Two years ago, the multifaceted Anita Peter went on an 8,000-km expedition from Kashmir to Kanyakumari on her Harley Street 750 to create awareness about civic sense and bring about change. Ms. Peter is an actor and dancer who teaches performing arts through her organization, Lasya Drutha.

Change was the theme of her keynote at the conference. Ms. Peter spoke of chrysalis — a stage in the transformation from a larva to a butterfly — and wanted the audience to think about the two stages that could apply to humans. The first is where the cocoon has a hard core filled with ego, self-pride, experiences, and an idea about who we are. The second is about reaching a level of transparency.

During the chrysalis phase, a caterpillar starts by going upside down — or doing a headstand in human terms. In other words, to get transformation going, you need to get into a mode of introspection.

“We need to start by getting to our core, strengthening it, realizing our self-worth, being able to communicate that effectively, and also understanding when others have expectations from us,” she said.

The first phase of the introspection involves asking, How much do I need to transform? “The second is about digestion — like a caterpillar self-digests. How much of yourself are you able to digest? How much of what you observe and see around you are you able to digest? How much is suitable for you? And is it in sync with the reality?” she asked. Linking it to project management, she urged project managers to assess the skills and the motivation level of their teams before embarking on a project.

Ultimately, we need to transform into a butterfly, and if you are not ready for change, you’re going to face stress, she said.