Honorable guests and National Winners of ASEAN Data Science Explorers 2018.

ASEAN Youths address social issues with data analytics at ASEAN Data Science Explorers Regionals 2018

On Thursday, the ASEAN Foundation and SAP held the regional finals of ASEAN Data Science Explorers (ADSE) in a face-off that saw three student teams from Singapore, the Philippines and Vietnam emerge top for their insights and data-driven solutions to solve the region’s pressing social issues. Singapore’s Minister for Communications and Information S Iswaran presided over the prize presentation ceremony. Coinciding with Singapore’s ASEAN chairmanship in 2018, Singapore played host to the competition, now in its second edition running.

This year, the initiative reached out to 5,000 youths across 175 institutes of higher learning in ASEAN to increase their digital literacy and cultivate a greater sense of responsibility and ownership of the region’s future. They were having trainings in SAP’s Analytics Cloud software through a series of webinars and in-country seminars, thereafter using their newly-acquired data skills to tackle six selected United Nation Sustainable Development Goals. These are (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. Competition entries tripled this year with 801 student teams 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.

Minister for Communications and Information S Iswaran presenting the top prize to team Plan B of Singapore from NUS High School of Math and Science.

Team Plan B of Singapore, comprising Tay Kai Jun and Madhumitha Ayyappan from NUS High School of Math and Science were crowned the ASEAN champion today at the regional finals. Their winning project, ‘From Slumming to Sustainability’ aims to galvanize ASEAN to transform slums into sustainable microcities.

Team Dimicrocambio of the Philippines, comprising Jade Hizon and John Rusty Perena from the Nueva Ecija University of Science and Technology emerged as the runner-up. Their project, ‘Recalibrating educational gears through entrepreneurship education’ focuses on how entrepreneurship education can empower students to turn their ideas into actions.

Meanwhile, team Pangolin of Vietnam, comprising Nguyen Van Thuan and Mai Thanh Tung from RMIT University Vietnam clinched third place for their project ‘Conquering the Waves of Global Trade’, which addresses the issue of disadvantaged trading due to the disparity in sea transport capacity among ASEAN countries.

“Education is one of the foundational cornerstones of ASEAN’s integration and socio-economic development blueprint. To this end, initiatives such as ASEAN Data Science Explorers promotes greater cross-border interaction and mobility across the region and equips our youths with critical skillsets needed to thrive in an increasingly challenging and disruptive future,” said Elaine Tan, Executive Director of the ASEAN Foundation. “We are very encouraged by the creativity and innovation displayed in the entries today, which is a strong testament to the passion of ASEAN youths to aimfully create a better future for their societies.”

The ASEAN Foundation and SAP also inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to extend their strategic collaboration into 2019, following the collaboration over the past two years. The MoU aims to support the trainings for youths in the skillsets as they join the workforce and equip them to potentially solve societal and economic issues facing the region.

Three decades after ASEAN was established, ASEAN leaders recognised that: there remained inadequate shared prosperity, ASEAN awareness and contact among people of ASEAN. It was of this concern that ASEAN leaders established ASEAN Foundation during ASEAN’s 30th Anniversary Commemorative Summit in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia on 15 December 1997.