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TEDxColombo 2015 | Reimagining Spaces - Speakers
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.

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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.

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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.
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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.
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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.
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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
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