On September 6, India’s Silicon Valley – Bengaluru played host to the second Marriott TED Salon in the Asia Pacific region. Organised at the Bengaluru Marriott Hotel Whitefield, this exclusive TED salon was attended by innovators, entrepreneurs, Marriott Rewards loyalty members, business school students, international media and influencers.
The event was a part of the ongoing global partnership between Marriott Hotels and TED, which started in 2016.
Mike Fulkerson, Vice President, Brand and Marketing Asia Pacific, Marriott International says, “Backed by 60 years of history, Marriott Hotels continues to innovate and inspire brilliance in our guests – and this TED Salon has really brought to life what the brand stands for. Marriott’s salons engage with travellers around the world through its inspiring, empowering messages.”
Through this collaboration, the hospitality brand is trying to provide guests with the right experiences that can spark new ideas in addition to inspiring them in setting up their businesses.
The second Marriott TED Salon
The second Marriott TED Salon saw three women entrepreneurs, sharing their personal and professional experiences around the theme of “Women in Innovation.”
Talking on the subject of how the speakers are chosen for the TED event, Fulkerson says, “After finalising the city, we try to understand who are the right speakers, initiatives that are key to the city where the TED salon is being held and what we want to do as a company. Then we look for who is available, and whose projects touch around the current TED salon theme- in this case it was projects based on innovation.”
“Also, the benefit of working with TED, is that they not only give grants to the TED fellows, but they also train them in factors such as public speaking,” added Fulkerson.
The first speaker of the evening was Zubaida Bai, a women’s health advocate from India, who talked about the maternal health condition across the globe. A passionate health activist, Zubaida Bai is the creator of ‘clean birth kit,’ that helps women in developing countries to have safer childbirths. She shared the backstory behind this innovation, along with the challenges and benefits, that this revolutionary creation has generated.
The second speaker was Asha de Vos, a marine biologist, whale conservationist and educator from Sri Lanka. A strong crusader of ocean conservation, Asha de Vos is the founder of ‘The Sri Lankan Blue Whale Project.’ For the TED event, she shared a powerful message on how whales must be protected as they play a vital role in the health of the world’s oceans.
The third and the final speaker was Trang Tran, an agriculture entrepreneur from Vietnam. She is the co-founder of Fargreen, a social enterprise that works closely with a network of farmers to grow and sell premium branded edible mushrooms and other crops. She shared her experience of working with farmers, and helping them in building sustainable and prosperous communities in the region.
Post this, there was an open interaction with the TED speakers, which was moderated by Peggy Fang Roe, who is the Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Asia-Pacific of Marriott International. “Innovation and creativity are key to our success as a travel company. The company’s flagship brand Marriott Hotels is leading the pack with brilliant partnerships exemplified by this year’s TED Fellows Salon, which is a prime example of how we offer money-can’t-buy experiences to our guests and loyalty members,” said Peggy Fang Roe, who was dressed in a traditional Indian saree for the event.
The open conversation gave a deeper understanding of how these innovative influencers are working towards their specific cause, and what we as a society should do in helping each of the initiatives.
Upcoming Marriott TED salons
Taking forward its belief of “when people travel, it sparks new ways of thinking,” Marriott Hotels, in collaboration with TED, will be organising many more of such Marriott TED salons in destinations including Boston, Cairo and Athens in upcoming months. marriott.com