Samagra

Samagra 2017 hosted by the Melton Foundation at BMS College of Engineering on the 4th and 5th of November, was an international conference, revolving around a central theme ‘Integrate, Innovate, Collaborate’. The conference mainly focused on sustainability, social innovation, and technology to tackle pressing issues locally with the global context in mind.

The conference featured Spring Board Sessions with six inspiring speakers who shared their impact story together with personal accounts from their journey as change agents. In five workshop, resourceful facilitators, brought an abundance of ideas to share, experiences to recount, and oodles of enthusiasm. In addition to the conference giving future change makers a boost in the right direction, it also served as a safe-space for creative ideas to flow, without the fear of judgement.

Rajagopalan, a student of BMS College of Engineering and enthused attendee at Samagra 2017, expressed that he found the environment at the conference to be lively and wonderful, and that his Workshop Facilitators were very bubbly. He said that the workshop ‘Design Thinking for Positive Change’ which he was a part of, was constantly abuzz, in turn never letting the participants’ minds stay idle. He conveyed that he learned the importance of being open to new ideas, while working as a team. He found that the conference helped him gain new perspectives and meet new people.

Another participant, Yusuf, who is a recent graduate from BMS College of Engineering, said that the Spring Board sessions were very inspiring, and made him want to reevaluate the career path he was choosing for himself. One of the workshops he attended was ‘The Future of Work: Building a meaningful and global career in the 21st century’, through which he got to explore his career options and interact with a diverse set of people. Overall, Yusuf found that he was able to express his ideas freely, and that the atmosphere at Samagra was fun and conducive to learning.

And then there were the other workshops that unpacked strategies and tools for green economics, sustainable food production, as well as innovation for marginalized communities. All in all, close to 100 young women and men from BMSCE and across Bangalore seized the opportunity to explore the converging fields of technology, sustainability and social innovation through a global citizenship lens.

And then there were the other workshops that unpacked strategies and tools for green economics, sustainable food production, as well as innovation for marginalized communities. All in all, close to 100 young women and men from BMSCE and across Bangalore seized the opportunity to explore the converging fields of technology, sustainability and social innovation through a global citizenship lens.

The consensus among the participants was that the conference had surpassed their expectations, and that the two days flew by in the blink of an eye!

When asked what opinion she had about the participants of Samagra 2017, Wen Xiaozhuo, a graduate of the Zhejiang University (China), and the facilitator of the workshop ‘Sustainable Food Production’, she said that she was deeply touched by their enthusiasm and their eagerness to learn from her and, connect with her. She expressed that she found more similarities, rather than differences between Indians and the Chinese, as a result of which she felt right at home during the conference!

Tito Magero, the facilitator of the workshop ‘Innovation for Marginal Communities’, loved the energy every participant, workshop facilitator, and Spring board speakers carried with them. He found that no one at the conference was solely teaching another, and that everyone had something to learn from every individual. He said that not only did he give the participants of his workshop an idea of how to innovate in developing countries such as India, Ghana and Kenya, but also took away a good chunk of knowledge about the innovations taking place in India as well. He said that this would further help innovate in his own locality.

Vaishnavi Sundar, an independent film maker, a feminist and a speaker at Samagra Spring board Sessions, conveyed that she found the audience responsive and engaging. She said that she found it delightful to see young participants appreciating, and nodding along to what she was saying. She believed having people belonging to various many different cultures, in one place, opened up pathways to new perspectives and ideas. She expressed that a part of her wishes that she was a student at BMSCE, getting to witness Samagra 2017!

Before concluding the conference on the evening of November 5th, participants had the space and opportunity to come up with own ideas on how to tackle pressing issues during ‘Connecting the Dots’. They formed groups based on their area of interests and pooled in all the knowledge they had gathered over the course of the two days. One of the teams came up with an idea to create an appthat can flag and tackle online psychological abuse, while another passionate group of people formulated ideas to help solve the issues children face all over the world, in order to ensure a better upbringing. Another enthusiastic team came up with solutions to make communities across the world more sustainable through simple means such as efficient garbage disposal methods.

Thus, by forming these project groups, Samagra 2017 served as an impetus for sustainable, social change in the issues experienced at a global scale. Overall, all the participants, Workshop Facilitators and Spring Board speakers found Samagra 2017 to be deeply enriching, insightful and a whole lot of fun!

“Do Something Today that your Future Self will Thank You for”