From the age of Neanderthals to the age of Artificial Intelligence, this sphere we all live in has transitioned by a considerably huge quantum with the progress of science and technology. Thanks to many ingenious ideations of human entities throughout time, this hasn’t been much of a problem. In a nutshell, today innovative thinking has become a pivotal necessity, rather than a mere pursuit. Even so would just out-of-the-box thinking to be sufficient, for the feasibility of the world? What about our future generations? Would they be able to survive, just with these innovations?
Such forward-thinking strategies should be implemented and upgraded, for the sustainable development of society. Sustainability; “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs”, is the key driving force of the complementary world. In this day and age so much has become possible thanks to this branch of knowledge and it has shaped our lives in many ways we could not even imagine back then. It is quite clear that sustainable innovations have given the lead to countless entrepreneurship and start-ups as of today. Indeed these out-of-bounds thinking patterns are the heart of entrepreneurship. All this may sound rhetoric to someone, but nonetheless, sustainability is the universal value that binds and preserves every resource. Economy, environment, society and human health, etc. all these aspects are of global value. This vastness and importance of the aforesaid matter led us to the concept of “Innovision”.
Through identifying and exploiting inner potential, and polishing up novel thinking patterns, facilitates the sustainable innovation culture among the next generation. Project “Innovision” is a novel initiative pioneered by the Professional Development Team of Rotaract Club of Faculty of Science, University of Colombo, together with G17 University ambassadors Consortium and Benzyme Ventures as project partners. Carried out as 02 webinars, it focused on the focal objective of giving our club members as well as the society a little guidance and a few tactics from the experts in the field to build up themselves to establish their own start-ups accompanied by promoting envisioning of fundamentals for a flourishing future.
Setting up your own business, which is just vaguely based on nothing, but your imagination is not by any means a piece of cake. In order to take it up a notch and become successful, we all need to go through a huge ordeal. Nevertheless, it’s worth the trouble! Entrepreneurs and start-ups are the national assets of a country that needs to be cultivated, motivated, and remunerated to the greatest possible extent. In fact, some of the most developed nations such as the United States have surpassed many milestones due to their forward-thinking innovation, research, and entrepreneurial individuals. But where do the developing or less developed countries stand? Sri Lanka is still a developing country, and the citizens of this country are still unaware of the very many advantages that one can gain by fostering new start-ups. All in all, for societal advancement, they need to step out of this box-of-oblivion.
Undoubtedly, the discipline of science and technology has uncovered many unexplored aspects of nature and its basics, which can be utilized for the evolution of the worlds’ tomorrow. For graduates who are following Science, we at RACFOSUOC took this opportunity as a cue to dig deep into this timely subject, mainly aiming at the improvement of the professional expertise of the blooming youth. Based on the UN’s SDG Goal 9 – Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, this outset was primarily established. The project title, ‘Innovision’ itself brought out the spirit of the project which was “Innovations through creative visions”.
“Innovision” was conducted as 02 webinars via Zoom, with the hopes of providing guidance and insight to all the individuals in need. Both the webinars were live-streamed through the official event page on Facebook and the Facebook pages of the partnering organizations. The first webinar was held with the participation of an award-winning performance coach, Software Engineer, Founder of Braincipher, and the well-known owner of the YouTube channel “Ramuwa”, Mr. Randika Wijesinghe, on the topic “Beyond the Limitations of Homosapiens – Igniting the Sparks of Innovative Thinking Patterns”. The recorded video of the webinar was also shared on the “Ramuwa” YouTube channel.
The second webinar was held with the participation of the COO of SLINTEC, Co-founder of Thuru and Venture Frontier Lanka, Mr. Heminda Jayaweera and CEO of Vibhawa Solutions, Co-founder of Thuru and Zerotrash, Mr. Hasanka Padukka and moderated by Mr. Fadil Iqbal, Science Communication Enthusiast at IQ Labs, on the topic “Innovations for Sustainable Development and Opportunities for Youth”. In addition, the webinar ended with the introduction of two selected sustainable and innovative startups of a group of young entrepreneurs to the public.
Demonstrating the subject of “Boosting Innovative Startups Towards Sustainable Development Goals”, Project Innovision marked its ending on a successful note on the 19th of July 2021, amidst many praises and cheers. The Innovision webinar series unrolled smoothly with no disturbances, and it was reassuring to see so many who were keen on making a change in the community, and overall an overwhelming participation of 900+ participants were received on zoom along with a 1.9K reach on the Facebook live-streamed videos. Undoubtedly, the discussions were informative, enjoyable, and worthwhile as all the professionals who joined us addressed many doubts that future generations would have regarding what lies ahead for them, regardless of the mediocre thinking pattern in our country.
In conclusion, it is true that the prevalent Covid-19 pandemic has affected literally every aspect of life, forcing communities to review their practices and norms, from the way people live and work, to the way cooperative sectors interact with their customers, how customers choose and purchase products and services, and how they provide their supply network. Apparently, it has taken a toll on sustainability practices as well; they are being redefined customary to the pandemic settings. However, the current crisis has enabled entrepreneurs to build new opportunities, by getting them involved in the very essence and main requirements of attainable skills and their management. Where everything has become uncertain today, I think it is high time to level up your capabilities and anchor your ingenuity in favour of a viable, economically dynamic tomorrow rather than staying mainstream as everybody else.
By Rtr. Nishakya Liyanarachchi
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