Asoka is a Barrister, Political Scientist and “Professional” Asset Declaration Hunter.
He is the Executive Director of Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL), a civil society organisation focussed on tackling corruption and improving governance. Most recently he has guided TISL in supporting the Sri Lankan RTI Bill in the Supreme Court as well as championing a draft Bill seeking to change Sri Lankan Asset Declaration Laws. He had previously worked at Verité Research where he founded Manthri.lk – Sri Lanka’s only parliamentary tracking system.
Asoka holds an MSc in Comparative Politics from the London School of Economics and Political Science, an LLB from Queen Mary College, London and was called to the Bar at the Inner Temple.
Currently serving as Director/Consultant at the ‘Shigadry with Earth’ Group; a research and innovation company; in Japan and Sri Lanka, he is also the author of the world’s first Direct Carbon Negative Product Concept, with over 10,000 hrs of structured research on Climate Change & Mitigation. Having initiated and coordinated Sri Lanka’s first ISO 14064 Greenhouse Gas inventory assessment, Chaminda is the holder of many patents and copyrights in diverse technology disciplines. Being a member of The Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET), UK, with an MBA in Operations Management, he is an experienced Corporate Manager cum Senior Executive with over 20 years in the industry and is currently into R&D, Inventions cum Product Development, Technology Management, Consulting and overall Business Development in the Low Carbon space, with special aptitudes in Electric Transportation (EVs) and Energy Management.
Having graduated from Royal Holloway College, University of London with a BA (Hons) in Politics and Social Policy, Chandila started his journey by setting up a cell phone company at 19. Having failed in a series of other businesses and seeing the financial independence of innocent people evaporate during the economic crash of 2008; his inner belief was reinforced that bad debt dis-empowers people and takes away human dignity. Gaining significant insight from his own failures, he became CEO of the UK’s No. 1 Aero Medical Business, worked with the government of Sri Lanka and then went on to advise a former Prime Minister’s private office; all before the age of 40. His curiosity also led to trying his hand at politics, entitling Chandila with the record for being the youngest person in British history to run for President of a national, political party.
Having graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University, USA, with a Bachelor of Science, Electrical Engineering Technology (Hons) on a full tuition scholarship, Chinthaka had the idea of entrepreneurship firmly inculcated at an early age. He gained his experience in successfully deploying a viable business, and further honing skills in niche areas such as Environmental Engineering – through formal education and project experience. As a true professional with a view of long term benefits to society through meticulous planning, precision, and delivery, Chinthaka currently holds the post of Chief Executive Officer at ‘Sisili Hanaro Encare’ and is a Consultant for ‘GITEC Consult GmbH’ in Germany.
Michael is an engineer by training and a writer by passion riding the line between Science and Art. After receiving his Bachelor’s degree in engineering from Cooper Union, he managed operations at a software consulting start-up, also located in New York City. While he thoroughly enjoyed the start-up scene, he decided that he must follow his passion for community building to maximize his offering to society.He began writing and performing spoken word poetry in 2011, which eventually led to the formation of Stageless Arts with two other poets and a filmmaker. This art collective gave rise to a biweekly sharing series called ‘Open Brain’, which has since spread to various cities across the globe including Colombo where he is working to establish a co-working space, while also further expanding the ‘Stageless Arts’/ ‘Open Brain’ community.
Nissanga is an innovator. He’s that quietly excited, politely intelligent guy that is going to provide you with a disruptive solution to your problem that is so mind-blowing that it leaves you feeling excited about your problem in the first place. This unorthodox attitude of his aided in him making his way out of his first professional journey at a leading apparel manufacturer in Sri Lanka, and founding ‘3D Concept Studio’ instead. 3D Concept Studio- Sri Lanka’s first 3D printing fab lab, started out two and a half years ago as a rapid prototyping company and has now grown to be one of the country’s leading innovative solutions providers. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the University of Nottingham, UK.
An economist at his core, Ohan is a social scientist who aids people in maximizing their creative resources. It is something that has remained a constant throughout the many paths he’s made his way into, from starting a tshirt company, to running a newspaper, to presiding over a fraternity, then moving from financial analysis, to economic analysis, to building out an analytics department. Over time, this role of an economist evolved in to a wandering poet and community builder leading him to set up ‘Stageless Arts’ with a few other creative partners. Its results inspired him to spend more time in spreading art and promoting free expression, which is why he has now begun building a replicable model for an open arts community in Sri Lanka, one that can use the momentum of chapters in other cities to grow and connect its artists in a global network.
Shanuki is an anomaly in Sri Lanka; middle-aged, sober and unmarried. She is a well-known stage actor as well as the Assistant Director and Choreographer of the Workshop Players- one of Sri Lanka’s leading English Theatre companies. She hates being defined and takes her passion to heart by playing different roles in life. In her 17-year old career she has been a teacher, financial marketer, photography assistant, project manager, writer, TV presenter, strategic planner and has even set up and run a company. By day, she works at an international advertising network agency, and at other times, she is a novelty cake artist, magazine columnist, animal welfare activist, radio voicing artist, event emcee and stage performer. Because she’ll try anything once, she has represented Sri Lanka in a 5-man contingent to Belgium, guest starred in a BBC television series and was shortlisted for “Apprentice Asia’. She loves sharing her experiences and opinions with whoever listens, and is grateful to TEDx Colombo for this opportunity.
Abdul Halik Azeez is a consultant both with the corporate and development sectors and an independent researcher into online hate speech, exploring the intersection of discourse and power on social media. A former journalist for the Sunday Leader and an active citizen journalist, Halik’s conceptual and street photography has gained a large following on Instagram. Defined by his interests which include spirituality and history, his photos and accompanying text attempt to add a surrealist twist to the otherwise normal. His work has been published on platforms such as The Picture Press and Groundviews and has been exhibited at CEPA and the Saskia Fernando Gallery.
Selyna Peiris is an attorney-at-Law and currently holds the position of Director – Business Development at Selyn Handlooms; Sri Lanka’s only fair-trade guaranteed handloom company. She has her LLB (Hons.) from the University of Hull and an LLM in International Business Law from University College London. She is also a post-graduate of International Relations from the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna, Austria. She has previously worked at the United Nations Industrial Development Organization both in Vienna and in Sri Lanka and currently also works as an freelance consultant for various government, non-governmental and international organizations in the area of social business development.
Aamina Nizar is a freelance photographer based in Colombo Sri Lanka. After receiving her degree and training in Media and Photography in Mumbai she now specializes in travel, documentary, jewelry, product and industrial photography. Her work consists of an extensive portfolio of India and Sri Lanka. Apart from photography she likes to work for environmental and humanitarian causes. She is also a history buff bringing her love for history to middle school kids.
Aman brings to the table over 15 years of experience from his career that spans through the leading Agencies of Sri Lanka. This skilful strategic thinker keeps adding value to his arsenal of talents, honing in on the solutions that yield the best results for his clients. Internationally, his craft has struck metal at Adfest and Spikes Asia, while locally it has dazzled at The Chillies and SLIM. Being a self-confessed coffee addict, an avid cinephile and hardcore comicoholic, Aman’s passion for his brands is only rivaled by the love for his family and friends. Aman has also been functioning in the capacity of an Advisory Board Member at the Nashville Film Institute (USA), since 2008.
Harsha de Silva, MP and organizer for Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte, is economic affairs spokesperson for the United National Party. He entered Parliament in 2010 to contribute towards building an equitable and prosperous post-war Sri Lanka. Prior to active politics Harsha was a development banker, consultant economist and a successful entrepreneur who cofounded and built the country’s largest market and social research agency; now Nielsen Lanka. He has consulted in close to twenty countries and taught at universities both in Sri Lanka and the United States. He holds a PhD in economics from the University of Missouri and has had executive training at MIT. He is an Eisenhower Fellow.
Isura is a social entreprenuer with a passion to create rural social entrepreneurs. He Manages Sarvodya-Fusion (www.fusion.lk), a leading ‘Information & Communication Technology for Development’ (ICT4D) social enterprise in Sri Lanka, a specialized program of Sarvodaya — the 55 year old national charity, with a mission seeking ‘e-Empowerment of rural communities’. For over 10 years he’s dedicated to build/nurture a Sri Lankan rural community eco system connecting corporate, Government and NGO partners, to develop rural social entrepreneurs to improve education, employment and economy with ICT. He was featured in “40 Under 40” in Echelon magazine, a list of 40 Sri Lankans under 40 years of age, who are 2014’s most important risk takers, job creators and rule breakers. He’s a noted speaker on Social Enterprise, Social media and Startups.
After completing her secondary education at Visakha Vidyalaya, Lonali Rodrigo joined the Academy of Design to explore the passion for creativity in fashion design and traditional crafts. This culminated with winning the Ethical Fashion Award at Sri Lanka Design Festival in 2010 and most recently winning both the Emerging Designer and the Sustainable Designer awards at the Fashion and Apparel awards Sri Lanka in 2013. Her specialties include pattern making, deconstruction, Up-cycling, Ethical Fashion and Traditional craft. Considered by some to be radically revoking, her label ‘Lonali’ is a combination of staple classics that are both cutting edge and wearable while maintaining the balance of creativity, sustainability, fashion-ability and wear-ability. She’s a Fashion graduate of the University of Northumbria.
This young and energetic leader of only 29 years is the Operations Manager at MAS Holdings. He is a past pupil of the Royal College Colombo and has a degree in Applied science from RMIT Australia as well as a MBA from the University of Wales UK. Further, he has gone through executive education at NUS Singapore, Aots Japan, Sir Robert Swarn IAE 2041 sustainable leadership — Antarctica, Doug Adams leadership and MAS Lean systems. He holds a Black Belt and is the Co founder of the “Association for Sustainable champions” Sri Lanka. He is a motivational speaker on sustainable leadership for he is a true believer on the global need for sustainable champions and leaders.