Vikram Sampath

Vikram Sampath is the author of three acclaimed books of non-fiction: ‘Splendours of Royal Mysore: the untold story of the Wodeyars’, ‘My name is Gauhar Jaan! : the life and times of a musician’ and ‘Voice of the Veena: S. Balachander, abiography’. The book on Gauhar Jaan won him several laurels, including India’s National Academy of Letters, the Sahitya Akademi’s first Yuva Puraskar in English literature and the Association of Recorded Sound Companies (ARSC) International Award for Excellence in Historical Research in New York. The book has been adapted to a play directed by Lillette Dubey and written by Mahesh Dattani. Vikram was among four artists and writers to be selected for the prestigious Residential Programme at the Rashtrapati Bhawan by the Honourable President of India.

Vikram is an Electronics Engineer and Mathematician from BITS-Pilani, an MBA in Finance from SP Jain, Mumbai and is finishing his PhD in Music History from the University of Queensland, Australia. He has worked in several leading multinational companies like GE Money, Citibank and Hewlett Packard, the Government of India’s Ministry of Culture where he headed the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) and as the Director of Symbiosis School of Media and Communication (SSMC).

Vikram has established India’s first digital sound archive for preservation of vintage gramophone records of the country called the Archive of Indian Music (AIM) and co-founded India’s second largest literary conclave, the Bangalore Literature Festival (BLF) in 2012. He is currently a Fellow of the Aspen Global Leadership Programme, has been a visiting Fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg (Institute for Advanced Study) in Berlin, and serves on several Government bodies like the Karnataka Knowledge Commission, Karnataka Tourism Vision Group, Sam Pitroda Commission on national archives and Prasar Bharati core committee on archives. He is also a member of the International Society for Music Education (ISME) and one of the representatives of India in this group. A trained Carnatic vocalist under several eminent gurus such as Vid. D V Nagaraj, Smt. Bombay Jayashri and Dr. Jayanthi Kumaresh, he writes regularly for newspapers and magazines.

Rikki Jayne Mawad

Rikki is an Arts/Law/Hons graduate of the University of Tasmania. She holds a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice and was admitted as a Legal Practitioner in the Supreme Court of Tasmania in 2009.

In 2012, Rikki completed her Masters in Conflict and Dispute Resolution at James Cook University, and in 2013 graduated from the Tasmanian Leaders Program – all while working as an Adviser in the Federal Parliament, the Senate and the Tasmanian Parliament (2010 – 2014).

Rikki is passionate about education. The recipient of numerous awards for the furtherance of education, she has continued to make contribution on the Boards of organisations which support equity of access: the former Tasmanian Academy, the Colony 47 Partnership Brokers Scheme, the Link Youth Health Service, and now, Chatter Matters.

Rikki is currently a Sessional Lecturer in the Faculty of Law, University of Tasmania, and is also working across a range of projects within the Tasmania Law Reform Institute. Her primary work relates to measures to improve access to justice for people with disability and complex communication needs in the criminal justice system. She has also been involved in a project with the Women’s Legal Service and TRS Law Offices in India.

An experienced traveller, Rikki has been through close to 50 Countries, including working and volunteering in Eastern Africa and South America.

Abhijeet Kumar

Abhijeet is based in Sydney where is working as an aerospace engineer, policy researcher
and freelance science communicator.

His past aerospace work has included systems engineering for a NASA lunar rover design competition, developing experimental and numerical diagnostics for thermoacoustic combustion instabilities in liquid fuelled rocket engines, and detailed design and aerodynamic analysis of components for a hypersonic spaceplane. Abhijeet also co-founded a youth-run space organisation that has now evolved to become Australia’s largest such body and offers a critical intersection between academia, government and industry in advocating for Australia’s space future.

Abhijeet has contributed to policy development in various international and national forums.Globally, he sits on the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC), a youth-led UN space policy working group. He has contributed to policy dialogue through SGAC conferences in Italy, China, Canada and Israel. Within Australia, Abhijeet works at a science/technology/innovation think tank and has engaged in policy work for the Australian National Transport Commission, Productivity Commission, House Committee for Education and Employment, House Committee for Agriculture and Industry, NSW Department of Transport, and the Department of Innovation, Industry and Science. Abhijeet also leads a content team that develops a weekly newsletter of innovation intelligence for the Australian academic, business and policy communities.

Abhijeet has previously lived and worked in Europe. He graduated with a Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering (Hons) in 2015 and is currently at the tail-end of a Masters of Philosophy (MPhil) in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Sydney.

Yashveer Singh

Yashveer is currently leading the Youth Venture program at Ashoka South Asia. The Youth Venture program aims to engage young people in social innovation & changemaking and building support ecosystem for young social innovators. In his career, Yashveer has worked with International development organisations in leadership roles and has been instrumental in launching new projects and starting up entrepreneurial ventures. He earned his MBA at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, where he was the only MBA student to receive prestigious, Vice-Chancellor Social Impact Award 2014 for his initiatives as Co-Chair Social Impact, Oxford Business Network (OBN).

Prior to this, Yashveer founded a youth non-profit to address talent inequity in the development sector and influence youth culture in India by inspiring, educating, and supporting university students to pursue social innovation and entrepreneurship. For his work, Yashveer has been awarded prestigious Youth Action Net 2012 Fellowship – as 1 of the 20 young social entrepreneurs representing 16 different countries by International Youth Foundation and was recognized as Global Shaper 2011 by World Economic Forum. A Starting Bloc Boston 2011 Fellow, he was awarded BITSAA 30 under 30 awards in the year 2012 for his contribution to the field of Social Entrepreneurship & Community Building. As the President of Student’s Union BITS Pilani 2006-07, Yashveer co-founded the University VISION 2020 Plan.

Sylvia Mishra

Sylvia Mishra is a researcher with ORF’s Strategic Studies Initiative working on U.S. Policy in Asia-Pacific and foreign and defence policies. Prior to ORF, she worked at the ICRIER-Wadhwani Chair in India-US Policy Studies and has been associated with several New Delhi and London based think-tanks. She has been a member of an Expedition to Central Asia to promote Track-II Diplomacy supported by Ministry of External Affairs and India Central Asia Foundation. She has presented papers at several national and international conferences and also participated in international forums like ‘Building an East Asian Regional Community’, hosted by John Hopkins Nanjing University.

She is a regular columnist for the Huffington Post and has written for East West Center, The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs,The Diplomat, Hindustan Times and several other publications. She holds a Masters degree in International Relations from London School of Economics and has written her Master’s thesis on ‘Foreign Relations of the United States and Iran During the Nixon Presidency (1969-1972)’.

Mohit Dubey

An alumnus of Australia India Youth Dialogue (AIYD 2015) – a tier-2 level think tank of young leaders (under 40 years) from India and Australia, Dr. Mohit is a National Institute of Technology, Karnataka (NITK) graduate in Chemical Engineering, Masters in Economics and PhD in “Information TechnologyEconomics” interdisciplinary area. He is currently associated as Pro Vice Chancellor with IFTM University, Moradabad (UP). As part of his current position Dr. Mohit leads the Automation of entire University Operations, optimization of IT Infrastructure, enhancing Marketing, Admissions and Examination related processes. He is also the ‘Director of Corporate and International Relations’ where he leads all the strategic alliances of the University. He is a key member of Academic and Executive Councils of the University. He has been quoted by many leading Newspapers in English and Hindi media. He has also been a keynote speaker on various occasions on the areas ranging from Leadership, Finance, Ecommerce, leveraging technology in Higher Education etc. He was also a member of Skilltree delegation to ‘University of Oxford’ in 2015 for Leadership programme in Higher Education.

Prior to Education sector during his IT career spanning over a decade, he started his career as Software Engineer with Infosys Limited and moved to Client Solutions Manager in presales function over the years. During the Infosys stint, he worked with second largest bank of USA in Atlanta and Los Angeles for ~7 years. His main interest areas include Banking and Capital Markets in which he also completed the Certification in Capital and Derivatives market from National Stock Exchange.

With a passion and intent to “give back to the society”, he moved back to his native place Moradabad under “Community Empathy” Programme of Infosys in 2011. Since them he has found a new passion in making Higher Education system more productive by leveraging the power of Technology.

Dr. Mohit loves reading biography of the world changing leaders and managers and is an ardent follower of his father (Dr. R.M. Dubey) for his honest, transparent and inclusive style of leadership. He follows NBA, EPL, Indian Super League (Atl De Kolkata) and IPL (Chennai Superkings) with equal interest and would not miss any chance of travelling for Fun only (no work please!).

Amit Ranjan

Dr Amit Ranjan is an alumnus of the coveted Endeavour Research Fellowship and the Inlaks Shivdasani Research Fellowship. He was a Visiting Fellow at University of New South Wales (UNSW) Australia in 2010. His doctoral research about John Lang, an Australian writer, journalist and lawyer who lived in India in the mid 19th century has been widely acclaimed. Currently he is an Australia Awards Ambassador, as also a Fulbright Fellow for 2015-16. He also writes poetry and plays.

John Selby

Dr John Selby researches the spill-over effects of regulation of and on the Internet onto business at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. In his PhD dissertation awarded by the University of New South Wales (UNSW), John applied the interdisciplinary New Institutional Economics theory to interpret the history of the regulation of the domain name system in Australia. He was a University medallist, received first-class honours in Law and a degree in International Business from Griffith University.
Since 2011, John has been appointed as an assessor for Discovery Grants for the Australian Research Council (ARC). He was an investigator on two ARC grants awarded in 2010. John has presented on his research in many international forums, including at the United Nations Internet Governance Forum in 2013 (where he was appointed as an ISOC-AU Ambassador) and in 2014, where he spoke about the challenges posed by the intersection of the institutions that regulate international trade and internet governance.

In 2009, John was a Postel Center Fellow at the University of Southern California’s Information Sciences Institute. In 2006, he was recognised as one of Australia’s “Young Voices in Technology and International Relations” by the Lowy Institute. Previously, he worked as a commercial lawyer for Mallesons Stephen Jaques (now King & Wood Mallesons) in Sydney and for TMI Associates in Tokyo, Japan.

Navras Jaat Aafreedi

Dr Navras Jaat Aafreedi is an Indo-Judaic Studies Scholar and a Social Activist, employed as Assistant Professor in the School of Humanities & Social Sciences, Gautam Buddha University, Greater NOIDA, India. He is also the Founder and Secretary of the Society for Social Regeneration & Equity (SSRE), an NGO dedicated to the promotion of peace and interfaith amity through dialogue and understanding. He sits on the editorial boards of the refereed journals Journal of Indo-Judaic Studies and The Social Ion, on the review board of the Journal of South Asian Studies, and on the international advisory board of the Asian Jewish Life and the Jerusalem Press Club.

He has held fellowships at the University of Sydney and the Institute of Asian Studies, Australia; Woolf Institute, Cambridge, UK; Tel Aviv University, Israel; and the Centre for Communication & Development Studies, Pune, India and his lectures have been well received in Australia, Israel, UK, USA and India. He has to his credit a number of publications which have been translated into German, Spanish, French and Russian, and press reports on his researches can be read in sixteen languages (European and Asian) on his blog One can read more about him

Benjamin Heenan

Benjamin Heenan is a final year Commerce and Law student at UNSW Australia. He has interned at a top commercial law firm and will be an Associate with Teach For Australia in 2017-18, teaching secondary school students in disadvantaged areas across Australia. During his time at University Benjamin has been actively engaged in a variety of leadership roles. He was as a member of the Council of UNSW Australia, chaired the Board of Directors for Arc@UNSW (the University’s student organisation) and served as President of the UNSW Law Society. Benjamin has also represented UNSW in the final rounds of international commercial mediation competitions in both Paris and Vienna. Outside of University Benjamin is the Vice Club Captain of Coogee Surf Life Saving Club and has recently obtained in Recreational Pilot’s Licence. Benjamin’s interest in the Indian-Australian centres around innovation and education.