prof. michalis kontopodis

Prof. Michalis Kontopodis

[ Keynote speaker ]

School of Education
University of Leeds

Prof. Michalis Kontopodis is a Chair in Global Childhood and Youth Studies and Director of the ICY: Inclusion, Childhood & Youth Research Centre at the University of Leeds. In collaboration with a wide network of academics, practitioners, NGOs, community organisations and policy makers, Prof. Kontopodis conducts research with three foci: (a) addressing challenges related to global debt, poverty and marginalisation; (b) innovating pedagogies with new media and digital technologies; (c) deciphering the multiple links between child health, ecology and body pedagogies. Before moving to the University of Leeds in 2018, Prof. Kontopodis held academic positions in Amsterdam, London and Berlin; his visiting scholarships & affiliations include: the Pontíficia Universidade Católica de São Paulo, Brazil; Escuela Normal del Estado, Mexico; Jawaharlal Nehru University, India; and Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, Russia. His books, edited volumes and journal articles have been published in six languages; many of his publications are openly accessible through his personal webpage:


prof. manjula vithanapathirana

Prof. Manjula Vithanapathirana

[ Plenary Speaker ]

Faculty of Education
University of Colombo
Sri Lanka

Speech Title: “Co-creation of interventions for education and well being of children and youth: Applications of Design-based Research” 

Professor Manjula Vithanapathirana is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Education, University of Colombo. She has over 30 years of experience in the field of Education. She was the Dean of the Faculty of Education, University of Colombo from 2016-2019. She obtained her PhD from University College London (UCL) in the United Kingdom. She is reputed as an interdisciplinary scientist and some of her areas of expertise are Educational Psychology, Child Psychology and Primary Education, Early Childhood Education, Educational Pedagogy and Andragogy, Organizational Counselling, Industrial Psychology, Science Education, Service Learning, Collaborative Action Research, Design-based research and Buddhist Psychology. Her publications also range across these areas.

She has made research presentations in more than 50 conferences and symposia both in Sri Lanka and overseas. She serves in editorial panels of several journals both national and International and functions as a reviewer as well.

Professor Vithanapathirana held the position of General President of the Sri Lanka Association of the Advancement of Science (SLAAS) in 2016, the premier professional association of scientists of all disciplines in Sri Lanka.

Her most recent contribution to the field of education is to facilitate and coordinate the partnership of Faculties of Education of University of Colombo and Open University of Sri Lanka in a consortium of Universities of an Erasmus+ project on Blended Learning capacity building initiative, titled Contemporary Teaching Skills for South Asia (CONTESSA).