AOD supports local schools to build a more creative future for Sri Lanka

Wednesday, 16th of October 2019 Views - 1367

Leading schools’ principals gather with AOD international faculty and academics at the Colombo Innovation Tower to discuss the importance of creative education to Sri Lanka, and where learning experiences can directly connect to work opportunities in the future. Our world is changing faster than ever before; and within this mass shift there are a few statistics that really should be getting the attention of our education system. This is that twenty percent of the jobs that exist now will not be available to children currently in schools by the time they graduate. McKinsey Global Institute reported that 800 million low-skilled jobs worldwide will considered redundant by 2030. “At AOD, we like to see these massive shifts in the career market as opportunities to do better, and offer knowledge that connects young people to brighter, more stimulating futures,” said an international faculty member of AOD who was present at the meeting of principals, teachers, education managers and academics. The group discussed the future of learning and jobs, discovering parallels where the two may connect.

Creativity as the future’s most-wanted skill

AOD has its roots in design education. As an educator with nearly two decades in leading design led innovation with economic significance, for government and business entities, AOD focuses its education on design centred studies like interior design, fashion, visual communication and animation. “But, it’s obviously much more than design now. All the exciting new-age jobs and opportunities in technology and business have one thing at their core—creativity, and the necessity to think different. So, creativity becomes central to everything now. This means it’s time we talk about encouraging students to study creativity,” said Dr. Linda Speldewinde—founder of AOD. The gathering discussed how creativity and creative thinking have for a wide range of careers and skills; Engineering requires creative thinking; Groundbreaking scientific research involves creative thinking. Also, a large number of the most exciting job opportunities on offer today come from innovators who are creating their own niche by looking intelligently at established systems and coming up with disruptive ideas. 

Work and learning no longer need to be separated

During this gathering of local and international academics, AOD highlighted how being at the heart of the newly launched Colombo Innovation Tower complements this broader approach to education. The educators explored the building’s open floor plans that facilitates open collaboration between students and industry, highlighting some key projects from fashion and v isua l commun icat i o n . “Children who are in school right now are already having to complete their education fully in the knowledge that no one can tell them what kind of world they will be met with once it’s done. In an unpredictable, rapidly changing world, students have to be ready to identify and go after their own opportunities. And, this kind of education where studying and working with industry become possible at the same time, really helps students to nurture resilience, independent thinking, and confidence in responding to the future,” said one of the AOD academics at the meeting. She further explained how concepts like self-development, personal confidence, innovative thinking, transferable skills, creative expression, conviction in your ideas and determination to follow them through, all become part of the new AOD learning experience at the Colombo Innovation Tower.

Why school students need to be creatively nurtured right now

AOD academics and the school principals also discussed the need to nurture young minds at school-level, as a core essential of human development, and as a mean to bridge the creative intelligence gap between secondary and tertiary education. They also discussed initiatives like the ‘AOD Young Creatives’ Club’, where innovative thinking is brought into the school experience as an extracurricular activity. An AOD academic who has been involved in the YCC activity for a few years now, stated that the programme has enabled many young students to discover their ability to think differently and present solutions through new paradigms. To find out more on AOD’s latest work with national and international schools, YCC programme and collaborations; and to find out more about how to join AOD’s Degrees in Motion Graphics and Animation, Fashion Marketing, Fashion and textiles, Interior Design, and Visual Communication reach AOD Colombo on 0775727772, email: or walk in between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday – Colombo Innovation Tower, No 58, Lauries Road, Colombo 04.

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