Dr. Kris Rampersad
Founder – Leaves of Life
Independent MultiMedia Sustainable Development Educator, Journalist, Researcher, Writer, Policy Analyst, Publisher, Producer & Consultant
Dr Kris Rampersad is an independent sustainable development educator, and award-winning multimedia producer/publisher, journalist, facilitator, lecturer, trainer & consultant. She has PhD and BA First Class Honours degrees from the University of the West Indies; Diploma in Mass Communications from the Jawaharlal Nehru University, India; Commonwealth Professional Fellowship from the Association of Commonwealth Universities, UK; Nuffield Foundation Fellowship to Wolfson College, Cambridge University and the Foreign Press Centre of Japan along with numerous skills development training in management, leadership, diversity management, ICTs and new media, journalism, data analyses and visualisation, communications, fundraising, networking, gender equity, advocacy among others.
A UNESCO expert heritage facilitator and National Geographic Certified Educator, she is a global Woman TechMakers’ Ambassador, Google Applied Digital Skills Ambassador Google, and Founding Director of Leaves of Life – a not for profit engaged in advancement of intercultural gender sensitive edutainment.
She is expanding the film genre as creator of the newest creative genre, the MultiMedia MicroEpic which adapts the conventional long form epic for short form new/social media. She also created StoryScience, a module to bridge conceptual differences for the arts and science in knowledge transmission and education, and the GloCaL FEDs Challenge, a service-learning initiative to bridge formal and non-formal lifelong learning for intergenerational respect and understanding. This follows a successful career in journalism that saw her as the first sitting Caribbean editor/journalist to complete PhD, with awards from Pan American Health Organisation for Excellence in Health journalism.
She has extensive work experiences in multi-stakeholder engagement and community empowerment in activating creative industries, heritage conservation and formulating programmes and mechanisms to access advance intercultural dialogue and social inclusion utilising experiences across the disciplines of media, culture, gender and literature. She is a creator/producer of global heritage, literary and author events and a UNESCO-trained facilitator for World Heritage, Intangible Cultural Heritage, Diversity of Cultural Expressions, Intercultural Dialogue, Creative Cities, Slave, Silk and Indentured Immigrant Routes, actively making global connections between underrepresented Latin America and Caribbean communities and the globe.
She has worked through UN, EU-ACP, OAS (Americas) and Commonwealth regions and agencies towards formulating multi-sectoral partnerships and devising workable solutions and promoting constructive conversations and actions among civil society, media, academia, private sector, governments and intergovernmental and international agencies and has served on several international level committees and commissions including as President of the UNESCO Education Commission, Vice President of UNECO’s Programme and External Relations Commission, Independent Expert and Vice President of the UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Committee on Intangible Cultural Heritage.
This involves facilitating access to international instruments as the UNESCO Culture Conventions, in engaging civil society in inclusion, respect for diversity, rights, freedoms and governance processes through understanding how to use traditional and access conventional media as well as in advancing empowerment of rural and marginalised communities, youth and women and increasing their participation in political, social and economic processes. She has done extensive work across the connected Americas especially Caribbean and Latin American region in raising appreciation and building capacities of stakeholders at all levels for leadership development in media and cultural heritage, diversity and inclusion. All three Caribbean countries recently admitted to the UNESCO World Heritage lists benefitted from her work and she was also a pioneer of the Commonwealth Women Agents of Change initiative, leading the Caribbean agenda for change and educating women in political and other leadership spheres. She has also been actively involved in inspiring youth through literacy and literary appreciation across the Caribbean.
She is the author of The Learning Revolution: MultipleChoice in a MultiCultural Place; LiTTscapes – Landscapes of Fiction from Trinidad and Tobago (2012;) Finding A Place (2002); Through the Political Glass Ceiling (2010) and the children’s festival fables series as well as numerous articles and presentations on culture, media, gender, and community empowerment as driving forces for social, political and economic transformation.
As an academic in both formal and informal environments, she has delivered lectures and workshops in intercultural communications, culture and literary heritage. A multimedia print/tv-producer/publisher, media manager, journalist, writer, researcher and educator of almost three decades, she has helped develop and implement effective culture and multi-media, communications and outreach strategies, policies, and devised and conducted creative interactive courses, seminars and education programmes that encourage critical interrogation of development agendas to stimulate people-centred, gender and culture-sensitive paths to lifelong learning and development.
These utilise development perspectives and evaluations and assessments of north-south relations and particularly the small island developing states of the Caribbean in comparative glocal contexts, particularly in relation to gender, governance, culture, education, interreligious dialogue and understanding and Small Island States.
She has also worked as communication consultant and strategist for Commonwealth Foundation for Commonwealth Heads of Government/People’s Forum and Women Affairs Ministers’ and of Active Democracy Network in Organisation of American States intergovernmental processes.
She has extensive experience in drafting, negotiating and presenting high level diplomatic texts and resolutions for equitable, peaceful and sustainable development through involvement in intergovernmental activities and consultations with agencies of the UN, Commonwealth, Organisation of American States, European Union and local to international level NGOs and CBOs.
She is a member of the Distinguished Society of Trinidad and Tobago, the National Geographic Educator’s Network, an Ambassador of the WorldPulse Gender Network and a Board Member of the International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Arts and Tourism. She holds several awards for her contributions to journalism, and the arts and culture including holds the national award (gold) for Development of Women and Journalism, is a national Luminary, BWIA awardee for Excellence in Journalism, Pan American Health Organisation Award for Excellence in Journalism, and others from the Pointe-a-Pierre Wildfowl Trust, Moms for Literacy, the Global Organisation of Peoples of Indian Origin, the New Delhi Indian Institute of Mass Communication and the University of the West Indies. She was a pioneer winner of the BBC Trust/UNESCO Communication Initiative’s Development Policy Blogging for New Media.
She is actively engaged in promotion of literacy through an initiative called Leaves of Life focused on culling a literacy, literary appreciation and a literate environment through LiTTributes, LiTTevents and LiTTours, following the publication of her third book LiTTscapes – Landscapes of Fiction from Trinidad and Tobago. Since 2003 she has been engaged by international intergovernmental agencies in promotion of the development agenda particularly of Small Island Developing States towards social inclusion and multi-stakeholder engagements for poverty eradication through youth and gender empowerment and equity, education, literacy, communications, heritage and culture, food security, democratic engagement, and giving effect to the knowledge/ICT and creative economies.
She is a founding member of education, cultural and advocacy organisations as the International Culture University, the International Institute for Culture, Gastronomy Arts and Tourism and Friends of Mr. Biswas.