Festive Greetings. Skills Development has always been an integral part of our endeavours towards rural empowerment. Through Life Skills and Livelihood Skills International (LSLSI) Conference series we have been addressing various issues specific to the massive challenge in livelihood skills development in India with a prime focus on rural and the informal sector workforce. International cooperation has always been a key ingredient in our effort.

Previous LSLSI conferences well acclaimed by Academia, Industry, Government Agencies, Non-Governmental Organizations and other entities - national international were focused on Institutional Development (2010), International Cooperation (2013), Realizing and sustaining a Clean India (2015), and Leveraging Digital India for rural development (2017) have been a success for having able to spur the ideas to build and sustain initiatives in skill development necessary for rural empowerment in scale among relevant stakeholders.


Considering the poignant situation, the handloom industry, where 4.3 million families depend for their livelihoods and the largest employment provider in the country after agriculture, undergoing, REEDS with a view to bring a diverse group of stakeholders to discuss, debate, deliberate and decide on the best means to promote futures and livelihoods in handloom weaving is presenting an international symposium - Anchoring innovation in handloom weaving in India (AI) with weaving knowledge as the focus.

The attempt is to give weavers a vocabulary - technical, social, cultural - with which to talk about and share ideas regarding innovation. AI international symposium is a week-long event scheduled for 11-18 November 2018 in Chirala, Prakasam District of Andhra Pradesh, India. We are privileged to have the Universities of Maastricht and Leiden, Netherlands as our co-hosts of the event.

AI is gaining prominence with confirmed distinguished luminary speaker/delegate participations representing universities such as Columbia, Cambridge and Cornell and from countries such as China, Laos, Thailand and Republic of China; more would join soon to this exciting line-up. 500 participants across India, including scholars, NGOs and weavers are expected to take part in the event. Probably, this is the first time that academicians and professionals from India and around the world will get to meet and discuss crucial issues at length with the practitioners of the craft and handlooms. We are happy that once again REEDS is at the forefront in this discussion by providing a platform and enabling an anchor to innovate.

On behalf of the Conference Committees, it gives me great pleasure to invite your participation in the ensuing AI international symposium at Chirala, Andhra Pradesh, India from 11-18 November 2018. Your participation and support would add great impetus to this effort of national consequence impacting millions of weaving families’ futures and livelihoods. You can view the event schedule and more information at www.craftsandinnovation.org

Dr. Ravi K Reddy
Secretary, REEDS,

21 October 2018

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