Being more interdisciplinary, being more imaginative

THINK ● SOLVE ● CREATE

Amplifying examples of innovation and impact

THINK ● SOLVE ● CREATE

Innovation and inclusion as fundamental cross-cutting themes

THINK ● SOLVE ● CREATE

Producing meaningful outputs and strategic guidance

THINK ● SOLVE ● CREATE

We are in the midst of an exciting, and indeed challenging, transition that requires charting smart pathways that embody innovation, inclusiveness, and sustainability.

Charting a smarter future, from a low-middle country dependent on aid and concessions, and a factor-driven economic model based on low-cost inputs, to an upper middle-income economy, needs to be driven by competitiveness, inclusion and innovation, greater exposure to the global economy, and heightened consciousness of inequality and ecology.

To make this transition successfully and justly, we require greater imagination in socio-economic policies, policy implementation, and business strategies. Private and public responses must be anticipatory of future trends and anchored to real people’s real needs. Solutions to development challenges must be iterative, pragmatic and informed by evidence.

FIVE CHALLENGES
WE ARE UP AGAINST

Existing institutions that are often not contemporary and allow little room for fresh ideas and new thinking.

Lack of imagination in policymaking and policy implementation, anchored to good policy design and citizen-centric methods.

Public policy debates among private sector, academia, think tanks, civil society and media that are focussed too much on problems and not solutions-oriented enough.

Economic growth approaches are out of touch with current and looming environmental concerns and do not sufficiently address challenges to inclusion and human dignity.

Technological shifts – including 4IR - are changing the world of work, disrupting business models, and ushering in new challenges and opportunities for people and commerce.

ABOUT US

The Centre for a Smart Future (CSF) Asia-centric hub for advancing great ideas

where young professionals work in an interdisciplinary, contemporary and solutions-oriented way. It is a virtual think tank headquartered in Colombo, with a network of practitioners, researchers, policy professionals and thought leaders across the world.

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THE FORUM

Insights and thought leadership from our network

"The Smart Future Forum features insights and thought leadership from our network of policy professionals and development practitioners on topics relating to CSF’s thematic areas. Here you will find articles, reports, essays, op-eds, interviews, and more."

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OUR GUIDING APPROACHES

Being more interdisciplinary, being more imaginative

Tackling the challenges of our time increasingly requires a more interdisciplinary approach than ever before. We will seek to go beyond narrow ideas and narrow expertise and bring different skills and perspectives to bear on the socio-economic challenges we focus our work on.

Amplifying examples of innovation and impact:

There are many bright spots emerging continuously across our economies and societies, that hint at the possibilities of a smart future - people and organizations who are doing things with more imagination, ingenuity and courage. We will support to amplify and advance these ideas by researching, sharing, and featuring them responsibly in policy advocacy, and inspiring business model redesign.

Innovation and inclusion as fundamental cross-cutting themes:

Innovation is not a ‘nice to do’ and inclusion is not a ‘nice to have’. Both of these are no longer options, or cosmetic aspects to economic development pathways in our countries - they are instead fundamental to achieving a smarter growth path. At CSF, innovation and inclusion are necessarily intersecting and cross-cutting considerations throughout our work.

Producing meaningful outputs and strategic guidance:

We commission and publish short and compelling reports, working papers and essays; and thought-leadership articles. We conduct virtual (and eventually in-person) discussion events/forums; convene communities of practice on identified thematic areas and host dialogues with multi-stakeholder participation. In a later stage we will build capacity of relevant stakeholders/stakeholder groups through smartly run training and awareness programmes.

FOCUS THEMATIC AREAS

The Centre focuses primarily on five key thematic areas, symbolised by the five quadrants in the logo.
Innovation and inclusion are fundamental cross-cutting themes, and our work in these necessarily intersecting.