The Foundation of Goodness is a holistic rural development model that seeks to bridge the urban-rural divide in Sri Lanka via 10 empowerment divisions across 900+ villages island-wide, and reached over 307,000+ beneficiaries in 2022 alone by way of 15 Empowerment Centres, free of cost.

ICE Workshop 2019 : Taking Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship to rural Sri Lanka

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The three day Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship (ICE) Workshop 2019 was held at our FoG Flagship Centre in Seenigama. The MCC Centre of Excellence transformed into a hub of invention from the 22nd to the 23rd of November 2019.

The programme was designed and conducted by Professor Suranga Nanayakkara from the University of Auckland, New Zealand. Prof. Nanayakkara is the recipient of the “Young Innovators under 35” for Asia Pacific Region awarded by MIT Technology Review, Outstanding Young Person of Sri Lanka (OYP) and INK Fellow.

The goal of the ICE workshop series is to expand design thinking, idea generation and problem solving techniques of the participants. They are exposed to cutting edge procedures and challenged to push boundaries through the processes of problem formulation, creative ideation and prototype techniques.

A line up of inspirational speakers introduced the aspiring innovators to new thinking and shared their expertise. 20 young innovators from 17 rural villages participated in this year’s workshop including 10 spots for FoG students. We were delighted to see equal representation between the sexes, with 10 male and 10 female inventors present.

At the conclusion of day three our participants had designed a number of creative prototypes for various real life problems: A belt for identification of illnesses in pets, automated trip-switches in the face of lightening hazards, websites for career development and deep sea tourism, disaster early-warning systems for those living near the sea were the ideas that emerged from the workshop.

The ICE workshop was successful in embedding creative thinking and innovation in the minds of rural youth and Prof. Nanayakkara’s step in expanding the workshop’s reach and bringing it to rural communities through the Foundation of Goodness was a great opportunity for youth from these under-served communities to learn and engage in new ways of thinking.


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