26 September 2020
Around 6.15 PM, as I was wrapping up the EduRise Adobe Photoshop Workshop in தமிழ் – I was feeling quite happy, because I had the opportunity to work with the software after so many years. I loved doing graphic design – but I’ve always been a fan of Canva, because of it’s simplicity and elegance. In someways, there was still a ‘Photoshop hunger’ within me – so when we had a chance to organize the Photoshop workshop in Tamil, I took the effort to learn along with the participants too. <3
But then, I had the next commitment on my calendar block already – I have to do a YouTube live webinar for IEEE APSIT Student Branch – as part of the Showrunners of Futurity webinar series, on an interesting topic – Social Entrepreneurship.
I started editing the final draft of the presentation and the work almost got over by 06:50 PM! But, then something totally interesting had happened – there was a power cut!
I waited for a 5 minutes patienty – for my lights to turn back on. Apparently, the virtual set up I had – especially Wi-Fi is completely dependent on the electrical power. Without which, I have to only rely upon my mobile data – which is super slow.
The next step!
The most interesting thing in every crisis situation, is always the next step and how we overcome the problem we are currently facing.
I immediately started thinking of a plan B – of outsourcing the screen sharing and joining the call only through mobile (it wouldn’t have been an impressive plan, by then I didn’t know it’s going to be a YouTube live).
When I thought of informing the organizers, unfortunately – I didn’t had any of their contacts on my phone. So, I went to Instagram (they had posted a story of the webinar announcement with me tagged), and replied if someone from the organizing team can quickly give me a call. Meanwhile, I also wrote an email to them about the situation, along with the presentation.
Apparently, all these happened in a matter of 10 minutes. The time was about to be 07:05 PM, and the power was not yet back.
Within 5 minutes of my message on Instagram, I received calls from 2-3 volunteers from the organizing team, enquiring how they can help me out. It was quite interesting to see that all of them were pro-active, and they reached out when I needed a help.
I did a small brainstorming with them – and our final conclusion was I will be joining through mobile phone – only with an audio (I can’t do a video stream, because it’s dark because of power cut :P). Their host volunteer agreed to support me with the slides.
Only then I enquired, whether this session will be happening in Google Meet or WebEx – but they told me this will be a YouTube live!
I’ve had experience of doing an YouTube live in the past, the streaming usually happens through third party platform, for which you would definitely require a strong connection and a laptop.
But there was no other go, without power – so I had to agree to only-voice idea and according to me, I felt like the session won’t be much effective.
Thankfully by around 07:10 PM, when an other volunteer reached to me because of the Instagram message – suddenly the power was all back, the electricrical connection was restored!
After so much of crisis planning over the past 15 minutes, I finally felt relived. I conveyed the happy news to the volunteers, they’ve also felt happy that I can now join through laptop and do a full fledged webinar.
Webinar on Social Entrepreneurship!
The webinar went quite well. I totally enjoyed doing the presentation sharing my perspectives on Social Entrepreneurship and how anyone can get started with it from scratch. There was a lot of interesting questions too,
(a) Whom do you see as the ‘Steve Jobs’ of Social Entrepreneurship?
(b) How do non-profits attract talent without higher salaries?
(c) How was the experience of TEDx talk?
(d) Being compassionate is a skill or a mindset for Social Entrepreneur?
(e) What could Government or Society could do to encourage Social Entrepreneurship?
I had a lot of fun sharing my answers and interesting stories from my experiences.
The webinar and the Q&A session went till 08:45 PM, and I was thankful that the power didn’t go off again. #ThankYouGod
The Offline Chat!
And once the actual webinar was over – something very interesting happened. The organizing volunteers, had some interesting questions for me personally – regarding IEEE and other general questions related to the public speaking. It was more of a closed group offline chat, it was a wonderful and one of the interesting experiences to remember.
Usually, in F2F events, once the event is over – I always find sometime to catch up with the volunteers, and it used to give me a lot of inspiration and happiness to interact with the people of similar interests and passion. But, this was usually a miss at the virtual events, where once the talk is over, you say a ‘Bye!’ close the session (and miss all the fun)!
We ended up chatting for around an hour and I promised them I will visit Mumbai soon (after the COVID is over).
When I was just looking back of how it all started with the power cut – what I assumed was totally different. I felt gratitude for everything that happened – in fact whatever I felt was also reflected on my response to an interesting question – “Being compassionate is a skill or a mindset for a Social Entrepreneur?”
As a part of my answer I was saying –
“If you start thinking on this moment – this moment we are in, I have an Internet connection. I have electrical connectivity, today I have all these things, today I have a wonderful host, that’s why I am able to deliver this webinar. It’s not that I’m contributing something really big – there are so many factors that are helping me out in what I do really – if you can really feel that, you will naturally have a lot more gratitude for the people around you.”
Yes, in a tentative life all we need is gratitude! Gratitude to electricity – for coming back on time xD.
Overall, it was an amazing and fulfilling day.