I'm a journalist and brand content writer interested in human rights, tech, and how the two intersect.
"For many people, getting online is a challenge, let alone having a smartphone or internet in their homes. Technology innovations could be a game-changer in the Philippines, though not everyone is confident that that will be the case.
“In the current state of the Philippine economy, I don’t think the tech ecosystem will really benefit the people. Only the [transnational corporations] and local corporate elites will profit” said Lorelei Covero, a program officer at IBON International, an advocacy group based in Quezon City. “Unless science and technology answers to the real needs of the people–such as national industry, agrarian reform, basic social services—it will not be relevant to the present conditions.”
Yeo, Seah and Looi had a hot startup on their hands, but they were also getting ready to head to college in the U.S. Their investors were patient and expected that the men would alternate semesters between taking classes and focusing on the business.
Yeo headed to UC Berkeley, Looi to Stanford, and Seah to UPenn’s Wharton School of Business. But they soon realized that being full-time college students and running a successful business were incompatible.
The most successful edtech companies to come out of South and Southeast Asia will be those that appeal to multiple markets. That’s no small feat, given that educational resources differ dramatically based on where you are. Edtech startups must offer products with mass appeal but that can be tailored to each country it enters.
In March 2016, Van debuted ELSA during SXSW, and the product won the SXSWedu launch competition. ELSA, which stands for English Language Speech Assistant, is a mobile app that uses AI to help people improve their pronunciation. Users can access different curriculum options based on their interests, such as travel or professional settings. They’re then lead through a series of vocabulary words and phrases, and ELSA’s algorithms analyze their speech. If ELSA detects a mispronunciation, it tells the user not only how the word should sound, but also how to move the tongue and lips to form the correct word.
Chiang Mai became a go-to destination for online entrepreneurs, freelancers, and remote workers—otherwise known as digital nomads. A rising number of expats are choosing to call Chiang Mai home as they bootstrap digital businesses or scale up their already-successful enterprises.
Launching new outreach initiatives is challenging, especially for non-profits that are strapped for funds and manpower. But inclusiveness cannot be left for another day. Access to tech and educational resources is increasingly vital to career development. Co-working spaces and incubators have a unique opportunity, perhaps even an obligation, to ensure that those opportunities are available to anyone who seeks them. That includes people of all races, genders, abilities, ages, and economic backgrounds.
Leadership is woven into the coworking concept, as the communities that develop around these spaces foster innovative thinking and empower members. They’re entrepreneurial hubs that can spur economic development.
Coworking spaces attract both tech professionals and creatives, which creates an atmosphere ripe for collaboration. Designers, marketing technologists, programmers, and writers can “partner up and get to know one another,” Tominsky says. Independent freelancers can refer one another for client projects, expanding their own networks and boosting the entire community.
“That happens far more in a coworking space than if you were working alone in isolation,” Tominsky says.
Environmentalists often herald electric vehicles as the cars of the future. They’re less costly to own in the long run, and they reduce dependence on fossil fuels. But these eco-friendly vehicles present a new challenge for manufacturers: What do you do with the batteries when they’re no longer roadworthy?
Enter Nissan’s partnership with Green Charge Networks, a California company, to give Nissan Leaf batteries a second life. Japanese corporations have become leaders in green energy storage technologies and are partnering with U.S. companies to create sustainable power solutions across the country. Nissan and companies such as Toyota, Hitachi, Sharp, and others have brought their emphasis on smart, green innovation to the American communities in which they operate.
Healthcare is another core issue among Clinton supporters. Moore and Bellonci said they’d like to see her build on Obama’s work with the Affordable Care Act.
“I think she can progress what President Obama has started,” Bellonci said. “I think she can continue to tweak the Affordable Care Act. I don’t know how it all functions [in Washington] but she does, and I think that’s essential to make progress.”
But Clinton will also carve out her own legacy, they said.
“I don’t think anyone’s going to say she’s just an Obama clone,” Moore said. “They’re going to say she’s Hillary Clinton.”
The Iraq War marked a turning point in Sarandon’s politics, she recalled. She decided then that she would not back candidates who supported the invasion and who would “be sending us off time and time again to solve problems in an unimaginative and violent way.”
Geek Girls Myanmar celebrated its first anniversary this September, and it has become a hub of networking, professional development, and support for women in Burma’s nascent tech community. Modeled after Geek Girls groups in Singapore and Indonesia, Geek Girls Myanmar aims to “encourage and inspire women who are working in technology.”
"We need a 'unicorn.' One company that starts winning all the markets. It will make VCs (in the US) wake up and ... it will give local investors the hope (and ambition) that Latin American companies can go global. It will take some time, but it will eventually happen."
Kentucky offers a prime example of how Japanese foreign direct investments can invigorate communities throughout the United States. Today, some 3,000 Japanese companies operate in the US, generating (directly and indirectly) 1.7 million jobs and $580 billion in cumulative output, according to the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren).
Telenor banka is changing the banking game in Serbia with its innovative, new, customer-centric model that is simplifying banking for Serbian customers.
“In an organic way, the program is attracting high-tech entrepreneurs, companies doing something more innovative,” said Sebastian Vidal, Executive Director of Start-Up Chile. “There’s a good start-up opportunity in Chile. There’s something here that is unique.”