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Welcome to IGNITE xCHANGE!

Manila’s store of wicked problems holds a torrent of potential unicorns – billion-dollar innovations that impact humanity and matter on a global scale. We’ve tackled some of them in highly curated IGNITE xCHANGEs.

Now it’s your turn.

Jump into the innovation journey; contribute to the conversation; and join the growing movement to Ignite Manila!

How to Participate
  1. Read the Rules, Roles and Format to better understand how IGNITE xCHANGE works.
  2. Get up to speed with the IGNITE xCHANGE challenges. Click on the topic to open several tabs: Wicked Problem provides the Context and Challenge; Day One chronicles everything that happened during the event; Characters and Quotes profile the first xCHANGERs and their thoughts on what happened.
  3. Comment away via Disqus and get real-time updates in the LIVE xCHANGE tab. Disqus is a platform that allows you to leave comments without registration – so you can get right into the flow of the conversation!
  4. Finally, reach out to us if you want to help bring any of the ideas to life. Click on “Reach Out” at the bottom of the page to shoot us an email about how you’d like to pitch in.
The Rules
  1. We are all equal participants and equal contributors in every IGNITE xCHANGE. All of us have equal access to every voice and idea that comes out of each IGNITE xCHANGE.
  2. This is Open Source Innovation – an open give and take. From those who participate in the xCHANGE events, to those who are joining us now via digital platform – all are welcome to give ideas to the extent they are willing; and all are welcome to take ideas and make of them what they will.

What makes each of us different, then? It will be our varying openness and willingness to participate, both by giving ideas, but also by taking ideas; and with initiative, collaboration, and commitment, turning ideas into action, innovation and impact.

As in everything else in life, innovation is a matter of openness, desire, commitment, and getting things done, not just talking about them.

The Roles

As the hosts of IGNITE xCHANGE, we have three commitments:

  1. We make the xCHANGE events happen.
  2. We extend the xCHANGE beyond Day One – right here, blow by blow.
  3. Finally, we will fulfill the greatest promise of every IGNITE xCHANGE: to take action and facilitate collaboration with any who are willing and able, and to make sure that we pursue viable ideas into Minimum Viable Product using 6-month sprints.

We commit, therefore, to make innovation happen, not just to talk about it.

As xCHANGERs, you are expected to:

  1. Make your voice heard. Contribute openly, to the extent that you are willing, and do so in a constructive and objective matter.
  2. Respect the voice and contributions of the other xCHANGERs. This is a platform for creation, not destruction. Let us build on each other’s ideas, not tear them down.
  3. Have initiative. If you want to contribute more than your voice, reach out to us. We are always open to Collaboration – the path to true Innovation.
The Format

We focus on one of Manila’s wicked problems – difficult, almost impossible to solve because of incomplete, contradictory, ever-changing and oh-so-complex requirements. We’re practically a hotbed for these challenges – and therefore, fertile breeding ground for innovative solutions.

We gather 50 of Manila’s bright minds, restless spirits, and experienced hands. Diversity is key here. We curate the participants so that they come from a variety of sectors in and around our defined space.

We host Day One of the xCHANGE, where we use experience-design thinking to create an exhilarating mix of exchanges. It has the following parts:

  • 10 x 6 INNOVATIONS & TRENDS. 10 of us take 6 minutes each to share our respective fields of endeavor, focusing on innovations and trends we’re either encountering or leading – and how they’re impacting life in Mega Manila.
  • THE BREAKOUT CHALLENGE. It’s a breakout times 2: first, we breakout out into groups of 4; each group is given a game board and challenged to navigate their way to the the finish line, where they must layout their vision of a breakout innovation.
  • THE PLENARY OF THE FUTURE. Each group presents its breakout vision and thus contributes its share of potential ideas that can be pursued into minimum viable product using 3 to 6 month sprints.

We ensure that the flow of energy and ideas continue beyond Day One – right here, on this platform. We present real-time updates on ongoing collaborations in the LIVE xCHANGE tab, allowing the discussion to continue in the comments section. In this way, we chronicle how our community is acting on the mix of ideas and energy exchanged.

Finally, we invest and execute on the best fruits of our IGNITE xCHANGE, opening the door and facilitating collaboration for those of us who want to participate. When a viable innovation opportunity emerges, we commit resources to nurture and pursue innovation: from idea, to design and prototype, through rapid ready-fire-aim MVP (Minimum Viable Product) sprints that test and bring innovations to market in 6-month commitments. Again, you can follow the innovation journey in the LIVE xCHANGE tab.


Mega Manila 2020: Reimagining The Future of Urban Dwelling and Home Sweet Home

The Context

The urban home dwelling is projected to grow 50% through 2021, driven primarily by the middle-income segment. It’s not a problem per se, but massive changes are happening, and they will all converge on home sweet home. Quality of life is degrading at an accelerating pace, at the same time as massive demographic, socio-economic, and behavioral shifts are changing the fabric and flow of everyday life.

Try mixing all these up in a wicked stew:

  • traffic, pollution, over-burdened infrastructure;
  • continued abuse of meager-to-non-existent urban planning;
  • a growing middle class composed of younger, more mobile workforce that’s marrying later and having less kids;
  • a workforce disproportionately concentrated in sectors (e.g., BPO and its related sectors) that are under threat from technological shifts (e.g., AI);
  • growing income gaps and numbers of un- and under-employed;
  • and myriad other issues.

All these converge at home. Home is where the heart is, and in our view, the experience of home dwelling is rife for innovation. We must re-imagine it today, so we can build a better life for tomorrow.

The Challenge

What are the Breakout Innovations we can pursue today to vastly improve our experience of urban home dwelling tomorrow?

For many, this greater vision of home might center on nurturing our most valued relationships, or nurturing the best version of our selves. For others, the home might also be, increasingly, a home-office, or a home-school, a base for cultivating career, advocacies, a better world. For yet others, it could be a home where health and wellness come to us, instead of us going to clinics and hospitals.

Far more so than technology alone, the home is the intersection of empathy, joy, desire, pain, compassion, genius, purpose, mission that makes the home pregnant with so many possibilities for innovation. Our collective challenge is to exchange and curate the very best ideas, the most viable of which we hope to pursue as minimum viable product that can be launched in 3 to 6-month sprints.

March 10, 2018 | Manila Polo Club

Welcome to Day One of the IGNITE xCHANGE on Urban Dwelling in Mega Manila!

The Challenge:

What will the urban home of 2030 look like, in a mega metropolis like Manila? 

The Characters:

61 participants from different sectors of society: education, health, urban planning, innovation, technology, enterprise, government, and more

The 10x6 (10 sharers, 6 minutes each)

Jojo Concepcion | Chair and CEO, Concepcion Industries; Event Co-Host |  Household Durables and Shifts in the Filipino Middle Income Household Behaviors

Cooling and temperature control is fast becoming a basic right, in a tropical country like the Philippines. Therefore, energy efficiency is of paramount importance.

Bernie Villegas, PhD | Economist, University of Asia and the Pacific | Macroeconomic Trends and the Future of the Home

We should have bigger families, and industries like real estate should provide the right context and infrastructure for them to flourish – bigger living spaces, more early learning centers, urban gardens.

David Foote | Founder and CEO, Zennya | Home Healthcare and Mobile Medtech

Mobile has changed the game, with the dawn of the Internet of Things and Big Data. This represents a new opportunity that can put millions of people to work.

William Ti, Jr. | Principal Architect, WTA Architecture and Design Studio | Urban Planning and the Future of Mega Manila

The travails of Manila are actually an opportunity. Social architecture can help us deconstruct the way we buy and operate. Things are now coming in bite-sized pieces (i.e. chapels, barangays). We can break barriers in the informal sector by looking at these opportunities.

Shahab Shabibi | Founder and CEO, MyKuya | Collaborative Consumption, Sharing Economy and the Future of Work

The problems are infrastructure deficits, poverty and lack of education. Mobile is an opportunity to solve these issues. We can use tech to create access and opportunities at home.

Edric Mendoza | Founder and CEO, Parent Schooling Co.; Host, On the Money | Insights from One of the Country’s Biggest Homeschooling Networks

We need to deconstruct education, and break stereotypes around home education. Let’s think about how technology can scale efforts in education and shift mindsets towards collaborative learning.

Al Villarica | Chief Architect, Smart Communications, Inc. | Blockchain Technology and Its Applications

We can use blockchain for transparency at identity factos for people to report crimes and incidents.

Maria Margarita Villanueva | Head, BroadbandMarketing Business Intelligence, Globe Telecom | Reimagining the Future of a Connected Home

Having access to Internet at home can create better channels for communication. It’s a great equalizer and gives an expanded world experience.

Mario Domingo | Co-Founder and Managing Partner, lloopp | The Future of AI, Deep Machine Learning and Big Data

We can use deep learning, natural language recognition and open source as tools to enhance the home.

Joy Tanchi Mendoza and Mench Dizon | Homemakers | The Life and Concerns of Manila Households, Circa 2020

“Mothers want everything, home and career. Creating learning spaces at home with connectivity would be a great help.” -Joy

“We have a daily struggle taking care of the home. We need to create safe spaces for women to share. Create new system processes and remote work setups so families don’t need to be taken away from each other.” – Mench

The Breakout Session

14 groups | GPMCI GameBoard | From Individual Genius > Individual Purpose > Shared Mission > Collaboration > Innovation


The Outcomes:

14 innovative, visionary ideas, from bayanihan micro-grids to virtual libraries and platforms for remote working. (See LIVE xCHANGE tab for details.)

IgNIGHT Socials

Special thanks to Ungava Premium Canadian Gin for sponsoring the Happy Hour after the xCHANGE.


Cast of Characters

Coming out of this IGNITE xCHANGE, how have my views changed regarding the possibilities of innovation in Manila?

What potential innovation/s am I most excited about, and how do I see my participation (e.g., tech, product or biz dev, investor, etc.) in making it/them a reality?

Welcome to the LIVE xCHANGE!

This section contains updates on ideas, prototypes and ventures that are borne out of this xCHANGE. Please leave any comments you may have in the section below. Let’s keep this xCHANGE lively and collaborative!

March 10 – xCHANGE Day One

Shared Mission 1: Solving Urban Migration and Congestion | Innovation: Turn undeveloped properties into farms and resorts with a system of co-ownership

The group views traffic and over-congestion as the by-products of urban migration – that is, too many people trying to build their lives in small, densely populated urban centers. A solution, therefore, is helping and encouraging people to move out to fringe or rural areas, connecting the tools we already have as a solid backbone, to create opportunities right where they are.

Shared Mission 2: An Inclusive Society through Education | Innovation: A Web App Subscription Network of Libraries

The group strongly believes that a love for reading is the key to better education. They wanted to move people back from digital to analog, because “books have soul.” The web app they propose will have the capacity to register people, customize their preferences, and connect them to a wide network of libraries. When people have access to books, they will have a propensity for learning, and literacy goes up.

Shared Mission 3: Efficient Distribution of Electric Power | Innovation: Bayanihan Micro Grid

Power deficit or shortage is a real problem in some communities. This group proposes a two-pronged approach: the creation of mini power plants, and tapping renewable energy sources, both at the community level. Smart systems can even store the energy, or sell it to the National Grid. This “local energy cooperative” can substantially decrease costs while increasing energy reliability.

Shared Mission 4: Education Without Borders | Innovation: Online Test Platform

This group envisions the creation of opportunities without having to leave the home. They propose an online test platform that ranks skills and suggests career paths, based on a person’s personality and capabilities. They’re talking about building an entire college system outside the traditional brick & mortar universities, and even a possible shift to an apprentice system to get individuals work-ready.

Shared Mission 5: Tapping Unmet Potential | Innovation: A Community of Service Technicians through Diagnostics and Education

Service technicians and others in a similar profession represent an important yet still disorganized talent group. This group envisions a separate training vocation that can develop skilled workers of a consistent standard that can become qualified home service providers. In this way, home owners can spend more time at home and less time searching for well-trained workers.

Shared Mission 6: Instilling Values | Innovation: “Edu Child” – A YouTube Channel for Instilling Values

Value erosion is a problem when parents spend less time at home due to career demands. This group sees technology as a potential ally in instilling and reinforcing values to children. Edu Child is a step-by-step tutorial on a platform that kids know well: YouTube. It will use scenarios to illustrate and teach values at home.

Shared Mission 7: Keeping the Family Intact | Innovation: A Trust-Based Remote Working Platform

Long commutes and increasing traffic woes make remote working a tempting option. However, employers, especially large corporations, eye this option warily, because of the lack of check and balance in the arrangement. This group sees a tech platform as a possible solution – one that is trust- and rewards-based. The platform will be able to measure data in terms of productivity, making remote working a viable, cost-effective option for both the employer and employee.

Shared Mission 8: Enabling Independence | Innovation: A Data-driven Approach to Create Data-Driven Dwelling

Due to rising cost of living in urban areas, young people are finding it harder and harder to leave their family home and live independently. The group sees Smart Living Arrangements as a solution – that is, living spaces that are also working spaces and learning spaces, equipped with a wide range of smart services. The solution starts with the creation of a smart service aggregator, which uses the skills of every person and company in the space, and can be offered to home owner associations as a bundle of packages and services. The ultimate intention is to get enough data to influence condominium design through a “smart” condo or community approach, which everyone benefits from through profit sharing.

Shared Mission 9: Connecting People with Their Purpose | Innovation: A Social Media Platform to Connect People Based on Talents and Skills

The group believes that happier and fulfilled individuals are more capable of producing good work that matters. They propose a platform that combines Facebook, LinkedIn and Job Street, connecting people and enterprises based on purpose and desired impact.

Shared Mission 10: Lessening Traffic Congestion | Innovation: Elevated Walkways

This group approached the issue of traffic congestion by going back to the basics: encouraging walking. They propose the creation of elevated, air-conditioned walkways that make walking a more pleasurable and plausible option for getting from Point A to Point B.

Shared Mission 11: Improved energy consumption | Innovation: The Internet of Things at Home

This group proposes the use of the Internet of Things (IoT) to track energy and resource consumption, which will hopefully lead to a more judicious use of them. Expanding this vision, the group also foresee smart homes that are able to cap consumption at a certain point, to enable them to operate within budget constraints, much like a mobile data cap.

Shared Mission 12: Improved Home Spending | Innovation: An App that Tracks Real-time Usage

To track real-time spending for home expenses, the group proposes an app that takes the place of the power saver in one’s laptop. This app automatically manages your home, and captures the data on spending and usage. This information will not only improve the way families allocate their budgets, it is also a tool for market research that can lead to more efficient use of resources.

Shared Mission 13: Improved Productivity While Increasing Hours at Home | Innovation: Community-Curated Commercial Opportunities

Different communities have different needs. This group feels that the “live, work, play” approach of townships can be greatly enhanced if nearby goods and services were curated for the benefit of the communities they are serving. This scenario can also reduce commuting time drastically. For instance, a townhouse or dormitory whose tenants are primarily students should have a study area and convenience store nearby, so that people don’t have to go far to get what they need.

Shared Mission 14: Addressing Hunger | Innovation: A Carinderia Collective

This group tackled the cost of living and how it affects work, particularly through the lens of a stable food supply. They propose a Carinderia Collective, which connects a carinderia or local store, to workers. A weekly posting of menu and delivery services are adjuncts to the idea.

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