Phillida moved from the Diplomatic Service, where she was posted to Japan and learned Japanese, into the Anglo-Japanese cultural field. Her work has focused, in particular, on community and social sector exchanges, international development and volunteering. She founded and runs two charitable organisations - Links Japan and Solar Links Initiative, as well as serving on a number of other charitable boards.
After a career in investment banking, Christopher has spent 20 years working with a range of musical, cultural and educational charities. He has a particular interest in early music, education for disadvantaged youth and Japan – where he lived for 10 years in the 1980s.
Mari Marcel Thekaekara
Mari is a writer based in Gudalur, in the Nilgiri hills of Tamil Nadu. She writes on human rights issues with a focus on dalits, adivasis, women, children, the environment and poverty. Mari co-founded ACCORD in 1985 to work with adivasi people.
Stan is a social entrepreneur who grew up in Bangalore. He first became involved with tribal groups in Bihar before moving to the Nilgiris in 1984 when he and his wife Mari set up ACCORD to help tribal people in Gudalur reclaim their land. He has been a Trustee of Oxfam and has worked as an adviser to Oxfam on its UK Poverty Programme.
Ankur worked for some years, in New York and London, as a management consultant before making a life-changing decision to start an eco-tourism business. He met Stan and founded Ecoscape in the adivasi-owned tea plantation and runs this in collaboration with the adivasi people. He manages the PLENTI Project.
Mahantu Yalsangi, who has worked for many years with the Ashwini Hospital, is Chief Programme Officer.