Bengaluru’s Under 25 Summit is a festival ‘for the youth, by the youth’- The New Indian Express

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By Express News Service

BENGALURU:  It is estimated that about 50 per cent of India’s population is below the age of 25 years, which would translate to roughly 633 million. And it’s the potential of this number that the Under 25 Summit aims to tap.

The upcoming youth festival, which will take place on February 1 and 2 at Jayamahal Palace, will see speakers like actors Ananya Panday, Sara Ali Khan and Rana Daggubati, comedians Tanmay Bhat, Naveen Richard, Sumukhi Suresh and Abish Mathew, and other professionals from creative fields like Anushka Manchanda, Anupama Chopra, Shaheen Bhatt, Ritviz, Durga Gawde and more.

The upcoming event will mark the seventh edition of the summit, which has grown from 80 participants to 15,000 over the years. The idea, says Shreyans Jain, co-founder of Under 25, is to bring to the forefront people from creative fields since opportunities in these fields are not deeply explored in India.

“Our speakers are from fields across food, design, filmmaking, entrepreneurship, photography and more. A lot of conversations about youngsters and their future happens here so the summit is a safe space for them to gain inspiration,” says Jain.

Besides exploring different creative industries, the various panel discussions at this two-day festival will also look at other topics of conversation, like mental health, soft skills, self-care, wellbeing, learning from one’s mistakes, celebrating women, etc.

This year, the festival is also focusing on a campaign, Take A Stand, where the team has identified 10 different pillars, like mental health, environment, equality, love as a focus for their conversations and activities. For example, for the environment pillar, the team conducted a cleaning drive recently. “Similarly, for love, we went to Brigade Road where we handed out handwritten compliments to people,” explains Anto Philip, the CEO and co-founder, Under 25.

Last year, the festival saw speakers like Sadhguru and CEO of Tinder, Elie Seidman, attend the event. Other activities included an Icebreaker Zone, where similar to speed dating, people got three minutes to strike a conversation with eight people, one after the other.

In addition, the festival also included a job centre where people seeking job opportunities or internships could approach potential employers and network with them. Both Philip and Jain are currently 25 years old but insist the event doesn’t pay much attention to age but rather the emotions one feels during their youth. Philip adds, “Everyone is welcome to this festival, age no bar. We just want everyone to experience that same feeling and energy of being under 25.”

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