Innovations Conclave 2019
Under the aegis of Global Citizenship Education, a collaborative initiative between Parikrma Humanity Foundation & Tata Communications, through Innovations Conclave we want to attempt reversing thinking trends across schools.
Last year, being the first ever event, saw active participation of 45 schools in Bangalore, this year we have 83 applications and we are thrilled. Schools from Pune, Dharmapuri, Dubai and London are participating in the event. This year’s theme is Sharing and Collaboration. We are really thrilled about the fact that this year we have 5 entries from government schools and that’s a very encouraging sign.
What is the objective of the Innovations Conclave?
The Innovations Conclave was designed to recognise schools that encourage children to think global and innovate in the realm of science and technology and liberal arts that can even be the first seed of social enterprise and entrepreneurship. Founder Shukla Bose explains further, “Our years of experience in academics has shown that there are isolated best practices in quite a few schools but no one knows about it as it is not shared. Our goal is to share these best practices so that the general standard of education goes up. Schools need to create a more transparent and sharing environment in India like other countries. It is important for schools to understand the importance of creating an environment of innovation and creativity and we believe that we can influence and inspire exactly that through the Innovations Conclave.”
The Guest of Honour was Chief Justice Venkatachalliah and the keynote speaker, Her Excellency Dana Kursh, Consul General of Israel, South India.
A one-man band - creating innovative and offbeat music using recycled materials... Montry from @thaalavattam does magic by breathing life into trash, yes that's right!
Panel discussion on 'how can innovation help India achieve UN Sustainable Goals 2030.
And the panellists were Yashas Karanam (Co-founder, Director, Bellatrix Aerospace) NM Prathap (youngest scientist, winner of Albert Einstein Innovation Gold Medal in the International Drone Expo 2018), DR Shanon Olsson (biologist, Fulbright scholar, Ramanujan Fellow) and CT Sadanandan (VP, CSR, Tata Communications). The moderator is Dr. Sandeep Shastri, political scientist, vice chancellor, Jain University.
The Best Innovative Idea went to:
Third place: Inventure Academy: Middle School for Empathy Project
Second place: Parikrma Junior College for Voices of Light Project
The first place: Government Primary and High School, Maruthinagar for the Recycle and Grow Project
Parikrma has decided to share the entire prize money with Saroja Academy for autistic children (one of the participating schools)
to support them in their projects.
Awards for Best Innovative Practices went to:
3. Haberdashe Aske's Girls School, London for Global Citizenship
2. The Orchid School for Stories of Migration
1. Sarala Birla Academy for Dancing Bear Conservation Project
We would like to the thank Tata Communications for spearheading this initiative with us and for being a consistent Parikrma supporter.
Founder Shukla Bose was invited to give a talk at the FUSO, Tokyo 2019. Here is the link to the entire talk:
I remember when I was a little girl in school, we would have speakers who would come and tell us about their work. On one such occasion, I got the chance of listening to an environmental engineer who was in the team that cleaned up Powai Lake in Mumbai. She took us through her experiences in cleaning the lake. She spoke to us about the environment and the world. She opened up our eyes to the apathy around us. She told us about the role we have to play. It really stirred something in all of us and surely inside me. Since that day, since I heard that story, I’ve felt responsible to reduce the indifference and apathy in whatever little way I can. There is so much more to do… But, every little counts.
So, it felt very satisfying, when I had the chance to tell a story for a cause that is dear to me with an audience which is so dear too, around ninety children from junior school and around thirty children from a middle school class, from the Parikrma School in Sahakaranagar, Bangalore.
On September 7th, I shared Cheekoo’s story, The Cloud of Trash, with the junior school kids and on the 11th in the middle school class as part of the Pratham Books Champions initiative, 2018. The children were very eager when they sat to listen to the story, which they usually are for all stories. I’m grateful to them for their enthusiasm in listening – Thank you children. (I volunteer at Parikrma where I share stories with children and am also trying to do my bit in implementing story based learning)
The moment I mentioned that Cheekoo was very sad because of the enormous cloud of trash above her head, their faces dropped. They were curious to know why all of this happened. And as the story unfolded, they shared experiences of when a friend dropped pencil shavings or bits of paper, in class, to which I responded and they agreed that we all make mistakes and that it’s best to correct our own mistakes and also gently remind our friends to work on theirs without name shaming.
They were happy at the moment when Cheekoo corrected Bala for the banana peel he was about to throw. There was a discussion around recycling and reusing when I mentioned what Cheekoo told Reena aunty. I spoke to them about upcycling and the minute they understood what it was, the children shared their experiences of craft activities in class using waste paper and other recycled materials. They were happy that the cloud above Cheekoo’s head was reducing in size. And were very happy to see Cheekoo smiling in the end.
The story ended with a conversation around our environment – clean and green. I mentioned that their uniform colours of blue and green are symbolic of this beautiful world, beautiful environment we live in. Teachers also addressed the children and told them about how it’s not just about littering in class or in the school compound or outside, but also about not wasting in the first place whether its food or other materials. Reduce!
We told each other that we would do our best to take care of our environment, not only because of the fear of the cloud of trash J but, also because we love the world we live in.
The session ended with a fun song, holding hands.
We sang the Hindi song, “Hariyali idhar udhar” and the English version of the same song, “The green grass grew all round and round”…
The energy in the room left me feeling positive and thankful.
Two hundred students from schools in Bangalore including 7 government schools get an opportunity to understand wildlife and conservation, its multiple facets first-hand through leading scientists of the city!
For the very first time…
A Nobel Laureate visited and interacted with our children! Professor Sir Venkatraman Ramakrishnan is an American and British structural biologist of Indian origin. He was elected President of the Royal Society in November 2015. In 2009 he shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Thomas A. Steitz and Ada Yonath, "for studies of the structure and function of the ribosome". Sir Venky inaugurated this year’s Festival of Science 2019.
Here are some of the keynote speakers:
Dr. Ravi Chellam, Wildlife Biologist and Conservation Scientist, has been involved with wildlife research, education and conservation since the early 1980s: Talk on Asiatic lions and conservation
Dr. AJT Johnsingh, Scientist, Wildlife Institute of India: Talk about species diversity, interactions and conservation
Dr. Uma Ramakrishnan, an Indian molecular ecologist at the NCBS, TIFR, Bangalore: Talk on conserving tigers through understanding their genetics
Dr Suhel Qader, Scientist, Education and Public Engagement: Talk about bird interactions in the wild
Nishant Srinivasaiah – Principal Investigator, Frontier Elephant Programme: Talk on elephant interactions in the wild and conservation
Dr. Ravi Ralph, Retired Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Wildlife and Chief Wildlife Warden, Karnataka – Talk about forests of Karnataka and conservation
Karthikeyan Srinivasan, Chief naturalist, Jungle Lodges and Resorts: Talk about urban biodiversity.
Dr. Samira Agnihotri, Masters in wildlife biology, NCBS, has been studying the Greater Racket-tailed Drongos for 10 years: Talk on mimicry in birds and birdsong
Dr. Kulbhushansingh Suryawanshi, works towards wildlife conservation through robust applied scientific research informing management and policy: Talk on snow leopards and need to conserve alpine & high altitude regions.
Government school children were taken to the Bannerghatta National Park – to help them watch and understand species in the zoo – large and small enclosures, benefits of shade, natural and concrete floors, feeding habits, group living and socializing among other things.
Day 1 - Day 2
BioBlitz and Web of Life
Children were taken to MGIRED and GKVK campus on both days where they were made to look for creatures (on the ground, lower / upper storey, and canopy) and document their observations. The Web of Life activity was highly engaging and interactive in helping children understand how all species are dependent on each other for survival.
Recognising and honoring Dr. Salim Ali
Every year, at the Festival of Science, we recognise and celebrate an Indian scientist who has contributed immensely to science post-Independence. This year we celebrate the Birdman of India - Dr. Salim Ali - the first Indian to conduct systematic bird surveys across India.
In conversation: Dr. AJT Johnsingh and Shukla Bose introduce and talk about the Padma Vibhushan awardee Salim Ali.
Purvanchal is a village by a wildlife sanctuary. The villagers have co-existed with wildlife for years. But now there is a new challenge – a corporate proposes to build a dam, the MLA promises electricity, jobs and development, the village chief and the activist voice their fears and the wildlife biologists talk about the endemic species that could be wiped out if the dam were built. What will the villagers (students) decide to do? Each group proposes its solutions at this year’s Hackathon.
The Indian Wildlife Congress
At the Indian Wildlife Congress, children representing different National Parks of India took to the stage to explain why they need funds for their Parks and their conservation ideas.
Thanks a ton to Synopsys India for supporting the festival and for being an ardent and continuous supporter of the Parikrma Humanity Foundation.