March 10, 2018 | Manila Polo Club
The room was buzzing with barely contained excitement. People couldn’t stop talking; from noon onwards, there were lively pockets of conversation in every corner.
This was inevitable for an event that gathered 61 participants from different sectors of society: education, health, urban planning, innovation, technology, enterprise, government, and more. The diversity was not a barrier, but a bridge, because everyone was there to tackle an issue close to everyone’s hearts: The Home.
To be more specific, the question on everyone grappled with was, what will the urban home of 2030 look like, in a mega metropolis like Manila? As the xCHANGERs settled into a circular formation to start the event, 10 individuals provided some food for thought to spark the conversation, based on what was going on in their respective fields or battlefronts.
Jojo Concepcion of Concepcion Industries, the event co-host, started off by declaring that cooling and temperature control is fast becoming a basic right, in a tropical country like the Philippines. Therefore, energy efficiency is of paramount importance.
Economist Bernie Villegas focused his conversation on the family, and how industries like real estate should provide the right context and infrastructure for bigger families to flourish.
Tech innovator David Foote explained how 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,” he said.
Architect and urban planner William Ti, Jr. agreed, saying that “the travails of Manila are actually an opportunity.” He spoke of how social architecture can help us deconstruct the way we buy and operate.
Meanwhile, Shahab Shabibi, founder of tech company MyKuya, focused his bit on the issues of infrastructure deficits, poverty and education. He views mobile as an opportunity to solve these issues, and made a case for using tech to create access and opportunities at home.
Edric Mendoza, owner of Parentschooling Co., the second largest homeschooling platform in the country, talked about the need to deconstruct education. Like Shahab, he believes that technology can scale efforts towards education and shift mindsets towards collaborative learning.
Chief Architect of Smart Communications Al Villarica zeroed in on traffic as a means to use blockchain for transparency at identity factos for people to report crimes and incidents, while Maita Villanueva from Globe Telecom explained how having access to Internet at home can create better channels for communication: “It’s a great equalizer and gives an expanded world experience.” In the same tech-driven vein, Mario Domingo of The Innovation Enterprise discussed about deep learning, natural language recognition and open source as tools to enhance the home.
Last but definitely not the least, we heard from the homemakers themselves. Joy Tanchi Mendoza and Mench Dizon represented the sector that is closest to home, bringing the conversation full circle. “Mothers want everything, home and career,” declared Joy. “Creating learning spaces at home with connectivity would be a great help.” Mench added, “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.”
With minds open and hearts full, participants broke into 14 groups who then tackled the various aspects of home life with the aid of a simple board game. Quick introductions were done, with participants sharing their individual Genius and Purpose as a starting point for conversation. This naturally led to a shared mission – that one aspect of home life that they would explore in the next hour or so.
The ideas tumbled out of the xCHANGERs with wild, excited energy. Once they got started, it was hard to stop. The xCHANGE extended by over an hour, simply because people kept asking for more time. Even after the program proper ended, ideation continued well into the evening, with Ungava Premium Canadian Gin as creative juice to fuel the idea fires.
By the end of the day, the xCHANGERs came up with fourteen innovative, visionary ideas, from bayanihan micro-grids to virtual libraries and platforms for remote working. It remains to be seen what form these ideas will take, once Ignite and its partner, Concepcion Industries, take them to the next level.
Experience the IGNITE xCHANGE here, and contribute your own ideas on how to start building the future of Manila homes today!