Philippine Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo addressed both Korean and Filipino audiences in the virtual Social Innovation Forum organized by Ateneo de Naga University (ADNU), thru its Office of Student Affairs, and Hanyang University (HYU) on October 7, 2020. The said forum was part of HYU’s 5th Seventeen Hearts Festival.
Streamed via Youtube and Facebook, Robredo challenged innovators, including universities, to reimagine the future, and use creativity and innovation as requirements in creating a better normal for a world that is more fair, humane and equitable than the one before the pandemic.
Two of the featured innovative initiatives in the forum were responsive to Robredo’s challenge. Kenneth Isaiah Abante’s Citizens’ Budget Tracker holds the government to account by monitoring how its COVID-19 budget is being spent, and pushes the responsible agencies to spend fast to stop hunger during the health crisis. Nueca Technologies, as presented by its CEO Magno Edilberto Conag III, shows innovations like Community Mart, an e-commerce platform, especially for local community and public market stores; Hungrily, a food delivery application; and E-Salvar, Naga City’s COVID-19 contact tracing system.
Other than the said innovation examples, the online forum also presented informative lectures from HYU professors Yeongsoo Jeon and Park Seong-soo, specifically on the distinct roles of civil society organizations, and local governments, respectively, in design-thinking and implementing solutions that address specific social problems.
Fr. Roberto Exequiel N. Rivera, ADNU president, was present in the forum to give a message. Last year, Fr. Rivera signed a Memorandum of Understanding with HYU to formalize the two institutions’ cooperative undertakings that began in 2017, when ADNU hosted the Korean university’s Social Venture Youth Exchange (SVYE).
Providing a synthesis to the forum was Rodolfo SB. Virtus Jr., ADNU’s director of the Office of Student Affairs, and pointperson for ADNU-HYU relations. Last year, he and Engr. Referendo Soriano, dean of the College of Science and Engineering, attended the 4th Seventeen Hearts Festival in Seoul, Korea.