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LIRNEasia @ Sri Lanka’s 1st national summit on foresight and innovation

sriganesh-160524-1LIRNEasia was a core partner for Sri Lanka’s first national summit on “Foresight & Innovation for Sustainable Human Development” that was convened by UNDP and the Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs. Held in Colombo from 24-25 May 2016, the summit brought together more than 300 people from government, private sector, and civil society from all over the country. Developing foresight and fostering innovation is a priority for the government and underscored by the Prime Minster’s attendance at the event.

I spoke on the first day after the opening. My talk was on the leveraging both new and traditional data if the goal is to get towards real-time responsiveness and enhanced resilience. If anything, a good understanding of the present may be more important for effective governance than foresighting alternate futures. The thrust of my argument was that good data had to be the foundation whether it was to have a better understanding of the present or to foresight alternate futures. Part of the goals of the summit was to also further the thinking on developing an innovation lab in Sri Lanka, something that the government has shown a key interest in. The majority of my time at the summit was spent in a small working group brainstorming the contours of a possible innovation lab for Sri Lanka. We will continue to engage on this.

My slides are available HERE.

Press coverage from the event: Daily FT.

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