SYNAPSE 2024: Elevating Global Polymaths and Center-Stage Science & Tech Discussions in India

February 25, 2024: SYNAPSE 2024, a confluence of global geniuses is taking place on the 24-25 February at The Futures Hangar, Le Meridien, Gurgaon. A series of high-octane discussions among the best in the field was held during this two-day event. Curated by award-winning journalist Shoma Chaudhury, SYNAPSE is a pathbreaking science tech society conference set to decode the powerful forces shaping our world.

The day’s event was attended by a galaxy of luminaries including Nobel laureates, Pulitzer winners, technologists, philosophers, and inventors from across the globe. The guest list included an August gathering of well-known personalities from different fields. Shoma Chaudhury, who is the brain behind SYNAPSE as Founder of Lucid Lines said, “It is amazing to have so many bright minds from across different fields come together on one single platform. The world is changing, and we must have these free-flowing conversations exploring the intersection of philosophy, nature, humans, and technology.”

On day one, the first electric session took place with Thomas Friedman, three times Pulitzer prize winner, Global Trend Spotter, and New York Times columnist. Sharing his views, Friedman said, “Value is the golden rule. And every faith and cultural tradition has some version of it. It matters more than ever today. Do unto others as you wish them to do unto you, because more people can do unto others farther, faster, deeper, cheaper than ever before. He further added – “The human race is systematically cutting down the mangroves to build new homes, resorts, and businesses. Because so many of these mangroves are being removed, these filters are disappearing. Today, we are in a post-mangrove world metaphorically as well. We are also lacking in our social filters. Shame was one of the mangroves we have lost. Local newspapers are like mangroves. We have lost the mangroves in our political realm as well.

The session with Eric Daimler, former advisor to Obama, highlighted the significant impact of AI on companies, particularly those reliant on vast amounts of data. While acknowledging the potential disadvantage of job displacement due to AI, he emphasized the manifold increase in productivity that AI brings. He said, “By leveraging AI technologies, companies can streamline processes, automate repetitive tasks, and extract valuable insights from data at a scale and speed that was previously unattainable. This enhanced productivity can lead to greater efficiency, competitiveness, and innovation within industries.”

SYNAPSE with its distinctive vision seeks to place science and tech at the center of public discourse. The first day started with a special session by Shoma on Why SYNAPSE? She emphasized how SYNAPSE aims to retrieve science from the lab and place it in all its beauty, power, drama, and vividness at the heart of society.

There were many intellectually engaging sessions such as Enter the Machine Divine: The power, promise & peril of AI; Hot, Flat. And Split: Nature, tech, and geopolitics; How to Train a Dragon: Culture classes for AI. And introducing the human in the machine; Rule Breaker, Rural Maker: Meet a bootstrap billionaire revolutionizing tech with village talent. The speakers included geniuses from a wide array of backgrounds and expertise.

Among the distinguished speakers were Mark McCaughrean, Astrophysicist-European Space Agency, Martin Green – the father of solar technology, Malaika Vaz – National Geographic Explorer, Jaron Lanier – Inventor of Virtual Reality and Philosopher, Vidita Vaidya – Psychedelic researcher, Javed Aktar – Star Lyricist, Sridhar Vembu – Value Tech Entrepreneur and Co-founder, Zoho, David Putrino – Rehabilitation innovator, and many more.

SYNAPSE for the first time brought along two days of life-altering perspectives through debate and discussions of 40 world leaders. The selected audience comprised an esteemed guest list of industrialists, policymakers, entrepreneurs, C-suite executives, scientists, educators, YPOs, and top-notch professionals from every walk of life. Students from 50 universities watched the live stream of all the sessions.

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