Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Corn silage production as an enterprise

Isagani Cajucom, entrepreneur and farmer leader for the Silage Production project of PCC and DOST-PCAARRD shares his experience on corn silage production to attendees of the Pistang Kalabaw in PCC, Nueva Ecija.

Enterprising farmers can look at corn silage production as an alternative source of livelihood. Corn silage is a form of carabao feed made from chopped corn plants that are sealed tight in a silo or container and then fermented for two to three weeks. It is a nutritious feed for carabaos as it is a good source of energy and protein.

Isagani Cajucom, a farmer entrepreneur, is an adopter of the silage production technology. He is a farmer leader for the Silage Production project of the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) and the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD). DOST-PCAARRD’s supports the project through its Technomart (TM) modality.

Cajucom has been producing and marketing corn silage in Nueva Ecija. During one cycle of planting and harvesting, he produced 54,729 kilograms of corn silage in his two-hectare lot which sold at P191,551.50.  It provided him a total net income of P66,661.60 after deducting the cost for labor, planting materials, pesticide and herbicide application, irrigation, materials for chopping, and transportation, among others.

In a span of two years, Cajucom has earned a total net income of P582,475.80  from four cycles of planting and harvesting.

Cajucom said that the market for corn silage is huge. In the Philippines alone, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority, there are 2.86 million carabao heads as of July 2014. In a day, a farmer engaged in dairy carabao production needs about 25 to 30kilograms (kg) of feeds in 24 hours for a carabao weighing from 400 to 500kg.  Not all farmers have access to open pastures where they can let their carabaos graze, hence the potential of corn silage production. Currently, aside from Nueva Ecija,Cajucom sees demand from Quezon, Batangas, and Pangasinan.

Cajucom, however, admits that he has also encountered some constraints in corn silage production, including the availability of corn seeds, varying cost of labor, availability of water, and the availability of forage chopper.

Cajucom also noted that corn silage production won’t hinder regular corn production for food and poultry feeds, as both can be a farmer’s form of livelihood. According to Cajucom, a farmer can gauge where he can profit more by looking at the price of corn in the market.

Cajucom shared his experience during the Pistang Kalabaw held at the national headquarters of PCC, at the Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija. Pistang Kalabaw is part of the Farms and Industry Encounters through Science and Technology Agenda (FIESTA), an initiative of DOST-PCAARRD. It is a technology transfer modality that aims to bridge farmers and the micro, small, and medium-scale industries through a science and technology-based platform.

Silage production technology is one of the many R&D outputs supported by DOST-PCAARRD in keeping with its commitment under DOST’s Outcome One: to provide science-based know-how and tools that will enable the agricultural sector to raise productivity to world-class standards.

DOST’s avowal of public service once more takes center stage as it celebrates this year’s National Science and Technology Week on July 24-28 at SMX Mall of Asia, Pasay City with Philippines: A Science Nation Innovating for Global Competitiveness as its theme.

Source: http://www.pcaarrd.dost.gov.ph/home/portal/index.php/quick-information-dispatch/2561-corn-silage-production-as-an-enterprise-

Sustaining the Philippine seas with the Pangako sa Dagat

WMSU President Dr. Mirabel Ho and PCAARRD Executive Director Dr. Patricio Faylon led in unveiling the Pangako sa Dagat pledge wall.

Officials and staff of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (NFRDI), the local government of Zamboanga, and the Western Mindanao State University (WMSU) pledged to help save the Philippine seas to sustain fish production for the benefit of Filipinos on a pledge wall dubbed as “Pangako sa Dagat” during the 2014 Sardines Festival  held at WMSU, Zamboanga City.

The officials who pledged their commitment during the event included Zamboanga City Mayor Ma. Isabel Climaco-Salazar; NFRDI Interim Deputy Director Noel Barut; WMSU President Dr. Mirabel Ho; PCAARRD Executive Director Dr. Patricio Faylon; BFAR Director Atty. Asis Perez, and  Atty. Rhaegee Tamanya who represented the Office of Senator Cynthia Villar. Students of the WMSU and nearby schools also signed the pledge wall as a sign of their commitment.

The local government expressed the need to maintain and protect the environment to ensure stable fish supply for commercial and community use. Cases of overfishing, illegal fishing, and pollution have been plaguing the Sulu Celebes sea, endangering the sardine supply of Zamboanga.

“The Philippines is the third largest sardine producer in the world. After two to three years, the Philippines hopefully will be the number one in the world,” said PCAARRD Executive Director Patricio S. Faylon during this speech.

To attain this goal, BFAR is continuing its efforts in increasing sardine production through a three-month fishing ban that allows sardines to grow and multiply during spawning season.  Having been enacted in 2011, project implementers reported an increase of sardine by 6.32% in 2012. The ban also reduced the smaller-sized sardines being caught by the sardine industry and the communities.

Moreover, to have a more accurate understanding of the spawning season and juvenile population of sardines, PCAARRD has funded four ongoing studies. These studies include the assessment of the sardine fisheries in Tawi-Tawi waters; molecular technology-based assessment of the sustainability of sardine fisheries; sardine supply chain; and impact assessment of the closed season for sardine fisheries. 

The Sardines Festival is part of the “Farms and Industry Encounters through the Science and Technology Agenda” (FIESTA), an initiative of PCAARRD-DOST that aims to commercialize regional S&T-based products to their target markets. The two-day event was executed through the collaboration of the WMSU, NFRDI, BFAR, and PCAARRD. The festival is the first FIESTA celebration in Zamboanga City.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

WESMAARRDEC pushes Zampen Native Chicken production thru FIESTA

Farmers, government employees, and other guests listen to the speakers of the technology forum of the Zampen Native Chicken FIESTA (Image credit: Serdan Dimasapit)

In a bid to promote Zampen Native Chicken production as a source of livelihood in the Zamboanga Peninsula, a government research and development consortium based in Zamboanga City led the conduct of a two- day technology transfer activity to inspire native chicken production in the area.

The Western Mindanao Agriculture and Aquatic Resources Research and Development Consortium (WESMAARRDEC) gathered farmers engaged in native chicken production as well as potential raisers to acquaint them on Zampen Native Chicken production, another meaningful and productive farming activity enriched with science and technology. 

Dubbed as Zampen Native Chicken FIESTA, the event was initiated by the Los Baños, Laguna-based Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD). 

Coined as FIESTA for brevity, the term is the acronym for the phrase  Farms and Industry Encounters through the Science and Technology Agenda. FIESTA  aims to facilitate the flow of technology not only to the farmers but also to the country’s micro, small and medium enterprises for them to benefit from the government’s R&D undertakings, thereby enabling them to contribute more to economic development.

Held at KCC Mall de Zamboanga on November 22-23, Zampen Native Chicken, FIESTA 2016, served as a major activity to commemorate WESMAARRDEC’s 29th anniversary. It adopted the theme “Manok Zampen: Livelihood Option for Every Juan in the Region.”

The event highlighted the S&T Business Forum which tackled several topics on Zampen Native Chicken production.

Dr. Synan Baguio, Officer-in-Charge of the Livestock Research Division of PCAARRD, discussed the selection, breeding, and production management of Zampen Native Chicken, while Alfred Parungao of the same division, discussed concerns on range management protocols and feeding strategies for sustainable chicken production. 

Dr. Paterna Saavedra, and Dr. Teresita A. Narvaez, researchers from the Western Mindanao State University (WMSU), WESMAARRDEC’s base agency, on the other hand, tackled issues on breeder native chicken and hatchery management and pricing and marketing strategies for Zampen Chicken, respectively. 

The gains of Zampen Native Chicken was boosted by the testimonies of stakeholders most notable of which was that of Bureau of Corrections’ administrative staff Wilfredo B. Castillo. Castillo narrated how Zampen Native Chicken production at the San Ramon Penal Farm in Zamboanga City has provided the inmates with a productive activity and a livelihood opportunity once they have served their sentence.

Native chicken production is considered to be the most competitive and sustainable sub sector of the local poultry industry owing to its numerous advantages such as low capital investment, simple management system, and the emergence of new markets, among other advantages.

Providing additional income for farmers and known as a source of high quality meat, native chicken is considered to be an important component of the country’s rural farming system.    

Turmoil in Luisita : Luisita farmers attacked, forcibly evicted from huts

MANILA, Philippines — Hacienda Luisita farmers were forcibly evicted from their huts late Sunday night by more than 100 men led by a barangay captain allegedly connected to the Aquino-Cojuangco family, according to the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP).

The KMP said the men also fired gunshots.

In a statement Sunday, Alyansa ng Magbubukid sa Asyenda Luisita (AMBALA) Chairperson Florida Sibayan said that the men, all drunk, attacked them and shot at them around 9 p.m. The men are currently occupying their huts, Sibayan added. In another statement, Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA) Secretary General Danilo Ramos said the tensions between the group of Lourdes Barangay Captain Edison Diaz and farmers at Sitio Silangan, Barangay Mapalacsiao began last November 25.

Ramos said that Mapalacsiao farmers have been threatened by men sent by Cojuangco aides "to justify and effect the reconcentration of lands back to the control of landlords."

In 2012, the Supreme Court (SC) ordered the distribution of Hacienda Luisita, a prime sugar estate in Tarlac owned by the Cojuangco clan, to farm workers after it earlier declared illegal the stock distribution option implemented in the hacienda during the term of former President Corazon Cojuangco Aquino.

UMA also called on President Rodrigo Duterte to take a concrete action on the Hacienda Luisita issue. The group asked the president to investigate the controversial raffle scheme conducted by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) during the previous administration to implement the SC order.

Meanwhile, the KMP called on current DAR Secretary Rafael Mariano to "decisively act on the ongoing volatile situation in Hacienda Luisita."

reposted from the Philippine Star : http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2016/12/05/1650563/kmp-luisita-farmers-attacked-forcibly-evicted-huts

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Puma gets a kick out of PH pineapple fiber

Shoes and bags made of Puma gets a kick out of PH pineapple fiber

Soon, pop star Rihanna may go around town proudly wearing shoes fashioned out of processed pineapple fiber from the Philippines.

This after shoe brand Puma, which the Barbadian singer is endorsing and where she recently released her own shoe collection, has indicated plans to consider the product in the manufacturing of a shoe line. For this development, we have start-up company Piñatex to thank.

Puma’s Suede shoe prototype was created with natural Piñatex textile. And from the looks of it, many other companies may soon follow suit.

It took Spanish entrepreneur and designer Dr. Carmen Hijosa to realize the sustainable wealth one can extract from pineapple fiber, after going to the Philippines as part of her research project.

During the late ‘90s, Hijosa was asked by the World Bank to help upgrade the leather industry in the Philippines and enable it to send more products abroad.

As such, she became a consultant for the Design Centre Philippines.
Hijosa and her team developed ways to transform waste plant fiber into nonwoven textiles.

Despite the research and development being done in London, the company still works closely with local farmers and the national government to create the material.

“The national and local governments are trying to help the farming community with training and knowledge transfer so that they can organize themselves and make Piñatex fiber procurement a profitable and sustainable business for the farming community,” Hijosa explained.

How does it work?

Following a business-to-business (B2B) model, the company is collaborating with the Department of Agriculture (DA) and Labo Progressive Multi-Purpose Cooperative (LPMPC) as well as local farmers in Camarines Norte.

According to James Nacario of DA, the government helps farmers by giving decortication machines and training for free. These machines are used by farmers to remove the tough outer layer of the fiber.

After that, they sell the pineapple leaves fiber supplied by LPMPC to Piñatex.

This direct involvement in the process allows the pineapple farming communities to dictate the price of the raw materials.

The profit is then either put back into the cooperatives or used to improve their operations.

As a bonus, the by-product from decortication is usually converted into organic fertilizer or biomass, leaving nothing to waste and increasing the yield for local farmers.

Due to the lack of resources to process the pineapple fiber into water resistant textiles, the government leaves further processing to Piñatex.

The decorticated fiber is sent to a textile finishing company in Barcelona, Spain. Then, the finished goods are distributed to various fashion and accessories industries, furnishing companies, and even car and aeronautics industries.

Leather vs Piñatex

Hijosa said she wanted Piñatex to become a substitute or an alternative to leather without compromising its durability and aesthetics.

“We are working toward developing a full biodegradable Piñatex, which we hope will be in the market in 2017. We do not use any harmful substances such as PVC or animal-based substances,” said Hijosa.

Pineapple leaf fibers, being very fine, are very strong but flexible.

It is for this reason that Hijosa decided to develop the new material, applying what she learned at the Royal College of Art in London, England.

No extra land, water, fertilizers or pesticides were required to produce the material. As the members of the company like to say, no pineapples, especially no animals, were harmed in the making of their products.

The company admits that they still have a long way to go, and their R&D team continues to find innovative ways to improve the quality of the fiber. But they are undaunted.

At 63 years old, Hijosa believes that there is so much to do in the world, and developing a sustainable material like Piñatex is just one of them.

For those who want to follow in her footsteps, she has this to say: “Have a strong vision, which is good for the world and its people. Think globally, be resilient and be prepared to work very hard.”

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Impeller Ricemill to Improve Grains Recovery

First prototype of commercial unit of impeller type rice mill

The type of ricemill being used in the countryside is vital towards achieving and sustaining the government’s food self-sufficiency program, a study shows. In more specific terms, the study also shows the relevance of the type of huller used by the ricemill on particular grains.

Majority of rice varieties produced in the country are “Indica” or long grains. The physical characteristics of long grain are appropriate for impeller type of ricemill. Unlike the rubber roll machine whose husked ratio performance very much depends on the size and shape of rough rice, the impeller type of huller, with almost the same performance, works for both long and short grain samples.

Experts explain that a ricemill is composed of the huller which removes the husk and the polisher which removes the rice bran. 

Hullers may be of three types, stone disk, rubber roll, and impeller. The stone disk huller is a standard component of the conventional “cono” rice mill. It consists of two circular discs laid flat one on top of the other with their grinding surfaces facing each other. The rubber roll huller consists of a pair of rubber rollers mounted on a horizontal shaft and designed so that one roller rotates clockwise and the other counterclockwise. The impeller huller is designed based on centrifugal and Coriolis forces, whereby the paddy is thrown against the liner part of the impeller housing. 

The only available ricemills in the country are the stone disk, commonly known as “kiskisan” and the rubber roll popularly known as “cono.” On the average, the kiskisan has a milling efficiency of 50-55% compared with single pass rubber-roll cono rice mill that provides an average milling recovery of 60-63% or the multi-pass rubber-roll’s milling recovery of 63-65%. As such, a 100-kg dried paddy that passes through a kiskisan could produce only a 50-55 kg of milled rice compared with the 60-67 kg recovery of rubber-roll type rice mills.

While the rubber-roller type “cono” rice mill is very popular in the Philippines because of its good milling efficiency, this type of rice mill requires higher investment and operating cost, higher power requirement, and regular replacement of rubber rolls.

With the study conducted at the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech), researchers conclude that one potential approach in improving the current milling system in the Philippines is the development of impeller type rice mill given its relatively simple hulling mechanism and good performance for long grains. The machine has a milling capacity of 230 kg/hr. Head rice recovery is 64% while for brown rice is 91%.

The first prototype of the fabricated commercial model of impeller-type ricemill is easy to install, requires a small working space, has a lower maintenance and operating cost, and has a higher milling capacity, among other advantages.

The commercial unit will be field and pilot tested in major rice producing areas in the country.

The study on the impeller compact ricemill is one of the Council’s initiatives to improve the state of R&D in the agriculture, aquatic and natural resources sectors. This is in keeping with its commitment under DOST’s Outcome One: to provide science-based know-how and tools that will enable the agricultural sector to raise productivity to world-class standards.

Friday, November 25, 2016

DIGITAL ECONOMY: How Can Small Business Lead in the Fourth Industrial Revolution?

By Francis Sollano

It was at the dawn of 18th century that we learned to harness the power of water and steam, paving way for the First Industrial Revolution. What followed this was electric power, which provided breakthroughs in mechanical production and manufacturing. Across major industries, these two industrial revolutions broke down the traditional craft-based manufacturing, introduced assembly line processing, and eventually paved the way for automation. While the Third Industrial Revolution, rooted in information technology and data synthesis, has radically changed industries globally, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is taking it a step further, bringing the digital and physical world together and accelerating change.

What can this technological revolution offer to emerging businesses and developing markets? Will technological advancement even the playing field for smaller enterprises? Can the giants innovate themselves fast enough that they can continue to supersede the emerging small and medium-sized local enterprises? Or will the Fourth Industrial Revolution transform the way we think the relationships between enterprises big and small?

Let’s start by defining what we’re talking about.

Described as the immeasurable influx of new innovations - from the higher form of artificial intelligence, cost-efficient 3D printing, autonomous vehicles, nanotechnology, to advances in medical science - the Fourth Industrial Revolution brings together these disruptive elements, fundamentally breaking down systems and affecting  the way the majority of us live and engage in commerce. But MSMEs in particular stand to benefit the most compared to their larger counterparts.  This industrial change is forcing various industries to rethink their ‘outdated’ and ‘broken’ systems in the age of Instagram, Facebook and Uber.  These disruptive technological elements will impact enterprises beyond manufacturing and systems, and are posed to affect job creation and market viabilities.

In the midst of that, entrepreneurs have an opportunity to lead - by building their own solutions or working with the giants to change how they do things. What’s getting in the way of small businesses being able to lead the way for industry?

Collaborating for Stronger Infrastructure

While the Fourth Industrial Revolution leads us to unprecedented technological innovation, ASEAN SME’s still lack the ability to access big data infrastructure.  Moreover, weak performance of SMEs over the past years is attributed to the information and technology gaps and difficulties in accessing investment-heavy production technologies.  A study by Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) in 2013 reveals that ASEAN Strategic Action Plan for SME Development 2010-2015 had limited impact on facilitating SMEs access to data infrastructures, information, market and human resource developments and technology.

These innovations can only be fully benefitted by small and medium enterprises (SME’s) if the proper technological and physical infrastructure are set in place.  The success of the SME sector across the ASEAN region lies heavily on the support awarded to it by private and public partnerships.  Having to leverage these innovations will require the collaborative effort of scientists, larger manufacturers and creatives to share the same vision of bringing innovation to the streets, and ultimately drive regional and global economy and solidify inclusive growth.  It is an imperative that governments understand the need to prioritize SME development to promote inclusive economic growth across the ASEAN region.

"The definition of “excellent service” is now more fluid than ever; for example, consumer behaviors are now shifting greatly towards mobile networking and data coverage."

Innovating Customer Relationships for the Digital Age

As collaborative efforts are still on their way for emerging SMEs in ASEAN, the introduction of successful start-ups in the region is an opportunity for our enterprises to succeed as second-mover innovators.  The success of global digital platforms are learning opportunities for SMEs and emerging enterprises to enrich their customer’s experience, further product research and development, strengthen cost-effective sales and marketing strategies, and improve product distribution and logistics.

Martha Sazon, senior vice president for Globe myBusiness shares that unlike other consumer markets, for SMEs, excellent service and great customer experiences are a must because every second where communication lines falter, business opportunities are lost. The definition of “excellent service” is now more fluid than ever; for example, consumer behaviors are now shifting greatly towards mobile networking and data coverage.  SMEs, in order to capture their niche and selected markets, have to design their businesses and models to be receptive towards these platforms and channels.

Adapting to the New Labor Market

Artificial intelligence and machine learning have started to replace existing jobs.  This phenomenon is already extending to vocations that used to seem out of the reach of computer intelligence, including law practice, screenwriting, art and fashion.

In the face of this, small businesses must reexamine the roles that they offer - as well as the roles that they as businesses can play in the market of knowledge and services. By analyzing these trends, we will be able to understand employment opportunities for emerging business and adapt new skill sets required for these emerging SMEs to succeed.  Several studies have shown that by the next 20 years, majority of the jobs we know now will be drastically altered by technological developments.  The academe and employment sector therefore have important roles to play in forecasting these job trends and to prepare the necessary human capital. The Philippines, among others, have to prepare its soil as a fertile training ground for start-up entrepreneurs and job-seekers in managing and growing their businesses, while benefitting from technologies.

While SMEs occupy the largest chunk of registered businesses in the Philippines and within the ASEAN region, it is still undeniable that small businesses will have challenging times grappling with the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Yet the strength of SMEs is their ability to be adaptive to varying economic climates as compared to larger competition.  

It is timely for this topic to be discussed in greater depths in the coming Open Collaboration with East Asia New Champions (OCEAN) come November 24 - 26, 2016 in Bohol, Philippines.  OCEAN is a biennial gathering in the Philippines that brings leaders across sectors to connect, discover new ideas, and shape a more creative and innovative future together.  Leaders across industries will discuss and aim to understand these radically changing entrepreneurial environments and uncover opportunities for SMEs. ASEAN will be an even more dynamic business region as its leaders and emerging entrepreneurs use these technological innovations and platforms to further economic and inclusive growth.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is within our midst. It is about to impact everyone in almost all aspects of our lives. Small businesses can lead the way through the changes coming up - if they’re ready to take on both the challenges and the opportunities ahead.

This post is part of a blog series promoting Open Collaboration with East Asia New Champions (OCEAN) Summit 2016 in Bohol on November 24-26, 2016, with the theme: The Future of Industry and Impact. There will be a session on Powering Small Business: MSMEs in the digital economy. To know more and participate, go to http://www.ocean16.asia/.

Only Inclusive Companies Will Thrive in the Digital Revolution

By Kathleen Largo

The Fourth Industrial Revolution will be built within an inclusive culture, and it will start with technology.

When more people around the world have more access to mobile phones than to electricity or water, it must mean that the digital revolution has already arrived. But the World Bank’s 2016 World Development Report says that it hasn’t dawned yet because the possibilities have not translated well to its supposed benefits.

The spread of digital technologies over the last 20 years has been rapid and exciting, but the broader development benefits from using these technologies are lagging behind.

Digital technologies can promote inclusion, efficiency, and innovation. When industries and organizations enhance access to digital technologies, it can accelerate growth, create more jobs, and deliver better public services in a country.

According to the report, the benefits of rapid digital expansion have been skewed towards the wealthy, skilled, and influential around the world, who are better positioned to take advantage of new technologies. Although the number of internet users worldwide has more than tripled since 2005, four billion people still don’t have access. The Philippines alone is one of the fastest growing markets in terms of penetration (at 117%) for digital technologies with around 119 million mobile phone subscribers, yet our country has the sixth largest number of people who are not connected to the internet in Southeast Asia.

Decision-makers and leaders will need to adapt and catch up, but what about those with less power and capabilities?

To meet the promise of technological revolution means tapping into the innovative potential of everybody, regardless of gender, social status, and location. Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, pointed out that there are four main effects of the Fourth Industrial Revolution on business: on customer expectations, on collaborative innovation, on product enhancement, and on organizational forms. The challenge now is in making technology more accessible and more inclusive so that nobody will get left behind.

What can businesses do to thrive in the fourth industrial revolution?

1. Turn ‘overwhelm’ into ‘opportunity’

Game-changing innovations create new customer expectations. According to Trendwatching.com’s Feb-March 2016 Trend Briefing, watching businesses is the counter-intuitive secret to anticipate what people will do next, rather than watching customers. 

Businesses can look at the innovations that
their customers are using now.

When dating apps were gaining popularity in a region considered as having conservative cultural values, older generations were stumped. Startup founders became younger and they built businesses that could also target themselves as customers. Soon, dating apps were flourishing in different parts of Asia. Customers showed loyalty to apps launched abroad but because local startups understood their customer better, there was a shift in received value and reputation.

Because most of these apps rely on the human need to connect, social networking platforms play a big role in shaping the customer’s expectation. A lot of the tech giants are turning into philanthropy because they realized that technology can also benefit advocacy. It can be overwhelming to find out that 100,000 of your intended customers are at risk of getting HIV, but because you know where to find them, it’s just a matter of meeting them where they already are and continue providing your service.

2. Prepare, partner, and pioneer

Your company’s corporate strategy is often boxed in frameworks and written on hand-me-down templates. To thrive in the fourth industrial revolution, creative new business strategies must replace them with collaborative efforts between firms and within firms. It might involve developing long-term goals through design thinking, participating in people’s daily activities to gain local insight, or challenging textbook theories and old assumptions about how different generations view the world.

Both young and old firms underappreciate the value of having relevant networks, but according to the 2015 World Economic Forum Report on Collaborative Innovation, these are important predictors of business success. Technology bridges the gap between the academe, national organizations, private companies, and government agencies because of its common language. When done correctly, innovation that is the work of partners will eventually and effectively work for others.

The pioneers get recognition, but only the strongest survive. The challenge for businesses is in keeping their competitive advantage. In this generation, nothing is as original anymore and some say that’s a good thing,  for as long as we emphasize the products of collective work and crowdsourced innovation. Improving on a technology that is already being used by 80% of our population might be considered disruptive, but when you want to solve the problem and ask why 20% is not using it, then the solution becomes more inclusive.

3. Improve access to existing tech

Physical products and services can now be enhanced with digital capabilities that increase their value. One such example is the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT).

Last June, Samsung hosted a forum in Washington, D.C. with government and industry leaders to discuss the future of IoT. In his opening remarks, Oh-Hyun Kwon, Vice Chairman and CEO at Samsung Electronics, emphasized that the conversation around the possibilities of IoT should shift its focus from smart homes, offices and factories, towards smart cities, smart nations and a smarter world.

Businesses can enhance their products
that improve the quality of life.

IoT technologies are already influencing the way we live. But right now, they’re taking the shape of gadgets that are available only to the affluent. Businesses should consider improving accessibility to such products that can potentially improve the day-to-day quality of life for everyone, everywhere.

4. Diversify your leadership

In a Fortune 500 survey, companies provide data that the presence of women in the boardroom leads to better performance on various financial parameters like return on sales (ROS) and return on investment (ROI). WEF says it makes smart business sense to have a gender-balanced board, but there are still only 21 women in charge of Fourtune 500 companies in the United States. In a new survey by the Global Strategy Group and the Rockefeller Foundation, 1 in 4 of the Americans surveyed said that there are no women in leadership positions at their current workplaces.

Organizations have long since existed to promote and empower women from all sectors. In fact, women are behind a lot of the innovations and successes of businesses that their male CEOs can confirm. Rick Goings, Chairman and CEO of Tupperware Brands Corporation, believes that a CEO’s best investment lies in hiring more women leaders. Recruiting and promoting women in the workforce is a very straightforward injection of skills that improves the company’s ethos and its business results.

What’s next?

To have a more inclusive culture in the world of digital technologies, our leaders must concern themselves with the long-term objective of democratizing the fourth industrial revolution. The costs might be too high at the moment but all the symptoms are there for us to diagnose. It’s still more practical to replace a damaged engine than to keep fueling a worn-out one. The innovative potential of inclusivity cannot stay in sourcebooks and white papers anymore. It’s about time that more business leaders consider and act, especially if the only companies that will thrive in the next century are technology leaders that put inclusion in the forefront of their strategy.

[It] is a triple win – for the company,
family and community, and society as a whole.

- Rick Goings

This post is part of a blog series promoting Open Collaboration with East Asia New Champions (OCEAN) Summit 2016 in Bohol on November 24-26, 2016, with the theme: The Future of Industry and Impact. There will be a session on Innovation for All: Democratizing the Fourth Industrial Revolution. To know more and participate, go to http://www.ocean16.asia/.

THE FUTURE OF TALENT: The Value of Imagination in an Automated World

By Amanda Dominguez

The idea of a fully automated world can be daunting. The industrial landscape is now evolving at an exponentially faster rate than it ever has before. Computerization and digitalization are changing the workplace as more and more operational jobs are being replaced by computer programs. Customer service is performed by bots, human resources tasks such as recruitment rely heavily on algorithms, finance and accounting are self-service, and soon cars will drive themselves.

We can't help but wonder - perhaps a little nervously - what's in store for us next. How do we equip ourselves to succeed in a future where the conventional jobs that we have been preparing ourselves for will no longer exist?

First of all, we can take comfort in knowing that this is really nothing new. The industrial landscape has been impacted by science and technology for centuries, arguably for millennia. Needless to say, we've always anxiously speculated about the high-tech future (think Metropolis [1927] and Blade Runner [1982]). What's remarkable, however, is that we've constantly been proving our dystopian fantasies wrong. Broadly speaking, innovation has made the world a better place. As machines and computer programs improve operational efficiency in the workplace, we are given more time and freedom to think creatively and entrepreneurially. Think about what mechanizing the assembly line and developing the computer has allowed us to build and experience. Smartphones are providing endless opportunities for us to both shape and participate in the digital world; we can all be photographers, filmmakers, journalists, and developers.

With change and automation being the new norm, our role as humans will hinge on our ability navigate, and more importantly, drive change. Now more than ever, we need to find ways to maximize our innovative and creative potential to become key players in the global economy.

This entails disrupting traditional education by providing children with more opportunities to develop their imagination and creativity through the arts. I don't necessarily mean that the end goal is to have more artists (though this would definitely make the world a better place). The objective is to enable and empower children to exercise their creative muscles and develop their imaginations, so that perhaps, one day they will become disruptors, innovators, and inventors, defining new sources of livelihood and experiences for the global community.

This stance isn't too far-fetched. After all, we've been studying the humanities and quantitative subjects and often end up working in spaces for which we may not have been formally trained, but developed the necessary skills to perform them. For instance, I studied archaeology and became a management consultant. On the surface, this probably doesn't add up. But the discipline of breaking down archaeological sites to its component parts requires very similar skills as taking apart a business case or problem and reorganizing its data into frameworks. The same can be said about the arts and entrepreneurship; it all boils down to being able to think outside the box.

We truly are living in an exciting time where imagination and creativity are more valuable and the industrial landscape more malleable than ever. Instead of wondering what the world has in store for us, we can define it for ourselves.

This post is part of a blog series promoting Open Collaboration with East Asia New Champions (OCEAN) Summit 2016 in Bohol on November 24-26, 2016, with the theme: The Future of Industry and Impact. There will be a session on The Future of Talent: Cultivating a New Generation of Leadership. To know more and participate, go to http://www.ocean16.asia/.

The Almost of Everything

By Adrian Bonifacio   

Data is the new oil.

This is the unofficial slogan of big data advocates. It refers to big data’s immense value once it has been refined through analytics. In this community, there is a palpable sense that big data is at the precipice of a revolution.

For those hearing the slogan for the first time, the image that big data evokes is a field comprised purely of numbers—and only statisticians are welcome. But data scientists and analytics firms don’t gather data just because they like numbers. They desire the method in the madness. They actually like pictures—the insightful images drawn up by the numbers.

Corporations and businesses usually gather and analyze data to grasp the nuances of their customer’s behavioral patterns. When and where is the best time to sell? Who will buy the most?

Government-led initiatives on data, meanwhile, revolve around transparency, mapping, recording, and improving social services. In the Philippines, there is so much potential for the country to leverage data to drive social progress, such as better weather forecasting for agriculture and disaster preparedness or the redesign of city mobility based on vehicular and pedestrian traffic.

For development practitioners such as myself, data serves as evidence of impact. We extract data to prove that a solution works well. This is where refining comes in—what qualifies as good data? What should be tracked—which numbers represent impact?

As such, refinement is an integral and crucial aspect of big data. Data that is unrefined is inefficient and even dangerous. Imagine all the decisions made by each stakeholder—ranging from policy-level that affects an entire nation to the very personal that charts a family’s future—these are transformative decisions that should not rely on unreliable or faulty data.

"Unlike oil, data is an unlimited resource. Every day, we are creating new touchpoints that can be marked and measured."

Unlike oil, data is an unlimited resource. Every day, we are creating new touchpoints that can be marked and measured.

Somewhere in a rural countryside, a farmer is hiding from the heat by wrapping her head and arms in strips of old cloth. She is harvesting spinach from her backyard. She stands up and considers whether to cook or sell the produce—and wonder when the next harvest would be. Lost to her is the importance of this moment: a data touchpoint—arguably, just as valuable a resource—has been created anew.

Given a large enough dataset, an algorithm will likely predict what happens to our farmer—what her yield would be, when is the best time to plant her spinach, whether she should cook or sell.

Big data bridges gaps in knowledge and lays out the world as a giant pattern of predictable behavior.

This is where the discussion on privacy enters. Do you know what data you are sharing? How much data are you sharing? How much of it should you share in the first place?

This is why people are unnerved when they see ads and posts in Facebook that sounds a little too similar to their Google search. How valuable is your personal data? It’s so valuable that corporations have to spend billions and billions acquiring other companies when all they really want is their data. Your data.

"While it may be the precursor to knowing the almost of everything, big data will not always spit out the exact answer you are looking for."

The 2011 film Moneyball depicts the real-life story of how data and analytics was leveraged by Billy Beane, then general manager of the baseball team, the Oakland Athletics. Beane’s challenge was how to compete against other teams with much larger budgets that could afford to put the biggest star players in their payrolls. With his staff, Beane went an unconventional route of putting together a team of undervalued and unheralded players—an “island of misfits”—based purely on a statistical model.

It didn’t matter if the guy was a confident young star on the rise or a savvy veteran with a great curveball—the question became: what was his win-share rating? What was his on base percentage? What was his salary?

The shift in mindset bucked the trend of traditional intuition-driven scouting and gave way to empirical analysis. Mid-way through the movie, Beane finally had his team of statistically sound players.

Yet they still kept on losing games. It turns out that the coach wasn’t playing the line-ups Beane drew up. Beane’s model forgot to include the coach’s stubborn refusal to venture into uncharted territory. It wasn’t until Beane forced the coach’s hand (by trading away all of the coach’s favored players) did the team start using the data-driven line-ups.Right after, the team rattled 20 wins in a row, a record-breaking achievement that carried them to the playoffs. They lost three games to two.

Data is only useful when it’s being used to drive action, otherwise it remains a jumble of numbers and text.  And there are x-factors—the coach—that remain outside the grasp of prediction.

And while it may be the precursor to knowing the almost of everything, big data will not always spit out the exact answer you are looking for. In this massive space of bits and pieces, the compelling possibilities lie deeper—it is in the discovery of answers to questions that haven’t even been asked yet.

Where do you think data will take us next? Respond in the comments below.

This post is part of a blog series promoting Open Collaboration with East Asia New Champions (OCEAN) Summit 2016 in Bohol on November 24-26, 2016, with the theme: The Future of Industry and Impact. There will be a session on Innovation for All: Democratizing the Fourth Industrial Revolution. To know more and participate, go to http://www.ocean16.asia/.

ASEAN integrating the newest economic power

By Carlo Delantar

As members of the ASEAN community, we have all heard of the joint effort for integration called - the Asean Economic Community (AEC). The AEC is an effort to work together as an economic power where a single market and production base allow for the free flow of goods, services, investments and skilled labor. A region fully integrated into the global economy, the AEC could be the 4th largest economy in the world.

The AEC comprises 10 ASEAN Members – Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam – and each country presents a dynamic economic background. By linking up the less developed economies with the more developed ones, the AEC will catalyze more equitable economic development across the region. ASEAN has some of the highest digital adoption in the world and a large population of youth under 30. How can this favor continuous inclusive integration around the region?

Many countries are now trying to ‘leapfrog' from newly developing countries towards becoming technologically advanced ones. Brick and mortar businesses are constantly learning to adapt with new technologies and keep up with the rising digital disruptions in their respective industries. Infrastructure-wise, this has given the AEC an advantage to adjust as part of an integrated world in an accelerated pace. With more than 67 million households in ASEAN states becoming part of the “consuming class,” we see a strong shift towards modernization.

In the Philippines, there are numerous initiatives from all sectors. The  Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Ideaspace Foundation (Ideaspace) recently launched the QBO Innovation Hub. QBO aims to link innovators, explorers, investors, academic institutions, start-up mentors, funders and enablers as well as a broad spectrum of partners and stakeholders from both public and private sectors to convene in constructive interaction. It also serves as an avenue for micro, small and medium entrepreneurs (MSMEs) to collaborate and explore opportunities that disruptive technologies can offer.

Another initiative is the Philippine’s first Fabrication Laboratory (FabLab) shared service facility in Bohol. A project funded by the The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Bohol Island State University (BISU),  and the Department of Science and Technology, this collaboration aims to provide local manufacturers, designers and artists to prototype innovations and inventions. With the help of technology, FabLab provides grassroots communities translate concepts into reality.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution[2] presents AEC a myriad of challenges to keep up with global competition. For instance, local brick and mortar businesses are under pressure to analyze all data attributed to their respective industries to keep up with global businesses that are now targeting their region. As the general population moves towards digital connectivity, metrics can be easily measured and analyzed, providing greater efficiency and accuracy in the pursuit of doing better business.

With all these rising concerns, countries in of AEC have created forums and conferences tackling regional disruption and what is needed to be competitive in the global scene. The Open Collaboration with East Asia New Champions (OCEAN) Summit to be held in Bohol on November 24-26, 2016 aims to address this topic for the Philippines specifically the breakout session aptly called: The Next Economic Power: Navigating the ASEAN Collaboration.

This post is part of a blog series promoting Open Collaboration with East Asia New Champions (OCEAN) Summit 2016 in Bohol on November 24-26, 2016, with the theme: The Future of Industry and Impact. There will be a session on Innovation for All: Democratizing the Fourth Industrial Revolution. To know more and participate, go to http://www.ocean16.asia/.


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