Shannon Markle | October 16, 2019
Volunteer Profile: Jeevan Vivanganathan
Like many, Jeevan Viveganathan escaped his early years in mundane suburbia by moving to hip downtown Toronto. There he lived a vibrant life of enjoying the nightlife, cool neighbourhoods, eating at hip restaurants and basically convincing himself that the suburbs were the edge of the world and that he would never return. Then he moved to Cambridge.
While at first, he had to chuckle at the silly (pretentious, even, he thought) name of the local library, 'Idea Exchange', when his wife challenged him to rethink, and took him down to the Old Post Office to discover a new 'possible' he was stunned by the breadth of all that is offered. Wow, in the suburbs? A library can be a bridge between the public at large and artists, technologists, hobbyists and just the curious minded. Jeevan told us that "it is a great place of meeting (and idea exchange!) - and is a bit of a drug and I really, unabashedly love the Idea Exchange."
A professional electrical engineer, Jeevan has always gravitated towards helping people understand complex topics, and has a passion for teaching anyone, young or old, tech minded or not, about what is possible. When Jeevan is with us he spends his time in the Old Post Office, helping our spaces come alive in in people’s minds and imaginations. The OPO gives Jeevan a real chance to express multiple facets of his personality: his teaching side, his learning side and his desire to fuel curiosity in others.
Jeevan's favorite volunteering story took place at an AR (Artificial Reality) program aimed at youngsters. Jeevan is used to kids being fearless, even if initially shy, so the hubbub of kids all making copious numbers of AR images and giggling didn't surprise him. What thrilled him though was the moms who brought their kids. Their sudden expression of curiosity, their desiring to learn at a kids program – for Jeevan this was a totally unexpected thrill.
Now when Jeevan speaks of his new home town, he is happy to share that he has discovered Cambridge's version of hip and cool, and that it includes Idea Exchange.
And we are happy to salute Jeevan in this volunteer bio, for sharing his passion, his expertise and his immense energy with idea Exchange.