Anandita De has over 15 years of experience working in the luxury lifestyle segment with leading Indian hotel chains in operations, sales, marketing & PR. In 2016, she launched her blog, RISQUÉ By Ana De while working with global brands to curate luxe boutique events and simultaneously writing articles for major local newspapers like Deccan Chronicle, The Asian Age and Hello! India. She studied fashion styling at Regents University London and upon coming back to India, worked in tandem with luxe homegrown brands like Pranay Baidya & Madhuban Jewellers X SVA and carried out influencer based fashion styling collaborations. Presently, she is looking forward to launching a service for brands looking for great content writing tie-ups and event planning under ADE Consultants.
André Aciman was born in Alexandria, Egypt and is an American memoirist, essayist, novelist and scholar. He is The New York Times bestselling author of Call Me by Your Name and Find Me as well as of several other novels, memoirs and essay collections. Aciman is the director of The Writers’ Institute and is Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature at the Graduate Center, CUNY.
Aparna Swarup is a painter and photographer. She studied painting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and Central Saint Martins, London, and honed her photography skills in Delhi and Ottawa. With Miele as her primary show sponsor in Johannesburg and Tokyo, Swarup has extensively exhibited her work around the globe and has received high acclaim. Her paintings and photography are part of many corporate and private collections.
Arundhathi Subramaniam is a leading Indian poet and an award-winning author of 13 books of poetry and prose. Her published works include: her most recent volume of poetry, Love Without a Story; Women Who Wear Only Themselves, a book of conversations with female sacred travellers; the bestselling biography, Sadhguru: More Than a Life; and the acclaimed anthology of sacred poetry, Eating God. She is the recipient of the Sahitya Akademi Award, the Khushwant Singh Poetry Prize, the Raza Award, the Il Ceppo Prize in Italy, the Homi Bhabha and Charles Wallace fellowships, among others. Her book When God is a Traveler was the Season Choice of the Poetry Book Society, shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize. Over the years, Arundhati has worked as a curator, critic and poetry editor, and divides her time between Mumbai, Madras and New York.
Former editor of The Times Weekend Review, Ben Macintyre is a columnist and Associate Editor of The Times. He has worked as the newspaper’s correspondent in New York, Paris and Washington. He is the author of thirteen non-fiction history books, including the bestselling wartime trilogy Agent Zigzag, Operation Mincemeat and Double Cross. His other bestselling books include A Spy Among, SAS: Rogue Heroes, The Spy and the Traitor, and Agent Sonya. Collectively, his books have sold more than two million copies worldwide and have been translated into more than 25 languages.
BN Goswamy, India’s leading art historian, is Professor Emeritus of Art History at the Panjab University, Chandigarh. His work, especially in the area of Indian painting, has influenced much thinking. The recipient of many honours, including the Jawaharlal Nehru Fellowship, the Rietberg Award for Outstanding Research in Art History, the Padma Shri (1998) and the Padma Bhushan (2008) from the President of India. He has taught as Visiting Professor at several universities across the world, among them the Universities of Pennsylvania, Heidelberg, California (at Berkeley and Los Angeles) and Zurich. He has also been responsible for major exhibitions of Indian art at Paris, San Francisco, Zurich, San Diego, New York, Frankfurt and New Delhi. Professor Goswamy has written more than 25 books, among them classics like Pahari Masters, Nainsukh of Guler, The Spirit of Indian Painting and The Great Mysore Bhagavata.
David Wallace-Wells is deputy editor at New York Magazine and the author of the international bestseller The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming, published in 2019, which explores both the terrifying speed and scope of climate change and its likely transformation of politics and culture, economics and technology.
Francesca Cartier Brickell
Francesca Cartier Brickell is a direct descendant of the Cartier family. Her great-great-great-grandfather founded Cartier in 1847. Her late grandfather Jean-Jacques Cartier was the last of the family to manage and own a branch of the world-famous firm. She is a sought-after international lecturer on Cartier’s illustrious history and has given talks for major auction houses, museums and societies.
Gopalkrishna Gandhi read English Literature and History at Delhi University. A monthly columnist for The Hindustan Times and The Telegraph, he writes for The Hindu as well. He is currently Distinguished Professor of History and Politics at Ashoka University.
Huma Abedin began her career in public service and national politics as an intern in First Lady Hillary Clinton’s office in 1996. After four years in the White House, she worked in the U.S. Senate as senior advisor to Senator Clinton and was the travelling chief of staff for Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign. In 2009, she was appointed deputy chief of staff at the U.S. Department of State. Abedin served as vice-chair of Hillary for America in 2016, resulting in the first woman elected nominee of a major political party. She is The New York Times best-selling author of BOTH/AND: A Life in Many Worlds.
Marcus du Sautoy
Marcus du Sautoy is the Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science and Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford and is a Fellow of the Royal Society. He is the author of seven books and a play, including his most recent book Thinking Better: The Art of the Shortcut.
Matthew Syed is an author and highly acclaimed speaker in the field of high performance. He has written six best-selling books on the subject of mindset and high performance – Bounce, Black Box Thinking, Rebel Ideas, The Greatest, and his celebrated children’s books, You Are Awesome and Dare To Be You – and has worked with many leading organisations to build a mindset of continuous improvement. He is also a multi-award-winning journalist for The Times and The Sunday Times and a regular contributor to television and radio. In his previous career, Matthew was the England table tennis number one for almost a decade.
Mira Nair is an Academy-Award nominated director, best known for her visually dense films, including, Salaam Bombay! (winner of the Caméra d’Or at Cannes), Mississippi Masala, the Golden Globe and Emmy-winning Hysterical Blindness, Monsoon Wedding (for which she was the first woman to win Venice Film Festival’s coveted Golden Lion), The Namesake and Queen of Katwe, among others. Her future projects include an Amazon Series with Sister Pictures, The Jungle Prince of Delhi, and AMRI, a feature film on Amrita Sher-Gil. An activist by nature, Nair founded the Salaam Baalak Trust for street children and the Maisha Film Lab in East Africa to train filmmakers on the continent. In 2012, Nair was awarded the Padma Bhushan, India’s third-highest civilian honour.
Namita Gokhale, Sahitya Akademi (National Academy of Letters) awardee for 2021, is the co-founder and co-director of the Jaipur Literature Festival and the author of twenty books. Her acclaimed debut novel, Paro: Dreams of Passion, was published in 1984. Gokhale’s latest work of fiction, The Blind Matriarch, examines the Indian joint family against the backdrop of the pandemic. Her other recent books include Betrayed By Hope, a play on the life of the poet Michael Madhusudan Dutt, and Jaipur Journals, a fictional reading of the Jaipur Literature Festival. She has also written extensively on myths and religion. Gokhale was conferred with the prestigious First Centenary National Award for Literature by the Assam Sahitya Sabha in 2017 and has received recognition both for her writing and her commitment to multilingual Indian literature and cross-cultural literary dialogue.
Navdeep Suri is Distinguished Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi. He has previously served as India’s Ambassador to UAE, High Commissioner to Australia, Ambassador to Egypt, and Consul General in Johannesburg. He has also held diplomatic assignments in Tanzania, the United Kingdom, the United States, and has headed the Africa and Public Diplomacy departments of India’s Ministry of External Affairs. After acclaimed translations of his grandfather Nanak Singh’s novels, Pavitra Paapi as The Watchmaker, and Adh Khidya Phul as A Life Incomplete, he has worked on Khooni Vaisakhi, a long poem written by Nanak Singh in 1920 after surviving the Jallianwala Bagh massacre.
Puneeta Roy is a core team member of the Karmic Research Center, a space that focuses on the wellbeing of an individual from a holistic point of view. Established in 2000, the activities at KRC empower the individual in the use of a range of tools from meditation, theatre and role playing, to martial arts and creative writing. A media professional with over 30 years of experience, her interest in expressive arts has led her to conduct workshops with young people using theatre and the arts as tools for self-exploration and transformation. As the Founder Trustee of The Yuva Ekta Foundation, her vision of equity and social justice has translated into the creation of several such platforms. The past decade has ignited a deep interest in emotional intelligence, especially in the labyrinth of human relationships, even as the exploration of one’s own self moves towards greater awareness and compassion.
Patrick Radden Keefe
Patrick Radden Keefe is a staff writer at The New Yorker and author of the international bestsellers Empire of Pain, which received the Baillie Gifford Prize, and Say Nothing, which received the Orwell Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. He is also the creator of the podcast ‘Wind of Change’.
Pavan K. Varma
Pavan K. Varma is a writer-diplomat and politician who has authored over a dozen best-selling books, including Ghalib: The Man, The Times, The Great Indian Middle Class, The Book of Krishna, Being Indian, Becoming Indian and Chanakya’s New Manifesto. He has been an MP in the Rajya Sabha, an Advisor to the Chief Minister of Bihar, Director of The Nehru Centre in London, Official Spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, Director General, ICCR, and Press Secretary to the President of India. Varma was awarded an honorary doctorate for his contribution to diplomacy, literature, culture and aesthetics by the University of Indianapolis. He is the recipient of the Atta Galatta-Bengaluru Literature Festival prize, Kalinga International Literary Award and the Druk Thuksey, Bhutan’s highest civilian award. Varma’s latest book is The Great Hindu Civilisation: Achievement, Neglect, Bias and the Way Forward.
Peter Frankopan is Professor of Global History at the University of Oxford, and Associate Director of the Silk Roads Studies programme at King’s College Cambridge. He is the author of The Silk Roads: A New History of the World, The First Crusade: The Call from the East and The New Silk Roads.
Pranay Lal is a biochemist who works for a non-profit organisation on public health. He has been a caricaturist for newspapers, an animator for an advertising agency, and an environmental campaigner. His first book, Indica: A Deep Natural History of the Indian Subcontinent, won the best non-fiction debut award at the Tata Lit Fest in 2017, among others. His most recent book, Invisible Empire: The Natural History of Viruses, was released in November 2021.
Maharani Radhikaraje Gaekwad is actively involved in running one of the largest private residences in the world along with family trusts such as the Maharani Chimnabai Stree Udyogalaya and the Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum Trust, housing some of the most acclaimed works of Raja Ravi Varma amongst others. She has been researching and archiving the rich history and culture of royal India and has presented her research on the famed Gaekwad jewels, royal culture, textiles and customs on prestigious platforms such as the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Saffronart, Robb Report and India Today Conclave.
Ranjit Hoskote is a poet, critic, cultural theorist and independent curator who is the recipient of the Sahitya Akademi Award, the Sahitya Akademi Golden Jubilee Award and the Sahitya Akademi Prize for Translation. His collections of poetry include Vanishing Acts, Central Time, Jonahwhale and Hunchprose. His translation of a celebrated 14th century Kashmiri woman mystic’s poetry has appeared as I, Lalla: The Poems of Lal Ded.
Roger Highfield is the Science Director at the Science Museum Group. He studied Chemistry at the University of Oxford and was the first person to bounce a neutron off a soap bubble. Highfield was the Science Editor of The Daily Telegraph for two decades, and the Editor of New Scientist between 2008 and 2011. He is a member of the Medical Research Council, a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and a visiting Professor at UCL and Oxford.
Sanjoy K. Roy
Sanjoy K. Roy, an entrepreneur of the arts, is the Managing Director of Teamwork Arts, which produces over 33 highly acclaimed performing arts, visual arts and literary festivals in 40 cities across the world, including the iconic annual Jaipur Literature Festival, international editions of JLF and the launched-during-lockdown digital JLF Brave New World series. He is a founder trustee of Salaam Baalak Trust, providing support services for street and working children in Delhi. Roy works closely with various industry bodies and the government on policy issues in the cultural sector in India and has lectured and collaborated with leading international universities. He is the Co-Chair of the FICCI creative industries committee.
Shashi Tharoor, a third-term Member of Parliament for Thiruvananthapuram, is the bestselling author of 23 books, both fiction and non-fiction. He has won numerous awards, including the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman, a Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and the Crossword Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2019, Dr Tharoor was also awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award in the category of ‘English Non-Fiction’ for his book, An Era of Darkness.
Shivani Sibal is a Delhi based author whose debut novel, Equations, was launched in July 2021. Set in New Delhi from the 1980s to modern times, the novel traces the story of social change, ambition and familial bonds. Equations has received rave reviews in several reputed publications, including The Hindustan Times, The Times of India, The Hindu, The New Indian Express, The Asian Age, Scroll.in, and Open Magazine.
Shobhaa De is a best-selling author of over 20 books and a widely read columnist. She is known for her outspoken, irreverent views, making her one of India’s most respected opinion shapers. De is seen as a trailblazer for women’s writing.
Michelin-starred chef, cookbook author, educator and farmer Suvir Saran specialises in bringing Indian cooking to the American kitchen. Dividing his time between New Delhi and New York, he is also the only chef on the Nutrition Advisory Board at Brigham and Women’s Hospital of Harvard Medical School and pens a regular biweekly column, Slice of Life, for the Indian Express.
Vikas Swarup is a novelist and former diplomat whose first book, Q&A, was filmed as the multiple-Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire. While his subsequent novels, Six Suspects and The Accidental Apprentice, are also being adapted for the screen, Vikas’s works have been translated into more than 45 international languages. He has participated in numerous festivals around the world and is currently hosting a weekly programme on foreign affairs called ‘Diplomatic Dispatch’ for India’s parliamentary channel. He has written for numerous prestigious publications and is the recipient of honorary doctorates from the University of South Africa and Concordia University.
William Dalrymple is the bestselling author of In Xanadu, City of Djinns, From the Holy Mountain, Age of Kali, White Mughals, The Last Mughal, Nine Lives, Return of a King and Kohinoor. He has won many awards, including the Wolfson Prize for History, the Hemingway, the Kapuscinski, the Thomas Cook and the Duff Cooper Memorial Prize. He has also been awarded the Arthur Ross Bronze Medal of the US Council on Foreign Relations and the prestigious President’s Medal by the British Academy. His most recent books are The Company Quartet, The Anarchy: The Relentless Rise of the East India Company and Forgotten Masters: Indian Painting for the East India Company. Dalrymple is one of the founders and a co-director of the Jaipur Literature Festival.
**Please note that the list of speakers is subject to change