Buzz with Danu - Asanka De Mel

Mar 27 2024.

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BIG BOLD BRAVE 2024 – HARVARD Asia Pacific Regional Conference will be held in Sri Lanka. The Harvard Club of Sri Lanka proudly announces ‘BIG BOLD BRAVE 2024,’ a ground-breaking thought leadership conference set to take
place from April 3rd to 5th, 2024, at the Galle Face Hotel in Colombo, Sri Lanka. This is a collaboration of 15+ Harvard Clubs in the Asia Pacific region, the official Alumni Organisations of the prestigious Harvard University. I sat and spoke to Asanka De Mel who is the co-chair of the conference about BBB.

Why did you invest in doing the BIG BOLD BRAVE?
Do you know how many litres of water Anuradhapura will need to grow paddy in 2035? Or how many hip replacements will be done in the Asia Pacific region as the population ages and gets richer? Or how many doctors, teachers or firefighters we will need? Or to attract 100,000 companies to Sri Lanka? I don’t know. But there are people who do know. To build a rich, developed Sri Lanka we need people with knowledge from all over the world and to connect these people together with Sri Lanka. With this conference, we have an opportunity to bring the knowledge sharing and relationship building needed to create this bountiful Sri Lanka.

What would you say is ideal about Sri Lanka? 
Sri Lanka is a 5-hour flight from 4.5 billion people in the APAC region—getting richer and living longer. This is an opportunity for Sri Lanka to lead in addressing the pressing needs of the neighbourhood.

Tell me about the theme. 
Under the far-reaching theme of ‘Big Opportunities | Bold Moves | Brave People,’ the conference will explore critical areas that shape the region's future, with topics areas including education, human capital development and jobs of the future, technology, digital economy and entrepreneurship, modernizing agriculture and food security, energy infrastructure development, and environmental sustainability and climate change adaptation.
Recognizing the immense potential of the Asia-Pacific region and its role in shaping the global landscape, the Harvard Clubs of the Asia-Pacific region have come together to facilitate this transformative conference. The conference will explore the region's most pressing challenges and opportunities leading up to 2050. 

About the speakers? 
The conference will convene visionary leaders, influential thinkers, and distinguished Harvard alumni from across the Asia-Pacific region. A distinguished line-up of speakers will engage attendees through panel discussions, case studies, and interactive workshops, facilitating the exchange of valuable insights, invaluable networking opportunities and the exploration of innovative solutions.
Among the notable speakers confirmed for the event are: 
• Deepak Baghla: Former Managing Director and CEO of Invest India
• Titus Yong: Vice President of the Harvard Club of Singapore and Senior Faculty at NUS Singapore
• Rajeev Mahajan: Head of Project Finance at the Private Sector Facility of the Green Climate Fund in South Korea
• Desamanya Mahesh Amalean: Co-Founder And Chairman of MAS Holdings
• Dr Rex Yung: MD and Chief Scientific Officer at ProLung, Inc., USA
• Kapil Vishvanathan: Governing Council Member at KREA University and President of the Institute for Financial Management and Research (IFMR), India
• Anjali Raina: Executive Director of the HBS Research Center, India 
• Dr Nishan De Mel: Economist with extensive academic experience at Oxford and Harvard University, Sri Lanka
• Sameer Christy, Founder and Chairman of Streeton Partners, Venture Partner/ SparksLabs, Hongkong/ Pakistan 
• Dr. Vinya Ariyaratne: President of the SarvodayaShramadana Movement
• Mainak Chakraborty: CEO & Co-Founder of GPS Renewables
• Dr. Somdutta Singh: First-Gen Serial Entrepreneur, Investor, Founder & CEO of Assiduus Global Inc, Dubai 
• Munir M. Merali: AKDN’s Resident Diplomatic Representative to the People’s Republic of Bangladesh
• Supun Weerasinghe: Group Chief Executive Officer of Dialog Axiata

What would the 3-day line up have to offer to those who are attending? 
’We are excited to see this conference serve as a catalyst for big opportunities, bold ideas, and brave people coming together to tackle global challenges. We look forward to witnessing the transformative impact that emerges when passionate people work together towards common goals. This conference exemplifies our shared vision of creating a platform for leaders to connect, learn, and make a difference in the world. By bringing together diverse perspectives and experiences, we can drive meaningful change and foster a brighter future for generations to come

How can one register? 
Registration for 'BIG BOLD BRAVE 2024' summit is open. For more information visit

What’s next for BBB?
We hope this conference becomes a regular and meaningful gathering place to bring a rich Sri Lanka.


Danu Innasithamby

Danu is a Jaffna Boy with a Marketing qualification (only because he needed to study, and not because he wanted it). He has been a part of the team for seven years and is the face behind Buzz with Danu, and WTF.


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