TEDxColombo 2016 - Blueprint For Change | Tickets now available at www.takas.lk
TEDxColombo 2016 | Blueprint For Change
Asoka Obeyesekere

Asoka Obeyesekere

Shifting the Burden of Proof

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.

Watch Talk
Chaminda Serasinha

Chaminda Serasinha

The Advent Of Climate Friendly Consumerism

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.

Watch Talk
Chandila Fernando

Chandila Fernando

The Great Debt Switch

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.

Watch Talk
Chinthaka Abeysekera

Chinthaka Abeysekera

Green Gold

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.

Watch Talk
Michael Ketigian

Michael Ketigian

Unleash Your Inner Artist

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.

Watch Talk
Nissanga Warnapura

Nissanga Warnapura

Imagination - The Idea Launchpad

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.

Watch Talk
Ohan Hominis

Ohan Hominis

Unleash Your Inner Artist

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.

Watch Talk
Shanuki De Alwis

Shanuki De Alwis

How Do You Fake It?

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.

Watch Talk
TEDxColombo 2015 | Reimagining Spaces
Abdul Halik Azeez

Abdul Halik Azeez

Towards a Semiological Jihad

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.

Watch Talk
Mishal Mazin

Mishal Mazin

Reimagining Money - Performance
Mishal Mazin is an amateur writer and law student at the Royal Institute of Colombo under the University of London programme but his pastime hobby turned passion is what he’s really about. He eats, sees and breathes poetry and is one of the co-founders of a rising poetry community called the Colombo Poets. He seeks to empower Sri Lankan youth to speak their minds through the medium of spoken word poetry. He spends most of his free time organizing poetry open mics, readings and workshops.
Watch Talk
Nathan Sivagananathan

Nathan Sivagananathan

How A Walk Healed A Nation
Nathan is an alumnus of University of Hertfordshire. He then went on to complete his Executive Education at the Columbia University and Harvard Business School, USA. He was ranked no. 1 in the April 2014 Echelon Magazine’s top 40 under 40 CEOs featuring the most influential young people in Sri Lanka, and a winner of the 2013 Ten Outstanding Young Person’s (TOYP) in the Business Economical and/Entrepreneurial Accomplishment category by the Junior Chamber International Sri Lanka. Nathan has also been selected as a Fellow from Sri Lanka for the Eisenhower Fellowships 2015 Multi-Nation Program.
Watch Talk
Sarinda Unamboowe

Sarinda Unamboowe

How A Walk Healed A Nation
Sarinda is an alumnus of Ithaca College, New York, where he graduated with a BSc. in Business Management and received his Executive education at the INSEAD School of Business, Cornell University and Dartmouth University. He is a conservationist and a photographer, who, along with his partner’s at Zero3 Images have published 3 coffee table books, documenting Sri Lanka’s wildlife. In addition to being a published Wildlife photographer and fervent conservationist, his passions also include endurance cycling and trekking; having just completed cycling 415 km in one day from Battaramulla to Jaffna.
Watch Talk
Selyna Peiris

Selyna Peiris

A Social Entrepreneurs Guide to Building A Nation

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.

Watch Talk
Sohan Dharmaraja

Sohan Dharmaraja

Perspective = Opportunity
He is the CEO at Neotenicity, a boutique consultancy providing niche analytics solutions. Niche, meaning they leverage fundamental research (mathematics, statistics, optimization), domain knowledge (finance, marketing) and high performance computing to solve problems ranging from automation and marketing, to image processing and credit scoring. Their work has been featured by the BBC, NPR, Wired and Endgaget. Sohan holds an MSc in Optimization from MIT and a PhD in Computational Mathematics from Stanford University. Before returning to Sri Lanka, Sohan worked at Goldman Sachs and the US Department of Defense. He also did stand-up comedy and was apparently very successful.
Watch Talk
Stringendo

Stringendo

Fusion of Strings - Performance
In the year 2013, five friends decided to start playing together simply for their love of music. Thus, Stringendo came into being as a string quartet with piano. Since then the group began its journey, expanding the group when necessary. Today, it comprises of 5 string instrumentalist: Kavishka Paranavitana (Violin), Naveen Kulasingha (Violin), Mandira Vidanapathirana (Violin), Tehani Tissera (Viola) and Amasha Tissera (Cello). Together, the group, along with pianist Louis Perera, predominantly perform classical chamber music but have ventured into the territories of modern music. Driven by their passion for music, the group members are all members of the Symphony Orchestra of Sri Lanka and the Junior Symphony Orchestra of Sri Lanka, and find great pleasure in being able to share their music.
Watch Talk
Tilak Dissanayake

Tilak Dissanayake

Reimagine Our Economy
Tilak Dissanayake is an engineer and inventor in a variety of fields. His extensive product design, development and delivery experience of 37 years includes companies such as Boeing–12 years in the commercial and defense areas–, Xerox–7 years–, and 6 years in Silicon Valley startup companies, briefly including Netscape, during the Internet boom years. He holds a MSc and BSc with High Honors in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Hawaii, and is a certified project management professional. Tilak is a volunteer with the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka and lectures on aerodynamics at their District Aviation Awareness Program events which are designed to attract rural youth to careers in aviation. He is currently designing a fully automated robotic airplane and air traffic control system to alleviate, at end point, the problem of global, rural poverty via a low cost, environmentally friendly, air transportation network.
Watch Talk
Umeshi Rajeendra

Umeshi Rajeendra

Transforming The Fruit
Umeshi Rajeendra is the founder and artistic director of Mesh Academy of Dance, Sri Lanka’s first experimental and interdisciplinary dance school in partnership with US professors, choreographers and artists which launched this July. Her works focus on interdisciplinary and experimental projects that captures the pure beauty of the similarities and differences in people and places, in order to not only appreciate the diversity of the world, but to also comprehend the collective nature of humanity and its many intricate forms through space, weight, time and flow. She has had the pleasure of performing and working with artists such as former Shen Wei dancer Jesse Zaritt, US based Erin Law, South African dance queen Dada Masilo, etc. A passionate educator, Umeshi has taught classes in the U.S. and Sri Lanka following her degree in dance and economics with a political science focus. Her unique and dynamic style fuses elements of contemporary dance, contemporary ballet, post-modern, african
Watch Talk
TEDxColombo 2014 | Creating Collaboration
Aamina Nizar

Aamina Nizar

Telling a Story

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.

Watch Talk
Aman Ashraff

Aman Ashraff

Searching for Inspiration

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.

Watch Talk
Dr. Harsha De Silva

Dr. Harsha de Silva

Its Your Life

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.

Watch Talk
Isura Silva

Isura Silva

SMART Future - Together

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.

Watch Talk
Lonali Rodrigo

Lonali Rodrigo

Waste: A New Opportunity

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.

Watch Talk
Shamal Boyagoda

Shamal Boyagoda

Journey to the Wilderness (Antaractica) and Sustainable Leadership

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.

Watch Talk
TEDxColombo 2013 | Success | Endurance | Discovery
Anoka Primrose Abeyrathne

Anoka Primrose Abeyrathne

Growing money and success through perseverance
Anoka is the Commonwealth Youth Award recipient for Excellence in Development Work 2012/2013 and was featured 3rd on the 25 World’s Most Influential and Powerful Young People list of 2012. The 2010 SAARC Youth Award recipient for outstanding environmental protection and climate change mitigation, Anoka started volunteering and activism for social development and environmental protection at age 14 and has a track record of excellence in projects with positive impacts in development. One of Sri Lanka’s first and youngest World Economic Forum Global Shapers due to her extensive work in the field of development and social entrepreneurship, Anoka is an Ashoka Foundation Youth Venturer, British Council Global Changemaker and Climate Champion. She is the co-founder of Growin’ Money, a voluntary non-profit for youth to making communities a better place through youth empowerment, capacity building and changing perceptions regarding the environment through interactive workshops and dialogues. Her work revolves on poverty alleviation through economic incentives, providing skills training for better employability such as IT training and basic resume making, eco-tourism guide training, handicrafts making and organic produce making.
Watch Talk
Asela De Silva

Asela De Silva

Two spoons of creativity
He is a day dreamer by profession. He currently works at JWT Colombo as a Senior writer. He has represented Sri Lanka at Young Spikes, an advertising competition held during Spikes Singapore and Young Lotus, a competition held at Adfest Thailand, asia’s largest advertising festival. He was the first Sri Lankan and one of five selected from over a 100 countries to receive a scholarship to attend the Cannes Lions Young Creative Academy in France. He was won several awards in Sri Lanka, for creativity as well as effectiveness. Asela began his career in business development. He then discovered his true passion was creating ideas that people can engage in. He has handled a range of Sri Lanka’s most popular brands such as Sunsilk, Comfort, HSBC, Dialog, Munchee, Asian Paints, Reborn, Tigo, Etisalat, Taj Hotels, Cotton Collection and much more.
Watch Talk
Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

Thinking and being
Dr Dayan Jayatilleka was until January 2013, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to France, Portugal and Spain and Permanent Delegate to UNESCO. He was Ambassador/Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations in Geneva (2007-09) and was a vice-president of the UN Human Rights Council. He was appointed Chairman of the Governing body of the International Labour Organization (ILO) in 2007. He was Minister of Planning and Youth Affairs in the North-East Provincial Council (1988–89). Dr. Jayatilleka is a political scientist, author and commentator in the media. He received a First Class Honors Degree from the University of Peradeniya, and M.Phil from University of Colombo and a Ph.D. from Griffith University, Brisbane. He was also a Fulbright Scholar in 1982–83. His publications include The Travails of a Democracy: Unfinished War, Protracted Crisis (1995); Fidel’s Ethics of Violence: The Moral Dimension of the Political Thought of Fidel Castro (2007). Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka’s latest book is ‘Long War, Cold Peace: Conflict and Crisis in Sri Lanka’ (Vijitha Yapa Publishers, 2013).
Watch Talk
Imran Basheer

Imran Basheer

Where there's a heartbeat, there's rhythm!
MB Imran (Imran Basheer), a multi talented individual who has made a career of Bollywood Dancing, Photography and Consultancy. Charismatic, lively and tuned on 24/7. Having come a long way in a very short span of time, this 27 year old formed a dance troupe “ImzyS” and has started a dance revolution in Bollywood dancing in Colombo, and now taking it overseas. With a huge following of young and old students, Imran is definitely putting a swing in things in around the globe. Never short of confidence and talent, Imran is more than a dynamic powerhouse;a great teacher and has the ability to envision great things. He has reached the pinnacle of his Dance and Photography career with an unrelenting thirst for knowledge and perfection.
Watch Talk
Shanthi Sachithanandam

Shanthi Sachithanandam

Reflection on the nature of social change
Shanthi Anusha Sachithanandam is the Founder member, former Chairperson and presently CEO of Viluthu, Centre for Human Resource Development. Viluthu is an NGO in Sri Lanka that is involved in advocacy and community mobilizing on issues related to good governance. Shanthi has been involved in working on gender and development issues since the late 1980s. Her experiences range from working at the grass roots supporting institutions that implement community development projects, to participating in the advocacy processes connected to the Committee for Sustainable Development (CSD) at the United Nations in NewYork. She also has extensive experience working for international non government development agencies (Australian OXFAM, Christian Aid UK) and advising donors on policy and programme design guidelines (UNDP, World Bank, AusAID, Netherlands etc.). Although her professional training was as an architect, she has written and edited 6 publications and read 14 research papers both in Tamil and English on issues related to gender and development. Shanthi continues to write numerous articles for newspapers and magazines on many issues of interest in both Tamil and English. she has also performed in both stage and street theatre, and hosted TV talk shows. An avid Carnatic singer, South Indian classical music remains one of her strong passions.
Watch Talk
Sulakshana Senanayake

Sulakshana Senanayake

Wireless lighting and pursuing excellence
He is a LL.B (Hons) graduate from the University of London and a Law Apprentice under Senior Counsel Mr. Gomin Dayasri after completing the Attorney-at-Law examinations at Sri Lanka Law College and also a final-year student of the prestigious University of Colombo reading for his Bachelor Of Science Degree (BSc) in the Physical Science stream. He is the youngest attorney-at-law at present in Sri Lanka. He is the Founder of Empower Lanka (www.empowerlanka.org); a youth led NGO that provides Microgrid power systems based on renewable (solar, wind, hydro) power to rural villages which have no access to electricity through international and local donations. The “Empower Lanka Model” makes it possible for the Corporate Sector to “Sponsor Villages” to install the power system and issues Ministry Of Environment Certified Carbon Credits to the sponsors. So far over 100 families in 6 villages have been given access to electricity. Empower Lanka was awarded the renowned Energy Globe Award for Sustainability in 2013 (http://energyglobe.info/). He is a public speaker on youth activism, entrepreneurship and project management addressing audiences such as the American Center in Colombo, the public diplomacy office of the American Embassy as well as the British Council. He was the Sri Lankan Delegate to the Shanghai International Youth Forum On Climate Finance and was the first Youth delegate from Sri Lanka to attend the Commission for Social Development (CSocD) assembly at the United Nations in February 2012. He was also the Sri Lankan delegate to the Looking Beyond Disaster UNESCO Youth Forum 2011 held in Christchurch New Zealand. He is an International Climate Champion and Global Changemaker of the British Council and was the Co-Creator of “YOUTH is the Word- World Record”.
Watch Talk
TEDxColombo 2011 | Ideas of our changing world
Andi Schubert

Andi Schubert

Living By the Sword: Responding to Language & Class in SL
Andi Schubert is a researcher and activist. He the co-founder and coordinator of the Young Researchers’ Collective, a group of young people working to address the disconnect between research, advocacy and activism. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Kelaniya. While in University he co-founded a movement called the Kadu Panthi movement to support students who wanted to learn English and then went on to teach English as a visiting lecturer while still a student. His areas of work and academic interest are identity, youth and memories and experiences of war.
Watch Talk
Balachandran Gnanasekaraiyar

Balachandran Gnanasekaraiyar

Can Hacking Be Ethical?
IT Professional and Lecturer “Just call me Bala” is what he usually says the first time you meet him, and for a man who has travelled a lot, he would always say, “Sri Lanka can be a paradise on earth, but most of us don’t realize that.” Bala is currently serving as a Lecturer at the School of Computing, of Asia Pacific Institute of Information Technology (APIIT), Sri Lanka. He has completed a research MSc degree in Computer Science from University of Moratuwa, and has earned his BIT Honors degree from Charles Sturt University, Australia. Apart from degrees, he has obtained the professional qualifications of CCNA (Cisco Certified Networking Associate), CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker) and SCJP (Sun Certified Java Programmer).
Watch Talk
Fadhil Bakeer Markar

Fadhil Bakeer Markar

Youth, Volunteering & Society
National Coordinator IYV+10 Fadhil has proven to us time and time again that his voice was here to be heard having participated in conferences such as the GYLC, Presidential Classroom and the Model United Nations. He is a graduate from the prestigious London School of Economics & Political Sciences [LSE] having completed both his bachelors in International Relations and masters in Social Policy and Development. His drive for harmony between cultures resonated from his work in the Inter-Faith Society at Asian International and also held the position of President of the LSESU International Society, one of the largest cultural societies at LSE. He was an active volunteer from his school days where he has spent most of his weekends volunteering at the Cancer Hospice and teaching at a Sunday School. Post Tsunami, He was the Chairman of the ‘Sri Lanka in Crisis’ Peace Initiative’s [youth movement] Tsunami Relief Committee. Currently he is a National United Nations Volunteer based in Colombo, carrying out duties as the National Coordinator for the International Year of Volunteers +10 [IYV+10].
Watch Talk
Rommel Arumugum

Rommel Arumugum

Thinking Inside - Out the box
Rommel Arumugam is currently one of the Art directors at Grant McCann Erikson working on designs for companies such as Etisalat and Neutrogena. Rommel has always shown immense talent from his doodles on his tablet to the drawings on his sketch pad. His legacy started when he became the first person in Sri Lanka to create a Manga comic named Wings over the Bridge – back in 2007. His work has continuously grown all the more ambitious as time went on. Further like every great individual his talents don’t lie just in designing but also in the stream of music. He has been a major part of bands such as Spitty Angel Fire and String theory where he even wrote the songs, played guitar as well as be lead vocalist.
Watch Talk
Thiyagi Piyadasa

Thiyagi Piyadasa

Opportunities and Challenges faced by women in post-war Sri Lanka
Research Assistant for Gender violence (ICES) Having majored in International Relations (BA) at the University of Colombo, Thiagi’s focus and interest lies primarily in human rights specifically women and youth, gender, conflict, development and politics. She is currently reading for a LLB at the Open University, Sri Lanka. She is also part of ‘The Young Researchers’ Collective (the YRC)’ which is essentially a collective of young people working to bridge the gap between activism, advocacy and research.
Watch Talk
Vositha Wijenayake

Vositha Wijenayake

Youth for Climate Change solutions
Vositha Wijenayake works as the Executive Coordinator for Sri Lankan Youth Climate Action Network (SLYCAN) a youth lead, volunteer organisation which is working on combating climate change. She is also a legal researcher and a lecturer in French and law. Having taught in university of Kelaniya and Jayawardenepura in Sri Lanka she is currently focusing on human rights and climate justice as her research projects. Her first steps into the “climate world” was initiated by the presentation made to the International Law Students Association annual conference in 2009 where she spoke of “Convention on Biodiversity and the Exploitation of Third World Resources” which lead her to step into the South Asian youth movement on climate activism. She was a participant representing Sri Lanka at the first South Asian Youth Summit on Climate Change (SAYSoCC) held in Nepal in 2009 and has played a key role in sustaining the development of the South Asian regional collaboration in the year to come as a core team member of the South Asian Youth Climate Movement. She has also participated on the First Nigerian tweet forum on climate change as a presenter.
Watch Talk
TEDxColombo 2009 | Ideas for Sri Lanka’s Future
Asantha Sirimanne

Asantha Sirimanne

Fiscal Responsibility
Lakshman Gunasekera

Lakshman Gunasekera

Transforming Sri Lanka’s Media Culture
Nushad Perera

Nushad Perera

Fixed vs. Mobile
Rohan Samarajiva

Rohan Samarajiva

Implementing tri-lingual government services