Speakers

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Mr. Prasoon Kumar

Inauguration Ceremony
07th of August 2018
7pm – 9pm
Arcade Independence Square (Zone D)

Mr. Prasoon Kumar founded Billion Bricks in 2013, a non-profit organization that innovates shelters for the homeless and vulnerable that are scalable, sustainable and able to create opportunities for communities to emerge out of poverty. WeatherHYDE is an insulated, reversible, lightweight and women-friendly emergency shelter designed to save lives of the homeless in extreme weather. Ashton Kutcher called it “innovation at its finest when its social media campaign went viral over 40 million views. PowerHYDE is the world’s first solar home for the homeless which produces enough energy to pay for itself. since founding BillionBricks, has rehabilitated more than 3,800 homeless and disaster-stricken people in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia, Nepal, United States and Europe.
Mr. Prasoon is also a TEDx speaker, chosen as one of Urban Land Institute’s 40 under 40 and has won numerous global awards for his work. He graduated summa cum laude from Arizona State University with a Master of Urban and Environmental Planning and an Outstanding Graduate Award for the year 2005.

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Prof. Praveen Nahar

Design Research Conference – Keynote Speaker 1
11th August 2018
9am – 12pm
Sports Ministry Auditorium (Zone G)

Design Talks
8th August 2018
9am – 12pm
Sri Lanka Foundation Institutes (Zone E)

Design Workshops
8th August 2018
1pm – 4pm
Sri Lanka Foundation Institutes (Zone E)

Prof Praveen Nahar is a Product Designer, Senior Faculty member in Industrial Design and the Head of Product Design Programme at National Institute of Design (NID). He also chairs International Programmes at NID.
The IIT Delhi Alumni, Praveen teaches and has research interests in Systems Thinking and its relation to Design Thinking, Design in the Public Domain, Rapid Product Development, Sustainable Design/Green Design, and Appropriate Technology. In recent years, he has been actively involved in academic projects with students that are related to Sustainability, Systems Thinking and Design that deals with complex issues ranging from healthcare to mobility.
With over 22 years of experience in design teaching and consultancy, Praveen has been involved at both micro and strategic level in various sectors of the industry, including Amul, Microsoft, Hyundai and the Indian Railways. He takes a keen interest in Sustainable Design. He took postgraduate courses in the subject at Delft University of Technology, Netherlands and has lectured and conducted design workshops and seminars on the subject all over the world. Praveen is also an Indian liaison for the O2 Ecological Design Global Network.

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Ms. Sonia Manchanda

Design Research Conference – Keynote Speaker 2
11th August 2018
9am – 12pm
Sports Ministry Auditorium (Zone G)

Design Talks
9th August 2018
9am – 12pm
Sri Lanka Foundation Institutes (Zone E)

Design Workshops
9th August 2018
1pm – 4pm
Sri Lanka Foundation Institutes (Zone E)

Sonia Manchanda is a Design Strategist and Graphic Designer, with 20+ years experience, building creative organisations of repute and leading transdisciplinary project teams on massive transformational projects nationally and globally.

Her Open Innovation and Design Strategy Project Dream:in has been awarded as a global gamechanger by Metropolis Magazine, USA.

She is a Founding Partner at Spread Design + Learning. Where, her mission is to spread design as a way of thinking and doing things.

Her work in design involves expanding possibilities by creating systems, brands, campaigns and experiences.

She has set up a Design Center to bridge the design gap in India and make design accessible to everyone.

She is a graduate of the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad. She is an appointed member of the India Design Council, is on the CII Design Council and is a Governing Council Member of Forge, an incubator in Coimbatore. She is also a trustee at Nrityagram, the only ‘dance village’ in the world.

In her spare time, she is a naturalist and an urban farmer, growing and cooking up yummy stuff in her farm where the Spread studio is also based.

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Mr. Lee Bazalgette

Design Talks
8th August 2018
9am – 12pm
Sri Lanka Foundation Institutes (Zone E)

Lee is a Lee is a product designer and perpetual thinker who founded Colombo Design Studio in 2012. Originally from London, Lee moved to Sri Lanka with his Sri Lankan wife. Previously Lee worked for over ten years as a product design consultant in London bringing a wide range of products to market from hair dryers and beard trimmers. He was also part of a company called Factorydesign, which came up with the award-winning interior space for Etihad Airlines new fleets. Lee takes a human centered and functional view of design innovation, finding practical and workable solutions to problems whilst retaining the ‘surprise and delight’ factor that leads to the all-important “Check this out…” conversation. It’s this unconventional design thinking that has led to Colombo Design Studio working with as diverse clients as Ceylon Pencil Company, Rainco and Lion Brewery, as well as a number of startup brands both locally and abroad. Lee also lectures at Moratuwa University on the relatively Product Design field within the faculty of Architecture.

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Mr. James Balmond

Design Talks
8th August 2018
9am – 12pm
Sri Lanka Foundation Institutes (Zone E)

James graduated from the University of Nottingham with a BA Hons Degree in French Linguistics moving into the advertising world in 2007. Over the next seven years, he evolved into a senior creative copywriter, brand guardian, and Creative Director, working on brands including Disney, Toyota, Lexus, Puma, Citroen, Nissan and Starbucks.
In 2015, James joined Balmond Studio as Creative Director exclusively. He is responsible for the development of brand infrastructure and communication as well as conceptual and strategic growth throughout the organizational network. A big part of James’ mission revolves around spreading the unique Balmond design philosophy and methodology to the wider industry and at a grassroots level. He makes architectural and design-focused presentations to both students and industry leaders from London to India and Sri Lanka. He believes to really change the design culture in South East Asia, strong relationships need to be formed with design institutions and universities, raising the bar for the next generation of architects and designers. James has established close working partnerships with the SDPS Women’s College of Architecture in Indore, India as well as the Academy of Design and University of Moratuwa in Sri Lanka. The process includes setting briefs, critique sessions, workshops and curating public events.
Currently, James is launching his advertising and design agency hybrid within Balmond Studio called Clan B. It is a creative network, a new model for advertising agencies offering through the line creative solutions, flexible working infrastructure and maximum economy and efficiency for clients.

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Mr. Lalindra Nanayakkara

Design Talks
9th August 2018
9am – 12pm
Sri Lanka Foundation Institutes (Zone E)

With his primary education at S Thomas and Ananda College and a degree at the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), Lalindra Nanayakkara worked in some of the best international agencies in town before finally joining Leo Burnett in 2003. His intuitive grasp of the Sinhala idiom, versatility in English writing and sharp knowledge of local market trends has resulted in award-winning concepts for a diverse portfolio of brands including Formula Plus, Sri Lanka Life, Jetwing, Hit Ads and The Daily Mirror. Lalindra went on to win a handful of prizes including a medal for Campaign of the Year in 2006. After over 10 years at Leo Burnett Lalindra joined MAS to head its branding and communication for 4 years. Thereafter he began his second round at Leo Burnett in 2016 and is now the Executive Creative Director.
His highlights include the launching of Sri Lanka Life (Stand Up for Life) & Formula Plus for SLIC, Re-launch of FT (Financial Times), Launch of HIT Ads and has won several dozen Chillies including Campaign of The Year Bronze (2008) and finalist (2007).

Mr. Murtaza A. Tajbhoy

Design Talks
9th August 2018
9am – 12pm
Sri Lanka Foundation Institutes (Zone E)

Having started his professional career at Leo Burnett almost two decades ago, Murtaza has risen from Junior Brand Executive to the brand-shaping Head of Planning. Murtaza is the industry’s premier guy for all things trending and of interest in Sri Lanka. From creating Effie award-winning strategies, one of which was recently recognized with a silver at the AMES Asia Pacific Awards 2014, Murtaza had a hand in designing the framework for a variety of brands in categories that include Telecom, FMCG, Retail, Banking, and Education. To ensure effective and engaging work Murtaza has launched the Sri Lanka’s first ever study into the effectiveness of celebrities in advertising.
Murtaza is a man with his hand firmly on the pulse of Sri Lanka and his eyes focused on its people. This has led to the creation of Sri Lanka’s first ever research study into the middle-income segment of Sri Lanka, helping to redefine the way we see this important group.
He was also a Jury member at Spikes Asia Advertising Festival in 2016, Sri Lanka’s first ever Jury member at the AME Asia Effectiveness Award in 2015 and recognized as a Star Reacher at the 75th anniversary of Leo Burnett in Chicago. He is now the Chief Strategy Officer at Leo Burnett Sri Lanka.

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Ms. Ekta Manchanda

Design Talks
9th August 2018
9am – 12pm
Sri Lanka Foundation Institutes (Zone E)

Design Workshops
9th August 2018
1pm – 4pm
Sri Lanka Foundation Institutes (Zone E)

A Design Graduate from Srishti School of art design and technology, Ekta Manchanda is now a principal designer at Spread. Her college project won her notice, which included a sponsorship by the French embassy to represent Indian Design in St Etienne Biennale. She has practiced graphic design since for the last 12 years with expertise in brand design and publication. She is known for her love of the tactile print medium and also runs a screen print production unit for the last 5+ years which produces hand-crafted print products.

She now leads a team at Spread Design to do large-scale branding projects which create an impact at a business and strategic level. Her expertise and experience lie in retail, education and hospitality sector. Ekta has worked as a principal designer for numerous national and international projects including the rebranding of Sterling holiday resorts and rebranding of Nilgiris supermarket chain. She is able to guide multiple projects and work across teams to create an end to end process of successful project delivery. She is passionate and enthusiastic about her work and the challenges that come along with it. A Design Graduate from Srishti School of Art, Design and technology, Ekta Manchanda is now a Principal Designer at Spread.

She leads a team at Spread Design to do large scale branding projects which create impact at a business and strategic level. Her expertise and experience lies in retail, education and hospitality sector. Ekta has worked as a Principal Designer for numerous national and international projects including rebranding of Sterling Holiday Resorts and rebranding of the Nilgiris super market chain. She is able to guide multiple projects and work across teams to create an end to
end process of successful project delivery.

In the past, her college project won her notice, which included a sponsorship by the French Embassy to represent Indian Design in St Etienne Biennale. She has practiced graphic design for the last 12 years with expertise in brand design and publication.

For her love of tactile print medium, she has also run a screen print production unit for the last 5+ years which produces handcrafted print products.

She is passionate and enthusiastic about her work and the challenges that come along with it.

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Ms. Chandramani Thenuwara

Design Talks
10th August 2018
9am – 12pm
Sri Lanka Foundation Institutes (Zone E)

Born in 1934, she grew up navigating many of the social and cultural forces that characterized the vestiges of British colonial rule. Chandramani Schooled at Ladies College, Colombo 7 and Good Shepherd Covent, Kandy. Her exposure to the missionary educational system, readily assimilated the tastes, cultural values and intellectual interests of the indigenous colonial world. As a child, she was a student of Cora Abraham, and exhibited with the ’43 Group in later years.
Her strong opposition to nationalistic sentiments and their expression in art, as well as her alliances with the island’s European, influenced artistic circles, developed partly as a consequence of this educational background. As a woman, she chose to break the convention and remain single so that she could pursue her travels and artistic activities. She worked and studied in London and returned to Sri Lanka and joined the Department of Small Industries. Working as a designer within the government bureaucratic system, collaborating with weavers to produce her textile designs, she initiated projects for the development of the handloom and textile industry in Sri Lanka.
Over the course of her career, she has produced a rich body of work, ranging from the paintings of her youth to a vast array of textiles through her collaborations with weavers around the island and shaped by two cultural worlds with textiles embody a confluence of European and South Asian aesthetics.

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Mr. Asanka De Mel

Design Talks
10th August 2018
9am – 12pm
Sri Lanka Foundation Institutes (Zone E)

Primarily schooled at St. Peter’s College, Colombo, Asanka pursued his higher education at the University of Texas at Austin and Harvard Kennedy School. He was based at the Silicon Valley, Asanka was a software engineer and developer for nearly two decades. Upon returning to Sri Lanka, he started LOVI Ceylon in 2016, a fashion company creating a unified clothing identity and rebuild the economic conditions for a new generation of artisans. Today, the brand has been captured globally standing for its key identity of a practical and aesthetical sarong with a modern twist.
With his global travels, he identifies the potential of Ceylonese aesthetics and values that can be fitted to the global fashion dialogue. His vision is to spark excitement about our roots, to foster confidence in our island home, and help usher our traditional clothing into modern times. ‘Ceylon’ is on his label as a reminder of that mission.

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Mr. Heminda Jayaweera

Design Talks
10th August 2018
9am – 12pm
Sri Lanka Foundation Institutes (Zone E)

Design Workshops
10th August 2018
1pm – 4pm
Sri Lanka Foundation Institutes (Zone E)

Heminda is a serial innovator and currently the Co-Founder at Venture Frontier Lanka. A graduate of the University of Moratuwa as an Electronic and Telecommunication Engineer, he finished his MBA in Management of Technology in 2007. He worked for over a decade in Dialog Axiata and Axiata Group especially in new product innovation area with consultancy experience in Malaysia, Bangladesh, and Cambodia. He also co-founded Jendo Innovations, MedTech startup, and www.thuru.lk, a Greentech initiative. he is also a Director of Effective Solutions an IoT startup.
Heminda is spearheads ‘Mora Ventures’ and initiative of his vision, a base startup incubator which has so far launched 25 startups within the first year. It is now on its second phase. In 2018, he co-founded Venture Frontier Lanka, Sri Lanka’s first integrated startup platform focused on the development of the complete startup life-cycle.

MALIK J FERNANDO

Design Forum
11th August 2018
7pm – 9pm
Sports Ministry Auditorium (Zone G)

Malik is a Director of MJF Holdings & Dilmah Tea. He holds a B.Sc. in Management from Babson College, Boston. Established by Merrill J. Fernando; Dilmah, named after his two sons Dilhan and Malik, was the pioneer in packaging tea at the origin. Dilmah is recognized as an innovator in the multinational dominated tea category, emphasizing tradition and authenticity.
Malik is also the Managing Director of Resplendent Ceylon – a collection of small, luxury resorts that offer discriminating travelers a remarkable circuit across Sri Lanka, with a range of authentic experiences, while contributing towards local communities & the environment through the MJF Foundation & Dilmah Conservation. This “best of Sri Lanka” circuit, titled “The Resplendent Sri Lanka Journey – tea, sea & safari” features distinctively original resorts, connected by a thread of peerless service. The iconic Ceylon Tea Trails, Cape Weligama; a cliff top beach resort, and Wild Coast Tented Lodge are all members of Relais & Chateaux the global fellowship of individually owned & operated luxury hotels and restaurants.

CHEVANN DANIEL

Design Forum
11th August 2018
7pm – 9pm
Sports Ministry Auditorium (Zone G)

Chevaan Daniel begun at several rural schools and finally at S. Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia. He joined Capital Maharaja as a part-time typist in the newsroom. He is now a group director at Capital Maharaja, which is Sri Lanka’s largest and most diverse privately held conglomerate. He is also the youngest member of the board and consistently attributes his success to his mentor R. Rajamahendran. He also launched Sri Lanka’s first ever SMS News Alert service in 2000. he worked as the Head of Media to the Sri Lanka Cricket Board for a period of two years. Daniel also spent a few years working for Victoria’s Secret brand at MAS Holdings, under the tutelage of Dian Gomes. However, he is perhaps best known as an English news anchor on MTV Sri Lanka, becoming a household name in his early twenties.
Daniel has been widely recognized for his rapid rise in the world of business in general and media in particular. In 2007 he was awarded the Most Outstanding Young Person of the Year award by Junior Chamber International. In 2017, he was awarded the Eisenhower Fellowship- Multination Programme and awarded the first Eisenhower Special Award conferred on a Sri Lankan- The UTC Fellowship, 2017. In 2017, he was appointed to the Global Advisory Board of the Humanitarian Innovation Initiative at Brown University.

PETER D’ALMEIDA

Design Forum
11th August 2018
7pm – 9pm
Sports Ministry Auditorium (Zone G)

Peter D’Almeida is the Managing Director and Chief Executive of N-able, a company he founded in 2008 with 12 others, which today employs over 200 people, to provide technology-enabled business solutions; ‘connecting people and things, with insight, for an efficient and intelligent world’. Before his involvement with the IT industry Peter was a banker. During this time, he also served as the Treasurer of the Ceylon Bank Employees’ Union where he was actively engaged in championing worker benefits for its employees nationwide.

While his diverse career spans nearly three decades in the banking, advertising, and IT industries, Peter has enjoyed a parallel career in the Arts, as an actor and a director. He has starred in plays, television dramas, and films. Today, Peter has gained traction as a public speaker for a variety of forums across the education, business and technology sectors.
Through his speeches, Peter has focused on the importance of creativity and the need to push past the narrow boundaries that confine our personal, professional and political lives. This was also the theme at Peter’s keynote at TEDx Colombo 2017, where he urged the audience to think differently about the future – their own as well as of the nation. Peter is an alumnus of the INSEAD School of Business.

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DR. SUMANTHRI SAMARAWICKRAMA

Senior Lecturer, Coordinator Media & Communication Design, Department of Integrated Design

Sumanthri is a lecturer at the Department of Integrated Design, Faculty of Architecture, University of Moratuwa. She has completed her PhD in the subject of Sinhala Typography. The focus of her work had been in learning the practices of Type Design and its evolution in Sri Lanka. She is also a council member of the Royal Asiatic Society, Sri Lanka (RASSL) and a member of the Association Typographique International (ATypI).
Sumanthri had published and presented at many International conferences; 6th Typography Meeting at the University of Aveiro – Portugal, the Face-forward Typography International Conference at the Dublin Institute of Technology- Dublin and at Typography Day, Ahmadabad (2011), Pune (2014), Mumbai (2015). She chaired Sri Lanka’s first International Research Conference on Typography – Typoday 2017.
She is a mum of two sons and wife to Rohan Jayaweera, COO and Founding Partner of Antyra Solutions (Pvt) Ltd. She was a National Swimmer, who represented Sri Lanka at the World University Games in 2003 and enjoys swimming for leisure. Her primary education was from St. Bridget’s Convent. Her interests’ areas are more towards history, focused on Mural Paintings of Sri Lanka.

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