Breaking the ICE – Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship


The 3-day ‘Design Thinking’ workshop conducted by Professor Suranga Nanayakkara from Singapore University of Technology and Design was wrapped up successfully on 26th November at the main project site of Foundation of Goodness in Seenigama.

What is Design Thinking?

‘Design Thinking’ is a hands-on, user-centric approach to problem solving that can lead to innovation. It encourages asking the right questions and validating assumptions by prototyping.

What is ICE?

Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship (ICE) was modeled after a similar 3-day Design Thinking program of Stanford School. The inaugural ICE program was held in June 2016 at MAS Athena with the sponsorship of SHA Foundation. This year, it was supported by Foundation of Goodness, Cyrup (Pvt) Ltd and Policy Development Office, Prime Minister's Office.

The workshop was designed to expand the students’ thought boundaries, allowing them to appreciate, understand and apply design innovation to solve problems that impact their day to day lives. Twenty participants across thirteen rural villages were handpicked for the workshop. During the workshop, they encountered an environment where they solved problems using a hands-on approach and a mindset of innovation. They were introduced to the most up-to-date design methods that included problem formulation, creative ideation, and prototyping techniques. Invited speakers who are successful in various fields shared their inspiring life stories with participants showing that impossible is nothing.

Participants worked in teams in identifying a problem, formulating solutions, developing a proof-of-concept, prototyping and presenting a 3-minute pitch to the invited dignitaries. Some innovative projects developed by attendees included a smart-tag that converts any regular water bottle into a smart bottle that tracks, reminds and ensures optimum daily hydration and an online web portal in Sinhala to help enthusiastic developers in overcoming language barriers for effective web development. Some teams were determined to bring their project designs into life immediately after the ICE program and have since made the initial steps in bringing their ideas to reality.

The workshop was successful in uplifting innovative thinking and life skills of rural youth through embedding knowledge of design thinking. Both distinguished invitees and participants highly appreciated the workshop and highlighted the importance of ICE program reaching out to a wider audience.


13th December 2017







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