The Indo-Swiss Future Leaders Forum, is a bilateral dialogue platform that fosters networking, engagement, learnings and builds upon ideas and cultures between young minds in India and Switzerland. We are a non-partisan, non-monetary, independent, social solidarity forum, which invests in connecting young minds and creates synergies. We are looking for next generation entrepreneurs, social society actors and young leaders in India and Switzerland driven by innovation, technology, social impact, geo-economics, and arts & culture. We strive for more connectivity, thus creating collaborations of growth and partnerships.
- The Indo-Swiss Future Leaders Forum (ISFLF) has been created as no such entity exists which brings the youth /future leaders from the two countries onto a single platform. The ISFLF is a simple, transformative, cluster driven exchange interface. The ISFLF focus is to widen the spectrum of interest, explore opportunities, and evolve new solutions. We are an online interactive space, a networking collaborative set-up, which connects the young minds thereby transforming friendship between India and Switzerland.
Why Join the Indo-Swiss Future Leaders Forum?
- ISFLF is an open engagement platform for connecting, discussing and exchanging ideas. The forum provides avenue for smaller clusters to work with great minds from India and Switzerland and derive solution sets.
- The ISFLF is driven by the need of its members – its agile, run by experts, where interactions, discussions, dialogues, and ideas are winged to challenge, grasp competencies, cut learning curves and work together in envisioning new solutions.
- The ISFLF puts the future generation at the heart of its ethos and encourages social impact. ISFLF dreams of inter-twining the future of young leaders in India and Switzerland and binds together four critical verticals of Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Geo-Economics, Arts & Culture and Social Change.
Areas of engagement
Taps into the Innovation sector of Switzerland as the innovation capital of the world with India’s growing appetite for Entrepreneurship and Start-up culture.
Advocates the importance of current global challenges – climate change, terrorism, multilateral institutions, international trade and strategic partnerships in the changing global order.
Encouraging social impact and defining the efforts that would benefit the bottom of the pyramid.
Highlighting the importance of cross-cultural sensitivity and celebrating the diversity of India and Switzerland.
Anthropocene is the what earth has entered into and Humans are the reason for earth’s destruction from now on. We at ISFLF bring the climate dialogue to the forefront between India and Switzerland with certified climate reality experts
Co-Founder / MHM and WASH
Mayuri founded Loo Watch, an initiative to audit public toilets in Kolkata, India. Her experiences and learnings while heading Loo Watch led her to form the non-profit organisation – Sikun Relief Foundation. In 2017, she moved back to Assam, her birthplace and home, with a passion to work on sanitation & menstrual hygiene projects in politically fragile and natural disaster prone areas. In 2016, she was selected as a Young Founder by the Westerwelle Foundation (Berlin).
Mayuri is a member of the Geneva-based Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC). In 2017, she was elected as the Curator of Global Shapers (Kolkata Hub), an initiative of the World Economic Forum. She has a Masters in Human Rights and is an alumna of the incubator
the DO School in Germany.
AgroTech and Social Impact
Intelligence and capability are not enough. There must also be the joy of doing something beautiful.”
Mayank is a mechanical engineer by training with three years of research experience. He believes in immersive learning by travelling. Loves to explore, learn, unlearn, implement and execute.
He is the co-founder of MicroX Foundation, a not-for-loss organisation formulated with an objective to accelerate access of health, hygiene and agricultural resources to needy people. Aligned with the goal of poverty alleviation & ending world hunger, he is working with grassroots communities to revive local economy by making agriculture profitable for all. His higher purpose lies in food advocacy – intersection of public policy, food & nutrition and healthcare; and fixing the broken food system. For him, fixing food also means fixing healthcare cost, the environment and social disparity. He is advocate of technology for social change and interest lies in building a community movement, enterprise led development.
He is part of various forums like Global Social Economy Forum, JagritiYatra, Good Governance Yatra, Urban Habitat Summit, Indian Student Parliament, Indo-Afghan Future Workshop, etc..
Geoeconomics Lead, Switzerland
Prem Mahadevan is a strategic analyst based in Switzerland. He has read War Studies and Intelligence Studies in the United Kingdom, and taught at universities in Austria and the Czech Republic. He has briefed Indian, Czech and Ukrainian policymakers on asymmetric warfare threats and been consulted by the Swiss Defence and Foreign Ministries, as well as NATO and the Global Counterterrorism Forum on jihadist tactics and strategy. He has authored approximately 100 publications on international security, including scholarly articles and policy-oriented reports, focusing on intelligence, counterterrorism and Asian geopolitics.
Media & Culture
Prateek is fascinated by Swiss culture. After mastering the Deutsch language, he spent some time in the DACH to explore and experience the region. He is Marketing Manager of PrintMart, a New Delhi-based printing company, and a Deutsch language specialist at Egon Zehnder – India, and a photographer. In his free time, Prateek loves to travel, which he believes, not unlike Mark Twain, is essential for a wholesome and broad view of the world.’
Dinakar Peri is the Defence Correspondent of the Hindu newspaper. Prior to that he was a researcher and an academic. He worked as an Associate Fellow at the Centre for Land Warfare Studies (CLAWS), an autonomous think tank of the Indian Army and on special projects with the Centre for Joint Warfare Studies (CENJOWS). He holds two degrees, MBA in Business Sustainability from TERI University and MSc in Biotechnology from Bharathidasan University. He also worked as a researcher in biology at the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT), Hyderabad and the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai and his findings were published in peer-reviewed international journals.
Sambit is an architect from India, currently based out of Switzerland. He has a Masters of Advanced Studies in Architecture and Digital Fabrication from ETH Zurich. His main fields of interest within architecture are computational geometry and the use of technology in building applications. He has worked with Orproject, a firm specialising in advanced geometry and has completed projects with them which have been exhibited at the Venice Biennale (architecture), Beijing Design Festival and the India Design Forum.
Founder / Partnerships Lead
Gaurav is an IT engineer, a Masters in International Relations from Geneva, Switzerland and a post-graduate diploma holder in Humanitarian and Human Rights, and Refugee laws. Gaurav has been awarded various scholarships in different areas. He is currently investing his energies in curating new projects and making people connect and come together in deriving new solutions in the social economy space. Gaurav has been the awardee of Young leadership program as part of the German Chancellor Fellowship and the Crans Montana Young Leaders Forum. He is currently involved with the Global Leadership Academy (GLAC) working on gender diversity issues. Gaurav has worked in six countries and visited more than 45 nation states. Gaurav likes to call himself ‘the Curious One’, and is always inquisitive about the new challenges and wants to explore what he does not know. He has his own YouTube channel.
Arts & Culture Coordinator, Switzerland
Jyoti is a bestselling author, speaker and Storytelling consultant. His debut, Conspiracy of Calaspia, was published in India when he was 17 years old and has sold over 100,000 copies with translations into German, Italian and Dutch. While still a teenager, Schweizer Illustriertemagazine counted Jyoti among the “100 Most Important Swiss” and Los Angeles awarded him a Scroll of Honour for Special Services to the County for literary achievement and inspiring other young people. In 2015 Jyoti was Novelist-in-Residence for the Geneva Centre for Security Policy, a UN partner organisation. Jyoti has Indian, Swiss, and British citizenships and has traveled to 40 countries. He has lectured on four continents.
Investment & Sustainability Lead
Lia is Artistic Director and founder at Art Caravan, an Indo Swiss Based Art foundation working on using Arts as a tool for cross cultural exchange for peace and global citizenship. Lia fell in love with theatre at the very first production, The Incendies, a play on the civil war in Lebanon written by Wajdi Mouawad, she took part in. Taking part in a play based on life of Mahatma Gandhi, after the movie script of Richard Attenborough, influenced many of her future projects as it instigated a growing interest in her about Indian culture and history. Then she took part in Navati, a collaboratively written play, and performed the same in Switzerland, Germany and India. Finishing her school, Lia traveled all the way from Switzerland to Kosovo, Turkey and Armenia and then to India. She spent 5 months in India where she co-wrote a play on the questions of borders and war along with Akram Feroze and as part of Two Wheels of Theatre took on a 6000 km journey while performing in various cities. From there she moved to Hong Kong, China, Moscow and then back home in Switzerland. Currently she is studying at an acting school Cours Florent in Paris along with working on various Theatre and Movie projects.
Govinda is the founder of LEDsafari. LEDsafari is a education start-up based in Lausanne, Switzerland that aims to assimilate clean energy & sustainable innovation education through a unique science & design training centred on creating a solar kits. He’s on the Forbes list- Forbes 30 under 30 Europe 2016 for the achievements in Ed-Tech. Govinda also backed by the EIT (EU) CHANGE AWARD 2015, BITSAA 30 Under 30 Award 2015 and Finalist at Forbes 2015 Change the world award for his work in LEDsafari. He is on list of Asia 21 Young leaders 2016. He has done three years of research in sustainable city planning in EPFL Lausanne, Masters in Sustainable Technology from TU Eindhoven and KTH Sweden. Govinda did his Masters in Physics and Bachelor of engineering in electronics and electrical from BITS Pilani, India.
Ruchir Sharma has expertise in both international affairs and social entrepreneurship, combined with experience in public policy at a major Swiss inter-governmental agency and business innovation in the European startup sector. He has lived, worked, and studied across Australia, Germany, Greece, India, Switzerland, and the U.K. In 2017, he was selected as an Indo-German Young Leader and an MIT Global Entrepreneur by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Ruchir is currently Head of Campaigns at ProVeg International, whose delegation he led to the COP23 UN Climate Change Conference in 2017, and met among others, French President Emmanuel Macron and Indian Minister of Environment Dr Harsh Vardhan, presenting innovative policy solutions to help mitigate climate change through the agricultural and food processing sectors. He is also an international affairs commentator, having been quoted in the New York Times, and contributing to the Huffington Post, Swarajya, and Russia Insider.
Divyanshu Varshney is the founder and CEO of Spiro Studios, a young company on a mission to provide physical rehabilitation services to the doorsteps in order to help people get better in a fast, easy and fun way. He is also the founder and president of VR | AR | MR, India’s first and now largest Virtual and Augmented Reality Community. Divyanshu holds a Bachelors in Information Technology from Manav Rachna College of Engineering.
Feminine Hygiene and WASH
Shivani works for Livinguard technologies AG India office as the product manager for the feminine hygiene business. Livinguard applications are applicable across categories – water and air purification, feminine
Marc Finaud is a former French diplomat who has been seconded to the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP) between 2004 and 2013 and now works for this institution to train diplomats and military officers in international and human security and conduct research in those fields. During his career as a diplomat, he served in several bilateral postings (in the Soviet Union, Poland, Israel, Australia) as well as in multilateral missions (to the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, the Conference on Disarmament, the United Nations). He holds Master’s degrees in International Law and Political Science. He was also Senior Resident Fellow (WMD Programme) at the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) between 2013 and 2015. He is now also a Swiss citizen.
Guneet Amarpreet Kaur is a producer from India and founder of Sikhya Entertainment. Guneet is a power producer who has made twenty-three films in only four years, including commercially successful films like Gangs of Wasseypur Part I & Part II (2012), projects of international prestige like Michael Winterbottom’s Trishna (2011) and ground-breaking Hindi new wave films, such as Monsoon Shootout (2013), That Girl in Yellow Boots (2010), and Peddlers (2012). She has also produced a short film by name of Kavi (2009), which was nominated for an Academy Award for Live Action Short and won best narrative at the Student Academy Awards. In 2013, Guneet produced the The Lunchbox (2013), which became a global sensation, premiering at Le Semaine de les Critique and was picked up by Sony Pictures Classics, garnering 23 million USD at global box office. The film earned a BAFTA nomination for Best Foreign Film in the year 2015. Guneet’s most recent film Masaan (2015), won the FIPRESCI prize at Cannes in 2015.
Anand Prakash is CEO of GrailAI, a new artificial intelligence platform focused on leveraging new data algorithms to improve Cancer Diagnosis. This project has been 10 years in the making while he built up his resources, knowledge and network to help make it successful. Prakash is well-known as a Silicon Valley technology visionary and product builder. He first built SMSGupshup (Webaroo) which began as a weekend project and grew to be the largest social network in the world in 2005 with more than 35 Million users. Prakash then landed a senior role at LinkedIn, helping with their mobile technology before founding and developing Droptalk, a stealth startup which was acquired by Silicon Valley giant Dropbox. After spending some time at Dropbox as a tech lead, he took a technology leadership role at Verizon, for which he was also CTO of a subsidiary. Prakash still dreamed of using his technical vision and skills to truly make a difference in the world and help to cure disease. With his full focus on new company, GrailAI, Prakash is dedicated to this mission.
Manoj Sharma is Principal Urban Development Specialist in the South Asia Department of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Manila, Philippines. Manoj has 25 years of experience working with ADB and the Government of India. He has led multi-sector teams for designing and implementing complex and innovative projects for urban infrastructure and economic corridors development in several countries in Asia. He has also led policy dialogues at senior levels of the governments for substantive reforms for industrial development, urban governance including capacity building of urban local bodies, and infrastructure financing including structuring and financially closing PPP projects. Manoj has also supported the strategic development of the urban, water and industrial sectors at ADB and the countries in South Asia. Manoj is a graduate in Civil Engineering, postgraduate in Management, and a CFA Charter holder. Prior to joining ADB, he worked in the Indian Administrative Service.
Smita Purushottam served as Ambassador to Venezuela (January 2012 to June 2015), Switzerland, Liechtenstein and the Holy See (August 2015-October 2017). In Switzerland, she transformed the bilateral relationship which led to stronger partnerships in the vocational education, Ayurveda, research and development, and investment sectors. She served as Deputy Chief of Mission in the Embassy of India in Berlin, Minister (Political) at the High Commission of India, London, the Embassy in Brussels, and Language-trainee and Information Second Secretary at the Embassy of India, Moscow. Her most formative experience was as Counsellor for Economic and Commercial Affairs at the Indian Embassy in Beijing, where she had the opportunity to see Chinese economic reforms unfold first-hand.
She served also as Joint Secretary at the Foreign Service Institute of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), New Delhi; Joint Secretary in the Integrated Defence Staff Headquarters in the Ministry of Defence; Director/Under Secretary (East Europe/Russia/Soviet Union) and SAARC, and Under Secretary (Bhutan) in MEA. She spent a year as Fellow at Harvard during 2000-2001. She joined the Institute for Defence Studies & Analyses (IDSA), New Delhi in 2010, as Senior Fellow where she focused on the Chinese innovation eco-system and the US-Russia “Reset”. She attended courses at the National Defence University, Washington in July-August 2002, and the Workshop on the Relationship Between National Security and Technology in China at the University of California, San Diego, in July-August 2013. She also attended the High-Performance Leadership course at IMD, Lausanne in May 2017.
She is founder of a new Do Tank “SITARA”, a Science, Indigenous Technology and Advanced Research Accelerator, to bring increased vigour to the indigenisation of high-tech production and building a Science Nation in India. Vocational education is of crucial importance in building a high-tech nation and to social stability and equity, which has been proven in Switzerland and Germany. Hence she devoted a great deal of effort to promote awareness of the excellence and relevance of the Swiss model while she was Ambassador to Switzerland, and continues to promote it to new and potential stakeholders.
She is a member of the Board of Studies and Adjunct Professor (without remuneration) at the Bharatiya Skills Development University, Jaipur/ Dr Rajendra and Ursula Joshi Foundation. She earned a Master’s degree (1st class) in History from Delhi University in 1979. She speaks Russian, French and Hindi. Ms. Purushottam has been published widely in reputed journals and newspapers in India and abroad. Her hobbies are reading, literature, amateur science, social work, writing, walking, trekking, swimming, painting, theatre, movies and ballet. She is committed to environmental causes and has planted several trees at different locations in Delhi, India, Caracas and Berne.
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The ISFLF explores possibilities to enhance the impact by interventions at all levels. We are looking for partnerships and support from stakeholders that trigger youth-dialogues between India and Switzerland, corporate houses, foundations, start-ups, NGO’s, universities, arts and culture councils and social enterprises. More partners we accomplish, faster the growth of Indo-Swiss Future Leaders forum prospects we undertake. We invite you to submit your candidature and recommendations via the Contact Us link.