Mandovi Menon, creative director, writer, and media entrepreneur from India is among the Asia Society’s 40 young leaders from across the world who will form the newest class of the Asia 21 Young Leaders Network, joining an unparalleled network of over 1,000 individuals in politics, business, arts, education, sustainability, and technology.
The Class of 2022 features a diverse mix of leaders representing 26 different countries and includes journalists, human rights advocates, entrepreneurs, fiction writers, politicians, and more. Together, they will form an integral part of the Asia Society family as the newest cohort of its signature young leaders initiative, embody the organization’s mission to navigate shared futures, and actively contribute in taking the network to new heights.
“Drawing on their personal expertise and leveraging the collective power of the Asia 21 network, the class of 2022 will actively contribute in shaping a more peaceful, prosperous, and secure future for all,” said Asia Society President and CEO Kevin Rudd. “We are delighted to play our part in connecting individuals who share common values and desire to make this world a better place.”
Other members of the incoming class include Hajra Khan, captain of Pakistan’s national football team and founder of the Fortis Sports Academy; Fumino Sugiyama, restaurateur and LGBTQ activist and co-representative of Tokyo Rainbow Pride; Si Thura, executive director of Myanmar’s Community Partners International; Mandovi Menon, creative director, writer, and media entrepreneur from India; Sopheak Chak, executive director of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights; Alexandre Chenesseau, managing director at Evercore; Guo Dong, associate director of the Research Program on Sustainability and Management at Columbia University; and James Griffin, minister of the environment, New South Wales, Australia. You can access biographies of all 40 members of the Class of 2022 at AsiaSociety.org/Asia21.
After a two-year hiatus caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the annual Asia 21 Young Leaders Summit will resume this year with an in-person convening hosted by Asia Society Japan from December 2 to December 4, 2022. The conference, centered around the theme of “leading in a world of competing values,” will include panel discussions, lectures, and special events in Tokyo, and will feature members of the new class as well as Asia 21 alumni. They will share best practices in leadership and explore opportunities to work collaboratively across borders and sectors to create positive impact. The sessions will also address diversity, equity, and integration through art, education, policy, leadership opportunities, and entrepreneurship.
According to LinkedIn, Mandovi is a creative director, writer and media entrepreneur who is passionate about using innovative storytelling to spark meaningful change. She believes that expressing creativity freely, with integrity, is at the heart of building a more inclusive world.
She is best known for having built multiple digital platforms and campaigns of repute over the past decade, which continue to create social impact and shape Indian youth culture significantly. In 2013, she co-founded her first media company, Homegrown—a pioneering platform that changed the way we speak to and about young Indians. Under her leadership, the platform earned a reputation for diverse, original storytelling that wasn’t afraid to take on the taboo, while continuously tackling pressing issues like juvenile justice, women’s rights, and sexual health. She conceptualised and led many digital campaigns and IPs for development sector clients like UNICEF, Dasra, & No Country For Women, as well as leading brands like Nike, adidas, HDFC Life and Puma (amongst others) during her time here.
Since moving on, she’s built three other first-of-its-kind media platforms, two of which focus specifically on children’s rights. One is Apalam Chapalam—a multi-lingual storytelling channel that caters to urban, underprivileged children in lockdown. In under a year, stories have been watched 200000+ times, and reached thousands of children in need. The second is ‘The Minor Project’—a dynamic public dialogue initiative to help end violence against children for Unicef India and Leher NGO. The third is a contemporary print publication from India called ‘The Dirty Magazine,’ where she helps create its vision as its Creative Director (Culture) & Features Editor.
Mandovi also continues to pursue various independent projects developing branding, identity & strategy for clients, as well as her own work as an artist and children’s book writer. She has a series of commissioned children’s stories and poetry due to be published in the coming year.
As a creative leader, she’s been honoured on Forbes Asia’s 30 under 30 list, Vogue Global Network’s ’50 Young Trailblazers Around The World,’ Lured Magazine’s ’15 Creatives Defining the New India’ amongst many other well-known publications for her work in Media, Communications and Culture-Building in India. She’s also regularly tapped as a credible source for how youth culture & youth identity is evolving in India today.