See FastCompany profile of my work - http://www.fastcompany.com/1711352/2011-ted-fellow-cuts-through-wartime-censorship-in-sri-lanka
Educated at S. Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia, Sanjana read English at the University of Delhi, India and as a Rotary World Peace Fellow, was awarded an Advanced Masters in Conflict Resolution and International Relations from the University of Queensland, Brisbane with a Dean’s Commendation for High Achievement.
He is currently a Senior Researcher and Head of the Media Unit at the Centre for Policy Alternatives. He is a frequent commentator on journalism and new media in domestic and international fora. In addition to hosting a talk show on public television, Sanjana lectures at the Sri Lanka College of Journalism (SLCJ), engaging journalists from state, private, alternative media on how to use web, Internet and mobile technologies to strengthen professional, independent and investigative journalism.
Sanjana is a Special Advisor to the ICT4Peace Foundation based in Geneva, Switzerland. Through the Foundation, Sanjana works to further the use of ICTs in crisis information management and peacekeeping initiatives at the United Nations. As a Fellow of the Center for Information Technology and Dispute Resolution at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, Sanjana writes and speaks on the evolution of Online Dispute Resolution (ODR), with a special focus on mobile telephony.
Sanjana is the founding editor of Groundviews (www.groundviews.org), an award-winning web based citizen journalism initiative that has won critical acclaim internationally as one of the most vital websites for dissent in Sri Lanka.
In 2010, Sanjana was the first Sri Lankan to be awarded a prestigious TED Fellowship, two years after he was awarded a News & Knowledge Entrepreneur Fellowship from the Ashoka Foundation. Both awards recognise Sanjana’s pioneering efforts to leverage web based citizen journalism and new media to bear witness and strengthen democracy, human rights and a just peace.
With a significant body writing, research and on the ground experience, Sanjana is globally recognised as an expert in the design and implementation of ICTs and new media in peacebuilding and crisis response.
Using Information and Communications Technologies, new media and mobiles for peacebuilding and human rights. Travelling and reading compete for attention.
I was asked in late 2011 what, if I could design and create any one product or service, it would be and why? I observed that the ubiquity of SMS on mobile phones wasn’t yet fully utilised in feedback loops that strengthen governance and basic service delivery. I said that State and privately managed places of public interaction (e.g. a service counter, a government office, a website, an information kiosk) can prominently display an SMS number (with telco buy-in, this could be a short-code and free to send a message to) that people are encouraged to provide, on a scale of 1-5, a rating of how they felt after their transaction or inquiry was completed. This crowd-sourced information could feed into databases that are also open to the public via the web, providing geo-spatial and temporal visualisations of how citizens in our country feel about service delivery and governance.
1. Peacebuilding, which is not always achieved through non-violence and negotiations. 2. English literature. 3. New media literacy, which is more than IT literacy.
Singing karaoke very badly. I also know far more than someone at my age should about teen pop.
What you take back from TED is a sense of wonder, but also an abiding sadness, that the world is perhaps not listening as much as it can, and should, to the thoughts expressed by Fellows and Speakers at TED.
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