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Muhammad Yunus is a social entrepreneur, banker, economist, and civil society leader who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for founding the Grameen Bank and pioneering the concepts of microcredit and microfinance. He has received several other national and international honours for his work such as the United States Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Ramon Magsaysay Award and the Congressional Gold Medal.
Faye D'Souza is an Indian journalist and a television news anchor. She worked as the executive editor of Mirror Now, which is owned by The Times Group. She rose to fame with the show The Urban Debate on Mirror Now, where she anchored on subjects of corruption, communal violence and independent press. She received the RedInk Award for ‘Journalist of the Year’ in 2018
Arunabha Ghosh is a public policy professional, adviser, author, columnist, and institution builder. As the founder-CEO of the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW),he has led CEEW to one of South Asia's leading policy research institutions (seven years in a row); and among the world’s 20 best climate think-tanks in 2013, 2014 and 2016. Arunabha advises governments, industry, civil society and international organisations around the world. This has included India’s Prime Minister’s Office, several ministries and state governments.
James Abraham is Co-Founded and Director of SolarArise, which focuses on financing, owning and managing utility-scale solar power plants. James serves on the boards of LnT Water, Vistaar Financial Services, SmartPower India, and is an Advisor to Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas. He also serves on the board of International Justice Mission which rescues women and children from slavery and violence.
CEO, Teach for India
Shaheen grew up in 5 countries around the world and returned to India when she was 18 to start The Akanksha Foundation. For 17 years, she worked with teachers and students, building Akanksha to provide 4000 children from low- income communities the kind of education that would maximize their greatest potential. Today, Akanksha serves 6500 children through their School Project and after-school centres in Mumbai and Pune. In 2008, Shaheen founded Teach For India, with an audacious vision of providing an excellent education to all children across India through building a pipeline of leaders committed to ending educational inequity in India. Today, Teach For India directly impacts approximately 38,000 children across seven regions in India. Shaheen serves on the boards of Akanksha Foundation, Design for Change, and Simple Education Foundation. Shaheen has been an Ashoka Fellow and is the author of the book, Re-drawing India.
Karthik Muralidharan is a professor of economics at the University of California, San Diego, where he also holds the Tata Chancellor's Endowed Chair in Economics. He is a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), an Affiliate at the Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD), a Member of the Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) network, an Affiliate at the Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA), and a Research Affiliate with Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA).
Prof. Muralidharan's primary research interests include development, public, and labour economics. Specific topics of interest include education, health, and social protection; measuring quality of public service delivery; program evaluation; and improving the effectiveness of public spending (with a focus on developing countries).
A K Shiva Kumar (Shiv), a New Delhi based development economist, is Co-Chair of Know Violence in Childhood – a global learning initiative – and senior policy adviser to UNICEF India. He teaches economics and public policy in various institutes. He was a member of the National Advisory Council, advising Government of India on social policy and legislation. He has undertaken several evaluation assignments for the UN and other agencies. He has served on the Boards of many NGOs and research organizations including Centre for Science and Environment, Institute for Human Development, Institute for Rural Development, International Center for Research on Women, and Public Health Foundation of India.
Chairperson and Co-Founder, Dastkar
Laila Tyabji is a craft designer, writer, and Chairperson and Co-Founder of Dastkar.
She has been working with grassroots artisans all over India for over four decades, creating new livelihood avenues through craft for pastoral & marginalised communities like the bonded labourers in Bihar, displaced villages in Ranthambhore, embroidery artisans in drought-hit Kutch and Banaskantha, tribals in Orissa and victims of insurgency in Kashmir.
Laila studied art in Baroda & Japan, & has worked as a freelance designer in textiles, graphics, interiors, and the theatre prior to Dastkar. She was awarded the Padma Shri in 2012.
Founder - Director, Digital Empowerment Foundation
Osama Manzar is a global leader on the mission of eradicating information poverty from India and global south using digital tools through the Digital Empowerment Foundation, an organisation he founded in 2002. A British Chevening Scholar and an International Visitors Leadership Program Fellow of the US State Department, Osama is a social entrepreneur, author, columnist, impact speaker, angel investor, mentor, and sits on several government and policy committees in India and on international organisations working in the areas of Internet, access, and digital inclusion.
Osama has instituted 10 awards for recognising digital innovations for development in South Asia. He is a Member of Advisory Board for Alliance for Affordable Internet; Member of Licensing Committee for Community Radio in India at the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting; Member of Working Group – IT for Masses at Ministry of IT in India. He is Member of the Board at Association of Progressive Communication; World Summit Award; Ibtada; and Society for Labour & Development.
Chairman, Quality Council of India (QCI)
Adil Zainulbhai is Chairman of the Quality Council of India (QCI). He retired as the Chairman of McKinsey & Company, India, after serving the company for 34 years – the last 10 of which were spent in India. Prior to returning to India, he led the Washington office of McKinsey and founded its Minneapolis office. As Chairman, QCI, he has been involved in strengthening quality standards across various sectors of Indian industry and infrastructure. Adil is on the board of many Indian companies, including Reliance Industries, Larsen & Toubro and Cipla. He is also the Chairman of Network 18 and TV18. He serves on the boards of numerous non-profit organisations, including the Piramal Foundation, American India Foundation, the CII National Council, Saifee Hospital, and Saifee Burhani Upliftment Trust. Adil graduated in mechanical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay. He also has an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Professor, University of Pennsylvania
Dr Kenwyn Smith is a Professor of Organizational Behavior and the Director of Penn’s Master’s Programme in Nonprofit/NGO Leadership. Dr Smith teaches leadership, group and intergroup dynamics, organizational politics, change management in three of Penn’s schools: the School of Social Policy & Practice, the Wharton School and the Fels Institute of Government (Arts and Sciences).
Dr Smith is an international scholar in the fields of group and intergroup dynamics, organizational change and leadership. His research experience ranges from prisons to schools, from businesses to health care institutions, from state enterprises to social entrepreneurial activities, from oppressed black townships in South Africa to agencies creating sustainable livelihoods in rural India, from pharmaceuticals in Belgium to financial services in urban America, from the World Bank to a community in Philadelphia wrestling with the anguish of people living with HIV/AIDS.
Director - Centre for Social and Behaviour Change set up by Ashoka University and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Pavan Mamidi is the Director of the Centre for Social and Behaviour Change (CSBC), he
seeks to investigate social norms, trust, pro-social behaviour, and behavioural ethics using lab and lab-in-the-field experiments. Owing to significant experience in the research space, Pavan has previously held the coveted portfolio of Director (founding) for Centre for Experimental Social Sciences (CESS) Nuffield - FLAME University.
Having demonstrated extensive experience in the education sector, Pavan has served as a faculty member at IIM Ahmedabad teaching legal aspects of policies and business, contracts, negotiations and conflict resolution. He also taught research methodologies for various doctoral programs.
Pavan has also mentored senior government officers, including IPS on the policy programs at the National Police Academy and IAS at LBSNAA in Mussoorie. Apart from these, he has held positions at educational organisations of repute worldwide such as IIM Bangalore, MIT (Solan), the University of Michigan Law School and Harvard Law School.
Author, Journalist, Magsaysay Awardee
Founder - Editor, People's Archive of Rural India (PARI)
Magsaysay Prize -winner P. Sainath is a journalist who focuses on social and economic inequality, deprivation and poverty, particularly in rural India. Sainath was McGraw Professor of Writing at Princeton University in Fall 2012 and has been conferred doctorates by two other Universities. In India, he has taught journalism for 30 years. His book, 'Everybody Loves A Good Drought', was declared a Penguin Classic in 2013 and is in its 50th print run. In 2014, Sainath launched the People’s Archive of Rural India (PARI), a unique online project on rural India, with its 833 million people, speaking 780 living languages and a bewildering array of stories, occupations, arts, music, culture, and a lot more. PARI, which publishes in 12 Indian languages, is a totally independent multimedia digital platform creating a unique database, the only one of its kind that can lay claim to journalism representative of every region and section of rural people in this incredibly diverse nation.
Founder-Director, Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy, Washington, D.C. Senior Research Scholar, Princeton University
Dr Ramanan Laxminarayan is founder and director of the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy (CDDEP) in Washington, D.C., and a senior research scholar at Princeton University. He is an affiliate professor at the University of Washington and a visiting professor at the University of Strathclyde in Scotland and at the University of Kwazulu Natal in South Africa. He chairs the board of GARDP, a global product development partnership created by the World Health Organization, that aims to develop and deliver new treatments for bacterial infections. He is also founder and board chair at HealthCubed, which works to improve access to healthcare and diagnostics worldwide.
Dr Laxminarayan has worked to improve the understanding of antibiotic resistance as a problem of managing a shared global resource. He has served on the US President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology’s antimicrobial resistance working group and is currently a voting member of the US Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antimicrobial Resistance.
He is a winner of the Ella Pringle medal by the Royal College of Physicians in Edinburgh and the BP Koirala medal in honour of Nepal’s first democratically elected Prime Minister.
Social activist, Co-founder-Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan and National Campaign for People’s Right to Information
Nikhil Dey is a social activist and co-founder of Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS) and the National Campaign for People’s Right to Information (NCPRI). Since 1990, he has been actively involved in the struggles of the poor for justice and human rights, including grass-root struggles for land, right to food, payment of minimum wages, the RTI Movement and NREGA. Nikhil has also played a prominent part in the ongoing effort by people’s movements to build institutions of participatory democracy.
Founder Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement and GRAAM, Visiting Professor - ILR School, Cornell University
Dr Balasubramaniam is the Founder of the Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement and Grassroots Research And Advocacy Movement. Having lived and worked for several years among remote forest-based tribal communities in the southern Indian district of Mysuru, he has uniquely been able to combine a vast development sector experience with studying and teaching at the world’s leading schools of policy and development including Harvard and Cornell Universities. He was a special investigator for Lokayukta Karnataka (Anti-Corruption Commission) and held membership and consulting positions in government bodies and commissions, academic boards and development agencies including the World Bank.
Founder - Director, Antara Foundation, Author, Former India Country Director - Gates Foundation.
Ashok Alexander in 2003 started his work to establish an HIV prevention program – Avahan, for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that aimed to help stop the growth of HIV in India. In less than three years, Avahan became the world’s largest-ever HIV prevention program, working in six states and over 600 towns. In 2014, Ashok set up the Antara Foundation to see if the methods of scaling from business used there could be applied to maternal and child health.
Ashok’s career has spanned the worlds of business and public health delivery. He has demonstrated how business principles can be applied to scale up the delivery of complex public health solutions in HIV prevention and maternal and child health, across India.
Feminist Writer, Publisher, Activist
Urvashi Butalia is an independent publisher and writer. Co-founder of India’s first feminist publishing house, Kali for Women, she now heads Zubaan, an imprint of Kali. She has had a long involvement in the women’s movement in India, and writes for newspapers, journals and books at home and abroad on a range of issues to do with women and gender. Among her best-known publications is the award-winning oral history of Partition: The Other Side of Silence: Voices from the Partition of India (winner of the Oral History Book Association award 2001 and the Nikkei Asia Award for Culture 2003). She is also visiting faculty at Ashoka University Sonepat. Butalia has received many awards for her work, among them the Padma Shri, which she was awarded in 2011.
Co-Director - Institute of Sustainable Philanthropy
Adrian Sargeant is Co-Director of the Institute for Sustainable Philanthropy, visiting Professor of Fundraising at Avila University and the Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies at Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia. He was formerly the first Hartsook Chair in Fundraising at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University. He designed the UK’s system of professional education for fundraisers and is currently working on the European qualification framework for the European Fundraising Association.
Harsh Mander is a human rights activist, peace worker, author and researcher who works with homeless persons, street children and survivors of violence and hunger. He is Director at the Centre for Equity Studies.
Natasha Badhwar is a film-maker, columnist and author of the books, 'My Daughters' Mum' and 'Immortal for a Moment'. She volunteers as the media team lead at Karwan e Mohabbat, a campaign to support victims of hate crimes and socio-political exclusion.
Investigative Reporter, Author, De-risking Specialist, Public Policy Professional
Saikat Datta is an award-winning investigative reporter, author, de-risking specialist and public policy professional. He has covered the insurgency in Kashmir, Chhattisgarh and various other disasters. Today he is applying that experience to the task of building the Gurugram COVID19 Integrated Command Centre.
The Banyan Academy of Leadership in Mental Health
Nachiket Mor's current work focuses on designing national and regional health systems. He was a member of the Planning Commission's High-Level Expert Group on Universal Health Care, the Primary Care Task Force of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the Health Commission for the State of Himachal Pradesh, and the Task Force on Global Health at the Academy of Medicine in Washington DC. He helped create a new model for comprehensive primary care, pioneered by SughaVazhvu Healthcare in remote rural parts of Tamil Nadu, and offers a seminar on Health Systems Design at the Chennai based Banyan Academy of Leadership in Mental Health. He holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania.
Ramon Magsaysay Awardee
Anshu Gupta is the Founder of Goonj, an Indian non-profit that aims to bring an equitable relationship of strength, sustenance and dignity between the cities and villages of India. He was recognised with the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award in 2015 for 'his creative vision in transforming the culture of giving in India, his enterprising leadership in treating cloth as a sustainable development resource for the poor, and in reminding theworld that true giving always respects and preserves human dignity'. An Ashoka and Schwab fellow, Anshu is a member of the Humanitarian Crisis Council of the World Economic Forum.
Psychiatrist & Researcher, Professor, Harvard Medical School Co-founder, Sangath
Dr Vikram Patel is the Pershing Square Professor of Global Health in the Blavatnik Institute’s Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He also co-founded Sangath, an Indian NGO which won the MacArthur Foundation's International Prize for Creative and Effective Institutions in 2008 and the WHO Public Health Champion of India award in 2016.