Why think out of the box? Let there not be a box. That seems to be the foundation for the theme of TEDxChennai 2016 — Erasing the Box.

Life lessons can be learnt where else but from life itself — day-to-day activities teach us ways to get ahead.

Be it from rowing for Krishna Mohan Ramachandran, oarsman and COO of Eco Earth, an NGO; or from a bunch of children for Kirthi Jayakumar, founder of Red Elephant Foundation; or the tongue-in-cheek humour with which writer Manu Joseph defined friendships, particularly of the social media kind — all had lessons for the young participants at TEDx on Sunday.

At the event presented by Infosys, in which BusinessLine was the media partner, the participants not only picked up lessons on when to push hard and when to relax, but also got interesting glimpses of Chennai, with river-level views captured from the Adyar in Ramachandran’s presentation. “Hard through the water, slow up the slide” is a lessen rowers learn early. It teaches them to pull hard in the water to move fast and position the oar properly for the next pull. That taught him the value of where and when to push hard and when to relax, he said.

Jayakumar spoke about two children in a class — a bully and the bullied — giving vent to their feelings as they went to school from a troubled home.

“The idea behind TEDxChennai is to encourage new thinking and spark conversations,” said Kritika Jain, licensee and curator of TEDxChennai. “We aim to create a conversation between the thinkers, doers and change makers of our community.”

The experience was “amazing and we would like to have more of this kind in Chennai”, said Ashish, a participant.

“It was very inspiring, especially about the women empowerment,” said another participant, Jyoti.