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Tech for Good Institute Launches Essay Contest

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Tech for Good Instute contest banner.
The contest offers $1,000 for the first prize, $750 for the second prize, and $500 for the third prize. Photo credit: Tech for Good Institute

Tech for Good Institute, a think tank set up by superapp Grab, is now accepting applications to an essay-writing contest open to university students aged 18–35 year old across Southeast Asia.

Themed, “Shaping the Future of Southeast Asia’s Digital Economy,” the contest is open for entries until 24 October 2022. The goal of the competition is to encourage future leaders to think critically about the future of the digital landscape, especially as digitalization rapidly reshapes Southeast Asia and cooperation of all stakeholder groups across the region is needed to create an environment that protects public interest, supports innovation, and enables a level playing field for all.

Tech for Good Institute has partnered with six universities in Southeast Asia's biggest markets for the contest. These are: Institut Teknologi Bandung, Universiti Malaya, University of the Philippines, Singapore University of Technology and Design, Chiang Mai University, and Vietnam National University. The Asian Development Bank's Southeast Asia Development Solutions is one of the outreach partners for the essay contest.

Competition details

  • The essay competition will be free to enter and open to university-aged students across the region.
  • The essay should have no more than 1,500 words and be about the digital economy, its challenges, and how its promise can be maximized for the most good in the applicant's country and/or Southeast Asia as a whole. The theme may be explored through the lens of sustainability, trust, or equity, though this is not a requirement. The essays must be aligned with the competition’s theme; be relevant to entrant’s local context or the Southeast Asian region as a whole; and be evidence-driven.
  • Essays will be judged on the level of demonstrated knowledge and understanding of the theme, quality of insight, compelling use of evidence, quality of argumentation, structure, and persuasive force.
  • Essay submissions can be in English or the local vernacular (limited to Bahasa Indonesia, Bahaha Melayu, Thai, and Vietnamese).
  • Submitted essays in each country will be shortlisted by an academic panel proposed by a partner university in that country, and the partner regional institution. Three winning entries will be selected by a second judging panel comprising a jury co-selected by the Tech For Good Institute and the partner university/regional institution.
  • Three winners in each the six countries with a partner university will be selected, with $1,000 for the first prize, $750 for the second prize, and $500 for the third prize. Separately, three winners will be selected from other countries without a partner university.
  • The prize ceremony will be conducted online by the Tech For Good Institute, though partner universities may choose to further engage the winners in other ways.   

Winning essays will be published by the Tech For Good Institute and shared across the region via digital channels, as well as through a book.

For more information about the competition and to submit entries, visit Tech for Good Institute's website.