SAP and ASEAN Foundation Announce Winners at ASEAN Data Science Explorers Regional Finals 2021

Press Release
  • Team Youth Forward walks away with the Regional Champion trophy and prize money of US$1500
  • Team Youth Forward from Saint Joseph Convent School crowned as ASEAN Data Science Explorers Regional Finals Champion 2021
  • ASEAN Data Science Explorers has equipped more than 32,000 youths and educators with essential digital skills since 2017

ASEAN – SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) and the ASEAN Foundation are pleased to announce that three teams from Saint Joseph Convent School, Kirirom Institute of Technology, and Sunway University have emerged as the winners in the ASEAN Data Science Explorers (ASEAN DSE) Regional Finals 2021 which took place from 5 to 7 October 2021 virtually.

Group photo on Day 2 of the Regional Finals 2021, 6 October 2021

The three teams came out on top for their insights and data-driven solutions that support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), highlighting the importance of climate action and sustainability. Below are the details of the winners:

  • Team Youth Forward, comprising Rada Prapaikornkiet and Kanjaree Suppawittaya from Saint Joseph Convent School, Thailand, emerged as the first winner. Their presentation was focused on empowering farming towards a sustainable future of the ASEAN Community covering SDG 2 – Zero Hunger, SDG 4 – Quality Education, and SDG 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • Team Sprinkle, comprising Chakriya Suy and Serei Neath Reasey, from Kirirom Institute of Technology, Cambodia, took the first runner-up position. Their presentation was focused on recycling centers as the solution for waste management covering SDG 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth and SDG 11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • Team Brain Drain, comprising Ryan Kok Lam Liew and Jia Hui Ng, from Sunway University, Malaysia, secured the second runner-up place. Their presentation was focused on prioritising e-waste covering SDG 12 – Responsible Consumption and Production.
Three winning teams of the ASEAN Data Science Explorers Regional Final 2021. Left to right: Team Youth Forward from Thailand, Team Sprinkle from Cambodia, and Team Brain Drain from Malaysia

“The ASEAN Data Science Explorers competition, the ASEAN Foundation’s flagship programme, has proven ASEAN’s commitment to preparing our youth to be future-ready. This initiative plays a vital role in igniting students’ creative minds in tackling problems with innovative, creative, and sustainable solutions,” said The Honourable Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Hamzah, Minister of Education, Brunei Darussalam.

Photo of Day 1 of the ASEAN Data Science Explorers Regional Final 2021 where all teams were given the challenge to take a selfie as part of the team networking session

In a three-day virtual event, ASEAN Foundation and SAP organized a series of engaging activities for the regional finalists to build connections, strengthen their future-ready skills and grow their appreciation for being a citizen of ASEAN. The activities include team building and networking sessions on the first day, storyboard presentations and winners’ announcements on the second day, and sharing sessions with the ASEAN Secretariat, Permanent Mission of Brunei Darussalam to ASEAN, alumni of ASEAN DSE, and social enterprises on the final day.

Day 3 of the ASEAN Data Science Explorers Regional Final 2021 with speakers from ASEAN Secretariat, ASEAN DSE Alumni, and social enterprises in ASEAN

Amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, ASEAN DSE continues to equip youth from across the region with essential digital skills by organising key activities, such as enablement sessions and data analytics competition in a hybrid model – virtually and in-person, wherever possible. As 2021 marks the fifth-year milestone for ASEAN DSE, the programme has a renewed focus on UN SDGs that target climate and sustainability. In addition, the programme also collaborates with Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in ten ASEAN member states (AMS) to deliver online and in-person enablement sessions to youth, including those with limited access to technology and youth with disabilities. The collaboration with IHLs and NGOs made it possible for the programme to deliver SAP Analytics Cloud training to 11,782 students and lecturers in 2021, with females making up 53% of the youth beneficiaries. These figures mark a 158% increase compared to 2020 (4,563 youths and lecturers). Furthermore, this year saw 714 students from ten ASEAN countries across the region compete to represent their country in the National Finals.

“The ASEAN DSE initiative sets the foundation of a digital world where our ASEAN youth are inspired and motivated to create and solve challenges through technology. This will also cultivate digital inclusion by imbuing youths and lecturers with data analytics skills and nurturing and deepening a pool of homegrown talents in the region to build the workforce of the future,” said Verena Siow, President and Managing Director of SAP Southeast Asia.

“Through our collaboration with the ASEAN Foundation, we aim to empower the diverse ASEAN community to be the world’s economic powerhouse, be at the forefront of innovation, and drive sustainable economies,” added Siow.

“ASEAN Foundation and SAP aspire to help young people in the region to be future-ready by nurturing their 21st-century skills. Aligned with the theme of Brunei’s ASEAN Chairmanship 2021 ‘We Care, We Prepare, We Prosper,’ this programme also allows youth to better understand the shared challenges the region must overcome together and fosters a deeper sense of belonging towards the ASEAN Community. We also hope that the collaboration between ASEAN Foundation and SAP can inspire more public-private partnerships in the future to support the development of our future generation,” said Dr. Yang Mee Eng, Executive Director of ASEAN Foundation.

“Judges are challenged to decide the winning teams because all teams did equally well. However, all judges evaluated the teams objectively and considered the data presented as an essential element to evaluate team proposals. We also assessed if the teams deeply researched the existing initiatives or programmes implemented by the governments and any other relevant stakeholders. Most importantly, we evaluated if the teams were able to fill the gap to these initiatives through their proposals,” said Dr. Vong Sok, Head of Environment Division, ASEAN Secretariat.

“We are so surprised, excited, and honored to be the ASEAN DSE Regional Finals Winner! We didn’t expect this at all. This journey has been memorable and life-changing for us. We learned so many new skills from this competition. Lastly, here is our message to ASEAN’s youth: Go for it! Don’t hesitate to join ASEAN DSE and your voices will definitely be heard, as our slogan: Let’s grow together as one ASEAN community that harmonizes in one vision, one identity, and become the remarkable changemakers of ASEAN’s future!” said Team Youth Forward.

Screenshot of the live-streamed ASEAN Data Science Explorers Regional Finals 2021. Link to the replay video: bit.ly/regionalfinal2021

The ASEAN DSE Regional Finals 2021 was live-streamed on the ASEAN Foundation’s Facebook channel, attracting more than 2,200 views. The live stream videos can be accessed through this link: bit.ly/regionalfinal2021

ASEAN DSE is a regional programme by the ASEAN Foundation and SAP that aims to catalyse activism and critical thinking among university students in ASEAN. Since its inception in 2017, the programme has equipped more than 30,000 youths and 2,000 educators from over 700 institutes of higher learning with data analytics skills. ASEAN DSE engages youth to develop data-driven solutions that highlight six Sustainable Development Goals namely Clean Water and Sanitation (SDG 6), Affordable and Clean Energy (SDG 7), Decent Work and Economic Growth (SDG 8), Sustainable Cities and Communities (SDG 11), Responsible Consumption and Production (SDG 12) and Climate Action (SDG 13), by harnessing SAP’s Analytics Cloud software. Learn more about ASEAN DSE from our website (www.aseandse.org) or the Facebook Group.

ASEAN Foundation and SAP share the common objective of continuing the implementation of ASEAN DSE 2021 as a way of transforming our youth into agents of change that can bring about sustainable impact to communities across the region, and supporting the theme of Brunei Darussalam’s ASEAN Chairmanship, which is “We Care, We Prepare, We Prosper.”