Celebrating 2 Years of SEADS: Planting Seeds of Growth in Southeast Asia

A woman works using a computer.
SEADS was launched in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Two years ago, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) launched the first Southeast Asia Development Symposium, and its online knowledge sharing platform, Southeast Asia Development Solutions—both “SEADS”, for short. SEADS was initiated to support countries in their efforts to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, and develop more prosperous, knowledge-based, and sustainable economies.

In just two years, SEADS has organized three virtual symposia, convening leaders from government, industry, academia, and the development sector to discuss solutions to priority development challenges. The first three symposia attracted over 10,000 participants and showcased 336 thought leaders, half of whom were women. Last year's symposium drew more than 5,000 active participants, making SEADS ADB’s most well-attended annual event.

A cornerstone of SEADS’ success is close cooperation with its partners. To date, SEADS has forged 39 partnerships with private sector and public sector entities.

Since the launch of its webinar series in 2021, SEADS has also organized and co-hosted ten webinars with its partners. These webinars attracted more than 3,700 attendees, and are providing a platform for discussing approaches to effectively support inclusive and sustainable growth in Southeast Asia.

SEADS reach as a knowledge and innovation platform has also grown. Since 2020, the SEADS website has seen users grow 228% year-on-year, while social media reach has expanded to over 11.6 million. SEADS publishes content not just from ADB but also its partners. The SEADS website also hosts ADB's Southeast Asia Sustainable Tourism Hub and ASEAN Policy Network, which showcase ADB's work in promoting sustainable tourism and fostering sustainable growth in the region.

Subscribers to the SEADS Spotlight and Event Newsletters have also grown to over 15,000.

Moving forward, SEADS is sponsoring more webinars and capacity-building trainings for government counterparts in Southeast Asia, and will be launching a video interview series featuring leading innovators from the region and across the globe.
SEADS is currently gearing up for the 2023 symposium. SEADS 2023 will explore steps governments and the private sector can take to help advance Southeast Asia toward a net zero carbon future. Please follow us on FacebookLinkedIn, and Twitter, and subscribe to our newsletter to get updates on SEADS 2023.

With valuable inputs and cooperation with SEADS partners and other stakeholders, we will continue to support knowledge and innovation across Southeast Asia, in our joint endeavor to foster sustainable and inclusive growth in the region.