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Organizing Committee
Key Note Speakers
Venue:- Le Meridien Kochi, India
Official Conference Manager
Honorary Chair:- Professor M.S. Swaminathan 
Prof. M.S. Swaminathan has been described by the United Nations Environment Programme as 'the father of Economic Ecology' and by Javier Perez de Cuellar, Secretary General of the United Nations, as 'a living legend who will go into the annals of history as a world scientist of rare distinction'. He was Chairman of the UN Science Advisory Committee set up in 1980 .
keynote Speakers

Professor Emeritus Tan Sri Anuwar Ali, Key Note on Community Development 
Professor Emeritus Tan Sri Anuwar Ali, an economist and exponent of higher education, is the second Vice-Chancellor and President of the Open University, Malaysia. His vast experience in the field of higher education spans more than 30 years with a humble beginning as a tutor in the Faculty of Economics and Business at the University of Kebangsaan, Malaysia (UKM) in 1973. From then on, with perseverance and dedication, he rose in rank to become the Dean of Economics in 1993 and ultimately the Vice-Chancellor of UKM on 1 May 1998. In addition to this, he was the Director of Higher Education at the Ministry of Education (1995-1998) and Chairman of the Malaysian Examination Council (2001-2003).

Hon Steve Maharey, Key Note Speaker on Formal Education
Steve Maharey is the Vice-Chancellor of Massey University, New Zealand. Prior to this, he was the fourth-ranked Minister in Government for nine years, holding the positions of Minister of Education; Minister Responsible for the Education Review Office and the New Zealand Qualifications Authority; Minister of Research, Science and Technology; Minister Responsible for Crown Research Institutes; Minister of Broadcasting; Minister Responsible for Television, New Zealand; Chair of the Cabinet Social Development Committee and Member of Parliament for Palmerston North from 1990 until 2008.
Dr. Caroline Seelig (Skills Development keynote), Chief Executive, The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand
Dr Caroline Seelig is the Chief Executive of the New Zealand based Open Polytechnic, a specialist provider of vocationally orientated open and distance learning.
She has extensive knowledge of the technical vocational education and training sector,  and has led or been involved in a wide range of successful collaborative initiatives within New Zealand that have helped drive change and innovation in the tertiary education sector.
A Woolf Fisher Scholar in 2004, Caroline is a member of the Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics Quality Board and also an honorary advisor to the Commonwealth of Learning.
Ms. Chetna Gala Sinha (Social Justice keynote), founder Founder/Chair, Mann Deshi Foundation (Mann Deshi Business School), Maharashtra, India
An economist, farmer, and activist, Chetna Sinha works for social change in some of the poorest and most drought-stricken areas of rural India. She is the founder and the current president of the Mann Deshi Mahila Sahakari Ltd. (the Bank), a micro-enterprise development bank. One hundred percent of Mann Deshi’s clients are poor women with incomes averaging INR 40 (USD 1) per day. The Bank currently has five branches, has over 127,000 clients, and conducts 2,400 transactions on a daily basis.
Sir John Daniel, President & CEO of The Commonwealth of Learning
Sir John Daniel became President of COL in 2004 after gaining wide international experience in universities and the United Nations system. He obtained his full-time university education in Metallurgy at Oxford and Paris and later demonstrated his commitment to lifelong learning by taking 25 years to complete a part-time Master's degree in Educational Technology at Concordia University. However, the internship for that programme, which took him to the UK Open University in 1972, was a life-changing experience. He saw the future of higher education and wanted to be part of it.
The Honourable Dr. Shashi Tharoor, Member of the Indian Parliament, social rights advocate and author, former United Nations Under-Secretary General for Communications and Public Information and a former Indian Minister of State for External Affairs
Author, peace-keeper, refugee worker, human rights activist, a former Minister of State for External Affairs and now a member of the Indian Parliament from the Thiruvananthapuram constituency in Kerala, Shashi Tharoor straddles several worlds of experience.
His UN career began in 1978, when he joined the staff of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Geneva, and included key responsibilities in peace-keeping after the Cold War and as a senior adviser to the Secretary-General, as well as the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information. Dr Tharoor left the UN on 31 March 2007.
Professor Asha Kanwar, Vice President, Commonwealth of Learning
Professor Asha Singh Kanwar became Vice President of the Commonwealth of Learning on 1 April 2006 and assumed additional responsibility as Programme Director in April 2007. She is specifically responsible for stakeholder engagement and programme direction.
Ms Sherrill Whittingtom

Master of Letters in Asian History, University of New England, Master of Arts in International Relations, Australian National University, Bachelor of Arts and a Diploma in Education Newcastle University. She is currently undertaking a Masters in Professional Education and Training (MPET) by distance through Deakin University.

Ms Whittington is currently a consultant working in the Asia-Pacific region where she has undertaken various assignments for the United Nations, Commonwealth and AusAID in women and governance in Timor Leste, Kiribati, the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and Cambodia.
Ms Whittington has an extremely diverse background in education, government and international organisations. With 20 years of international experience, including as a Senior Officer at the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Commonwealth of Learning .She was a senior officer with the United Nations Secretariat, as well as with UNICEF Headquarters, New York following which she spent over three years were spent with the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations working in East Timor, Sierra Leone and Kosovo.
She is a Director of the Board of Pty Ltd, the distance learning enitity of the University of Newcastle, Australia. She has also been a Visiting Professor at the United Nations University of Peace. Ms Whittington has worked in the Australian Department of Defence as well as the Commonwealth Parliament as a defence and foreign affairs research analyst.

Professor Frank Banks, Director for International Development in Teacher Education, UK Open University

Mr. Martin Bean, President and Vice-Chancellor, U.K. Open University (via video)

Dr. Pauline Greaves, Head of Education, Commonwealth Secretariat
Dr. Sitansu S. Jena, Chairman, National Institute of Open Schooling, India

Dr. (Mrs.) Nafisatu D. Muhammad, Executive Secretary, National Commission for Nomadic Education, Nigeria


Dr. Hina Patel, Strategic Research Manager, Strategic Research Manager, The Meraka Institute (African Advanced Institute for Information and Communication Technology), South Africa

Dr. Rekha Sharma Sen, School of Continuing Education, Indira Gandhi National Open University
Ms. Stamenka Uvalić-Trumbić, Chief, Section for Reform, Innovation and Quality Assurance, Division of Higher Education, UNESCO
Ms. Sherrill Whittington, Director, GradSchool Board, University of Newcastle, and international Gender, Governance and Peacebuilding consultant

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