The ASEAN Foundation and SAP SE announced a strategic partnership this week, to create positive social impact in South East Asia and foster the digital economy. Their joint effort will focus on areas of Education, Volunteerism and Entrepreneurship.
Through this partnership, the ASEAN Foundation and SAP aim to support the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in building a cohesive regional community and deliver inclusively-shared economic benefits by encouraging strategic and innovative participation of youths and social entrepreneurs.
The Memorandum of Understanding between the two organisations is a part of SAP’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy to equip youths with skills needed to tackle society problems and thrive in the digital economy; build the capacity of innovative social enterprises that put young people on the path to successful careers and build a skilled workforce for the IT sector with training and workforce development programmes.
Key initiatives that will be executed under this agreement will focus on driving digital literacy to support sustainable growth for the communities that the programmes aim to benefit.
“A sustainable ASEAN community lies in the hands of ASEAN’s youth. I believe that our joint initiatives with SAP will increase the involvement of ASEAN youths in national and regional activities to give them an opportunity to actively contribute to the ASEAN community,” says Elaine Tan, the Executive Director of the ASEAN Foundation.
Youth empowerment has been a salient topic in ASEAN since the declaration of principles to strengthen ASEAN Collaboration on Youth that was presented in Bangkok in 1983.
“The three initiatives under the ASEAN Foundation and SAP partnership have touched upon five priority focus of the most recent ASEAN Work Plan on Youth 2016-2020, which includes youth entrepreneurship, youth employment, youth awareness, youth volunteerism and leadership, as well as youth resilience,” Elaine added.
“ASEAN represents not just one economic community; it also represents one social community. As ASEAN celebrates 50 years of deepening unity and rising prosperity this year, we are excited with the opportunities that are in store in this Growth Frontier region. With almost half of the region’s population being less than 30 years of age by 2020, there is a growing pool of talent that we can invest in and work with for a better future. Through our joint initiatives with the ASEAN Foundation, we aim to help prepare young people for the digital economy and support ASEAN, drive sustainable socio-economic growth in the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” said Mr. Scott Russell, President and Managing Director, SAP South East Asia.
He further added, “SAP’s vision is to help the world run better and improve people’s lives. This is our enduring cause. In service to this higher purpose, we are investing efforts in our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme to equip youth with the skills needed to tackle society’s problems and thrive in the digital economy. I believe that this partnership will help scale our CSR efforts to create greater reach and positively impact lives in this region.”
Under this agreement, the ASEAN Foundation and SAP will roll out three initiatives in 2017 to address the ASEAN’s economic, environmental, and societal issues, through three focus areas of education, volunteerism and entrepreneurship.
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Targeting tertiary students across all 10 ASEAN member states from any discipline, this data analytics competition – “ASEAN Data Science Explorers” aims to enhance awareness and appreciation of the ASEAN community amongst young people through digital literacy intervention.
By learning and using the SAP BusinessObjects Cloud tool, the initiative encourages participants to deliver data-driven insights for ASEAN across six United Nation (UN) 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.
The competition will be organized across all ASEAN member states with a regional final taking place in Jakarta, Indonesia in November this year.
In collaboration with United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany, ASEAN Secretariat, ASEAN Foundation and SAP along with other partners have launched the Youth Volunteering Innovation Challenge (YVIC) in ASEAN.
Under the theme “Impact ASEAN,” the initiative supports young volunteers throughout the ASEAN countries in their journey to catalyze youth-led innovation for social impact and sustainable development. YVIC will provide entrepreneurship knowledge and skills through national workshops.
The national workshop winners will be awarded micro-grants to prototype their ideas and later participate in the regional mentorship orientation in Bangkok, Thailand. In addition, employees from SAP will be volunteering their time to provide guidance and support to refine and scale up the youth’s Impact Projects.
Through structured capacity building and mentoring initiatives planned through local and overseas missions, high performing employees from SAP will support social impact intermediaries through mentoring and pro-bono consulting. The programme in association with several partners will impact close to 20 social enterprises across Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam in 2017.
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