Prime Minister to Address Sri Lanka’s First National Summit on Foresight and Innovation


Colombo, 12th May 2016 – Honourable Ranil Wickremesinghe, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, will address Sri Lanka’s first National Summit on Foresight and Innovation for Sustainable Human Development organized by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs. Honourable Prime Minister is expected to speak at a high-level plenary themed ‘Reimagining Governance: An Opportunity for Sri Lanka’.

The Summit, held together with Ministry of Science, Technology and Research, Sarvodaya, LIRNEasia, the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) and Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) as Core Partners and Ceylon Biscuits Limited as a Summit Partner, will focus on starting 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, which will take place on the 24th and 25th of May at Waters Edge, Battaramulla, is also expected be graced by Hon. Susil Premajayantha, Minister of Science, Technology and Research and Hon. Harin Fernando, Minister of Digital Infrastructure and Telecommunications who will engage in a panel discussion on ‘Disruptive Innovation’. The Summit will connect many international resource people including those from the UN Pulse Lab - Jakarta, the UNDP Centre for Public Service Excellence - Singapore, myForesight – Malaysia, Mind Lab - Denmark, GIZ –Germany, Superflux - UK, UNDP Kolba Lab – Armenia, UNDP MiLab – Moldova, eGov Centre – Moldova, Fields of View - India,  to name a few.

Speaking about this collaboration, Mr. Jorn Sorensen, Country Director of UNDP stated, “As the development arm of the United Nations working in Sri Lanka for the past  five decades, we are extremely proud to be able to connect a diverse set of resource people internationally, and convene all key players in the development sector in Sri Lanka.” 

Meanwhile, Hon. Niroshan Perera, State Minister for National Policies and Economic Affairs, speaking on the importance of this summit stated, “Sri Lanka is at a crucial juncture; we must now choose to look outwards and beyond the present context to create the future we want. Through this Summit we will develop and learn about foresight tools from a national planning and policy point of view, which will prove pivotal over the next 15 years as national and international contexts grow more complex and challenging.”

Foresight and Innovation are rapidly becoming tools that governments and other non-traditional partners for development are incorporating into their work. Through these methodologies, they seek to create coherent policy frameworks that will effectively utilize limited resources. Therefore understanding emerging trends and opportunities whilst successfully evading inevitable challenges is key. This Summit, will thus contribute to enhancing development practices and policies that are visionary, to create the world we want and need by 2030 by fostering a development sector that is forward-thinking and visionary.

At the closure of the Summit, Hon. Mangala Samaraweera, Minister of Foreign Affairs, is expected to join the launch event of UNDP’s 50th anniversary celebrations titled ‘Shared Goals. Shared Prosperity: 50 years in Sri Lanka and Beyond’’.



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