Vishal Talreja

Vishal Talreja

Bengaluru, India

Cofounder, Dream a Dream. Board Member, Partners for Youth Empowerment

Hi! I co-founded Dream a Dream ( along with 11 others in 1999. Dream a Dream is a registered, charitable trust empowering children and young people from vulnerable backgrounds to overcome adversity and flourish in the 21st century using a creative life skills approach. Currently, we work with 10,000 young people, train over 5000 educators impacting over 137,500 children and young people and sensitize over 2500 volunteers through our unique Life Skills Development model.

Dream a Dream is acknowledged as an innovator in life Skills development amongst young people from urban slum communities, creating innovative ways for community volunteering and setting very high-standards of transparency, accountability and impact. In 2015, Dream a Dream was recognized amongst 10 Champions in the world that are “Re-imagine Learning through Play” in the 21st century by Ashoka and Lego Foundation. Dream a Dream has also being recognized as the Winner of the Outstanding Annual Report Awards; Amongst 8 Regional Finalists at the Apeejay India Volunteer Awards 2011; Winner of the silver award at the Global Sports Forum Barcelona; Awarded the Football For Hope Award from FIFA to support our Dream Life Skills through Sport Program; Runner-up of the Japanese Award for Most Innovative Development Project.

I have co-authored a paper along with Dr. David Pearson and Dr. Fiona Kennedy titled, “The Life Skills Assessment Scale: Measuring the life skills of disadvantaged children in the developing world” and published in Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, Volume 42, No 2 (2014).

I am an Ashoka Fellow (, an Eisenhower Fellow ( and have previously being a Founder Director of Unltd India and Board Member of India Cares Foundation. I am currently a Board Member at Partners for Youth Empowerment ( I am an advisor and mentor to Reap Benefit and am deeply committed to mentoring start-up NGOs and young social entrepreneurs. 

In 2018, I was awarded the ‘Heroes of Bengaluru’ award. I have been recognized as an “Architect of the Future” by the Waldzell Institut in Austria. I am a TEDx Speaker, active writer on development challenges and human-interest stories and a poet. 

I have completed my graduation in Commerce and Accounting from Bangalore University and previously worked with Xerox India and a startup investment bank called Technology Holdings India Pvt. Ltd. I was an active member of AIESEC, an international student-led organization with presence in over 80 countries, during my university days.

How can education support students to flourish?

I believe that if we can re-imagine learning to develop empathy, creative thinking, problem solving and collaborative working skills amongst young people, they will be able to overcome adversity and flourish in this fast-changing world.  

Three innovations you would love for HundrED to know about. (and Why?)

Partners for Youth Empowerment ( - For their ability to create sustained transformative experiences in the lives of young people and adults.

Nalanda Way ( - For their ability to use the transformative power of arts to empower kids from vulnerable backgrounds.