Dr. Satyanarayana Ramanaik
Thematic Lead for Adolescent Health, Karnataka Health Promotion Trust
Dr. Satyanarayana Ramanaik is a social scientist with over 20 years of impactful work in public health and developmental issues in India. His extensive engagement with marginalized communities spans a range of critical areas, including HIV/AIDS, gender-based violence (GBV), intimate partner violence (IPV), migration, child marriage, school dropout, and adolescent health. He has been a pivotal force behind large-scale public health interventions and collaborative research initiatives in partnership with esteemed donors and academic institutions such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, USAID, WHO, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), University of Manitoba, the Government of Karnataka, and the Government of India.
Dr. Satyanarayana’s work has led to the publication of over 40 peer-reviewed articles in prestigious national and international journals. He holds a Ph.D. in Social Work.
Designer and Historian, Curating for Culture
Trained as a designer and historian, Ishita Shah's practice is rooted at the intersection of cultural preservation, creative interpretation, and community engagement, under the aegis of a collective ‘Curating for Culture.’ The primary thematic interests include South Asia/India in the archive, beyond the institutional narratives, empowering the local, life in the day of an archivist, and the socio-politics of underrepresented narratives in popular histories. Curating for Culture has curated a range of activities from incubation programs, to site-based learning experiences, publications, exhibitions, and open dialogues in collaboration with different organizations and/or practitioners.
Post doctoral fellow and coordinator, ATREE
Dr. Madegowda C is a social scientist and Adivasi leader from B.R. Hills, Karnataka, India. He has completed MSW, MSc, PGDPM, and Ph.D and is currently working in the field station of Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE) in B. R. Hills as a post doctoral fellow and coordinator. He is also the secretary of the community-based organization Zilla Budakattu Girijan Abhivrudhi Sangha, Chamarajanagar. He has 24 years of experience in working with indigenous tribal people and biodiversity conservation in Karnataka. His work includes participatory resource monitoring (PRM), sustainable harvesting of non-timber forest produce, mapping of culturally sacred sites, community-based conservation, enforcing Forest Rights Act 2006 and empowering indigenous communities' movements. He also works in Non-Timber Forest Products value addition and marketing of Adavi products.
Co-founder and Director of The Alternative Story
Paras is the co-founder and director of The Alternative Story – a mental health startup based out of Bengaluru. He holds a Master’s Degree in Counselling and is soon to complete a Doctorate in Counselling Psychology.
In a career spanning over 12 years, he has worked in hospitals, helplines, corporate mental health organisations and academic institutions. He has helped set up India’s largest counselling helpline run by trained mental health professionals and has also aided in setting up and training government helplines to address violence against women in states such as Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Uttar Pradesh. He has worked with government and non-government organisations at the grassroots in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Tamil Nadu to enhance community mental health.
Paras lives with mental and chronic illnesses and is currently engaged in researching and creating awareness on the same
Performance Artist and Founding Member of Urban Folk Project
Shilpa Mudbi Kothakota is a performance artist, social activist, and artistic researcher. As a first-generation urbanite, she strongly identifies with her ancestral roots. Having dedicated several years to working in the hinterlands of Karnataka as a filmmaker, she has documented women’s movements, agrarian lifestyles and cultural politics. Motivated by the search for counter-narratives and consciousness of gender, class, and caste dynamics, Shilpa's artistic research focuses on the human voice. She employs the voice as a lens to understand and challenge hierarchies in society. Currently based in Gulbarga, she is furthering her research in the folk music forms of the region and establishing a space for experiential learning of folk knowledge systems. In addition to her research, Shilpa runs an English medium school in Gulbarga, catering specifically to children from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Officer, Knowledge management, Karnataka Health Promotion Trust
Summaiya Khan works as an officer of knowledge management in Karnataka Health Promotion Trust (KHPT). As someone interested in social sciences, Summaiya is passionate about the inclusion of various cultural identities. With the objective to give back to society, she has started a YouTube channel, Inclusion 360 Degrees, which gives the sighted an idea about the inclusion of people with vision impairment in all spheres of life through creative and informative videos.
Previously, she worked with a political party as a political researcher consultant, helped in the Lok Sabha elections and contributed to the manifesto consultation process. She has also worked at the Centre for Budget and Policy Studies (CBPS) as a research associate and at Synergia Foundation, a strategic think tank.
Swathi Shyam Sunder
Head, Applied AI research and Development Group, Siemens Technology
Swathi Shyam Sunder is currently heading an applied AI research and development group at Siemens Technology in Bengaluru. Over 12+ years, she has transitioned through varied roles in multiple organisations, adding to her experience as a technical leader alongside numerous publications and patents. Swathi was recognised with the Siemens Inventor of the Year 2023 award for her excellent contribution to innovation in the fields of data analytics and artificial intelligence.
She identifies herself with causes such as diversity in tech and enablement of underrepresented groups. She has been contributing to related global programs as a volunteer and mentor. Swathi is fluent in more than 6 languages and also passionately engages in arts and crafts. Having travelled across 20 countries, she believes that such worldwide exposure has vastly broadened her perspectives.
Teacher and Writer
Vijeta Kumar is a teacher and writer. She teaches Communicative English at St. Joseph's University, Bengaluru. She has written and published works about higher education, classrooms, films, books, food, caste, and media in The Third Eye, Deccan Herald, Hindustan Times, HuffPost, India Today, and The Open Dosa. She writes more regularly at rumlolarum.com. She is currently pursuing a PhD on the works of Dawn Powell.
Founder, Fibroheal Woundcare
Vivek Mishra is a techno-commercial management professional with a diverse background spanning various industries, including medical devices, pharmaceuticals, food and nutrition, and agri-business. He started his current venture in the year 2017 which is based on silk protein derived wound management solutions called FIBROHEAL WOUNDCARE PVT LTD. Fibroheal works to address various types and stages of wounds, aiming to become a comprehensive wound management company from India. It focuses on addressing various types of acute, chronic, traumatic, and post-operative wounds through IP protected technology and has more than half a dozen patents to their name. Fibroheal is the first company in India to have commercialized silk proteins to heal different types of wounds.
Beyond his role at Fibroheal, Vivek Mishra is actively involved in fostering innovation within the biotech and life sciences sector.