AIESEC Sri Lanka, blog, Event

Reflecting on the impact of Project Coast 2.0

Taking a step back to October 21st, the day of Project Coast 2.0, feels like revisiting a crucial

chapter in our collective journey toward environmental responsibility. The second edition of

this impactful CSR event was put out together by AIESEC in NSBM in collaboration with

AIESEC in NIBM, drawing together a formidable force of over 100 dedicated delegates at the

serene Wellawatta Beach.


Project Coast 2.0 went beyond the boundaries of a typical beach cleanup project. It echoed

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 13 and 14- a firm promise to act on climate change

and the conservation of life below water. Amidst the disheartening scenes of human impact

on our beautiful coastline, which was gifted by Mother Nature, there emerged a hopeful

narrative of responsibility and the potential for positive change.

Project Coast 2.0

This day was etched with memorable memories, made even more significant by the

partnerships forged with Altrium, Center for Beach Cleanups, Clean Ocean Force, etc.

Witnessing the active involvement of our esteemed partners from Altrium in the event was

a heartening sight, reinforcing the importance of collaborative efforts in achieving our goals.

Moreover, Clean Ocean Force, who generously provided hand-made bracelets to all the

participants, added a touch of unity and environmental awareness to the event.


As the radiant sun painted the sky above the beautiful sea, delegates immersed themselves

in a unique experience filled with discovery and action. Project Coast 2.0 was an immersive

experience that left a lasting impact on each delegate. The air was filled with enthusiasm as

the volunteers, armed with gloves and trash bags, combed the coastline. The shared

laughter, the sense of accomplishment, and the new connections formed a tapestry of

memories. Delegates not only saw the positive change they were creating but also felt a

deep connection with the environment each other.


The active participation of the PR figure, Menasha Nanayakkara, added a distinct layer to

our cleanup efforts. Her presence, side by side with the volunteers, exemplified the

universality of our cause and emphasized the importance of diverse voices in championing

environmental stewardship.


As an Organizing Committee Vice President, I felt immense pride in witnessing the

enthusiasm of the youth volunteers. Their dedication mirrored the essence of AIESEC’s

mission; fostering change in youth and nurturing a generation mindful of its impact on the

environment. Through events like Project Coast 2.0, AIESEC has played a transformative role

in shaping the perspectives of its youth members. It was indeed a journey of awakening,

growth, and collective responsibility.

Project Coast 2.0

The culmination of the cleanup project brought forth a transformed coastline, once marred

by litter and negligence. Standing at the Organizing Committee closing, a sense of

accomplishment enveloped me. Achievement of a pristine beach strengthened bonds

with fellow nature lovers, and a shared commitment to sustaining a positive change.


In bidding farewell to Project Coast 2.0, we stand on the shores accomplishment, a

collective echo of positive change. As the waves of our efforts ripple through the clean

Project Coast 2.0

Coastline, let this be a reminder that, together, we can create a sea of transformation. Until

the next tide of change, let’s continue to nurture our shared commitment to safeguarding

our precious shores, fostering a brighter, cleaner future for all.


Sandavi Gunawardana

AIESEC in NSBMProject Coast 2.0

Read More →

AIESEC Sri Lanka, blog, Leadership

How to be an Inclusive Leader

Do you know what it’s like to be an Inclusive Leader? It means making sure that everyone in the team feels valued and respected, no matter where they come from, who they are, or what they’ve been through. Inclusive leaders are self-aware and take steps to minimize their biases. They also create a work environment where everyone can comfortably share their ideas and feedback regardless of their background, identity, or experiences.

Having inclusive leaders is super important for creating great teams and organizations. When everyone feels like they belong and are valued, they are more likely to be engaged and productive. Inclusive leaders also help make work a lot more positive, which leads to fewer people quitting and higher team member satisfaction. So, practising an inclusive leadership culture is really beneficial for any team and organization.

Here are some of the key qualities that make an inclusive leader. So, in order to be an inclusive leader, you need to have these characteristics and make them a part of your leadership style.

1. Self-awareness: An inclusive leader recognizes their own biases and figures out ways to minimize their impact. They understand how their words and actions can affect others.

2. Open to feedback: Inclusive leaders are willing to listen to their team members and their different perspectives and make changes as needed.

3. Cultural intelligence: Inclusive leaders can understand and adapt to different cultures. It involves respecting the values, beliefs, and customs of others.

4. Humility: This is essential for inclusive leadership. It means being willing to learn from others, admitting your mistakes, and taking constructive criticism.

5. Courage: Inclusive leaders have the courage and bravery to stand up for what is right and challenge the current conditions, even when it’s tough.

If you want to be an inclusive leader, you should also make a conscious effort to create a team environment where everyone feels valued and respected. Here are some additional tips to practice inclusive leadership within your team:

  • Use language that is welcoming to everyone. Avoid using anything that is biased or discriminatory. 
  • Pay attention to your body language. Make eye contact and try not to do anything that could be seen as offensive or discriminatory. 
  • Respect everyone’s time and space. Don’t interrupt people and make sure you’re giving them plenty of personal space. 
  • Keep an open mind about diversity and inclusion. There are tons of great resources out there to help you learn more about this really important topic.

The next time you are in a team meeting, remember to create an inclusive and supportive environment. By doing so, you will help your team to thrive. Actively listen to your team members, promote diversity, and lead by example. This will help you to create a positive and productive work environment that benefits everyone.


Written By,
Manthi Gamage
Head of Journaling – Brand

Read More →

AIESEC Sri Lanka, Leadership

Japanese approaches to purposeful leadership

In the world of leadership, where diverse philosophies and methodologies abound, Japanese culture offers a captivating tapestry of wisdom. Japan, a land known for its rich traditions and innovations, has gifted the world with 3 extraordinary concepts that can transform ordinary leaders into extraordinary ones. The 3 profound concepts are; Kaizen, Ikigai and Wabi-Sabi.



Kaizen, the Japanese concept meaning “continuous improvement” is all about finding small ways to make things better in your work or team, fostering collaboration and constantly learning & growing. By encouraging the team to share ideas and work together, the leader can make improvement in the team. By embracing Kaizen, leaders can achieve extraordinary results one step at a time.



Ikigai can help leaders by emphasizing the importance of finding the intersection between what they love, what they are good at, what the world needs and what they can be rewarded for. When leaders align with their work with ikigai, they are more likely to find purpose and satisfaction in their roles as leaders. This sense of purpose can drive them to lead with greater enthusiasm and effectiveness, inspiring their teams and achieving more meaningful results in their leadership roles.



Wabi-Sabi is recognizing that perfection is not always necessary, and that there is beauty in the unique flaws of people and processes. It encourages leaders to find contentment in the present moment so that they can create a more accepting and compassionate work environment, where authenticity and the journey of growth are valued over unrealistic standards of perfection.


From ikigai’s quest for purpose to Kaizen’s pursuit of continuous improvement and from the simplicity of Wabi-Sabi, each Japanese concept can help leaders to build a workplace culture that values growth, authenticity and purpose. Blending the leadership style with these values insights can elevate ordinary leadership to extraordinary, creating a path that not only achieve success but also enrich the journey itself.


Sandavi Gunawardana


Read More →

AIESEC Sri Lanka, Leadership

Bravery Beyond Bullets Hacksaw Ridge’s Quiet Hero

Imagine you are enlisted to a mission that was thought to be a definite death sentence. The battlefield is right above you, a flat land on a steep, jagged cliff drenched in soldiers’ blood. All you hear are the constant barrage of artillery fire and desperate cries of wounded comrades.

Desmond Doss was enlisted in the Army as a Combat Medic to fight during World War II. He had to walk into the Battle of Okinawa, a battle between the US and Japan in April 1945 at the battlefield of Maeda Escarpment, also nicknamed as Hacksaw Ridge. He was the only unarmed soldier who entered an area surrounded by deadly machine guns and landmines. His philosophy was not to kill or handle a rifle. This has been caused by the aftermath of a fight where he nearly killed his brother as a child. But he reasoned he could serve his country by saving lives as an unarmed medic.

A weapon is carried to protect oneself as well as to protect the other comrades. Despite facing pressure from his commanding officers, enduring physical and mental abuse from fellow soldiers, and even when confronted with the imminent danger of enemy fire, Doss remained unwavering in his pacifist beliefs. His refusal to carry a weapon led to him being labelled as a madman, subjected to psychiatric evaluations, and ultimately granted permission by a court to continue training with his unit without arms.

Private Doss continues to enter the Okinawa Battle, one of the deadliest battles in history but is won by Doss’s steadfast bravery. He saved at least 75 US soldiers by carrying them on his back in the midst of the battle by hiding them from Japanese patrols. Perhaps one of the most remarkable feats of his heroism was when he lowered them down from a 400-foot cliff using nothing but ropes and his bare hands for safety. He willingly stayed on the ridge exposing himself to imminent danger, to rescue more wounded and severely injured comrades. Private Doss carried his faith in himself into the battlefield.

  • Believe what is true to you

Private Doss reflects the idea of a moral courage driven leader. Despite facing discrimination and threats, he stood up for what is right. The right way is always difficult or unpopular. Private Doss was brave enough to step out of his comfort zone and make a powerful contribution to his team as well as his nation.

  • Be adaptable 

The way Doss got adapted to harsh combat environments without compromising his principles is an excellent inspiration for us to learn to adapt and embrace challenging missions while staying true to our values.

Desmond Doss’s action of bravery went beyond the call of duty by replacing his label to a Battlefield Hero. For the audience, his unyielding courage and self-trust shone as a beacon of hope in the darkest times. Doss did not see him as a Hero. He was a common man but embraced a unique moral code that set him apart from the crowd. He stood up for his beliefs and stayed true to them even in the most challenging circumstances. Desmond Doss’s story continues to inspire generation to generation not only for his act of heroism but also for the leadership and bravery he showed us by staying true to his values in the most judgemental situations.

Remind yourself to Lead with noble and unwavering values. 

Sarah Perera

Content Writer – Brand



Read More →

AIESEC Sri Lanka, Event, Youth

Sound Up 2.0 rewind! A night of music, togetherness, and endless fun

Reflecting on the memorable evening of July 15, 2023, it’s impossible not to be happy when thinking about Sound Up 2.0. Hosted by AIESEC in NSBM, this musical extravaganza was not just a concert; it was a spectacular journey through the incredible talents of our youth, a unity-building experience, and a night filled with fun and music that will be etched in my memory forever.


Sound Up 2.0 was more than just an event; it was a haven where people from all walks of life could come together and forget their worries for a while. In the midst of challenging times, this event served as the perfect getaway to release our tensions and immerse ourselves in the magic of music.

The evening commenced at 4:00 p.m. at the Trace Expert City Colombo, where the atmosphere was charged with excitement. With over 300 delegates in attendance, it was clear that Sound Up 2.0 had struck a chord with the young and the young-at-heart.


What truly made this evening extraordinary were the exceptional performances by some of the most talented young and upcoming artists and performers. Each act was a testament to the incredible potential of youth in our society. From the soulful melodies of Sanuli Perera to the high-energy performance by the ETERNITY band, every moment was a treat for the senses.


The guest artists; Sanuli, Perera, Amila Sahan, Radhini Mendis, Shehan Kaushalya, Andrew Sebastian, Sonel Silva, Poornima Lakshani, Hashen Dulanjana, Shaveen Umendra, and the performers Heshini Hettiarachchi and Leftovers, left the audience in awe with their incredible talent and passion for music. It was heartwarming to see such a variety of performers come together under one roof to keep everyone entertained.

But the magic of Sound Up 2.0 didn’t stop at the performances. The Organizing Committee deserves applause of its own for putting together such an incredible event with meticulous attention to detail. From the stage setup to the lighting, every aspect was carefully crafted to create a mesmerizing atmosphere that perfectly complemented the music.


What stood out the most was the inclusivity and unity fostered by Sound Up 2.0. It was a platform that embraced diversity and celebrated the power of young voices. In this inclusive environment, there were no bounds to the potential of our youth, and it was evident in the electric energy that filled the venue.


As I left Sound Up 2.0 that evening, my heart was full of joy, my spirit was lifted, and my appreciation for the talents of our youth and the dedication of the Organizing Committee knew no bounds. Kudos to the Organizing Committee of Sound Up 2.0 for creating an event that not only entertained but also inspired and united us all. 


I also want to express our heartfelt gratitude to our partners who played a significant role in making Sound Up 2.0 a resounding success. A big thank you to Nestle, Hayleys Aventura, Janatha Steel, Taco Bell, Ceylon Today and all our other sponsors for their support and contribution to this incredible event.

Special mention goes to the ETERNITY band, whose electrifying beats 

added an extra layer of excitement to the evening. Their energy was contagious, and they truly set the stage on fire, keeping the audience captivated throughout the night. A big thank you once again for amplifying the evening!


Last but not least, a shout out to our compere, Kavini Perera, who did an amazing job keeping the audience engaged and the energy high. Kavini’s charm and enthusiasm added to the overall experience of Sound Up 2.0, making it even more memorable.


It was, without a doubt, a lovely evening filled with amazing performances and unforgettable memories. Sound Up 2.0, you will be cherished in our hearts for years to come!

By Shavinka Jayamaha

Sound Up

Read More →