yuva Summit 2016

Posted on Tuesday, February 09, 2016 by LEAD

Stall inauguration by Mr. Ravindranath Gumaste
The 6th Yuva Summit, an international youth conference on leadership, innovation, and entrepreneurship hosted by the Leaders Accelerating Development program, began in Hubballi on 6th February with Mr. Ravindranath Gumaste, Managing Director of Kirloskar Ferrous Industries Ltd., cutting the ceremonial ribbon that let the hundreds of attendees, including students, faculty, entrepreneurs, and honoured guests, into the event grounds.

LEAD Talks: Student Yuvaraj Patil shares his story
The first session of the day was LEAD Talks, an opportunity for seven stand­out young people from the about LEAD program to share their stories on stage in front of full auditorium of 500+. Hailing from across India, these young leaders inspired the audience of not only their peers, but their elders too. Featured leaders were Chetan Upadhya (SDM College of Ayurveda), Supriya Runwal (A.S. Patil College of Commerce), Yuvaraj Patil (COLLEGE), Manjunath Gogi (KLEIT), Naveenkumar H P (BVBCET), Chanukya LAST NAME (MVGR College of Engineering), and Alysha Tharani (Founder of RAW Dreams).

Yuva Summit is always full of surprises, and this year was no different. Mr. Shekhar Gupta, the leading columnist associated with The Indian Express, conducted a short surprise session for the Yuva Summit audience. Already in their seats from LEAD Talks, the audience was thrilled for the opportunity to interact with this journalism legend. Mr. Gupta answered audience questions and brought lots of laughs with his explanation of how history should no longer be broken up into B.C. and A.D., but B.G. (before Google) and A.G. (after Google).

Prodea Systems Co­Founder and Chairwoman Ms. Anousheh Ansari then graced the Yuva Summit stage. But beyond just an entrepreneur, Ansari was the first private female space traveller when she spent 11
days in space in 2006. Ms. Ansari captured the audience with her passion for space and her determination to make her dreams come true. She told the audience, “things are changing so fast that it really allows us to make a difference”, words that couldn’t echo better than to this group of young aspiring changemakers. A video that Ms. Ansari made about her time in space mesmerized the audience, and no doubt made a few more space travel hopefuls within the BVBCET auditorium.
The legendary Mr. Narayana Murthy addressing the crowd
Faculty Panel at Yuva Summit 2016

The next speaker was introduced by LEAD functional head Ajay Suman Shukla, though “needs no introduction”. Mr. Narayana Murthy, Chairman Emeritus of Infosys, earned a standing ovation before even speaking and conducted a question and answer session with the eager audience. “It’s only entrepreneurs that can turn their ideas into jobs for others” was only one among a myriad of quotable moments with the business and IT legend.

The Faculty Panel session began shortly after a long­deserved lunch break, and featured esteemed faculty members from across the country. Dr. H C Chaudhary (Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi), Dr. Sudil Jain (IIT Gandhinagar), and Dr. Suchil Vachani (IIM Bengaluru) were the esteemed faculty guests of the panel, and also featured stand­out LEAD faculty co­ordinators Prof. Harshit Kulkarni (KLS Gogte Institute of Technology) and Dr. Jayashri Nagaralli (A.A. Patil Woen’s College Chikodi). The panel primarily discussed the ways in which colleges can help support leadership, entrepreneurship, and innovation training, but moderator Raj Melville (Director of Deshpande Foundation) summed it up well: “provide the scaffolding, but let the students build themselves”.

Immediately after the Faculty Panel, representatives from IIM Bangalore offered a session about MOOC’s (massive open online courses), demonstrating the potential of online learning. Students were encouraged to take advantage of the high quality and free education from around the world that MOOC’s offer, and faculty were encouraged to put this content to use in their classrooms. “Your learning lies in your control at your time”, an IIMBx representative told the audience.
Deshpande Foundation co-founder Jaishree Deshpande
Throughout the day at Yuva Summit, 60+ of the top LEAD projects of the year (chosen from over 2,400 total) were exhibited on the event grounds. Proud LEADers talked to their peers, entrepreneurs, and faculty about the positive impact they were making in their communities, and in the afternoon, the showcase was visited by Ms. Anousheh Ansari, Mr. Narayana Murthy, Mr. Gururaj Deshpande (Co­Founder of Deshpande Foundation) and Mr. Naveen Jha (CEO of Deshpande Foundation). Undoubtedly thrilling for the students exhibiting to have a chance to share their projects with such changemakers.
Youth for Change Rally gets on the way

The Youth for Change rally then began, with the hundreds of Yuva Summit attendees spreading their energy and positive spirit to the streets of Hubballi as they walked to the Gateway Hotel Lakeside, led by LEAD functional head Ajay Suman Shukla and co­founder of the Deshpande Foundation Mrs. Jaishree Deshpande.
One of the Best LEADer award winners Supriya Runwal
receives her award from Ms. Anousheh Ansari, the first
private female astronaut and CEo/Chairwoman of
Prodea Systems

Now, after a day of learning, the celebrations began. With a backdrop of the lake, 10 LEAD students were awarded Best LEADer awards by the night’s legends: Ms. Anousheh Ansari, Ms. Malathi Holla, Mr. Narayana Murthy, Prof. Muhummad Yunus, Mr. Shekhar Gupta, and Mr. Gururaj Deshpande. In front of a crowd of more than 4,500 students, faculty, entrepreneurs, leaders of their fields, and special guests, these student leaders were brought to stage to have their projects and positive impacts celebrated.

Yuva Summit was anchored by An Evening with Legends, where the six legends on stage shared their knowledge, passion, and inspiration for making a difference. This is what so many of the attendees came for, to bask in the presence of these six game changers and change makers, and it did not disappoint. The legends not only shared their own stories, but with moderation by Mr. Gururaj Deshpande, answered more in depth questions about the impacts they have made and how they did it. With that, the 6th Yuva Summit concluded under Hubballi’s night sky. 

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