Report
The Platform Economy: Southeast Asia’s Digital Growth Catalyst
The Institute’s inaugural study brings together industry-wide perspectives and sets the stage for further engagement.

   Report

The Platform Economy: Southeast Asia’s Digital Growth Catalyst
The Institute’s inaugural study brings together industry-wide perspectives and sets the stage for further engagement.
Report
The Platform Economy: Southeast Asia’s Digital Growth Catalyst
The Institute’s inaugural study brings together industry-wide perspectives and sets the stage for further engagement.

   Report

The Platform Economy: Southeast Asia’s Digital Growth Catalyst
The Institute’s inaugural study brings together industry-wide perspectives and sets the stage for further engagement.

While technology continues to turbocharge Southeast Asia’s growth, the reality is that it has brought forth both positive and negative impacts.

Despite the accelerated growth trajectory, the region suffers from unequal access to opportunities due to wide disparities in digital literacy and infrastructure.

At the Tech for Good Institute, we believe that Southeast Asia can get to the good by taking on the bad. By understanding the risks and potential of technology, the region can chart a more sustainable future for its people.

With the theme of ‘Turbocharging Southeast Asia for Tomorrow’, our inaugural Tech for Good Dialogue will look to unpack a range of topics that are at the intersection of technology, policy and society.

The Dialogue will bring together government leaders, tech visionaries, startups, researchers, and communities from across the region. The lessons, ideas and conversations that emerge will inform leaders on the direction Southeast Asia can take to advance tech for good, and unlock tech’s potential to drive the region forward.

Conversation Themes

The inaugural Tech for Good Institute Dialogue will feature a series of four conversations centred around the new research commissioned by the Institute on the role and impact of digital platforms in Southeast Asia:

Digital platforms have become a frequent topic of discussion across Southeast Asia in many policy areas, including its role in the digitalization of the economy, labour and employment, competition, consumer protection and privacy, among other areas.

Given the emerging nature of the digital platforms, they can be more complex than they appear on the surface and are not always well understood. This conversation track will examine relevant evidence and offer local insights on the sector. It will contribute to the discourse on how imperatives may be set for both platforms and policymakers across the region to harness its fullest potential to drive the digital economy forward.

Millions in Southeast Asia don’t have access to adequate basic financial services. But fintech-innovation is working on changing this. Neobanks, insurtech, and embedded finance are opening a new world of possibilities in commerce and wealth management, allowing many more in the region to leapfrog and join the visible economy.

The power of this revolution is undeniable. As the region begins to recover from the pandemic, how can we leverage it to create a fairer and more inclusive financial system for all? This conversation track will feature thought-leaders and practitioners at the frontlines of defending the promise of fintech for good.

If not for remote learning, 135 million school children around the region would have lost access to education during the pandemic. Yet many cannot afford this luxury and traditional learning models remain deeply entrenched. How can technology be tapped to democratise education, and support the delivery of quality education to traditionally underserved communities?

What are the necessary foundational pieces of work that need to be done to facilitate this transformation? Bridging the divide in education is particularly critical following the onset of Covid-19 where we have seen many thrust back into poverty. This conversation track will bring together pioneers in edtech to share perspectives on how immediate challenges can be ‘hacked’ to advance the education agenda for the next generation in Southeast Asia.

As Southeast Asia’s economy continues to grow even amid the pandemic, so too are its demands for resources. While the region has taken initial steps towards greater sustainability, achieving consensus on the green agenda continues to be an afterthought, with attention focused on meeting more immediate needs – like access to opportunities, education and healthcare.

But are the two really mutually exclusive? Can technology and data be used to meet the region’s needs in both the short and long term? This conversation track will look at how new solutions are being deployed to meet these needs, and how innovation in areas like energy and agriculture are breaking new ground and creating new opportunities in Southeast Asia.

Dr Ming Tan

Executive Director

Dr Ming Tan is Executive Director for the Tech for Good Institute, a non-profit founded by Grab, to encourage and enrich dialogue on social, economic, and policy trends accelerated by the digital economy.

Ming was previously Managing Director of IPOS International, part of the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore, which supports Singapore’s future growth as a global innovation hub for intellectual property (I.P.) creation, commercialization and management.

Prior to joining the public sector, she was Head of Stewardship of the COMO Group, a Singaporean portfolio of lifestyle companies operating in 14 countries worldwide. As a company director, she lends brand and strategic guidance to SuperNature Pte Ltd, COMO Hotels and Resorts (Asia) Pte Ltd, COMO Club Pte Ltd, and Mogems Pte Ltd.

In the not-for-profit space, Ming is an Advisor to Singapore Totalisator Board and serves on the boards of Esplanade–Theatres on the Bay, Singapore’s national performing arts centre, St. Joseph’s Institution International and COMO Foundation.

As part of her commitment to holistic education and the arts, she also sits on the Advisory Panel of the Centre for the Arts of the National University of Singapore. Ming was educated in Singapore, the United States, and England. She obtained her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Stanford University and her doctorate from Oxford.