In a little over a week from now, the windy city of Chicago will welcome some of the most influential global voices for the 2nd World Hindu Congress (WHC) – a three day conference from Sept. 7-9, to connect, confer and deliberate how Hindus around the world can raise their profile, find their voice and create a consequential positive impact on the world stage.
The globally focused event will draw 250 thought leaders and 2200 delegates from over 50 countries. A brainchild of IITian Swami Vigyananand, the landmark event is considered the “largest gathering of Hindu leaders to date.” Registrations were closed two months ago due to the phenomenal response.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama will give a message in the inaugural session. The three day event will feature Plenary and Valedictory sessions and seven parallel conferences on Economy, Education, Media, Women participation, Hindu organizations, Youth and Politics. The end goal is to understand the challenges facing Hindus globally and collaborate on possible solutions.
Economic Conference: C- Suite business leaders, economists, successful entrepreneurs, and innovators will come together to inspire and encourage greater wealth creation and wealth surplus – the only way, as Program Coordinator Mukesh Aghi puts it, to empower people and overcome problems such as poverty, malnutrition and illiteracy.
Eminent speakers like CEO Emerson Electric Ed Monser, CMO FedEx Raj Subramaniam, VP Walmart Dan Bryant and Columbia University Professor Arvind Panagariya, will hold forth on India’s economic trajectory, business potential in India and entrepreneurship.
Sessions will also showcase top tier corporate leaders and encourage interaction with them to ignite ideas, innovation and knowledge growth. Delegates can discuss policy and trade issues and how these can be resolved by the business community.
Youth Conference: Strengthening Hindu identity, encouraging young Hindu entrepreneurship, addressing professions where Hindus are underrepresented, changing media narratives about Hindu Dharma and Hindu Human Rights and Political Representation are the five core issues that will form the crux of the Youth conference.
Coordinators Parth Parihar and Amruta Houde believe this conference has tremendous opportunities for global engagement between young Hindus and the opportunity to reflect on the perspectives of renowned Hindus around the world, perspectives that people “would not normally have access to.” Prominent speakers include Trinidad Archery champion Prashaanta Singh, Member of Parliament of Norway Himanshu Gulati, founder and CEO of 3one4Capital Siddarth Pai and founder and CEO of Biomenta Research Nisha Holla.
Womens’ Conference: “Increasing the Role of Women in Hindu Resurgence and Renaissance” is the stated goal of this conference. Inspiring case studies, the Role of Women in Shaping Society, Entrepreneurship and Micro Savings, Breaking the Glass Ceiling, Value based Education and Policy Making, Redefining the Role of Hindu Women, Socio Cultural issues and Contemporary Challenges are some of the topics that will take center stage.
Accelerating the conversation are prominent women speakers like Chandrika Tandon, Dr. Anuradha Gokhale, Dr. Meena Chandavarkar, Dr. Vindya Vasini, Prof. Madhu Kishwar, Ms. Alaka Inamdhar, Dr. Uma Vaidya, and Padmshri Shital Mahajan.
Coordinators Manju Tiwari and Rama Rathna anticipate that the conference will broaden the network of Hindu women across the globe and help start a dialogue about the way forward.
Political Conference: The Political Conference will provide a connecting platform for the global Hindu diaspora that is politically active and allow political aspirants among the younger generation to interface with seniors leaders and in the process find mentors. Panelists will spearhead discussions on: Reasserting a strong Hindu Political Voice, Expanding and Cultivating Political Leadership, Collective Strategies to Address Adverse and Complex Political Environments, Strategy for Protecting Hindu Human Rights and Empowering the Next Generation of Political Leaders. Notable panelists include Vice President of Suriname Ashwin Adhin, National Federation Party of Fiji member Biman Prasad and Member National Assembly SA Santosh Kalyan.
Media Conference: The power of the pen will be discussed by journalists, bloggers, authors, media executives and faculty. Various aspects of the media landscape from print to social media’s unprecedented reach, accurate presentation about Hindus, media analysis, its responsibilities and technology will also be highlighted. According to Coordinators Vikas Deshpande and Sushil Pandit, this is vital as the “Hindu community gets branded because of how we are portrayed in the media either intentionally or unintentionally.” Key speakers include noted actor Anupam Kher, Editor, Columnist, Anchor Rohit Sardana, Founder of Shaktitva Project Neha Srivastava and writer and columnist Sunanda Vashisht.
Educational conference: Organized by the Hindu Education Board and Coordinator Nachiketa Tiwari, the fundamental goal is to bring together educationists, academicians, publishers, students and policy makers to discuss the challenges and opportunities in the field of education including access to quality, innovative, affordable education, the academic study of Hindu Dharma, society and dharmic values based education. Speakers include USCD Neuroscientist Vilayanur Ramachandran, Chancellor VIT University G. Viswanathan, Swami Mitrananda from Chinmaya University and Ram Subramanian from IIT Mumbai.
Hindu Organizational Conference: Conducted by the Hindu Organizations, Temples and Associations (HOTA) Forum, the goal, according to Coordinators Guna Magesan, Ami Patel and Sanjay Tripathi, is to bring together a vast array of Hindu organizations, temples, associations, and institutions serving Hindu societies to share best practices, experiences, and forge a strong, united and organized Hindu society for the benefit of humanity in general, and Hindu society in particular.
Prominent speakers include Bharat Seva Ashram Sangh President Swami Purnatmananda, Art of Living Foundation Head Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Chinmaya Mission Worldwide Head Swami Swaroopananda and All World Gayatri Pariwar Head Dr. Pranav Pandya.
Poster Presentations: A new element is the Hindu GPS (Global Poster Session) which will display over 55 Poster Presentations during the conference. The posters, Coordinators Dr. Jai Bansal and Dr. Chandra Reddy explain, will feature inspirational stories, Hindu organizations, ancient connections between India and other Asian societies and social service opportunities in India and in the communities we live in. These can be viewed by the delegates between sessions along with an opportunity to interact on a one on one level with the presenters for additional information.
To learn more about the 2018 World Hindu Congress, visit http://whc.2018worldhinducongress.org