Through her exposure to diverse cultures,

Suma continuously draws inspiration from
people, nature and wildlife. 


I always have a camera on me. Whether it be whales, bugs or birds - my lens is automatically drawn towards them! As someone who is deeply passionate about wildlife and marine conservation, I capture amateur footage of the the creatures I come across - in their natural habitat and sometimes in urban settings.   

5 Gyres ambassador

The 5 Gyres Institute empowers action against the global health crisis of plastic pollution through science, art, education, and adventure. I am an Ambassador for their cause and advocate their mission by conducting workshops at educational institutions and speaking at events; at Parsons, NYU and Wythe Hotel.



I was a part of the Post Disposable Design Workshop led by UNSCHOOL and Kaospilot in Aarhus, Denmark. The workshop’s goal was to maximize our capacity to create interventions that help us all shift from the hyper-disposable society we have created, to a more sustainable, regenerative and circular one.  



I was an active part of LEAP Entrepreneurship Club at The New School. We created LEAP as a space for student led ventures on specific managerial and leadership skills. Through this student club, I learnt more about entrepreneurship from a business, finance and sustainability perspective.



I was a part of the Shape Changing Materials Workshop hosted by Noumena and Wearshops at Parsons. We explored alternative ways of integrating smart memory alloys (SMA) with fabric. This was my first attempt at understanding wearable technology and it was an extremely fascinating experience! 



As a part of the Net Impact Chapter at Parson's School of Design, I helped organize student design jams and pop up events. Our combined interest in social innovation and human centered design, led to the team inculcating awareness on the need for sustainability in the fashion industry. 

CORAL reef


As a GVI volunteer, I spent a summer in Pez Maya, Mexico scuba diving with an incredible group of people! I studied how to identify different coral species using the CoralWatch  methodology and collected data determining the ecological health of different species of corals in the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve area. 


17000 ft.

I spent a summer interning at 17000 ft. Foundation - working to improve lives of the people of remote, high altitude mountainous villages of Ladakh, in areas that lie isolated and ignored for centuries due to problems of harsh terrain. I love working with children and hold the experiences I had here so close to my heart!

© Suma Balaram, 2020 

Linkedin / Twitter / Instagram / Email