Shobhana Bhartia, Chairperson, HT Media commented, "We launched the Summit in 2003 to provide a platform where thought leaders from India and the world could debate and discuss contemporary and topical issues that are of relevance not only to India and South Asia, but also to the world. The idea was not just to help shape opinions, policies and awareness through these discussions but also to create an annual forum where a select audience could interact with leading thinkers from across the world. I am pleased to see that as the Summit enters its eighth year, it has grown in both size and stature and has emerged as one of the region's most anticipated conferences."
The first session at the Summit was that of His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, where he shared his views on 'The Art of Happiness in Troubled Times'. Other sessions for the day included speakers like Nandan Nilekani, Chairman, Unique Identification Authority of India; Shashi Ruia, Chairman, Essar Group; Jairam Ramesh, Hon. Minister of State for Environment and Forests, India; Sunita Narain, Director, Centre for Science and Environment; Vir Sanghvi and Rishi Kapoor and his son Ranbir Kapoor in an interesting session on cinema.
The closing session on the first day took a look at the serious issue of Diabetes. The second day of the Summit began with the keynote address by Dr. Manmohan Singh, Hon. Prime Minister of India. The Prime Minister's session was followed by a special address by Al Gore, Vice President of the USA (1992-2000) on 'Climate Change'. Other prominent speakers included Brinda Karat, Member, CPI (M), Political Bureau; Arun Jaitley, Hon. Leader of the Opposition, Rajya Sabha; and Hon. Gordon Brown, M.P. Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, 2007-2010; amongst others.
The event was promoted through newspapers, television, radio and online media. The conference was by-invitation only. The Aditya Birla Group and CNN IBN were the partners for the event. Associate partners included Sujana, ONGC, IFCI Limited, Global and BPTP.