Bangkok, Thailand; October 2019 – The ASEAN Foundation together with SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) and Digital Economy Promotion Agency, held the regional finals of 2019 ASEAN Data Science Explorers (ASEANDSE), a competition that gathered young student competitors across ASEAN countries to present insights and solutions to solve the region’s most pressing social and economic issues. Co-hosted by depa, Executive Vice President of depa Ms. Kasama Kongsmak, presided over the prize presentation ceremony.
Krystel Iris De Castro and Nicole Dolfo (Team Sustainablue) from Ateneo de Manila University and the national winners represented the Philippines with their project focusing on automation and job displacement in the country.
In their presentation, Team Sustainablue said that wage workers should adjust with new technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), and Robotics to screen that there will be no talent inadequacy and stagnancy, as well as to improve market revenue, job efficiency, and productivity for the country’s economic growth.
“AI-enabled technologies make it more possible to go about our daily tasks, such as checking e-mails, booking cars for transportation, and the like, by exerting little effort. Despite these capabilities, AI and other disruptive technologies, such as IoT and virtual reality, put human workforce in ASEAN at risk of unemployment, especially with the rapid digitalization,” said de Castro.
To address the issue, they proposed the Train and Track method, that wage workers should be trained and educated with the right skills needed in Industry 4.0, the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies. This transition can be done by improving the educational systems with virtual access and bridging programs, providing mid-career training for successful job transition, and build an integrated ASEAN labor market where their skills are up for utilization. After learning these skills, the workers will then be placed in the industries where they are needed.
As based on their proposal and garnered data, when the needs are met in line with Train and Track, the threat of unemployment due to lack of talent in the Industry 4.0 will be eradicated. They have also noted that once the right talents are met, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of ASEAN countries can increase up to 12 percent due to the efficient boost of labor productivity brought by the adoption of new technology.
Team Sustainablue were the chosen representatives of the country as they emerged as the national winners of the ASEANDSE Philippines.
The ASEANDSE Regional Finals is the culmination of a year-long journey that involved a series of enablement sessions where close to 500 educators and 3,000 students were trained in SAP Analytics Cloud.
The ASEANDSE 2019 competition had 1,341 (70% YOY increase) participants competing in the national finals held in all 10 ASEAN member states. This year, the national champions progressed to compete at the regional competition in Bangkok, Thailand.
The winners for this year’s international competition were Vietnam, Singapore, and Thailand. The three winners were chosen for the excellent capabilities in developing and presenting data-driven solutions that highlight six Sustainable Development Goals namely (1) good health and well-being, (2) quality education, (3) gender equality, (4) decent work and economic growth, (5) industry, innovation & infrastructure and (6) sustainable cities and communities.
This year, Ha Vu and Trung Vu (Team AWM) from RMIT University in Vietnam bagged the top spot with their project solution focusing on ethnic minorities as potential sources for economic development in ASEAN.
“We were just excited and delighted that our ideas and our solutions were acknowledged by ASEAN, UN and other governmental agencies to turn our vision into reality. We also got exposure to diverse cultures from students from other countries that we’ve become friends with. We can learn from each other and share our knowledge and different perspectives in the region and I believe that diversity is crucial for someone who wants to be a global citizen such as myself and a lot of other students,” said Trung Vu, a member of Team AWM from Viet Nam.
Singapore’s Team RE:volution, composed of Shi Xuan Teng and Egwin Fan from Nanyang University, won 1st runner up with their project designed to solve the region’s waste management problem while Thailand’s Team NT, comprised on Noppawan Rakthinkumnerd and Bao Tran Ngo Le from Thammasat University bagged 2nd runner up with their project was on gender equality in the workforce in ASEAN.
ASEANDSE is a regional program by the ASEAN Foundation and SAP that recognizes the importance of equipping ASEAN youth with skill sets that will help them to thrive in the fourth industrial revolution and unleash the region’s full potential. Since its inception in 2017, ASEANDSE has empowered over 9,000 youths from 230 higher education institutions in the region with data analytic skills. Participating students came from a wide range of disciplines such as political science, engineering, and architecture, gleaning actionable insights from data to come up with solutions that have an impact on these areas.
“ASEAN Foundation is honoured and proud to collaborate with SAP for three consecutive years. SAP played a significant role in this initiative as together we are addressing the post-2020 direction of ASEAN youth development that focuses on fostering future-ready ASEAN youth through digital skills development. The initiative helps ASEAN youths to seize the vast opportunities that lie ahead of them. At the same time, the initiative equips them with relevant digital skills they require to tackle the challenges posed by the Industrial Revolution 4.0,” said Elaine Tan, the Executive Director of ASEAN Foundation.
“We have identified that a widening digital skill gap is becoming a growing challenge across all industries and sectors in ASEAN. The collaboration with ASEAN Foundation has helped us to steer our focus on developing the human capital pool to ensure that all ASEAN young citizens have the relevant skills needed to thrive in the digital economy,” said Eugene Ho, Head of Corporate Affairs, SAP Southeast Asia. Through the ASEAN Data Science Explorers programme, we hope to work towards filling the digital skills gap in the region.”
“Seeing the youth as the generation of tomorrow, depa pays great attention to empowering them with universal mindset, innovative tools and most importantly compassionate visions. With the objectives of ASEAN Data Science Explorers being in line with our core mission and the theme of Thailand’s 2019 ASEAN Chairmanship ‘Advancing Partnership for Sustainability’, we are more than pleased to support the program by being the co-host of the ASEANDSE Regional Finals 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand and look forward to many more regional collaborative opportunities to come,” stated Ms. Kasama Kongsmak,.