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

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AIESEC Sri Lanka, blog, Leadership, Lifestyle, Membership, MentalHealth, Youth

All this chaos: how to not make it yours?

All this chaos: how to not make it yours?

No matter what or where your priorities in life lay, you will come to a time where you must turn with the winds than resist it. The fast paced business world is closing in on us and consumerism is at its peak; with this capitalism will revolve around you. A situation of absolute whirlwind of chaos with deadlines, mental demands, midnight business call links, constant travels to places you’d dread that make you snuck out your soft bed in the morning and make you late for dinner! Yet as apophatic philosophy tells you, it’s via negativa to reach the ends of peace. 

Let me take Lord of the Rings to elaborate.  Frodo and his fellow hobbits take the road through the old forest to evade the pursuit of Black Riders. They are nearly killed by the angry tree called Old Man Willow, but are saved at the last moment by Tom Bombadil. The forest is known for its dangers but its crossing is essential for its journey. Similarly in medieval times, the heroic journey comprised of horrors and impending doom constantly shadow king over them, but nevertheless, there was the journey. 

Now what’s different in the contemporary context is that instead of the vivid lush greens of the Middle Earth, there is AC, bland wall colours along with far less styled and might I add, quite uneventful use of language. Yet circumstances remain the same. The situations around you may not align with your set of values and faith, but in rebellion and immersion, you are given the space to question and living in the cognitive dissonance of it all. Cognitive dissonance as widely defined on the WWW refers to the state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes, especially as relating to behavioral decisions and attitude change. But in simpler words, it is the discord you feel when your thoughts and that of the world around you does not align. Humans are naturally conformist, hence, they will always try to work their way into belonging. Recently through a series of decisions, I caved into a decision that didn’t seem mine at all. Instead it was a series of why’s that followed it instead of a pat on my back. Yet it is here I try to justify that anger may not be a bad thing. It reestablishes one’s purpose in things. My values were challenged and through my anger, I was able to build them back with greater strongholds defending them. Even beyond the capitalist ventures of the corporate lands, you find such discord in far more important places such as religious institutions, primary and secondary education providers, the very core of state governance and so on. The value of via negativa is then a smart mindset to adapt. It is far more embedded in learning of controlling the controllable (i.e. your mind) than controlling the uncontrollable forces (i.e. the external world). In strengthening your mind to exist without internalizing the situations around you, you are naturally pushed to a realm where you are unswayed by the chaos. This reiterates the phrase- journey over destination. 

In all essence, thereby, one must aspire to be a leader of oneself where the eye of the hurricane is embodied, where amidst the chaos, you stand still in peace. 

Thisandi Weerasinghe

AIESEC in University of Peradeniya

Does AIESEC truly transform personalities as it promises?

What Do You Do When the Chaos of Life Surrounds You?


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AIESEC Sri Lanka, blog, Event, Leadership, Lifestyle, Membership, Partnerships, Youth

A like-minded organization in creating value driven leaders

A like-minded organization in creating value driven leaders

“Before you’re a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” – Jack Welch.

LDS 4.0, – Leadership Development Seminar organized by AIESEC in University of Peradeniya, was held on October 28 and 29, 2023, in Oruthota Chalets hotel. The above-stated quote was magnificently showcased and demonstrated at the event, ensuring delegates had full exposure to the notions of leadership and personal development. What added a new color to the conference was the title partnership that AIESEC in University of Peradeniya had with the Thilakawardhana Group of Companies. It was such an honour to keep the bond bolstered for the conference as it assisted AIESEC in University of Peradeniya to deliver an elegant yet productive and fruitful conference in AIESEC history. The partnership patronage they bestowed on the event was immense.

It was not all about assisting to deliver the best conference experience in terms of partnerships. It was about educating young, energetic, and budding leaders to aspire to greater heights. Mr. Ravindu Thilakawardhana, representing Thilakawardhana Group of Companies, conducted a wondrous session inclusive of enhancing critical thinking skills, prowess in decision-making, team handling, etc. The session was interactive and didactic because it inserted a novel and thought-provoking perspective into Kandy AIESEC membership. Specifically, there was an eye-opening session, or rather, a Q&A segment, which was based on practical scenarios, issues, and predicaments a team goes through. As the session progressed in a more engaging and interactive manner, new ideas and innovative solutions to the given pragmatic questions were explored. Indeed, the membership of Kandy AIESEC was motivated and inspired by the phenomenal leadership session that Thilakawardhana Group of Companies delivered.

It is with utmost courtesy that AIESEC in University of Peradeniya conveys profound gratitude to Thilakawardhana Group of Companies, not only for being the title partner for Leadership Development Seminar 4.0 but also for being the harbinger of youth empowerment for the membership of Kandy AIESEC under the limelight.

Gimshan Wickramasinghe

AIESEC in University of Peradeniya



The Power of Intention: Shaping Your Life with an Unseen Force


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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

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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


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