Siddharth Chauhan is an independent filmmaker from Shimla. He was awarded the Youth Achiever Award by Hindustan Times Group. His films have been screened across places including Sarajevo, UK, US, Belarus, Indonesia, New Zealand, Italy, China, Canada, and France. He is the youngest and the first independent filmmaker from Himachal Pradesh to have continuously taken his locally produced films outside India.
His latest film Pashi, premiered at the Oscar Qualifying Rhode Island International Film Festival in the US. The only Indian short film selected in that competition in 2017. He has screened his films across many international film festivals and won uncountable awards.
Henry Coleman has dedicated his life to Helena Norberg-Hodge's organisation, Local Futures. Hodge is famous for her books and documentaries about Ladakh and how much the world has to learn from empathy and collaboration. He showcased 'Economies of Happiness' for the Naropa Fellows, and the response to it was understood by the riveting discussions that ensued after. The Fellows took impassioned stances on the various issues the movie brought forth and it was Henry's masterful moderation that kept the discussion alive. His ability to answer the toughest questions and then steer them to sprout more questions was the highlight of the event.
Stanzin Dorjai Gya, a filmmaker living in Ladakh, is dedicated to sharing stories that open the viewers’ eyes and minds to the unique challenges of life in the high Himalayas. Founder of the Himalayan Film House in Leh, Stanzin has directed and produced notable feature films and documentaries on regional, national and international issues. Like other children of Gya Village, Stanzin had a semi-nomadic childhood, spending half of the month tending his family’s herd of yaks and cashmere goats, while attending school during the other half. He joined SECMOL and learning in a non-traditional setting ignited Stanzin’s passion for film. Later, he met Christiane Mordelet, a French filmmaker, and has henceforth worked in close collaboration with her, together producing internationally-acclaimed, award-winning films.
Barbara Gerke has lived for many years in the Himalayas with Tibetan communities, researching Tibetan medicine. She also co-founded and directed the International Trust for Traditional Medicine (ITTM) in Kalimpong, where she promoted students, research projects, and provided residential facilities and exchange opportunities for researchers from 1995 to 2008. She holds an MSc in Medical Anthropology and a DPhil in Social Anthropology from the University of Oxford. She has taught at the University of California Santa Barbara, and at Dartmouth College, and was assistant professor at the Institute for Asian and African Studies, Humboldt University of Berlin. Currently she is based at the University of Vienna with a research project on Sowa Rigpa. Her monograph Long Lives and Untimely Deaths (2012, Brill) analyses long-life rituals, as well as vitality and life-span concepts among Tibetans in the Darjeeling Hills. Her monograph on the use of mercury in Sowa Rigpa, titled Taming the Poisonous: Mercury, Toxicity, and Safety in Tibetan Medical Practice, is forthcoming with Heidelberg University Publishing.
Thomas K Shor is a writer and a photographer, having graduated with a degree in Comparative Religion and Literature from the University of Vermont. He has lectured widely about his books and photographs, including at Oxford University, the Rubin Museum of Art New York, the University of California Santa Barbara, Humboldt University of Berlin, etc. He has lived in the foothills of India’s western Himalayas, Oxford, Berlin and Vienna. He is a prolific write and his works include A Step Away From Paradise: The True Story of a Tibetan Lama’s Journey to a Land of Immortality and Leopard in the City: An Urban Fable. 2018 has also seen the publication of his two primarily photographic books, Ganges Lament and Sculpture Garden of the Gods, both featuring his work in black and white.
Sarthak Maggon is the Founder of Sarthak Maggon Law Offices, a Delhi based full-service law firm. Formerly associated with India’s top corporate law firm namely Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Company at their Bombay Offices, He has a rich and extensive understanding of corporate laws and has been promoting commercial setups in conflict-torn regions by utilizing his qualification from his international peace and conflict study background. Sarthak works closely with prison institutions and embassies for their policy restructuring and is one of the youngest lawyers working towards achieving corporation access to justice through disruptive legal interventions. His profile of startups include industries such as research and innovation, solar power, sustainable agriculture, artificial intelligence, and tourism. The vision of his firm is to create a conducive atmosphere for corporates to grow and flourish and to establish robust frameworks for strengthening internal and regulatory compliance policy for businesses.
Shobhit Mathur is an alumnus of IIT Bombay, University of Washington and Indian School of Business. Previously he has worked for Amazon.com in Seattle and served as the Joint National Organizing Secretary of Youth For Seva. Currently, he is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Vision India Foundation.
Leh Nutrition Project (LNP) was established in 1979 by Save the Children Fund (UK) as a supplementary nutrition project in the Leh District. The focus of the organisation has always been on improvng the socio-economic, educational and health status of children, women and other marginalised groups in village communities. Eshey Paljor has been Executive Director in the organisation since 2013. Chotak Gyatso is Programme Manager at LNP, and oversees the Child Protection programme supported by UNICEF. He is also a trained pharmacist, a traditional Amchi practitioner.
Ambassador P. Stobdan is a distinguished academician, diplomat, author and national security expert. He began his career as a security analyst in 1989 at the Institute for Defence Studies & Analyses (IDSA), where he reached to the topmost academic position of Senior Fellow in 2005. Ambassador Stobdan is a specialist on Asian affairs covering Central Asia and Inner Asia, including Xinjiang, Tibet, Myanmar, and the Himalayan region. He has written extensively on a wide range of security-related subjects in a number of professional journals on strategic affairs, books, and newspapers both in India and abroad. He served in Central Asia twice, as Director at the Embassy of India, Almaty (1999 and 2002) and Ambassador at the Embassy of India, Bishkek (2010-2012). He has also served as Joint Director in the Indian National Security Council. Between October 2006 and November 2007, he was Director of the Centre for Strategic and Regional Studies at the University of Jammu. He is a member of the India International Centre, New Delhi.
Ashima is the co-founder of Paushtaa, a healthy bakery range creating an outlet for the organic farmers to go up the value chain and connect to the urban consumers. She was also the Chief Coordinator at Toybank India where she founded the Bhutan chapter of the Toybank.
She was an independent researcher at the Organic Agriculture for small farmers in India. A national expert on an international action-research project on CSR and SMEs at the UNIDO.
Anuj Sharma is the Founder of Local Guy, a web-based portal which connects micro entrepreneurs of tier 1 and tier 2 cities to give travelers an experience of unexplored local experience in a city/village. He has been an entrepreneur right from his college life when he started Geek Pro a solution that was a hostel experiment for software and computer-based market.
He also founded bhaaiji.com, which was about enabling the customer to order directly from vendors they trust and also discover local deals. He has also received the Annual State Entrepreneurship Award 2018 by Himachal government for his startup idea Local Guy.