Mirus Ponon: Building a Digital Future for All
Joining the APEC Voices of the Future and the APEC CEO Summit as a delegate is a privilege that I knew I had to maximize given such a platform. The lessons I have learned from the program, especially from my 123 co-delegates from 21 countries, reassured me of what was to come in a world enacted by the youth. The challenge of addressing international cooperation for recovery from COVID-19, The Digital Future, Climate change and sustainability, and A Future for all seemed so daunting at first. Still, it was fulfilling every step of the way.
As the delegate of the Philippines assigned to address The Digital Future, I was ultimately willing to share my perspective as a student from the global south experiencing this issue due to the COVID-19 pandemic that accelerated the digital transformation. I never expected only to have seven months of physical university life; then, the rest would go on virtually like the others. Then, I realized that the acceleration of a digital future was imminent in all sectors. Utilizing technology effectively and efficiently was necessary because it is a powerful tool in achieving economic growth, advancing social outcomes, and strengthening cultural exchanges and cooperation.
In the youth declaration, I was pleasantly thrilled that we all unified in addressing digital connectivity and accessibility, digital education, cybersecurity, disinformation, and cyber wellness. All the suggestions were all and continue to be relevant in the country that all stakeholders should address. The youth can act on these issues by becoming participatory citizens through advocacy and civic engagement for a more inclusive and resilient digital future. Through our voices, we can drive and advance to uplift others, unify to bring people close together for a greater purpose, and disrupt to catalyze the transformation of the previously unquestioned.