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Cargills International Women’s Day Festival – The Changemakers: The Positive Disruptors  

2 years ago

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The final day of the Cargills International Women’s Day Festival – The Changemakers, a collaboration between Taru Villas and digital programme Kaleidoscope with Savithri Rodrigo, will feature the award-winning comedy duo Gehan Blok and Dino Corera in session two, while Apé Founder and COLLAB Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer (COO) Himali De Silva, GoodLife X Founder Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Hatch Works Director Randhula de Silva, and Good Market Managing Director (MD) and Co-Founder Achala Samaradiwakara will be in session one. Titled “The Positive Disruptors” and moderated by Kaleidoscope Host Savithri Rodrigo, the event will begin at 5 p.m. and conclude with aperitifs and canapes thereafter. Corera and Blok, the Founders of Blok & Dino Productions, who have both been very passionate about solving problems through creative communication, take on the discussion of how society perceives females in Sri Lanka and their inspiration to create content that makes for better, more informed communities.  The multiple award-winning duo who are renowned for their social messaging content have for long portrayed female roles as part of their repertoire and thus, gleaned a lesson or two which they will share at the discussion.  Three young women who have tangibly disrupted their spaces to create more enabling and empowering eco-systems will discuss their journeys thus far, the challenges they have faced, and continue to face, prompting mindset change and spurring entrepreneurial thinking. Randhula de Silva, who has been a catalyst in empowering start-ups and SMEs (small and medium enterprises) in sustainable sectors, has been at the forefront of disrupting natural value chains in order to build stronger and better brand portfolios.  Building programmes for women in business, peer-to-peer mentoring, open innovation, and innovation and entrepreneurship, Randhula’s advice to women is: “Don’t just talk about disrupting the status quo. Just do it. Don’t lock your ideas up by being fearful of people stealing them, (it’s always flattering when they do anyway). Say yes to firsts and just go ahead and do it. The power of resilience and getting things done is so mighty. We build the ability to see beyond the now and help design the future we want to be in.” Himali De Silva, who holds 15 years’ experience in projects across the UK, US, and Asia for large global brands, added: “When entrepreneurs identify a prevailing need, they must customise the business around it to positively disrupt the status quo. That’s what entrepreneurs do and that’s what we did with Apé and COLLAB.  We created solutions to address existing gaps in the market.” The multi-award winning Achala Samaradivakara brings her passion to achieve sustainable development, poverty reduction, and transformational change into the disruption equation. Inspired by people at Good Market who constantly find eco-system gaps and create solutions, she said: “Creating neighbourhood shops and making a circular economic system in every part of the country is one of our goals. Making organic and natural food more affordable and accessible is the next goal. Developing an enterprise that is financially sustainable and good for people and the planet is not easy. There are many obstacles and trade-offs. Instead of waiting for perfection, Good Market focuses on minimum standards and continuous improvement.” Founded on the theme for International Women’s Day 2021 “Women in Leadership: Achieving an equal future in a Covid-19 world”, this festival is a first of its kind featuring a galaxy of active changemakers, who, as thought leaders, have prompted and impacted change in disciplines, competencies, and careers.  Seating is limited, as stringent Covid-19 guidelines are being followed to create a safe environment for all participants while maintaining the intimate ambience Taru is renowned for.     Tickets are priced at Rs. 6,000 with aperitifs and canapes. For more information, call 0768 119 191.

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