All Karuna Trustees are members of the Triratna Buddhist Order
Ulla Brown currently serves as the Chair of the Board of Trustees for Karuna. Ulla is of Finnish origin and spent her early working life as a translator and editor, work that she continued with when she later moved to London. For several years, she was the Finnish language examiner at the Institute of Linguists and the FCO.
In London, Ulla became actively involved with the growing Buddhist movement. Ulla’s outlook on the world was profoundly affected by Buddhist teachings and practice which have continued to shape and deepen her interest in people, communication, mediation, forms of personal development and social action. For three decades, she has worked as a Buddhist teacher and mentor. She also worked as a counsellor and psychotherapist in Cambridge for twenty years.
Ulla had already developed a connection to India during her two visits there as a young woman. She was pleased to revive the connection through becoming a trustee of Karuna, although with a much fuller understanding of the social realities that define Indian society. Her perspectives on women’s issues and feminist thought have been greatly influenced by learning about women’s lives in India.
For Ulla, it is the people that matter to her the most: their struggles and aspirations and their capacity to bring about changes in their own and other people’s lives.
Zoe worked for DFID for around ten years as a Social Development Adviser. She led work on social exclusion, with a particular focus on disability and increasing the resources controlled by people with disabilities and organisations led by them. Working in DFID's Research Division she advised on evaluations and research to learn from major programmes in Africa and Asia focusing on women’s empowerment, the prevention of gender-based violence (including FGM), and social protection. She has also led work streams on inclusive growth, fragiles states, sector-wide approaches and other aid modalities. Her career at DFID included periods of time in Sierra Leone, Nepal and Pakistan as well as the London office.
Prior to joining DFID, Zoe worked on inequality and social exclusion in the UK, as part of the Neighbourhood Renewal Unit, supporting more joined up action between the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, the Home Office, and local government.
She has also worked in the NGO sector, with Amnesty International, Save the Children, and TVE where she researched and produced TV programmes on environmental and developmental issues. She led the Asia programme at Interact Worldwide, a Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights NGO, for three years, collaborating with NGO and academic partners in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, and Thailand on programmes to empower women, young people, and people living with HIV/AIDS.
She is currently Chair of the Shrewsbury Triratna Buddhist Centre in the UK, and still passionately engaged with issues of diversity and inclusion at local and global levels. Her Buddhist name ‘Saravantu’ means she who knows what is of most value - it’s a good reminder for her to reflect on what she’s doing with her ‘one precious life’!
Dominic has led a highly successful career in business and management education. He is one of Europe’s leading experts on B2B (business-to-business) and professional service firms, recently advising clients that include PWC, Deloitte, KPMG, SAP, Saatchi and Saatchi and the Qatar Foundation.
He is Adjunct Professor in Strategic and Entrepreneurial Management at London Business School where he has been based since 1994. At London Business School, Dominic was Associate Dean of the School’s flagship Sloan Fellowship Programme. He continues to be closely involved in the programme, which attracts highly successful, senior professionals at turning points in their careers and lives, and is a repeated winner of the Sloan Fellows’ “Best Teacher” award. In 2013 he was appointed Academic Director for the School’s Global Business Consortium for senior managers - from Oracle, Emirates, Johnson & Johnson, BUPA, DP World and Mars - who are moving into key leadership positions.
He is the co-author of “Mindfulness and Money”, a book that employs Buddhist principles as a guide to economic life, and most recently “What Philosophy Can Teach You About Being a Better Leader”, as well as a wide range of articles and webinars. He is also a co-founder of Imparta, an award-winning multimedia learning business. Dominic has been a committed Buddhist practitioner for many years. He believes that the worlds of Buddhism and business do not have to contradict each other, but that our economic and spiritual lives can interrelate to create business strategies motivated by creating positive long-term value, not short term, and unsustainable profit.
Bill studied Mathematics at Cambridge University ending up with a PhD. After a couple of years as an academic teaching Statistics at Reading University Bill went on to a career in Operational Research/Management Consultancy in a wide variety of contexts – including the National Coal Board and working for a commercial consultancy firm. For the final phase of his career he worked in Logistics for a big UK Retail organisation
He was ordained as Shantipala in the Triratna Order in 1999 having long been inspired by Buddhist values of Wisdom and Compassion. He was a Trustee and Treasurer of Windhorse Publications (the publishing house of Triratna) for many years and joined the Board of the Karuna Trust as Treasurer in 2012. He has visited India and Karuna partners there and remains inspired by the work to help relieve the ongoing plight of the Dalit and Tribal peoples. He is married with two grown-up children and lives in rural Herefordshire.
Pratap’s career has been multifaceted, as a documentary filmmaker, photographer, writer and educator. He has over 30 documentary credits with films for broadcasters and institutions, including BBC TV, Channel 4, and more experimental works for the British Council and gallery spaces. His award-winning work explores film as an arena for cross-cultural dialogue for example with South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Key themes include the ethics and responsibilities of creative practitioners; developing restorative narratives across cultural divides, with expertise in postcolonial thought. He describes his work as “examining and creating newer forms of inter-cultural documentary film, cultivating the kinds of pluralized spaces through which newer understandings can evolve”.
He is currently Head of Research and Professor of Documentary Practices at the London College of Communications. His work to develop inclusive curricula was awarded a prestigious National Teaching Fellowship in 2013 by the Higher Education Academy for individual excellence.
Pratap spent many years visiting Karuna projects and documenting the people and communities supported by them. This has afforded him an excellent understanding of the diverse communities Karuna serves. Pratap is also a trustee of Pragya, an environmental and development charity that works in India and Nepal.
Vajramudita works as an accredited Executive Coach and facilitator. She has had 28 years’ experience as a leader herself, working as a director, manager and engineer in AstraZeneca, the NHS and the third sector. She has direct experience of creating and leading teams of over 100 people, and also has experience of leading global, virtual teams
She has worked as an executive coach and facilitator since 2011 with leaders in global multinationals, from Europe, Asia, Africa and North and South America. She also works locally in the UK with leaders in SME’s, the public sector, particularly the NHS and 3rd sector.
On a personal note Vajramudita lives with her husband, Border-Collie Hester and from time to time her son and daughter who are both transitioning into their first work roles.
Vajramudita is inspired by affecting change by creating contexts for people to come together and talk about what they care about.
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