Emergent Ventures from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University was started by Tyler Cowen back in 2018 and funded by Peter Thiel. It supports ideas for improving society.
Emergent Ventures India has honored people from a variety of different areas, from technology for climate change to economists to journalists to NGOs (me!). These were the people invited for the unconference along with a few global winners and people working on other projects.
Some more details
Rather than having selected talks and presentations, an unconference is much less structured and more participatory. We listed topics we were interested in and were free to join different discussions based on our interests. I spent a lot of time in sessions covering education, teachers, women’s rights, “how to write” etc.
In addition to the session, I spent a lot of time interacting with inspiring individuals from the senior (Prem Paniker) to young social entrepreneurs who have set up companies (2hands) and social organizations (Loo Cafe)
This group of individuals is completely different from the students I normally interact with. This was also the first time I traveled alone! These are the people who are changing the world and speaking with them helped me understand how their thinking is fundamentally different from the norm. Their approach to the problems and issues they were engaged with had a global perspective. This has helped me recognize that I usually engage with issues at a very local level and how I can broaden the scope.