In a collective move to fortify the digital skills pipeline, Huawei, the ASEAN Foundation, and the Southeast Asia Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) recently hosted the Seeds for the Future Summit 2023.
Under the theme “Connect, Cultivate, Contribute for Inclusive Digital Talent Growth in Asia-Pacific,” the summit convened 91 exceptional participants of Seeds for the Future, Huawei’ flagship talent initiative, from 19 Asia-Pacific countries, emphasizing the vital role of youth in the digital evolution of the region. Philippines is one of the countries in the Asia-Pacific Region participating in the event.
Echoing with the theme, Simon Lin, President of Huawei Asia Pacific, stated, “This is the third year for Huawei to host the Asia Pacific Seed for the Future Summit. Every year, we can see this program grow with something new, with more partners joining us. Meanwhile, three things remain unchanged: Partnership, Commitment, and Youth empowerment.”
The event was kicked off with a cultural parade, where the 19 delegations in their own national costumes greet to the audience and share their own culture with pride.
Officially opening the event, H.E. Dr. Kao Kim Hourn, Secretary-General of ASEAN, remarked, “I strongly encourage private-led initiatives that share the vision for attracting and nurturing digital talents such as the Seeds for the Future programme. I hope it will provide more opportunities for the youth, as well as pay special consideration for the vulnerable groups such as women, people with disabilities, and those from rural areas to ensure balanced participation and inclusivity.”
H.E. Amb. Hou Yan QI, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People’s Republic of China to ASEAN, appreciated the “This not only cultivated the ‘seeds’ for the digital transformation of ASEAN countries, but also injected youthful impetus into the upgrading of China-ASEAN cooperation.”
H.E. Amb. Heng Sarith, Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Cambodia to ASEAN and Chair of the Board of Trustees of ASEAN Foundation extended his appreciation to Huawei for “partnering with the ASEAN Foundation to create a platform that empowers young people in the Asia Pacific region, enabling them to enhance their digital skills and expand their networks beyond national boundaries.”
Dr. Kritsachai Somsaman, Centre Director, Southeast Asian Minister of Education Organization Regional Centre for STEM Education, underscored the urgency of digital talent cultivation, “In this fast-evolving digital landscape, the cultivation of digital talent is more critical than ever before. It is the key to boosting growth and resilience, and it holds the power to revolutionize industries, societies, and economies. The Seeds for the Future program, at its core, is designed to inspire and nurture this next generation of leaders.”
As a pivotal of the summit, Huawei and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) announced a joint declaration focusing on six key areas of digital collaboration across the Asia-Pacific, including ICT policy and regulation, joint research, inclusive infrastructure, digital capacity-building, girls and youth empowerment, and digital practice-sharing.
The event was concluded with a panel discussion led by Dr. Piti Srisangnam, Executive Director of ASEAN Foundation. Joined by experts from the National University of Singapore (NUS), representatives from Huawei and the Seeds for the Future participants, the panel delved into the intricacies of shaping tomorrow’s leaders by closing gaps, harnessing digital skills, and nurturing lifelong skills.
This talent summit is an extension of an immersive experience for the 91 students who were taken on a tour of Huawei’s campuses in Shenzhen and Dongguan, China, prior to the summit.
There, they gained unique insights into areas like information theory, digital power, automobile technologies, and cybersecurity. The students came from a range of countries including the ASEAN 10, South Korea, Japan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Fiji, and the Solomon Islands.
The Philippine delegation were composed of nine(9) students coming from various Universities – Allain Ricci Tan. Dominic Mondia, Melanie Cristobal and Rachell Roxas from UP Diliman, Justin Dy, Vince Lim and Criscela Isabelle Racelis from DLSU, Danielle Ledesma from Ateneo , and Daryll Gomez from USJR-Cebu. All the participants were collectively selected by Huawei, the ASEAN Foundation, and ITU.