Youth Empowerment through Social Innovation
“If you’re going to dream, dream BIG.”
This is the statement of Mr. Mark Lawrence Cruz, head of new initiatives of Gawad Kalinga and one of the speakers for the Dream Expo Cebu, a two-day exposition from Sept. 27 to 28 about enterprises, program initiatives, inventions and technologies shaped by Filipino innovators.
Dream Expo Ph is considered as the biggest gathering of Filipino innovators and is now in its fifth run as a nation-wide project initiated by youth leader and social mover Prim Paypon which started January this year at Negros Occidental.
Among the ten speakers of the expo were Hon. Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV, youngest Philippine senator and multi-awarded youth leader and social entrepreneur. The senator advocates for inclusive growth saying, “If were doing the same solutions for the same problem at obviously ganito pa rin ang sitwasyon natin, our solutions are not the right solutions. This is why the burden on us, [meaning] the young, is creativity renovation.”
A hundred participants of youth leaders and innovators chosen via online application were present from various academic communities, volunteer groups and professional organizations.
“We want the Filipino Youth to dream big and take the Philippines with it,” says Prim Paypon who initiated the Dream Project and considers himself a “dream enabler.”
Designed to map out the Philippines through different social innovations, the Dream Expo aims to stir the greatest potentials within the Filipino youth and allow them to take part in the nation-building process, honing their creative potentials in crafting out sustainable, relevant and impact-driven social innovations.
The expo also introduced ingenious social innovations such as the Suitcase Museum, a portable museum which features “glocalized” products that are renowned internationally yet locally crafted. Locally-made products were given platforms by creative social innovators to transform into brands that can compete in the global market and impact previously unpopular local craftsmanship communities.
The two-day event concluded with the awarding of a new social innovation which was evaluated during the boot camp or FLIP workshop during day two of the event. Fellow Carolinian Danica Fernandez received the chance of mentorship towards implementation of her advocacy of popularizing ones more the different kinds of puso weaves in part of hyping up puso’s cultural significance.
Collaborators of the event are the Global Shapers Community – Cebu Hub and The Dream Project PH with Cebu Landmasters, RAFI Eduardo Aboitiz Development Studies Center, LH Foundation, The Islands Group, Sacred Heart School Ateneo de Cebu – Alumni Association, and Bo’s Coffee.