Leadership is a journey. Each one of us has to take our own path and get there our own way.

David Gergen

After covering a long journey with more than 30 clubs from NITK, we are finally here with the last edition of the ‘In House’ Series. For our final issue, we had with us Preethi (Photography Club con), Aditi Rao from NITK Continue, and Iteesha (Tedx team lead), where we talked about the future plans for their clubs/teams.

Iteesha – TEDxNITKSurathkal Team Lead

– How is the situation different this semester from last year in the functioning of  TEDxNITKSurathkal? 

 I think 2020 has been a challenging year for all of us. In addition to adapting to the new digital working mode, one more thing that was new to us was introducing the TEDx Salon events to our campus. TEDx Salon is an event meant to keep the community engaged between the main TEDx events with a stronger focus on in-house “discussions” on a predefined theme explored by the Salon speakers. We conducted the first edition of the Salon on August 1st and the next one is right around the corner! 

 The challenge was basically having to go completely online with events that have been known widely for not just for talks but also for its overall experience (ambience, networking, speaker interactions etc.,). The discussion element was quite a challenge going online, but we did pull off a great premier TEDx salon event and are now venturing into various new platforms to enhance the overall event experience for our 2nd event. 

 The most challenging one of them all is to learn to wade around the uncertainty of the main TEDx event. But we, as a team, are optimistic about conducting a successful 7th edition.

– How is the team collaborating now?

 Like every other team, we have shifted our work online. We concluded our recruitments last month which happened very smoothly. There is regular communication within the teams, and meets are scheduled when needed. The team has been coping really well as a whole, and the success of our first edition of TEDxSalon is a testimony to that.

 Since we have now already worked together for the first Salon event, collaborating further for the upcoming events has gotten easier. Our diverse team, filled with an enthusiastic lot, has been constantly trying to deliver the best under the current circumstances. 

– What events are in the pipeline?

 As mentioned earlier, we are planning to conduct another TEDxSalon event on the 17th of October 2020, and then, of course, the main TEDx event will be around January 2021 (tentatively). The theme for TEDxNITKSurathkalSalon-2 is “Trailblazer“. Under this theme, we plan to host speakers who have diverted from the orthodox and chosen unconventional paths to tread on, people who have shifted streams by truly acknowledging their dreams and aspirations, and have tackled innumerable hurdles on their way by believing in themselves. Through this event, we wish to impress on the young minds of NITK that in this life’s journey of self-discovering, it is never too late for any of us to shift to a new goal we truly wanna pursue. The teams have been dealing with all new developments in an organized manner, and we are on the verge of finalizing the speakers for our upcoming Salon. Hopefully, all our efforts will align well to make ends meet and deliver an event of great magnitude and impact. This edition of Salon will be quite different from what we had in August because we have something new and exciting in store for you all! Do follow us on Instagram & Facebook to stay updated! 

–  As the team lead what things that you would like to change in the team?

We have a solid foundation set by the previous TEDx teams and we will continue to build on it. Setting a diverse stage line-up to provide an indulging TEDx experience has always been a priority and we hope to continue the same. We plan to continue taking feedback after each event and considering NITK community’s suggestions and opinions honestly to better the experience of the coming TEDxNITKSurathkal events. Since we are experimenting and adapting to the online mode now, we would also like to make way to a wider audience by live streaming events on our own YouTube channel. Having got the opportunity to introduce TEDx Salon events to NITK, we are aiming to establish a strong imprint for coming batches to build on. By actively involving the NITK community in the TEDx experience through salon events, we hope to keep the spirit of ideas worth spreading alive in our college by normalising discussions on brewing issues of the society and enhancing audience-speaker interactions in our events to come. Our goal for this edition would be to make the TEDx experience more inclusive and impactful to our NITK community. 

Curious to know more?

Instagram – https://instagram.com/tedxnitksurathkal?igshid=uobturq4kaqb 
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/tedxnitksurathkal2018/
website – http://www.tedxnitksurathkal.in/
YouTube channel – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCx8zqZ_XQH_quxMEuMrtqZw 

Preethi – Photography Club Con

How is the situation different this semester from last year in the function of the club?

 Well, there is no denying the fact that this semester is definitely worse than normal. Since there are no college events to cover and also the facility to roam free to capture, the members of the club are constrained to limited subjects to click. There are fewer options open for us to work with.

 – How is the team collaborating now?

 Though virtual meetings are a thing, one or the other doesn’t show up stating some reason. So, we tried to divide the work and assign it to people and check on them regularly, setting deadlines. It’s definitely a tough time for us all with no real communication 

What events are in the pipeline?

 We are planning to conduct webinars by some professional photographers which would include not only aspects regarding photography but also about topics like ‘Photography as a career option’, ‘How to cope up with the present-day situation, being photographers?’ and more such things. Also as we are constrained to everything online, we are looking towards some Online Photography Contests as well. That would also be a good opportunity for them to showcase their skills. These are the confirmed events we are planning to ahead with. And some others are in the buffer as of now. 

As a con, what would you like to change in the club?

 Most of the members of the club are very talented in photography. Though there are some who are interested in digital illustrations, photo & video editing, vector arts, etc., they lack knowledge and experience. So I’m planning on organizing some workshops regarding that for the members of the club, and to others also if possible so that they can learn and have hands-on practice. Also, I have an idea of expanding the area of work by the club beyond just the college events. 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pclubnitk
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nitkphotography/

Continue NITK

– What has changed this year as opposed to before and what are the challenges you are facing now?

We are not a traditional club, in the sense, we don’t have memberships. We are more like a volunteer organisation with a mix of alumni and current students. Keeping those things into account, things have been quite challenging even from the start but more so now with COVID. Obviously, this whole lockdown situation and college moving online has really impacted our ability to coordinate with each other. While a lot of our work and coordination have been online so far. There was a good amount of offline work that would happen in the back, like behind the scenes to understand the situation in college and how we are received. We are just focussed around bringing awareness and a lot of that happens with having conversations with people in our day-to-day lives and using our posts and stuff as a starting point for those conversations. Now since everybody is so scattered it has really affected our ability to connect with the community because you just don’t have the same atmosphere as in college.

Another challenge has actually been finding the time to put in good effort towards our cause. It’s always been a bit of a struggle for people to balance course work and for alumni members to balance work life and also volunteering their time to help us. But with COVID and everyone at home, in a new environment adjusting to the new normal, that time has been a little bit hard to come by. That has really impacted exactly how much we have been able to do in the recent past. Since projects are pretty much only taken up when there are sufficient numbers of people who have enough time to devote to them, so we don’t ask anyone to overwork themselves for the cause.

– How is the team collaborating now?

So as far as how the team is coordinating now, our mediums of communications haven’t changed as drastically as other clubs in camps would have. We never used to have as many in-person meets as opposed to calls or virtual meetings which we did, since most of the people we work with are alumni and they can’t be on campus. The biggest challenge being time, the team has been coordinating as much as we can through messaging. But again more than anything, our communication has definitely been down since the start of  COVID. We are still trying to find a way to more effectively work together. We had more of a schedule when we were in college and we are slowly ramping up to that now since the semester has started and people who just graduated have settled down with work, everybody will be more comfortable to find the time to add in an hours call a week to complete the scheduled work.

– What events are in the pipeline?

We have two kinds of projects that we typically take up. One is more of a project in response to something that is happening in our surroundings, like when lockdown first stated we released a few posts on “Quarantine Self-Care” and Lockdown Mental Health Resources. Another set of projects we are trying to take up have more of a long-term focus, such as our Continue learning series which focussed more on trying to understand various mental illnesses. So these are dealing with more existent problems that are not always at the forefront of conversations. So with regards to the first kind of projects, things are typically not very planned out, those come in as in when the topic is approached in our group when we realise there is a need for it. It’s been a year since Continues started functioning. From this year we have decided to put a long-term focus on understanding and maintaining your own mental health – about developing good healthy habits and to understand mental health in a context aside from just mental illness. We want people to see it as something as important as physical health – eating healthy, sleeping well, all of these things come naturally to us as healthy things do but there also things that we can do to ensure that we can be mentally healthy like making sure that we don’t overwork ourselves, removing ourselves from a toxic situation, developing better boundaries and seeking help when we need it. We are gonna be focusing on small things that you can do, like gratefulness journals, So through this year, our focus is more on posts and talks relating to this. Events that do come up will be centered around this.

Coming soon is a blog post series about things that you can do and small habits you can develop to help you feel connected and improve your mental health.

– What would you like to change?

One thing that we definitely would like to change is the amount of engagement within and outside the team. We have people across all years and branches of college, across time zones considering the fact that we work with a lot of alumni and that has been quite challenging, trying to find a way to keep connected with each other. That is something we would like to change, along with the current students taking up more  initiatives as opposed to the alumni. A Lot of work that is being done is being spearheaded by the alumni, but again this is for the college community and nobody knows the college community better than people who are in it at the moment, One thing we would love to change is to try and be more encouraging in a sense that our student members are more enthused to take up projects. It’s only been a year, and we would love to see the students taking up responsibilities, leading the sub groups and carrying this initiative forward.

Words from some more Continue team members:

“Joining Continue helped me understand more about the mental illnesses and removed the stigma I had about them.”

“The work I did for Continue played a part in me deciding to restart therapy which has worked very well for me. It also created a safe space for me to share things about my mental illness with others.”

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nitk.continue/