#2030NOW: Foresight and Innovations Summit for Sustainable Human Development

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs, together with the Ministry of Science, Technology and Research, Sarvodaya, LIRNEasia, the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) and the Summit Partner, Ceylon Biscuits Limited launched the National Summit on Foresight and Innovation for Sustainable Human Development on the 18th April at the UN Compound, Colombo.  

The Summit, the first of its kind to be held in Sri Lanka, is expected to start a national dialogue on the importance of foresight and innovation as a value addition to traditional development planning to achieve sustainable human development and the 2030 development agenda.

The two day Summit will take place on the 24th and 25th of May at Waters Edge, Battaramulla. 

So What is Foresighting?

Foresighting is a process. Its purpose is to create a vision of the future by looking at possible future needs, opportunities and threats by analyzing existing global and local trends and deciding what should be done now to make sure that we are ready for these challenges in the future. Traditional planning seeks to prevent failure, however, strategic foresight prioritises resilience and agility, namely through early detection and fast recovery. Forward-looking, adaptive and resilient policies allow public administrations to engage with and shape events to the best advantage of their citizens. Foresight encourages planners not to just forecast, but to create alternative futures and to visualize multiple outcomes and analyse the possible consequences of these alternative futures.

What is Innovation?

Innovation on the other hand, looks at re-evaluating traditional work processes and looks at integrating creativity, user engagement, and process analysis with the aim of seeking more efficient methods of achieving better results.

Why Foresight and Innovations?

For traditional organisations moving towards foresight, this not only requires a paradigm shift about how to think about the future, but also a cultural shift towards creating a learning organisation. This national summit aims to provide all participants with the capacity to take a confident stride towards this paradigm shift and in to a system of futuristic thinking that will complement development planning practices. 

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