Now, secret talks by secret speakers every Sunday
What if we told you, you could learn something in secret? That you wouldn’t know what you were learning about until you actually turned up at the venue? Stable Talks by Warhorse (an educational enterprise) offers ‘secret talks’ by ‘secret speakers’ — simply put, the audience will only learn about the topic and know who the speaker is, only once they turn up at the venue.
Talking about how the idea came about, Barath Balaji, one of the organisers says, “Warhorse largely functioned as an educational enterprise for students offering various classes. During some of these classes, the parents of our students and even some of our friends, who found the content interesting, asked us why don’t we do classes for older age groups. So we explored the possibility of doing something for an open community and get them interested in learning. The sessions are free and open to all.”
However, consistent classes didn’t seem to be working out, owing to clashing time schedules and other logistical problems, and so, the fortnightly talks came into being. “Our idea was that nobody should know what they are coming to learn because then it defeats the purpose of learning something new. For instance, if I announce beforehand that the talk is going to be on acting, then only those interested in the topic will sign up. The goal is to make people fall in love with the idea of learning, and not specific subjects,” Barath adds.
The first of these Stable Talks was held on August 15 last year, and an in-house speaker delivered a talk on The Power of the Human Mind. Since then, these talks, which usually last an hour and a half, have been held every alternate Sunday, with topics ranging from artificial intelligence and the history of Madras to gender violence and entrepreneurship. Their speakers, too, are as varied as their audience. Speakers in the past have included everyone from IIT professors to actors like Karthik Kumar and Pooja Devariya. “We try and keep our speakers and our topics as diverse as possible,” says Barath, adding, “We make sure our speakers are passionate about their topics. Of course, we are aware that no one is going to become an expert overnight, but the idea is to get our audience curious so that they can explore further if they want to.”