AOD launches 'Extraordinary Minds' Campaign to share its vision of the ultimate creative professional of tomorrow

AOD campaign speaks to future designers, aspiring technology leaders and tomorrow’s business groundbreakers as enrollments open for 2019 intake in design, tech and creative business degrees with a groundbreaking focus on innovation

The big business of tomorrow is no longer in larger product volumes or more lavish service; it’s about breaking boundaries to warp our reality. Every single industry out there is being reshaped to cater to this shift in consumer thinking. Responding to this transformation, Sri Lanka’s design thinking and innovation catalyst AOD focuses on design education and the kind of skills that are needed by future professionals. ‘Extraordinary Minds’—the 2019 campaign presented by AOD captures this thinking, and underlines the key attribute of the type of graduates that it will be creating in the next ten years. The campaign aims to show how the new AOD graduates will be a generation of extraordinary thinkers and doers who not only borrow their knowledge and skills from design, but also from science, technology, engineering and business. Extraordinary Minds campaign complements AOD’s recent major announcement of a unique offer in tech, design and creative business education offered by AOD all working in conjunction with one another, giving rise to an extraordinary interdisciplinary skill set.

 Creating the ultimate future professionals

The AOD graduates resulting from this future-proof mix of degree programmes will have the ability to approach problems through the lens of design thinking, use technology to access reach, speed and accuracy while having the business brains to link their solutions to market opportunities. This means that they will be able to facilitate a unique role for AI in a new age craft where the artisans are not replaced, but empowered through technology; to have design intersect with the latest frontiers of science to design biological processes paving the way to slow ageing, preserving memories and merging humans with machines; to give new momentum to the brick-and-mortar 2.0 with design and tech; to design a new face of sustainability into products by collaborating with geoengineers and to design materials and processes that can solve our deepening energy crisis. The extraordinary minds campaign was designed with these ideas in mind, and speaks to not only aspiring designers, but also aspiring engineers, future technologists and young people who want to become tomorrow’s most groundbreaking business leaders.

Breaking limitations

We use technology and design thinking to warp realities, and transcend our everyday? How can visual design lead the future of food where ideas like cellular agriculture and clean meat find a radically new meaning with edible packaging? Will the housing and transportation of tomorrow take shape with intervention of interior architectural design, robotics and 3D printing? Can fashion design play a role in immunity and healthcare with the invention of biological materials? These are the challenges we will prepare the future graduates of AOD to solve. It’s clear that it’s no ordinary designer, business graduate or tech expert who will seek out these problems and find the opportunities in them.

For future AOD graduates, this means entering their careers with little to no limitations with this interdisciplinary approach that allows designers to work in tech and business, technology grads who can pursue opportunities in the creative industries as well as entrepreneurship and business graduates who will have access to prospects in design and tech.

Parents Vs. new rules of the future

This view of professional qualifications and skills is significantly different to what most parents are used to. The school is prepared to take on the challenge of educating parents on this future career trend and helping them understand the relevance of this futuristic approach to higher education.  It is not the standard degrees that most parents would see for their children; it’s new, it’s never been done before in Sri Lanka (although it’s successful abroad) and it doesn’t fit into the thinking that they are used to. But, parents are intelligent and always having the best interests of their children at heart, they will see just how incredibly important this move is and how it will position their children with a serious advantage. It’s the way of the future that is brought into the country five to ten years before it would become the most popular approach for education, because graduates will walk out of university, to a world that is perfectly suited for their skills. The ‘extraordinary minds’ campaign is partly about educating parents that what the future needs is not another business graduate, yet another software engineer or another designer to add to the millions who are already out there competing for the same opportunities.

A preview into future careers

What will these future careers look like? AOD’s view is that it will include a mix of independent services, entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship where professionals within large companies work to grow personal brands and ventures as well as consultancy and a whole lot of collaboration. “The future needs professionals who think outside the box, who don’t fit into one category, who can’t be defined by a single label...whose skills, understanding of this world and approach to problem solving is much more complex than just a single way of thinking. The world is complex, so the people to take on that world need to be able to navigate in that complexity; we need extraordinary minds to do that,”. AOD will soon host a series of events and talks to help future designers, aspiring tech experts and business graduates to understand what it really means to be an ‘extraordinary mind.’ Enrollments for AOD’s design, tech and creative business programmes are now open for the September intake.