This forum ‘Creative Economy for Sustainable Development’ foregrounds insights from the UK, Indonesia and local creative industry as it explores Sri Lanka’s potential to position itself as a sustainable and ethical creative hub during UN’s ‘International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development’ in 2021

The cultural and creative industries (CCIs) are one of the fastest-growing economic sectors in the world. In many countries they are growing at double the rate for the economy as a whole - They generate quality jobs faster than any other sector. Global figures from the United Nations tell us that in 2015 they contributed $2,250bn to the global economy and employed almost 30m people. In Sri Lanka too the creative industry sector has grown rapidly over the past few years showing a steady growth between 2010 and 2014, rising from US$433.62 million to US$845.41 million in contributions to GDP

The sector, however, has not always had the recognition it deserves in terms of its contribution to the economy, to employment and for its potential to further strengthen the brand value of Sri Lanka.

This will be chaired and moderated by John Newbigin OBE– Ambassador for creative industries at the Mayor of London, and current chair of the British Council’s Arts and Creative Advisory Panel.

The forum gives an insight to the work done by British Council’s Architecture, Design & Fashion department in the UK followed by a presentation by Dr Tita Larasati, an eminent contributor to Indonesia’s creative economy development, on  Indonesia’s creative economy journey to become one of the most developed in Asia and sponsor of UN’s ‘International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development’ in 2021

The panel discussion, the focal point of the forum, moderated by the conference chair John Newbigin OBE brings together diverse perspectives from Sri Lanka’s creative industry, academic world, economic policymaking and exports development, featuring Chitranjali Dissanayake– director general of Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB); Ruwandika Senanayake– from the Department of Integrated Design, Faculty of Architecture at the University of Moratuwa; Anushka Wijesinha– economist, policy advisor and international consultant; and Vikum Rajapaksa– co-founder and managing director of vegan accessory brand Kantala.

Drawing on the recommendations from the British Council report ‘Cultural and Creative Industries in Sri Lanka’, mapping Sri Lanka’s creative industries, the discussion makes important parallels between the recommendations and the sustainable development goals that address Sri Lanka’s current challenges. The panel explores the potential for the creative industries to provide new dynamism in the economy and fresh opportunities for inclusive growth with a focus on greater environmental sustainability.