With a call to the youth to be responsible IT leaders, the 13th Youth Congress on Information Technology, which began on Sept. 9 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City, concluded with discussions that equipped the delegates to be prepared for the industry’s challenges.
On Sept. 11, Sen. Bam Aquino graced the congress’ final day, delivering a keynote speech that focused on the importance of Internet infrastructure in the Philippines. Citing the ongoing Internet hearings in the senate, he stressed the correlation between the growth of our economy and the readiness of our Internet. “A good internet infrastructure in a developing country like ours leads to economic development,” he said. Acknowledging the event’s theme, “Y4iT the 13th: Are You Ready? ” and addressing how prepared the country is, he told the thousands of delegates, “We’re getting ready by the day, and we’re improving by the day. If we will help each other, we will be more ready by the day.”
Delegates also learned more about various efforts made by different organizations in the field of ICT in the country. An example is the Juan Konek Project of the Information and Communications Technology Office (ICTO) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). DOST-ICTO Spokesperson Roy Espiritu discussed their initiative to provide free Wi-Fi in 967 municipalities, 43 major cities, across more than 700 public places. Another is DOST Project NOAH’s use of free and open source technology. Mr. Poch Caballos, Lead of GrabTaxi PH, also delivered a talk on how a startup like theirs utilizes technology to revolutionize the way Filipinos move.
In addition, considering the estimated 44% Internet penetration rate in the country, Y4iT established the need to create a dialogue on various aspects of the Internet. Talks from the Asia-Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC) and Internet Society representatives raised questions on the nation’s readiness for the future of the Internet. APNIC’s Sheryl Hermoso, who referred to the Internet as the “nervous system of the 21st century,” stressed the need for stability and security, while Noelle Francesca De Guzman of the Internet Society delved into the threats on privacy and security as Internet of Things grows. On the other hand, Kelvin Wong of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) gave a talk on the expansion of top-level domain and how it transforms the Internet ecosystem.
The participants also gained added knowledge from talks on the country’s global competitiveness in the software industry, the digital business era and the factors that influence enterprise technology, importance of affordance in experience design, as well as the integration of cloud storage and Internet of things. Johan Jansenns of Timble then challenged the participating youth to take a risk and lead their own paths, as he shared examples of successful young entrepreneurs.
On its first two days, the youth congress covered several pertinent subjects such as human mobility, game design, Philippine Internet freedom, digital rights, and entrepreneurship, among others. On top of this, participants also enjoyed games, prizes, and musical performances. To close the three-day event, OPM band Never the Strangers performed for the delegates.
Y4iT, formerly known as the Philippine Youth Congress on Information Technology, is organized by the UP System IT Foundation and has gone on to be on the forefront of information technology gathering events in the country.