Development Dialogue 2018, spearheaded by Deshpande Foundation, concluded amid great fanfare on Sunday. The event, which was held in Hubbali, Karnataka, witnessed delegates from across the globe.

Entrepreneurs, academicians, students, activists, farmers, philanthropists and government officials shared their views on the need to make India a global leader.

The various panel discussions highlighted multiple issues posing threats to the Indian ecosystem. The panel discussed strategies to transform problems into opportunities.

Nandan Nilekani, founder & non-executive chairman of Infosys, highlighted the need for change in various sectors— particularly in education.

He said it’s time for India to use digital frameworks to enhance the education system and introduce children and teachers to a new era of learning. His wife Rohini Nilekani pointed out that the country cannot win big if society, markets, and the government work as independent entities. The confluence of these three is a must for India’s progress, she said.

Samaaj, Bazaar and Sarkar have to come together to really make a difference,” she said.

The event also focused on extraordinary personal stories from thought leaders.

Students and entrepreneurs, for instance, were inspired by Nevedan Nempe, founder of Mystic Aromatics.

Nempe, whose sole purpose is to empower people in rural areas, said that every Indian who goes abroad must come back to his motherland.

Indians should get into a kind of entrepreneurship that would make the country proud, he said. “People will call you crazy for taking risks. But never mind them. Be confident, and do what your heart tells you to do,” he said.

For many who attended the event, it was a weekend well spent.

Both on Day 1 and Day 2, the energy levels were high, said Avinash Jois, founder of Tantragyaan, He said he was privileged to meet ‘Desh.’ The event showed true intent to help and empower, he added.

Dr Chetan Jayade, who has been attending Development Dialogue for many years, said that the energy levels have only doubled, and stories from high-profile people like Nandan Nilekani has inspired many young minds.

Noor Badshah, a student from Karnataka, said that the event was a wake-up call. “I have never seen anything of this magnitude.

It was inspiring to hear many success stories of entrepreneurs. The two-way interaction between the speakers and students boosted our confidence,” he said.

Ajay Suman Shukla, functional head of LEAD (Leaders Accelerating Development), said that for a tier-2 city like Hubbali, the event was an eye-opener. It offered a platform for college students to dream big and realize their potential.

Abdulmateen Mulla, a student who attended Development Dialogue for the first time, said that the event broke all cultural and language barriers. “The speakers spoke in English, Hindi, and Kannada. It was inspiring to see students of my age group receive awards for innovative projects. I am confident that someday I would do something big,” he added.

Greg Bavington, Executive Director, Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre, Queen’s University, Canada, said that the time and effort spent on Development Dialogue was visibly evident. The event drew focus to bigger problems and the long-term solutions needed to tackle those problems.

Melanie Robb, a program manager at Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre, said that the level of dedication shown by the team is incredible. “They worked night and day to make things happen,” she said.

Prof James McLellan from Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre said that the event brought likeminded people together. “It created an opportunity to meet people whom we wouldn’t have met.”

Development Dialogue 2018 saw over 5,000 participants from across the globe.

ALSO READ: Development Dialogue Highlights 2018

Are you a social entrepreneur? Tell us your story.