An inspiring worldview for Sri Lanka’s youth: AIESEC Sri Lanka’s ‘Through the Eyes of a Trendsetter’

Youth empowerment can take place in many ways. Sometimes all you need is to listen to someone you look up to. To learn about how that role model built their name for themselves – the things they did and the challenges they faced. 

AIESEC Sri Lanka’s new podcast series “Through the Eyes of a Trendsetter”, does just this, consulting 12 leading Sri Lankan personalities across various arenas, and learning about how they achieved their individual forms of greatness.

Through the Eyes of a Trendsetter is the brainchild of the AIESEC Sri Lanka National Showcasing Team, the creative office of AIESEC Sri Lanka. AIESEC Sri Lanka is the local arm of AIESEC, a global network of young leaders under the age of 30 who strive to better themselves and the communities around them through leadership development, cultural understanding, and experiential learning. The organisation spans 126 countries and territories and every aspect of AIESEC’s operations are managed by students and recent graduates.

Through the Eyes of a Trendsetter is the second series of podcasts to be held by AIESEC Sri Lanka, with their first podcast series titled “Leadership is About”, focusing on connecting with other AIESEC students leaders and examining how these student leaders viewed leadership. Through the Eyes of a Trendsetter focuses more on corporate leaders and influential personalities who have built and established themselves. 

AIESEC Sri Lanka National Showcasing Team Podcast Co-ordinator Theshani Weligamage explained to Brunch that Through the Eyes of a Trendsetter was conceptualised to be a weekly podcast series of 12 episodes to give Sri Lankan youth the chance to see the world through the eyes of inspirational figures, corporate leaders, and leading personalities who have been innovators in their fields or in their communities. “The motive of Through the Eyes of a Trendsetter is to give inspiration and guidance to youth on their careers and how to overcome the challenges they face. It’s like a sharing space with the youth audience.”

Weligamage explained that each episode of the series is customised to its guest of honour, with the speakers talking about how they climbed their respective corporate ladder, or on how they built their success and the challenges they faced while building their now esteemed reputations. “It’s about how we can get inspiration from them,” Weligamage said, adding: “Our most recent speaker was Jayanti Kuru Utumpala, the first Sri Lankan to climb Mount Everest.” 

Through the Eyes of a Trendsetter has recently concluded its seventh episode featuring Kuru Utumpala. Previous speakers in the series include Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology (SLINTEC) Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Venture Frontier Lanka Co-Founder and Director Heminda Jayaweera, AIESEC Asia Pacific International Regional Director Isuru Premathilaka, IKON Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dulinda Perera, International Trainer and Certified Transformative Coach Fahad Farook, pop artist and BNS Production Director Bathiya Jayakody, and television personality and Institute of Essential Studies Managing Director Bernadine Jayasinghe. 

Through the Eyes of a Trendsetter takes place virtually, first premiering on the AIESEC Sri Lanka Facebook page, which has a reach of over 34,000, and then becoming available on YouTube as well as major podcast platforms Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Anchor, and Spotify. All podcasts are moderated, with a range of questions and topics researched and curated by the AIESEC team to ensure that the speakers are asked unique, insightful questions. The podcast also includes a rapid-fire round that is aimed to be informal and fun and get the speakers to relax. 

AIESEC Sri Lanka 2021 President Sisitha Hewage shared that Through the Eyes of a Trendsetter is all about inspiring youth to better themselves by listening to the stories of people who have already made names for themselves. “We are a youth leadership organisation working on developing leadership skills in youth. Through the Eyes of a Trendsetter is based on people who have set trends in society and business. We thought that would be a good example to take leadership inspiration from and this is one of the things we want to convey to youth through the series and inspire them.” 

Upcoming speakers on Through the Eyes of a Trendsetter include Dreamron Group of Companies Group CEO Kishu Gomes and Hemas Holdings PLC Group CEO Kasturi Chellarajah Wilson. 

“Through the Eyes of a Trendsetter” normally premieres on the AIESEC Sri Lanka Facebook page on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. For more information or to view previous podcasts, please visit the AISEC Sri Lanka Facebook page or check out “Through the Eyes of a Trendsetter” on one of the following channels.




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