Past World Fellows


Manasi Subramaniam

Manasi Subramaniam is Associate Publisher and Head of Rights at Penguin Random House India. She has published some of the most exciting new voices across South Asia, several of whom have gone on to be nominated for international awards including the Booker, Folio, JCB, Andrew Carnegie Medal, Women’s Prize, Desmond Elliott, among others. At Penguin, Manasi heads the imprint Hamish Hamilton and oversees literary fiction and international rights. She also champions multidisciplinary nonfiction with the intention of shaping conversations between communities on pressing issues. 

Manasi has been recognized for her contributions to global publishing and has been invited to the Frankfurt Buchmesse fellowship, the Bureau International de l’Édition Française fellowship, the Australia Council for the Arts Visiting International Publishers program, and the Zev Birger fellowship. She is committed to making publishing more inclusive and accessible and bringing underrepresented voices into mainstream media, and has spoken on trends in publishing at world forums. 


ElsaMarie DSilva

ElsaMarie D’Silva is an Indian gender activist and is the Founder and CEO of Red Dot Foundation (Safecity) and is President of Red Dot Foundation Global. Safecity is a platform that crowdsources personal stories of sexual harassment and abuse in public spaces. This data gets aggregated as hot spots on a map indicating trends at a local level. Since Safecity started in December 2012, it has become the largest crowd map on the issue in India, Kenya, Cameroon and Nepal.  ElsaMarie is listed as one of BBC Hindi’s 100 Women and has won the Vital Voices Global Leadership Award, Female Entrepreneur of the Year Award, Niti Aayog’s #WomenTransformingIndia award and SheThePeople’s Digital Woman Award in Social Impact. Prior to Safecity, ElsaMarie worked in the aviation industry for 20 years as Vice President of Network Planning and Charters for Jet Airways and Kingfisher Airlines.


Nandita Das

Nandita is an award-winning Indian film actor and director who has leveraged her international profile to campaign on social issues concerning women, children and marginalized communities. She was the first Indian to be inducted into the International Women’s Forum Hall of Fame for her contributions to the arts. Firaaq, Nandita’s directorial debut feature film, premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in 2008 and has traveled to over 50 festivals and won more than 20 awards. She was a member of the main jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 2005 and 2013 and the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in 2007. In 2008, she received the Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres award from the French government. In 2013, she supported the Dark is Beautiful campaign: an effort to draw attention to the unjust effects of skin color bias in India and previously served as Chairperson of the Children’s Film Society in India, working to further its vision of producing and distributing high quality films for children. Prior to launching her film career, Nandita earned her Masters in Social Work from University of Delhi and worked with several NGOs. She writes a monthly column for The Week magazine in India and has just completed work as an actor in a Spanish film, shot in Mumbai and Barcelona with an all-female crew.

Parmesh Sahani

Parmesh heads the Godrej India Culture Lab, an experimental ideas space in Mumbai working at the intersection of academia, business and the creative industries to explore what it means to be modern and Indian. He also serves as the Editor-at-Large for Verve Magazine India, and is author of the book “Gay Bombay: Globalization, Love and (Be)Longing in Contemporary India.” Parmesh is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, a TED Fellow, an MIT ‘Futures of Entertainment’ Fellow, and a Utrecht University-Impakt Fellow. He holds a Master’s degree in Comparative Media Studies from MIT.