AIESEC Sri Lanka, Leadership, Lifestyle, Programs, Travel

Priceless Experiences create unforgettable memories | Volunteer Experience of Sudeera in Poland

Usually, I’m not a person who would adhere to philosophical sayings. But, one of my experiences made me believe. “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page”. Here comes the life-changing experience I got as a volunteer through AIESEC in University of Kelaniya.

I’m Sudheera Fernando, the Former local committee vice president for marketing for the term 21.22. I’m well known for my daring nature. And I do not take things much personally. Accordingly, My character has allowed me more space to enjoy my life. As a result, I make the full out of the situations that come across me. Thus, this volunteer program was solely based on travelling under the Sustainable Development Goal 08, Decent Work and Economic growth.

Sudeera in poland

A long-awaited moment to place in Poland

Indeed, I would say I was very excited before the commencement of my journey. But from the beginning, I knew this would be very challenging. Above all, this is an experience in a completely different social and geographical setting. I began my adventure from Krakow in Poland. It is a Southern Poland city near the border of the Czech Republic. Also, it is a well-preserved medieval core and Jewish quarter. It was an ancient city among the tourist destinations Wawel Royal Castle, Basilica of St Francis, Collegium Maius, Kazimierz, St. Mary’s Basilica, and Wieliczka Salt Mine.

Most importantly, it is the second-largest city in Poland. Indeed, I would say it is really happening. As I was engaging with some locals, I met a fantastic kid. And his passion was trekking. And to specify, the youngsters in Krakow, including the whole of Poland, were good at football. With that country as inspiration, we taught them cricket, the major highlight of Sri Lankan sports and most popular in Sri Lanka. Also my favourite.

I have to say this journey to spend six weeks in a foreign land was initially challenging. But the presence of my best friend Malaka made it bearable and memorable. And he, too, joined this experience. Two of us wanted to travel as much as we could and gain a lot of experience.

During the second week of the exchange, we went to Budapest. It is the capital of Hungary. The name “Budapest” itself comes with the geographical aspect. I was lucky enough to visit it and get an idea of the fantastic diversity in different countries. The river Danube divides this city, Budapest. The Chain Bridge built during the 19th century connects the hill area called Buda with the flat land called Pest. Thus, this city is collectively known as Budapest.

It’s a blessing to have an even-minded friend.

It’s a blessing to have an even-minded friend.

Moreover, Budapest is well known for its adventurous activities. So, you may see along the roads there are places made for axe tossing, and people are gathered around it. And Buda Castle, the Hungarian parliamentary building, Margaret Island, Dohany Street Synagogue, Gellert Hill, and St. Stephens’s Basilica are some of the many attractions.

After spending a few days in Hungary with some other friends, we headed towards Vienna, the capital of Austria. It is situated on the other part of the river Danube. Most probably, as we got to know, Austria is a land of intellectuals. Mozart, Beethoven and Sigmund Freud are residents of Austria. The Vienna architecture was outstanding as they had enormous castles with minute inscriptions. And glass played a significant part in construction materials.

It’s never impossible to have fun in the rain.

It’s never impossible to have fun in the rain.

In the coming week, we returned to Klodzko, another city in the southwestern region of Poland. It was situated in the valley of the Eastern Neisse River of Lower Silesia. Since those days were rainy and gloomy, I would hardly name them as good. Yet, we enjoyed our best. Above all, I met many new people during these journeys and made good friendships. Among them, Joanna and Anita were unforgettable characters. And they made my trips more lovely and amusing.

 

My next destination was my dream city Amsterdam. It is the capital of the Netherlands. It is more or less an artistic heritage, with an elaborate canal system and narrow houses. Getting a chance to visit the Netherlands was one of my dreams come true. It was a chance to tick off one of my bucket lists. As a person who loves travelling, I won’t ever forget the event I got to wander through these magnificent cities in the heart of Europe.

And then to the dream city Amsterdam. Yeah, you all know that it is all about fun when it comes to Amsterdam. As a person who loves travelling, I got the opportunity to wander through beautiful cities in the heart of Europe.

In conclusion, don’t wait. Just join AIESEC in the University of Kelaniya. Drag the opportunity and explore the world.

 

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Event, Programs

YouCon 3.0 – Awaken the Youtuber in you

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YouCon 3.0 – The Biggest International YouTubing and Content Creation Conference in Sri Lanka came to a successful conclusion!

YouCon 3.0 was an international YouTubing and Content creation conference which was organized by AIESEC in University of Sri Jayewardenepura for the third successive time. It was launched in December 2021 with international coverage and with the participation of pioneers in the YouTubing industry worldwide.

AIESEC, which is the world’s largest youth-led organization, engages in giving opportunities to the youth by facilitating them in cross-cultural internships and volunteering exchanges with the prime objective of developing young leaders. Being one of the most outstanding Local Committees in Sri Lanka, AIESEC in University of Sri Jayewardenepura was able to triumphantly pull off YouCon 3.0 by setting a new benchmark for all other upcoming initiatives.

This International Conference was organized with the aim of creating a knowledge-sharing platform for aspiring local and international YouTubers who wish to discover new arenas in YouTubing and gain new perspectives to create desirable and quality content on YouTube.While mutually aligning with SDG 08; Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform, the conference was held for four consecutive days from 2nd to 5th of December with the participation of many enthusiastic individuals from across the globe.

YouCon delivered 10 insightful sessions that covered all the ins and outs of content creation for those who dream of climbing up the ladder in YouTubing to become successful content creators in the future. The topics discussed in the conference included How to kickstart a YouTube channel for travel vlogging, Legal and monetization aspects of YouTubing, and Personal branding through YouTube as well.

In contrast to YouCon 2.0 which was a fully virtual conference, this year’s YouCon 3.0 managed to move out from the fully virtual domain of conferences to be a hybrid conference that was live-streamed via Facebook and YouTube while giving the amazing opportunity for the delegates to physically attend the sessions on the 5th of December which took place at Trace Expert City Colombo in a grand scale. The conference was graced with the presence of famous YouTube personalities including Maniya, Kaali, Kumalinda, Dinuka Wijesinghe, Ananda Priyadarshana from PCguide.lk, Soome, Manuranga and many more. 

The concluding session of YouCon 3.0 was fired up with incredible musical performances from young artists Midori Karunarathne, Siyum Sandeep, Dineth Wijesooriya, Shemil Clinson, Hesara Bandara, and Chalana Perera.  

Adding to that list of notable personalities, the local speakers who appeared throughout the first three days of the conference included Janeeth Rodrigo, Kamaj Silva, Sajeewa Dissanayake, Tharindu Vishwanath, Pasindu Jayasinghe from SL Geek, and international YouTubers, Rohan Chaubey and Priyanka Tiwari from India, TechSathi from Nepal, Dave Farina from The United States and many more.

 

The artists who lightened up the YouCon Studio virtual music fest included, Janith Iddamalgoda, Harshadewa Ariyasinghe, and multiple other crowd favorites.

YouCon 3.0 also managed to leap forward from the previous chapters of the YouCon history book and set records with 35+ AIESEC International Partnerships and delegates from more than 45 countries covering all 5 continents. Also, the conference was broadcasted on exceeding 70 local and international Facebook pages with the biggest delegate registrations for the 2021 AIESEC calendar year.

The event would not have turned out to be on a grand scale if not for the benevolent partners of YouCon 3.0, ‘Singer Sri Lanka’ as the Strategic Partner, ‘Closeup’ as the Diamond Partner, ‘Bizmo’ and ‘Tuti’ as the Gold Partner, ‘Nanaska’ and ‘CIMA’ Sri Lanka as Silver Partners, ‘Click to Mart’ as the Youth Partner, ‘Imperial College’ and ‘Eduko Pathways’ as Deluxe Partners followed by the generous In-Kind, health care, banner, food, and gift partners. Furthermore, ShoutOUT labs provided their collaboration throughout the conference as the SMS Gateway Partner and the event was live-streamed with the support of Eclipse Motion as the Livestreaming Partner of YouCon 3.0. 

YouCon is an initiative that has the power to make a huge impact on the Youth and that influence was clearly visible through the feedback from the delegates and by how enthusiastic they were to actively participate in the conference. The number of delegates of the event was remarkable as it represented one of the great success stories that AIESEC in Sri Lanka has ever achieved in terms of the reach for a worldwide audience.  

 

Looking at the massive impact it has created, it is crystal clear that YouCon 3.0 has set an international benchmark which can only be shaken by its next successive phase, YouCon 4.0! Without a doubt, the next chapters of YouCon will also continue to inspire and uplift youth to be aspiring content creators one day. AIESEC in USJ was able to set a benchmark for all events in AIESEC Sri Lanka by executing The Dream YouCon that we all have been waiting for by proving the statement, “if you can dream it, you can achieve it”. 

 Await the next chapters of YouCon to awaken the YouTuber in you!

By Dulni Wedage

Organising Committee Vice Presdient – Delegates

YouCon 3.0 – AIESEC in USJ

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Event, Programs

Creative Circuit 2.0 – Where passion meets creativity

Creative Circuit 2.0 was a brand-new initiative by AIESEC in University of Sri Jayewardenepura, which was a re-iteration of the Creative Circuit, which happened in April 2021, only this time, the target was not just the members of AIESEC in USJ but the whole community of designers, artists, and enthusiasts who are passionate about the Creative Industry in Sri Lanka.

Creative Circuit 2.0 was a four-day event organized to pave the way for the betterment of the Creative Industry in Sri Lanka, driven by the vision of fostering new talent and innovative thinking in young individuals to bring about a positive change in the creative industry. Youth were given an opportunity to witness the collective effort and dedication of key personnel behind impactful projects and to learn from their experience. The event covered many facets of the creative industry, including the film industry, music industry, game development, graphic designing, video production, and many more.  

The highly anticipated event unfolded on the 29th of October at the Technology Faculty, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, marking the first physical event of the Local Committee for the term 21/22. The first session was an introductory session by the Organizing Committee of Creative Circuit 2.0. This was followed by a session conducted by Ms. Minoli Jayasinghe on the behind-the-scenes process of the reality TV program ‘The Voice Sri Lanka.’ She covered the in’s and out’s of the entire process behind one of the biggest franchise TV programs in the world. Mr.Pasan Liyanage then joined virtually to share his knowledge and insights on music production. He did not forget to share his experiences of working in the industry as well. Ms. Chanithi Gunasekara of KL.LK delivered her session on the theme ‘Storytelling in Advertising’, where she covered different aspects of storytelling and their significance.

The most awaited session of the physical day, ‘The Pinnacle of Sri Lankan Film Industry,’ a panel discussion with the minds behind one of the most budgeted movies of Sri Lankan, Aloko Udapadi, was held next. The Director Mr. Chathra Weeramen, the co-Director Mr. Bharatha Hettiarachchi, the Colourist Mr. Dinidu Jagoda, the Costume Designer Mr. Kumara Karawdeniya, and the Art Director Mr. Sunil Wijeratne were in attendance while Mr. Mishel Shiromal hosted the discussion. The film crew shared their experiences in making Aloko Udapadi and shared their knowledge with the audience. 

The fourth and final session of the inaugural day was a virtual session on the Game Development Industry of Sri Lanka, which Dr. Kasuna Karunasena hosted while the developers of the first multiplayer game of Sri Lanka, RAM Studios, joined in for the first part of the session. The second part of the session was joined by Mr. Akira Wijekoon, who shared his insights on commercializing video games.

The second day of the event commenced with a discussion with Internationa Special Effects Makeup Artist, Ms. Morgan Muta, where she shared her insights and experiences on the art of special effects make-up. This session was hosted by Mr. Akash Sunethkumar of Junkyard. This indeed was an interesting session for the viewers as Ms. Morgan was a special effects technician of famous titles such as X-Men Origins and many other Hollywood films. Mr. Etienne Beschet joined next for an informative session on the new trends in the Creative Industry, where he shared some of his personal work with the viewers.

The famous cinematographer Mr. Adam Suchitzky was the third speaker for the day, who joined and shared his experiences and insights on the process of Cinematography. Our very own Local Committee Vice President of Incoming Global Talent, Ms. Theshani Weligamage, hosted the session.

The final session for the second day was again hosted by Mr. Akash Sunethkumar on the theme of Intricacy of Costume Designing. Emmy-award-winning Costume Designer Ms. Ellen Mirojnick was the sole speaker for this session, where she shared her experiences in the industry, including her work in the famous Hollywood production, ‘The Greatest Showman.’

Mr. Phil Tan, a 3-time grammy-award winning Music and Audio Engineer joined the Creative Circuit on its’ third day to share his insights on the International Music Industry. This session caught the eye of many viewers as Phil was the mixing and audio engineer for many titles of famous artists including Rihanna, Anne Marie, Mariah Carey, and Coldplay. Ms. Theshani Weligamage hosted this session as well. 

This session was followed by a discussion with Mr. Jon Sorenntino, who is a Designer and an Art Director, who shared his insights on the new trends of UI/UX Design. The session was hosted by the Organizing Committee President of Creative Circuit, Mr. Upeka Fernando.

The final session for the third day was called ‘Reimagining Beauty’, which was hosted by Organizing Committee Vice President for Public Relations, Ms. Dehami Pathirana. An Award-winning make-up artist, who worked in famous movies like The Hunger Games, Immortals, and Pirates of the Caribbean, Ms. Nikoletta Skarlatos, joined and shared her knowledge and insights.

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The fourth and final day of Creative Circuit comprised of three hands-on sessions on different creative tools. Mr. Pasindu Kaushalya covered some fundamentals of Video Editing with Da Vinci Resolve while Mr. Isuru Hathurusinghe shared his knowledge on illustrating using Adobe Photoshop. Mr. Chase D joined next to share his insights and knowledge on Video Game live streaming. The event finale was a panel discussion with much esteemed personnel of the Creative Industry in Sri Lanka. Mr. Randy Chriz and Ms. Portia Ratnayake, the co-Founders of Meraki United, joined the session along with Mr. Yasith Abeynayake, Director of Design Operations in Cambio Group, Dr. Amri Adheeb, Managing Director of Sound Vision Entertainment, Mr. Yasith Sirisena, CEO of Prodigi Interactive and Mr. Santosh Menon, Chairman of KL.LK. The discussion was moderated by Ms. Theshani Weligamage. The panel shared their ideas on how the Creative Industry is at present and how Sri Lanka can reach the world stage in terms of the Creative Industry.

Creative Circuit 2.0 was successful largely due to the support of many individuals, including the Event Partners who gracefully and generously supported the event from day one itself. ‘KL.LK’ as the Title Partner, ‘Upfield Sri Lanka’ and ‘Kalana Engineering, Deluxe partners, ‘Flomo Notio’ and ‘Whiskey Tribe’ as Banner partners, and all other partners were instrumental in the success of the event. The hard work of the Organizing Committee and the support of the Event Managers and the Executive Board of AIESEC in USJ were all a part of the event’s success.

By Upeka Fernando

Organizing Committe President

Creative Circuit 2.0 – AIESEC in USJ

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Leadership, Programs

Steps towards a zero-emission sustainable world as future leaders

The phrase “net-zero emission” is currently one of the most prevalent globally. But what exactly is net-zero? Net-zero is an idea that was coined by scientists in order to envision an effective and feasible future where emissions are reduced so much that they are offset by natural processes. With the rise of global warming, the necessity of combating climate change has become something that we must focus on as a world, and the path to choose to successfully stimulate that activism is “net-zero”.

The term “net zero-emission sustainable world” has been defined as a future where the production of greenhouse gas is eliminated or balanced by removals so that no additional emissions can be put into the atmosphere. So, a world with zero emissions will decrease our dependence on fossil fuels and eventually reduce the risk of global warming impacting our planet.

In order to achieve this zero-emission goal, we first have to work towards achieving a more sustainable mode of life for all citizens on Earth. As a pioneer in that process, all world leaders must work together to lead and boost their fellow citizens. Thus there are a number of actions that can be taken by leaders on how to navigate the net-zero target setting process and commit to meaningful emissions reduction goals and the main outstanding actions are as follows.

To reach the net-zero concept by reducing emissions, we must first have a good awareness of it and understand how the actions of an individual affect this process. Here, leaders can educate their people and give them a proper understanding of the emission and the concept of the net-zero sustainable world.

After educating the public on the concept of zero emissions, setting challenging net-zero goals from time to time is essential to achieving a sustainable world with zero emissions. Every individual needs a great commitment globally when it comes to emissions. As leaders, publishing a detailed plan that explains how you will get there is also a key element. It can be seen that many organizations around the world have already set goals in this regard. For example, “Saudi Aramco” is one such organization that is predicted to be the only oil company to increase its oil and gas production by 2030, compared to the 2021 level under a zero-emission situation. Therefore, developing and releasing a clear roadmap for each component of your emissions, complete with interim goals, will allow you to track and communicate your progress.

In both cases mentioned above, leaders must be pioneers. The process of creating and sustaining corporate acquisitions can be seen as another such necessity for leaders to be more proactive. That is, decarbonization is a long process that requires the purchase and support of many people over many years. Decarbonization necessitates big operational changes throughout any organization and the leadership must be on board from the beginning. If this concept is socialized properly with great leadership, the investment and resources for the sustainable decarbonized organization will be a common understanding throughout the world.

Reducing emissions that are directly related to an organization is relatively easy. There is another aspect to consider and that is the emission which is in “Scope 3”. Because of that, frequent engagement with outside parties and employees is a must when meeting the emissions in scope 3. These scope 3 mean the emissions which are not under the company’s direct operational control. The Scope 3 emissions can be reduced by taking strategies such as reducing business travel, reducing the waste generated by organizations, and increasing working with local transport modes rather than using private transportation. Additionally, engaging directly with suppliers to decarbonize acquired commodities such as IT hardware, telephone, and other business services also will help to reduce the scope 3 emissions. Because your suppliers are likely to contribute the majority of your value chain’s emissions, they must be a vital element of your reduction strategy.

After all these actions, customers also can play an important role in the journey to net-zero emission. In addition to your journey as an organization to reduce emissions, you can play an equally important role in helping customers reduce their own GHG usage with the help of technological solutions and expertise.

Organizations all across the world are striving to achieve net-zero emissions, and your expertise in establishing and implementing a net-zero commitment is useful and important. Customers will appreciate it if you share it with them. It’s critical that more businesses join the net-zero movement, and sharing your story with customers makes their own journey more interesting.

In almost every case mentioned above, the role of all as leaders is comprehensible. As an AIESECer you can also be a pioneer here. How is that? The answer is simple! As a global messenger, you can volunteer to take the message to the world. But before you take any action, you need to educate yourself first in every aspect relating to the concepts of a “zero-emission sustainable world”. Through volunteering, you can support this process by promoting solutions and educating others.

The world has already started to see the need to change. With greenhouse gasses in mind, policymakers around the world have been looking for ways to promote the reduction in carbon emissions as well as increase the efficiency of various products and services. So, as AIESECers, let’s do our part to help the world. Make Your Change is Now.

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AIESEC Sri Lanka, National News, Programs

Introducing our new program Heading for the Future

Did you know that according to International Labor Organization, youth represents 25% of the total employed population around the world? However, when it comes to the job market, 1 in 5 young people who are not in employment or training experience face barriers of finding passionate job opportunities. For many youth, it isn’t easy to find the perfect job that fits both their capabilities and passion.

AIESEC is a youth organization that constantly innovates leadership development experiences and engage with AIESEC initiatives while equipping youth with experience and skills to make them future-proof. Heading For The Future (H4TF) is our newest program offering youth the opportunity to prepare themselves for the future of work. 

H4TF is a simulated virtual working experience for young people who seek to discover their career path and build their local and international network. For four weeks, participants will be able to work with a partner company in a field of their choice while upskilling themselves and broadening their network. For Companies, H4TF is an opportunity to seek, train and hire potential youth while improving employer branding and brand visibility through platforms.

 

Our simulated virtual work experiences so far

Lead Program by AIESEC Sri Lanka was a Virtual Professional skills & Leadership development program conducted to improve the industry readiness of students who had completed their academics and were expecting to enter the industry. 

Similar to Heading for the Future, the program was a simulated virtual work experience for youth seeking to test their fields of choice and boost their career prospects. Over 60 participants from universities all over Sri Lanka were able to gain work experience through a  6-week-long internship opportunity in a field of their choice with one of the 20+ partner companies onboarded. 

Here are their stories:  

“On May 28th, 2021, I applied for the LEAD program initiated by AIESEC in Sri Lanka. First, I applied out of curiosity, but later I learned through the Coordinators from AIESEC in University of Sri Jayewardenepura that it’s more than just an opportunity. This virtual internship allowed me to interact with an amazing team of undergraduates who also seek to improve their skills and professionalism during this pandemic situation. I really enjoyed the flexibility of the internship and the understanding from my supervisor. It made me feel like I could learn more about this industry in this short period. 

During my internship, I was assigned to a team of KL.LK with one of my fellow interns to work on a renowned brand. Our task was to conduct market research from their selected group of competitors and also conduct virtual interviews from selected criteria. These tasks were challenging and also exciting. Also, it allowed me to improve my communication skills and interpersonal skills. My greatest challenges were time management and communication. Working remotely is definitely different, but it will become the new normal. Therefore this allowed me to have an understanding of how working from home looks like for many professionals. This was a great opportunity to gain work experience and gain connections anywhere from the comfort of your own home. This allowed me to develop a number of transferable skills in the business area I was previously not interested in. The LEAD internship program has motivated me to be more creative, and it enabled me to see this industry from a new angle.

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