AOD invites local and international organisations to join hands in empowering craft, agriculture and sustainable tourism initiatives with design thinking and to take ‘Design and Made in Sri Lanka’ global

Sri Lanka’s new ‘economic trinity’ combines agriculture, craft and sustainable tourism, with the village at its centre 

The first-ever virtual Sri Lanka Design Festival (SLDF) 2021, concluded under the theme ‘ImpACT’, by the Academy of Design (AOD) successfully showcasing fashion, performance arts, design technology, craft and interior architecture through a series of virtual sessions. 

SLDF 2021 created a platform to showcase partnerships and collaborations from both Sri Lanka’s creative industries and globally across sectors like apparel, design and technology and tourism, using creativity and design thinking practices across both the traditional and industries disrupted in this post-COVID landscape. 

During the three-day event, SLDF had over 15,000 people collectively participating from around the world. Conference sessions and videos can be viewed by logging on to 

Dr. (HCL) Linda Speldewinde, Founder of SLDF and Chairperson of AOD, explained: “AOD takes great pride in significantly contributing to shaping lives and livelihoods of Sri Lanka’s artisans and villagers for more than a decade. We are tremendously encouraged by the success of the first virtual SLDF 2021. We extend our heartfelt thank you to all our collaborators, partners, speakers, thought leaders and well-wishers who contributed immensely to make SLDF a success.”

Speldewinde further emphasised: :We invite all individuals, especially businesses to join us in extending and taking this work beyond crafts to help the artisans and communities-in-need to self-sustain and support them. By combining our strengths and social investment capacity we can make a bigger ImpACT for Sri Lanka enabling us to attract more tourists to the country and take design and made in Sri Lanka, global.”

As an actionable outcome from the SLDF, AOD is now spearheading initiatives to forge an ‘economic trinity’ to create a positive impact on the lives and livelihoods of those communities engaged in sustainable craft, tourism and agriculture. AOD will focus its efforts to promote the education and development training and skills required to empower artisans in the villages to launch horticulture in their own lands to be self-sufficient – making a bigger and positive ‘ImpACT’ at a localised level. 

SLDF’s ‘ImpACT’ uses design at its core to identify three SME sectors: Craft, Tourism and Agriculture, that could contribute meaningfully in this post-pandemic endeavour to strengthen and build a stronger, sustainable and better future.  As a first step in the recently concluded SLDF 2021, AOD showcased the nation’s skills across different creative industries, especially, fashion and design to demonstrate the vibrancy of the creative sector and the scope that design can offer, with the objective of inspiring and energising both domestic and international audiences.

With this objective in mind, AOD will kick-start conducting workshops for creating craft and agriculture entrepreneurs who in turn would support the tourism sector in its effort capitalising on economic growth opportunities. AOD will work closely with Government entities such as the Export Development Board and the State Ministry of Regional Cooperation, the Presidential Task Force for Economic Revival and Poverty alleviation, in making a national level ‘ImpACT’, achieving a successful economic trinity.

Aiming at producing capable entrepreneurs who are engaged in lifelong learning practices to constantly elevate their knowledge and expertise, AOD extends an invitation to likeminded individuals and institutions both locally and globally to join hands in making the social investment towards ‘ImpACT’. 

Businesses and NGOs that wish to join hands as a partner in this valuable national endeavour may contact AOD on hotline +94775727772 or email

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