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Thursday, 30 November 2017

ASEAN youths lauded for ideas to address key social issues at the ASEAN Data Science Explorers 2017

Representatives from Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand emerged as top 3 teams at the regional face-off held at the ASEAN Secretariat

The ASEAN Foundation and SAP concluded the ASEAN Data Science Explorers (DSE) regional finals held at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta on 29 November 2017. Students representing Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand were awarded the top three awards for their insights and innovative ideas to tackle key social and economic issues in the ASEAN region.

This is the first year that the ASEAN DSE was organized across all 10 ASEAN member states as part of the strategic partnership between the ASEAN Foundation and SAP. The aim of this initiative is to prepare today’s youth for tomorrow’s world. The initiative encourages participants to deliver data-driven insights which highlight issues in ASEAN across six United Nation Sustainable Development Goals, namely (1) good health and well-being, (2) quality education, (3) gender equality, (4) clean water and sanitation, (5) decent work and economic growth, and (6) sustainable cities and communities. Participants were encouraged to harness the power of data to come up with impactful and constructive insights that can lead to innovative solutions to societal problems.

Team ‘ASEANalysts’, comprising of participants Thean Su Mei and Wong Feng Ming from Malaysia, emerged as the ASEAN champion at the regional face-off. Their project, focusing on improving primary education, is aligned to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of inclusive and quality education for all. Both participants are current students from Monash University.

The first runners up was team Omotesando, comprising of team members Febe Epafras and Vida Cornelius from the University of Indonesia. Their project on ‘financial inclusion through branchless banking’ is aligned to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of decent work and economic growth for all.

Meanwhile, the team from Thailand, Bangkok Brothers, comprising of team members Pachara Aungsusuknarumol and Krittanut Jirathawong from Chulalongkorn University, came in third place for their project on ‘gender divide in ASEAN countries. Their project is aligned to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of achieving gender equality.

“The winning teams have come up with some innovative solutions that showcase the potential of our ASEAN youths to own the issues that they have chosen to address. Through this competition, we have been able to witness the passion and commitment that our ASEAN youths have towards driving a sustainable future for this community,” said Elaine Tan, Executive Director of the ASEAN Foundation. “2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of ASEAN and the 20th anniversary of the ASEAN Foundation. The success of the ASEAN DSE competition is a great proofpoint highlighting the value of investing in the next generation, and we are pleased to continue the partnership and this programme with SAP into 2018.”

Students who registered for the program earlier in the year gained access to ASEAN datasets as well as the SAP Analytics Cloud platform, which allowed them to analyze the data and derive insights. The SAP Analytics Cloud is a new generation software as a service (SaaS) that redefines analytics in the cloud by providing business intelligence (BI), predictive, and planning capabilities all within one tool. Using this cloud platform, the participants could analyze and visualize data to come up with their innovative recommendations.

All the 10 teams at the regional finals were the top teams from the respective member ASEAN states, where they emerged as winners during the national finals held over the last month and a half.