Saliya Kahawatte

Expert for resilient behav­iour in adverse life sit­u­a­tions

Brave Speakers Keynote Speaker Saliya Kahawatte

Saliya Kahawatte

Expert for resilient behaviour in adverse life situations

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„The only dis­abil­ity you can have is a neg­a­tive atti­tude!”

Saliya Kahawatte (born 1969) is a suc­cess­ful busi­ness coach, man­age­ment con­sul­tant and author. He also works as a keynote speaker and has touched many peo­ple in his very spe­cial way with his grip­ping life story. The Ham­burg native by choice is a prac­tic­ing Bud­dhist and in his spare time a pas­sion­ate Ayurveda cook as well as an enthu­si­as­tic long-​​distance swim­mer.

Saliya has to over­come sev­eral hur­dles in his life. At the age of 15 he loses most of his sight through a severe reti­nal detach­ment. Dri­ven by his desire for a self-​​determined life, he man­ages to sur­vive in the world of the sighted despite his severe visual impair­ment. By sim­ply lis­ten­ing, he achieves his Abitur at the reg­u­lar school, com­pletes an appren­tice­ship as a hotel spe­cial­ist and makes a career in the hotel and gas­tron­omy indus­try.

For years he con­ceals his dis­abil­ity and pays a high price for it. Only when Saliya under­stands how to accept his dis­abil­ity has he really arrived in life. After a stay in a work­shop for the dis­abled, he man­ages the almost impos­si­ble. He is the first visu­ally impaired per­son to com­plete an inter­na­tional man­age­ment degree. In 2006 Saliya turns his flaw into a brand and founds a small busi­ness out of Hartz IV. In 2009 the fighter nature pub­lishes his auto­bi­og­ra­phy “My Blind Date with Life”, which is inten­sively noticed by the media. Saliya’s com­pa­nies now oper­ate at home and abroad and their clients include listed cor­po­ra­tions, medium-​​sized com­pa­nies and pri­vate indi­vid­u­als.

In the year 2015 Saliya receives the award “remark­able life of an entre­pre­neur with dis­abil­ity” from the foun­da­tion Lebensspur e.V. in Cologne. One year later, the best­selling author pub­lishes his first Ayurveda cook­book and founds Saliya Fun­da­tion e.V., which is com­mit­ted to the inte­gra­tion of peo­ple with visual dis­abil­i­ties in the fields of work and edu­ca­tion.

Saliya’s extra­or­di­nary story was released in Ger­man cin­e­mas in Jan­u­ary 2017 and has already been sold in 40 other coun­tries world­wide.

Lec­ture Top­ics

Motivation, Resilience, Self-Management