HomeASEANASEAN beyond 50: What does the future hold for the youth?
ASEAN beyond 50: What does the future hold for the youth?
July 30, 2017
We dare to dream we care to share.
Together for ASEAN
we dare to dream,
we care to share for it’s the way of ASEAN.
Have you ever sang the Asean anthem, aptly titled “The Asean Way”? I love the melody and the lyrics. The stated intention of the Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN) is to turn the region into a community. As the anthem goes: “we dare to dream, we care to share, for it’s the way of Asean.” No one believed that ASEAN would survive after 50 years. There was much pessimism about ASEAN for many reasons. Almost every member country has its story of conflicts with one another.
Do you feel optimism in the next 50 years? Kishore Mahbubuni in his book “The Asean Miracle” is optimistic. ” There is no doubt that ASEAN will be around on August 8 2017 to celebrate its 50th anniversary, and built-in momentum alone will keep ASEAN going for a decade or more after that. Endy M. Bayuni Editor-in-Chief of The Jakarta Post has a different perspective “Asean is a neighbourhood, not yet community…What is grossly missing is the political will of its leaders to take up the community idea more seriously and see Asean as more than just a geopolitical and economic concept.“
It is difficult to predict what will happen to the ASEAN in the next 50 years. One thing for sure, the future belongs to the youth. In 5 years , the region will be composed of millennials . One needs to look at Asean in their perspective so I talked to two movers from the Asean Community , now known as the ASEAN Youth Organization (AYO)
I met Boon, one of the founders in 2013 during the 2nd Social Media Conference organized by the ASEAN Secretariat in Bangkok. Along with some friends, they started the ASEAN community facebook page in 2011 when he was just 17 years old high school student . I was very impressed by the vision of their community. At that time, the facebook community had more members than the ASEAN facebook page . It was through their community that I learned more on what ASEAN means to them. Today that vision remains. The AYO “envisions a world where the youth exhibit a heightened interest on ASEAN and on each other. To this end, the organization, through its networks and members, conducts programs and projects that empower the youth and engage their respective communities to instill and implement forward-looking ideas that would result in positive change.”
Boon wanted to do his share no matter how small his role was, in “integrating ASEAN young and online communities together to bring about a successful and fully united regional bloc prior to 50 years time.”
He is optimistic about the future of ASEAN . He says “ASEAN will be more integrated in the future as more young people will be taking higher positions in driving their countries’ political decisions. Increased population means greater values in trades with one another, and ASEAN economic integration should be fully successful before reaching 50 years time.”
Senjaya Mulia, also a founder of the ASEAN Youth Organization and currently the President , focuses on youth empowerment so they are more aware about their environment and societies and become more competent in their field. Once ASEAN integration is already implemented , they will be ready for it.
Just like Boon, Senjaya is optimistic. “ASEAN in next 50 years will be one of the best place for living. Good economy condition, good environment, good people without losing the cultural aspect and the tradition. The government will also become more transparent, free of corruptions, and have excellent services in all ASEAN Countries, so it will makes the citizen’s trust also increase. By that time, all goals will be achieved and we will live “perfectly” in the future.”
These are just two young professionals in ASEAN so you can just imagine what the young and growing population have to say. The youth create “a golden moment in a country’s economic development journey, promising a powerful demographic dividend. As the working-age population grows in number, it will boost the region’s spending, but also increase its savings and hence its capacity to invest.” This is the big question:
By 2025, most countries in ASEAN will see their populations start to age. Governments and policy-makers must ensure they pursue the right policies today to guarantee their demographic dividend is realized. They must think deeply about education and how best to prepare workers for the jobs of the future. They must identify areas of inter-generational tension, such as the environment and the funding of pensions and healthcare. Growth today cannot come at the expense of future generations. How should governments plan long-term for sustainable finances and a sustainable environment?
Noemi Lardizabal-Dado is a Content Strategist with over 16 years experience in blogging, content management, citizen advocacy and media literacy and over 26 years in web development. Otherwise known as @MomBlogger on social media, she believes in making a difference in the lives of her children by advocating social change for social good.
She is a co-founder and a member of the editorial board of Blog Watch . She is a resource speaker on media literacy, social media , blogging, digital citizenship, good governance, transparency, parenting, women’s rights and wellness, and cyber safety.
Her personal blogs such as aboutmyrecovery.com (parenting) , pinoyfoodblog.com (recipes), techiegadgets.com (gadgets) and benguetarabica.coffee keep her busy outside of Blog Watch.
I am an advocate. I am NOT neutral. I will NOT give social media mileage to members of political clans, epal, a previous candidate for the same position and those I believe are a waste of taxpayers' money.
I do not support or belong to any political party. I was part of accredited media covering the Office of the Vice President and Leni Robredo as she ran as a presidential aspirant in the 2022 National and local elections.
On August 5, 2021, YouTube announced that I was selected as one of 50 Program participants of its Creator Program for Independent Journalists
She was a Senior Consultant for ALL media engagements for the PCOO-led Committee on Media Affairs & Strategic Communications (CMASC) under the ASEAN 2017 National Organizing Council from January 4 -July 5, 2017. Having been an ASEAN advocate since 2011, she has written extensively about the benefits of the ASEAN community and as a region of opportunities on Blog Watch and aboutmyrecovery.com.
Organization affiliation includes Consortium on Democracy and Disinformation
Updated June 6, 2022