ASEAN Study Centre, Faculty of Social and Political Sciences Universitas Gadjah Mada held a short course program, namely ASEAN Youth Initiative Empowerment Program (AYIEP) 2017. The main topic of this 2nd AYIEP was Digitalizing ASEAN: Fostering Community through Digital Connectivity. The Digitalizing ASEAN theme was considered very suitable with the integration spirit of ASEAN in welcoming the 50th celebration of its existence entitled Partnering for Change, Engaging the World. AYIEP was held for a week from July 23 until 29, 2017, in Yogyakarta.
The event which was held with the support from Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs presented several important figures behind the integration process of ASEAN, including H.E. Ambassador Ong Keng Yong (Secretary General of ASEAN 2003-2007), Ambassador Foster Gultom (Former Indonesian Ambassador to Kazakhstan), and Ambassador Djauhari Oratmangun (Expert Staff to Foreign Affairs Minister). Moreover, it presented Stuart Shaw (Political Advisor of Canada for ASEAN), Alfatih Timur (CEO of kitabisa.com), and Makshud Manik (CEO of youthop.com).
AYIEP was attended by the best students from countries in ASEAN and several countries in Africa, such as Egypt, Uganda, and Rwanda. They were invited to discuss three main subthemes that were Digital Activism, Digital Diplomacy, and Digital Citizenship. Those sub-themes will be discussed in series of the event starting from International Seminar on 50 years of ASEAN, Public Lecture, Digital Visit, working group, to excursion.
In the Digital Visit event, the AYIEP delegates visited three institutions and communities that have been utilizing digital facilities to solve the problems around them. Those three institutions were Innovative Academy, Difa Bike, and Kampung Cyber (Cyber Village). Innovative Academy is a start-up incubation built by Universitas Gadjah Mada collaborating with KIBAR. Currently, there is more than 20 digital start-ups established by UGM students in order to answer various challenges and the community’s necessity.
UGM Head of Business Development, Directorate of Business Development and Incubation, Eddy Junarsin, S.E., M.B.A., Ph.D. said UGM becomes the initiator of digital development that focusses on start-up. Innovative Academy is opened for all UGM students from various faculties. Those who satisfy the requirements will receive a mentoring from UGM on how to build a digital start-up.
“Indonesia is a big market for start-up. Therefore, entrepreneurial spirit has to be developed by students because start-up can create many job opportunities,” said Edy.
Meanwhile, Program Director of AYIEP 2017, Andika Putra, hopes this program can become a facility for ASEAN youths to solve various issues. The participants are expected to be able to answer various problems and challenges both in their countries and ASEAN using technology as the main facility. “I hope the knowledge obtained in AYIEP can be disseminated to their countries,” said Andika.