Nipuna Ambanpola: Leading More Volunteers To Action In Their Local Communities

Episode 90

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Hosted by
Jeff Bond

As the CEO of Chat With Leaders Media and Executive Partner of People First Elevation Team, Jeff leads media strategies for global clients, enhancing content marketing, companywide meeting experiences, conferences, and cross-cultural training. With over 20 years of experience in media, technology, and marketing, Jeff founded Chat With Leaders Media in 2021 to elevate purpose-driven businesses in the marketplace. His core values are Partnership, Inclusion, and Empowerment. Jeff also co-hosts "The People Experience Pulse," a podcast that explores leadership strategies in People, Employee, and Human Experience (PX/EX/HX). Off the clock, he is a devoted husband, father of three, and active citizen in Atlanta, GA.

Nipuna Ambanpola is a native of Sri Lanka currently living in the United States. Nipuna is a tech-for-good entrepreneur and strongly believes that technology has the capacity and efficiency to mobilize people to strengthen social impact across the world. In 2017, Nipuna founded IVolunteer International, a 501(c)3 tech-nonprofit in the United States with the vision of creating 7-billion volunteers. IVolunteer International’s purpose is to create a culture of global contribution through volunteerism. Understanding the impact of local volunteerism and mobility, Nipuna has devoted his life to creating tech solutions to make volunteering fun, easy, and equitable. Since 2017 under Nipuna’s leadership, IVolunteer International has connected 6,000+ volunteers to global causes, exposed 200,000+ people to volunteerism, and forged 16 strategic partnerships across the world in local communities through 4 distinct tech-oriented programs

Nipuna believes that every single human being has the power to create impact and envisions a society where volunteerism is a lifestyle and part of the culture. Through #BirthdayDeed (a global pledge campaign), Writers’ Council (an activist training program), IVolunteer Series (an online talk-show), and other advocacy campaigns, IVolunteer International has empowered people to connect to their community, find their political voice, unite for a common cause, spotlight local issues, and start movements. Nipuna has spoken about IVolunteer International and the impact of tech-for-good at TEDx Savannah, Points of Lights Conference in Atlanta, Global Goals Summit at the United Nations, University Scholars’ Leadership Symposium in Malaysia, and a variety of other change-making venues. Nipuna also serves as a Civil Society Representative at the Youth Steering Committee with the United Nations Department for Global Communications.

Nipuna holds a Bachelor’s of Economics from Georgia Southern University and a Master’s of Public Administration and Policy from the University of Georgia. Nipuna is currently pursuing a Masters of Science in Business Analytics at the University of Georgia and envisions expanding IVolunteer International’s impact through big-data analytics of volunteer mobility, individual social impact metrics, and volunteer impact. In his free time, Nipuna loves to read, meet new people, and volunteer. Nipuna volunteers with the United Way and Rotary International and has been recognized for his community work as a Will Watt Fellow, Paul Harris Fellow, and a Rotary Youth-All Star.

Discussion Topics

  1. What was the impetus behind your founding a new movement for volunteerism and your organization, IVolunteer International?
  2. Do you know the origin story of why volunteerism became so normalized within your home country’s culture in Sri Lanka?
  3. Why do you think many people’s involvement in the US is little to non-existent? What is holding people back from serving in their communities?
  4. What opportunities have you experienced as a direct result of your volunteerism and how are you leading people towards action in their communities to experience the same outcomes?
  5. How do you lead your team to inspire and equip the next generation of volunteers to care deeply about social and environmental impact by giving more of their time, talent, and treasure?

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Episode 90