Gallopper Talks 2016 Pune – A report

The overriding intention of Gallopper Talks is to push the Building and Construction industry forward, to embrace change and innovation, and to foster greater collaboration across the board. Technology has opened up new worlds of once-unthinkable opportunities. Firms just need to know where to look. Gallopper Talks Pune was successful in bringing together national industry thought leaders and change agents for a high-impact, collaborative event and to deepen the attendees’ understanding of the unprecedented power and possibilities now available to those who design, build, operate, maintain, plan and trade in this vital industry.

1-(2)With the accomplishment of Gallopper Talks Mumbai behind them, the team immediately steered towards Pune the very next day on 16th January 2016. The speakers surged forward to inspire audiences at the College of Engineering Pune.

1-(6)Gallopper in association with Godrej Interio and supported by Hafele, arrived at the venue, the teeming Mini Auditorium at College of Engineering, Pune for the set up. Sibani Sarma, Founder of Gallopper was geared up to deliver another Gallopper Talks and leave the audience spell bound.

3:00PM on the point commenced the Talk series with Host- Shahzad introducing the program, and its line up in a rather bright deliverance.
To set the tone of what was to follow, young experimental singers Nicola Joseph and Mayyank Solanki , delivered a fusion music piece in 2 languages. Music after all transcends individuals into artistry of mind and soul.

1-(7)Keeping up with the inspiring tone was our first speaker Sree Kumar, who believes that India’s urban life can be positively improved by applying simple sense in the way we plan and organize our cities. He presented his involvement in advising several cities in preparing their policies, urban and regional plans, urban design and architectural projects. He currently works with World Resources Institute, India, in supporting legislative reforms in planning, Transit Oriented Development, public space improvements and recently in Smart Cities Program. With fascinating pictorial representation of his childhood Sree Kumar directed how being a victim of Urban Sprawl himself has helped him in getting a clear perspective of what shapes successful urban growth.

1-(9)Our second speaker was unconventional. Architect turned Techie, Raja Manohar CEO of Hexolabs Interactive, drove us through the journey of mobile technology in India. Raja a passionate young leader is developing solutions for rural India while also mentoring young minds to associate social initiatives in their businesses with his association with Crisp Social Ventures.

1-(4)The next speaker, Pratima Joshi has worked in the area of sustainable low cost housing and sanitation for the urban poor for nearly 25 years. Pratima is widely recognized as a leading planner and designer of slum infrastructure, co-founding Shelter Associates to convert slums into housing societies for the poor, to provide safer and cleaner environment that also retain the community and access to services that urban slums provide. She described how Shelter’s approach has been to advocate for and build household toilets in urban slums, proving that it can be done, at a cost lower than community toilets, while meeting all expectations of the users. A much celebrated personality, Pratima is identified by BBC as a leading slum architect of India. Her talk left the audience awestruck.

1In the midst of the bustle was a calm and composed Rajnish Jain, founder of Avani, an organization started way up in the Himalayas working on generating electricity and cooking charcoal from pine needles. Rajnish, the next presenter highlighted the growing need of renewable energy and the change we can create through social entrepreneurship especially with the abundance of natural resources available in the Earth.

1-(3)Empathy. A term whose practical use we should all attempt to understand for success in any field. Nav Qirti, Principal and Managing Partner of Ideactio, a Singapore-based business & design consultancy presented a session on the need to interact more with professionals of all industries, and engaging in conversation to understand how a product/ service can be altered to suit your target audience.

Nav Qirti also conducted a workshop on Design Thinking with Gallopper which was very well received by attendees.

1-(13)With a quality of staging and design our last speaker for the day was Architect Prashant Sutaria. He is a creative and thinking architect who believes in design solutions for long term and likes to explore various Architectural vocabularies. He is working towards creating knowledge based solutions for affordable and low cost housing. He spoke how he passionately works on projects of various types and contributes significantly towards betterment of built environment and sustainable development which has taken him across India for doing projects.

1-(8)Dr. B.B. Ahuja, Director of College of Engineering, Pune suggested that ‘Gallopper Talks’ needs to be renamed ‘Caliber Talks’ because of the noteworthy speakers honing their passion to inspire audiences. He was very kind to say a few words which he put forth in a moving narration.

Gallopper was a programme for inspiration and knowledge sharing in different domains of the built environment. It facilitated collaboration and networking among academia, civil society organizations and professionals from disciplines like architecture, engineering and construction management – who are engaged with development and urban issues.