Vijayam Kartha M.A, M.Ed is an Educational Consultant and Trainer. She is part of Initiatives of Change (www.iofc.org), a worldwide movement of people who believe that personal change leads to societal change. She strongly believes in the power of value based, quality education to transform society, as well as the teachers’ crucial role in nation building. She along with a few of her friends in IofC, is pursuing a dream ‘Reinventing Schools, Rebuilding the world’.
During her 30 plus years’ career, Vijayam has redefined education in her 10 + schools. As a Principal of one of the largest schools in Jamshedpur, Jharkhand, India, and later as Vice Chairman of Kerala Public School Trust (www.keralapublicschooltrust.com), she embossed the concept of 360 degree development – a harmonic balance between academics, and sense of compassion and social responsibility towards our society, environment and ecosystem. Some of these activities included: Village development programme, Rural school adoption, Free education of slum children in the English medium school campuses during its free hours, Camp schools for out of school tribal girls, environment conservation activities etc.
For all the above work as well as for many innovative practices like invigilator less examinations, she has been recognised by the Govt. of India (President’s award for teachers) as well as by many reputed non Governmental organisations like Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan etc. Her work for the underprivileged children for society has been lauded by the UNICEF and World Bank teams.
Urmila Samson (born 1962) is a mother of three children, aged 24, 19 and 17 who have never been to school nor been homeschooled. Along with her husband John who is a Dental Surgeon, Story teller, Creative Writer, Poet and actor, they learn and grow in freedom (John Holt) in a semi joint family. They sometimes host people in their home who are recovering from emotional pain.
Urmila’s main grouse and therefore work, is in changing the way in which children are perceived and treated. Over the past seven years she has been engaging with people living and being on the planet differently from the dominant paradigm, strengthening change makers individually and collectively, as social and systemic change stem from personal and community change.
Her work is complex, multi layered and largely intangible. It includes personal practices and inner work; creating, organizing and promoting online and other platforms, workshops and gatherings for personal development. She does one on Listening, as well as Listening Circles and is part of organizing large and very large unConferences where Open Space and other technologies are used for Listening, Heart Opening, Bonding, Networking... She is a networker, and creates and participates in many overlapping networks that include the whole spectrum of education from radically non formal (unschooling) to formal (schools); sustainable initiatives like farming, from terrace kitchen gardens to large organic, natural and forest farms; health and healing including private alternative medicine to healers of many kinds; personal growth and development workshops and Circles like Women’s, Men’s and mixed Circles, Peer Mentorship in schools, Non Violent Communication, Shadow To Gold, Darkness and Light, Tao, Love and Relationships, Taboo Talks on topics like Death, Sexuality and Money...
Arun Wakhlu, (born 1955) is the Executive Chairman of Pragati Leadership Institute, Pune, India. www.pragatileadership.com
Arun holds a B. Tech degree from IIT Delhi, and a PGDBA from IIM Ahmedabad. Arun has logged over 25,000 hours of facilitation and coaching internationally.
Arun has published more than twenty eight papers and written the award winning book “Managing from the Heart”. He has helped pioneer the concept of "Wholesome Development" and “Wholesome Leadership” aimed at working from joy for prosperity with peace. His latest book (co-authored with his father Prof. Dr. Omkar N Wakhlu) “One Wholesome World”, is a practical game changing manual for global transformation starting with each one of us.