Have you ever heard a noise so loud that rippled through buildings and probably on roofs and walls that was so deafening ? Maria Ressa made the crowd  hear such a ripple effect of a nuclear explosion while explaining the ripple effect of information. This was at the recently-held STEAM Ahead in ASEAN- a conference on new trends and technology that will change and is changing the face and pace of business. It was organized by ASEAN Women Entrepreneurs Network (AWEN), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Slingshot and the USAID- ACTI.

Information we get from the internet travels at a speed of 6000 square meters per second. And causes a ripple effect that can inform or disinform people. And this is why we need to filter bad news or learn to tell  real news  from fake news. And guess where we get our news? Facebook ! It's a known fact that the Philippines is the top Facebook user of the world. We spend almost 5.5 hours a day on the internet and 3.5hours a day  now on our mobile phones.

So what will managers or CEOs do to ensure they get the right information?  What do we do to keep abreast of trends and how to introduce disruptors in our own businesses?

Donald Lim showed how one must disrupt one’s own business or have a disruption plan -- not just a business plan. Why? Because if you don't have a disruption plan someone else could potentially disrupt your business . “And it has happened to the biggest of companies globally, “ Lim relates.

He continues, “nobody is exempted from being disrupted . Even Apple and Samsung will soon be disrupted by Google. It's an eternal race --that's what technology is. A race to get critical mass.”

The audience was gasping as Donald shared more news about the obsolesence of data and how he now feels like a dinosaur among twenty somethings who now know more about technology than he does. 

Next thing that will keep CEOs awake at night?  Studying or getting educated for a job of a corporate executive is no longer in fashion.

The new career is that of a Start Up founder. Yes, and that means making useful things faster than a corporation. So will you still be sending your children to expensive Ivy League schools? Think again.

And here are some tips for those wanting to keep pace with new business trends:

  1. Technology becomes the great equalizer.

Donald had many stories about new millionaires on You Tube. A young father whose idea on toys gets more views than a TV station. How cool is that?

2. Every brand becomes a global brand. When you conceive a brand and expose it on the internet, it becomes a global brand. There are no country boundaries or borders on the internet.

3. Consumeriz-ing Technology. It is available to all. Not just big companies but everyone who has access to a gadget and technology. And that’s everyone.

  1.  Collaboration with the long tail. You need to produce something for everyone. It is no longer a “one size fits all” world.

Indeed, the times are different now. And everyday there ia a new app or gadget invented. There is a technology-based solution for every neeAnd that is the explosion that is going on in business and even in governments, politics, countries and just about everything that makes life worth living.

What will keep you up at night? These trends surely will. And STEAM Ahead will roll into the next event for ASEAN women in business which is the August-slated  ASEAN Women’s Business Conference to be held at the PICC. More revelations and information will be shared by notable speakers from ASEAN and dialogue partners USA, Australia and Canada.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) , Womenbizph, Philippine Women’s Economic Network (PHILWEN) will be organizing the conference which will inlcude the annual AWEN Women Business Awards. For more information, log on to

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and ASEAN Women Entrepreneurs’ Network (AWEN) highlighted the impact of encouraging more women in the fields of science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics at the S.T.E.A.M. Ahead in ASEAN: A Forum on Women and Technology held in Pasay City.

“Women with STEM jobs earned 33% more than women in non-STEM jobs. As a result, the gender wage gap is smaller in STEM jobs than in non-STEM jobs,” explained Undersecretary for Industry Promotion Group Nora K. Terrado

According to a study published by the ASEAN Secretariat in 2016, gender inequality remains a challenge in the region, particularly in the areas of education, labor force participation, and trade-oriented activities, among others.

“As technology further allows women to work while they remain to be the light of their homes for their families, the more we need to urge young girls of today to seek the fields of science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics,” emphasized DTI Undersecretary Terrado.

Moreover, Undersecretary Terrado mentioned the importance of the arts in enhancing the creative and innovative capacity of women in the said fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

DTI and AWEN urge women to explore opportunities in science and tech

Representatives from ASEAN member states strike a pose with DTI Undersecretary for Industry Promotion Group Nora K. Terrado (seated, 4th from left) and ASEAN Women Entrepreneurs’ Network (AWEN) Chair Pacita “Chit” Juan (seated, 3rd from left) during the AWEN meet with the press event held in Pasay.

In the World Economic Forum Gender Gap Report in 2016, the Philippines led other ASEAN member states in promoting gender equality in economy, education, health, and politics, where the country ranked seventh among 144 countries surveyed. Other ASEAN member states ranked as follows: Lao PDR, 43rd; Singapore, 55th; Vietnam, 65th; Thailand, 71st; Indonesia, 88th; Brunei Darussalam, 103rd; Malaysia, 106th; and Cambodia, 112th.

The said forum convened about 200 various stakeholders in the technology industry, delegates from other ASEAN member states, and the private sector. The sessions and talks focused on the understanding of the roles of and opportunities for women in the innovation economy.

In August this year, the Philippines, through its ASEAN Business and Investment Program (ABIP), will hold the ASEAN Women Business Conference which aims to gather women in the region to discuss topics including women economic participation and trade activities.

Providing more opportunities for women in the ASEAN region is among the integral principles in the building process of the ASEAN community.

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