"Vision without action is just a dream, action without vision just passes the time, and vision with action can change the world."


​ElsaMarie D'Silva

Social Entrepreneur 

ElsaMarie D’Silva is currently the Founder of Red Dot Foundation and President of Red Dot Foundation Global, (Safecity) which is a platform that documents sexual harassment and abuse in public spaces. She is responsible for the strategic vision of the organisation, business development and public relations. Under her guidance and leadership, Safecity has become the largest crowd map on the issue in India and 17 other countries.

Beyond Black is another of her social entrepreneurship ventures.

She is a 2020 Gratitude Network Fellow & 2019 International Women's Forum Fellow, 2019 Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow, 2018 Yale World Fellow, 2017 Stanford Draper Hills Summer School Fellow, 2017 Chevening Gurukul Fellow at Oxford University, 2016 Rotary Peace Fellow, 2015 Aspen New Voices Fellow, 2014 Vital Voices Lead Fellow and an alumna of the Swedish Institute (2012) and the US Department of State's Fortune Program (2016) and a participant of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2016. She represented Safecity at the Fast FWD accelerator programme that was an initiative of the City of Philadelphia, USA as part of the Bloomberg’s Mayors Challenge in February 2014.

She was the Curator for #TEDxVersova under whose banner she hosted TEDxVersovaWomen 2018, 2019 and 2020, over 20 TEDxVersovaSalons 2019 and 2020 and TEDxVersova 2019 and 2020.

She also has a conversation series "beliEVE" (with Aawaz), "Global Girls" (SheThePeople) & "Amazing Grace" that interviews contemporary women leaders with the aim to provide young girls with role models who inspire.

Board Member:

  • Red Dot Foundation
  • Red Dot Foundation Global
  • Beyond Black
  • Fair Share, Data Advisory Committee member (2024)
  • Women in AI Asia Pacific, Advisory Board (2023)
  • Xprize India - Chair (2018 - 2021)
  • Whispering Hope Africa
  • Rotary Peace Fellowship Alumni Association (2020)
  • Make A Difference (MAD), Sweden (2019)
  • Global Diplomacy Lab

ExtraProfessional Activities:

  • Jury member for UNAOC Intercultural Innovation HubD&AD Awards (Impact) and Anthem Awards.
  • Mentor to Vital Voices, ILSS Emerging Women's Leadership Program and more.
  • External reviewer for National Endowment for Democracy's Reagan Fascell Fellowship, J M Kaplan Innovation Prize, Rotary International Peace Fellowship.
  • Advisor to Women7 policy dialogue under Italy (2024) and Germany (2022) G7 presidency.
  • Women Techmakers Ambassador.
  • coFounder of the Gender Alliance (BMW Foundation, GDL, Bosch Alumni Network, GLAC).
  • coFounder of the Brave Movement to end childhood sexual abuse.
  • Network Driver (India) - BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt.
  • Network Steering Committee member and former Regional Coordinator (India) - Bosch Alumni Network.
  • Member of the New Voices Fellowship Expert Panel and former Alumni Council Member - Aspen New Voices.
  • Communications and Strategy Team Member - Global Diplomacy Lab (German Federal Foreign Office).

Awards and recognition:

  • Recipient of the inaugural Vital Voices Collective Action award for Safecity.
  • Recipient of the 'Best App to Report Gender-based Violence' award at the Women and Mental Health Summit & Awards by Bharat Dialogues
  • Recipient of the India-UK Achievers Honours Awards 2024 in the 'Society and Policy' category.
  • Recipient of The Anthem Awards 2024 – Human & Civil Rights, Category: ‘Best Use of Data’
  • Recipient of Jury Appreciation Citation for the English Web Podcast category for Believe - Season 2
  • Winner of the Equal Rights and Non-Discrimination award at the World Justice Challenge 2022 
  • Runner up at Trust Law Impact Awards 2022
  • Winner of the Shree Shakti Award by UN Women India and Government of India (MeitY) 2022
  • Winner at Dasra's Data for Good Exchange 2021
  • Season 1 of beliEVE won the Laadli Media Awards for gender sensitivity 2021 in the English Category Podcast 
  • Vital Voices listed her as one of 16 AAPI voices to know
  • Pink Attitude Evolution Inspiration Award 2021
  • Jury member in the Impact Category of D&AD Awards
  • YourStory listed her as one of the 100 Digital Influencers of 2020
  • Featured in BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt's “Change Focus to Change – 50 Years of Inspiring Responsible Leadership
  • Winner at Booking.com's Tech Playmaker's Awards for Social Impact 2020
  • Vital Voices has featured her in The Vital Voices: 100 Women Using their Power to Empower art exhibition
  • TUMI listed her as one of the Remarkable Women in Transport 2020
  • SheThePeople listed her as one of the Badass Women 2020
  • The Indian National Bar Association has listed her in the publication Phenomenal She 2020
  • Women Achiever's Award for 'Living the Change', by The Young Environmentalists Program Trust
  • YourStory listed her as one of the 100 Emerging Voices of 2019
  • Jury member of the #DigitalWomenAwards by #SheThePeople
  • Jury member of the 5th Global Entreps Awards & 5Gcitizens International Congress
  • Jury member of the #WebWonderWomen campaign by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, India 2019
  • Recipient of the Public Peace Prize 2018
  • Your Story's 100 Emerging Voices of 2018
  • Global Thinkers Forum's Award for Excellence in Women's Empowerment 2018
  • Judge for Stevie Awards 2017 and 2018
  • Womennovator's 100 Women Faces, April 2018
  • The Light of Freedom Award at the Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards in the presence of Hillary Clinton on 8 March 2017
  • Be Bold, Stand Firm - Hear Her Song by The Canales Project
  • Tomorrows Peacebuilder Award by Peace Direct, Dec 2017
  • One of  “50 Most Impactful Social Innovators (Global Listing)” by The World CSR Day in Feb 2017
  • We Are The City - Rising Star of India Award - Oct 2017
  • Most Powerful Women in Business - Impact Women by Business Today from the India Today Group - Oct 2017
  • Google #SMBHeroes Award in the Digital Impact category June 2017
  • Woman of Substance by Rotary District West India in January 2017
  • SheThePeople have listed her Top 30 Champions of Feminism on Social Media in India
  • 2017 Global Peace Index Ambassador by Rotary and Institute for Economics and Peace
  • Identified as one of the top 100 women in Vital Voices for further mentroing and support #VV100.
  • Gold Stevie Award for Female Executive of the Year - Government or Non-Profit -10 or Less Employees 2016
  • Government of India, Niti Aayog's Women Transforming India award 2016
  • Leader of the Month on World Pulse in Aug 2016
  • Mentor with the School Leaders Network
  • Responsible Leader with the BMW Foundation
  • Advisor to Women's Safety XPrize
  • Advisor to PCDNetwork's Career Advisory Board
  • Winner of the StealthEnomics $25,000 Entrepreneurship Award 2016
  • The Pride of India - Community Hero award by WCRC 2016
  • BBC Hindi's Top 100 Women in 2015
  • Female Entrepreneur of the Year Award by Dusan Stojanovic (European Angel Investor 2013) July 2015 
  • The Digital Women Award in Social Impact by SheThePeople.tv in November 2015

She is part of the Policy Strategy Group on World We Want 2030 People’s Voices and Action Platform for advancing Agenda2030 - SDGs - comprised of UN entities, CSOs, private foundations, bi-lateral, academia, media and youth led-organizations. She is also a member of the United Nations Inter-Agency Network on Youth Development.

She has penned several articles that have appeared in CNN, Huffington Post and the WIP and her work has been featured by the BBC, Guardian, Swedish TV and many more. She has spoken about her work at the Aspen Ideas Festival in June 2015, TEDx MidAtlantic September 2015, TEDxLlorenteWomen 2021 and City Lab London October 2015. Her wiki page can be accessed here.

She has contributed a chapter to the book Development as Dignity published by Aspen Institute and launched at the Aspen Ideas Festival 2018.

She is an Empathy Circle and Open Space Technology Facilitator, a trained counsellor in both the Robert Carkhuff method of counselling and the Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT) method. She has so far conducted workshops on sexual harassment awareness for over 10,000 people ranging from 6 - 60 years of age in Mumbai, Delhi, Rajasthan and the US. She is Google's I Am Remarkable facilitator.

Prior to Safecity, she was in the aviation industry for 20 years where she worked with Jet Airways and Kingfisher Airlines. Her last portfolio was Vice President Network Planning & Charters where she oversaw the planning and implementation of 500 daily flights. She also represented Kingfisher Airlines at the Ministry of Civil Aviation with regards to bilateral agreements and other planning related matters. She was also the Presiding Officer of the Internal Complaints Committee at Kingfisher Airlines.

She decided to make a career switch in 2013 as she wanted to focus on empowering women and youth using technology.

You can contact her at elsa@reddotfoundation.org for Speaking Opportunities and workshops on Sexual Harassment at the Workplace and Holistic Life Mapping. She also does personalised life coaching and counselling.

Testimonials - 

Sellah King'oro who attended her training session on using Twitter for Social Good.