Prashan De Visser/ Founder of Global Unites and Sri Lanka Unites
Prashan is the Founder and President of Sri Lanka Unites, a youth movement for hope and reconciliation, in Sri Lanka. He is also the Founder and President of Global Unites, an international youth movement for transforming conflict, with established and emerging movements in 13 countries across the world. Recently Sri Lanka Unites was named one of the Top 20 youth movements of the Commonwealth region and one of the Top 8 Youth movement models to follow. Prashan was the recipient of the Queen’s ‘Points of Light’ award in 2018, awarded by Her Majesty the Queen of England for his exemplary voluntary service to his nation through his work at Sri Lanka Unites. He was also awarded with an Honorary Doctorate for Public Service by Gordon College in 2022. He was also recognized as one of the Kindness and Revolution – 50 Leading Lights for Asia Pacific in 2021. An award was given in partnership with Financial Times and Oxford University
He completed his MA at the University of Notre Dame in Peace Studies and Public Policy. He was selected as a TEDx speaker at UND and has been featured on NBC, BBC and Al Jazeera for his innovative peacebuilding approach. He completed his Bachelor of Arts degree at Gordon College in Wenham, MA, where he majored in International Affairs. He was the first South Asian student to be elected Student Body President at his College.
He returned to Sri Lanka after his Bachelors to initiate the vision for Sri Lanka Unites and is committed to the cause of reconciliation, conflict transformation and youth engagement in Sri Lanka and across the world. Sri Lanka Unites is the largest youth movement in the country for peace today ,with over 30,000 members, 50 full time staff and 9 offices across the country. The movement is committed to the cause of post war reconciliation in Sri Lanka. Under Prashan the movement launched in 2008 and has hosted eleven seasons of Future Leaders’ Conferences for reconciliation. In eleven years these conferences have inspired, trained and mobilized over 5000 student leaders representing every ethnic and religious group in post war Sri Lanka. Prashan also led the expansion of the movement to the Sri Lankan diaspora across the world. Today SLU has chapters among the Sri Lankan diaspora in Melbourne, Toronto, DC, LA, London, and Wellington.
Global Unites was launched as an umbrella movement, in 2015 with the establishment of Congo Unites, a youth movement inspired by Sri Lanka Unites. Today Global Unites has 13 established movements and emerging movements in Sri Lanka, Kenya, Congo, Uganda, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Palestine, Colombia, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Israel, Nepal and USA. Global Unites has held two global summits in 2015 and 2019. The most recent summit concluded in Nairobi, Kenya bringing together 100 peacebuilders and activists from 18 countries and four continents.
He worked part time as a TV host on Channel One Sri Lanka. He was the host of “Good Morning Sri Lanka (2009-2012). He was also the co-host and co-producer of a foreign policy show named Global Perspectives, which was the highest rated show of the year 2011 on Channel one. Prashan is also an international speaker and trainer in conflict transformation and proactive youth leadership. He has spoken at international youth conferences in Kenya, Pakistan, India, Australia, Uganda, Rwanda, DRC , Malaysia , Indonesia, Canada , UK and USA.
He is a visiting lecturer at Crozer Colgate Seminary, (the alma mater of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King) where he teaches the PhD course on the Theory and Practice of Peacebuilding. He was appointed as a Justice of Peace in the Negombo division of the Western Province in Sri Lanka. He was one of the youngest recipients for this civilian honor. He is the author of the upcoming book named “The Phoenix Generation” , on the role of youth in transforming conflict.
Follow Prashan: https://www.facebook.com/PrashanDeVisserNOW