Sun, Sand & Conversations

While Goa may have seen a lot of conferences and festivals, the Goa Project plans to do things a little differently. To be held on February 7 and 8 on Bogmalo beach, the project will hold a series of workshops, teach-ins, roundtables and talks where all attendees get a chance to learn, share and exchange ideas during what is being termed as "unconference" by the organisers. "There is no concept of speakers and participants at an unconference. Anyone can sign up to speak on an interesting topic and present the content in an engaging manner," says Vijay Anand, one of the organisers of the event. Participants, who want to soak in the atmosphere and listen to others speak can contribute by blogging, sharing photographs and videos from the event.

The Goa Project focuses on different themes including performing arts and music, entrepreneurism, film, society, visual arts and fringe. "There are a lot of young talented people who have great ideas but don't have a support system. At the Goa Project, lot of such initiatives find interest from people who are ready to fund their ideas," says Anand, who runs a start-up in Chennai.

For example, Aditi Gupta of Mentrupedia a graphic guide that aims to create dialogue on the taboo topic of menstruation was at the event last year. Gupta managed to raise close to Rs 3-4 lakh for her project, which was until then still on paper. More than 280 participants have signed up for this year's event, with over 150 sessions being planned and put into different categories.

Last year, some of the key speakers were venture capitalist Mahesh Murthy, Only Much Louder's Vijay Nair, and PVR Director's Rare head Shiladitya Bora. Organised by a motley group from diverse fields, the Goa Project has been compared to events such as TED and INK conferences.

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