“Discussing the future at the Head Table Conference” by Rhea Nath

The prestige that comes with the Head Table conference hits you almost immediately on entrance of Lincoln Hall. It was held in Baldwin Boy’s High School on the 24th of August, 2013 and, with what seemed like a thousand schools present, I was but one student in the crowd…

I’ll admit that the night before, I was nothing short of a jittery mess. I’d never actually attended a ‘conference’ before (especially not one that sounded so formal) and I had just a general idea of what to expect at Head Table. This aspect worried me. Maybe it was my teenage side thinking but… What if I asked a silly question? What if I did something like sneeze while addressing a panelist?

The conference focused on addressing the ‘future’, with panelists like Ms. Nupur Basu to discuss the future of media, Mr. Srikanth Nadamuni for the future of technology, Mr. Lourd Vijay representing the future of arts, Mr.Biren Ghose for the future of business and finally, Dr. Meenakshi Bharath as the panel member for the future of society. All highly respected in their fields, it’s pretty clear that my aforementioned apprehension was quite legitimate.

What I had thought would be an intimidating experience was actually quite brilliant. I was enthralled by the questions asked and the discussion that took place. I’d originally assumed that I may not be able to comprehend the discussion, but I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t the case at all.

My favourite part of the conference was that each panelist was from a different field of learning and had different answers to the same questions. It really brings to light their varying views. I noticed this when I got a chance to ask them a question –if technology could be incorporated in their respective fields and whether or not it would have a massive effect. The fact that I got a chance to question them didn’t seem very important at first, but as the conference went on, I noticed that questions got to be asked on a ‘lottery’ basis i.e if the chit with your number was picked from the ballot, you got to speak. It’s quite amusing now to imagine that I got not just one, but two chances to ask questions!

In the end, the Head Table conference by INEXEL (Institute of Experiential Learning) was quite the experience, one that I would definitely not forget any time soon. We often tend to linger on the past and in the process, we never address the future. This conference forced us to face the hard truth and it truly was an eye-opener for students like me.

The Head Table Conference was attended by three of our students Rhea Nath, Nikita Nerurkar and Nitya Basrur.