Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Addressing Global Challenges

February 9, 2019

On the 9th of February, SLYCAN Trust organised a capacity building workshop for the youth who are interested in developing solutions to address global challenges such as climate change. This meeting was organised as part of the Stage II of the Global Youth Forum on Climate Change (GYFCC), that was organised as part of the “Sri Lanka NEXT – a Blue Green Era” Conference, by the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment, the Climate Change Secretariat, SLYCAN Trust and Meatless Monday Sri Lanka.

The workshop organised on the 9th of February 2019, at the Sri Lanka Press Institute, was titled “Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Addressing Global Challenges” and brought together youth selected for the GYFCC 2018, and other selected youth from diverse backgrounds who had shown initiative to develop innovative solutions to address global challenges faced by society.

The workshop consisted of two sessions. Mr. Heminda Jayaweera, Co-founder of Venture Frontier Sri Lanka and Thuru, and Ms. Vositha Wijenayake, Executive Director of SLYCAN Trust and Country Director for Humane Society International, Sri Lanka were trainers for the event.

Session one was conducted by Mr. Heminda Jayaweera and focused on ‘Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Addressing Global Challenges focusing on Climate Change and Sustainable Development’. He encouraged the youth participants to try to be innovative as much as they can, to invest in any creative idea that comes to them and to improve it by questioning its vulnerabilities.

“Youth engagement is vital to achieve sustainable development. However youth are not encouraged to engage in innovation and entrepreneurship. Sri Lankan Government’s allocation for Research and Development is 1% from the Country’s national budget. We need to support the innovative ideas of youth and build their skills to enable them to implement their ideas”, said Mr. Heminda.

Ms. Vositha Wijenayake conducted the second session of the workshop focusing on how to develop a project proposal. She spoke on the project application process and how to identify expected objectives and outcomes for the project highlighting the contributions  that SLYCAN Trust could offer to youth-led projects, as youth engagement in developing solutions to global challenges is a vital component in achieving success.  

“One of SLYCAN Trust’s main priorities is to provide training and guidance to youth who are willing to take initiatives to find solutions for global environmental issues by being innovative and generating ideas to global challenges”, said Ms. Wijenayake.

The workshop also provided the opportunity for youth to make suggestions to the National Communication Strategy on Climate Change. The youth participants discussed the vital role of youth in climate change communication efforts and the gaps and challenges faced when communicating or accessing information related to climate change impacts in Sri Lanka.

SLYCAN Trust will continue to provide youth with necessary guidance and support to gain insight to different ventures that would allow them to address various issues faced by the society, and help build youth capacity by continuing to organise workshops that focuses on innovation and entrepreneurship.

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About the Author

SLYCAN Trust is a non-profit think tank. It has been a registered legal entity in the form of a trust since 2016, and a guarantee limited company since 2019. The entities focus on the thematic areas of climate change, adaptation and resilience, sustainable development, environmental conservation and restoration, social justice, and animal welfare. SLYCAN Trust’s activities include legal and policy research, education and awareness creation, capacity building and training, and implementation of ground level action. SLYCAN Trust aims to facilitate and contribute to multi-stakeholder driven, inclusive and participatory actions for a sustainable and resilient future for all.