Convening for a STEM-ready society

Over 20 international and local experts in various fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education gathered to discuss innovative experiences in delivering STEM education to address the most pressing problems of society for the First Integrated STEM Leadership Summit in Asia last November 21-24 at the Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa in Cebu, Philippines. 

Dubbed as Asia’s First Integrated STEM Leadership Summit, the event’s agenda was to provide a platform for cross-sectoral dialogue and collaboration among government, academe, industry, and the public sector to emphasize the significance of building a STEM-ready 21st century society. Among the high profile speakers included Dr. Victoria Levin, Senior Economist at The World Bank, David Hollands, Head of Education Strategy at HP – Asia Pacific and Japan, and Dr. Steven Swanson, Former Astronaut and ISS Commander, NASA – National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Atty. Nepomuceno Malaluan, Undersecretary and Chief of Staff of the Office of the Secretary under the Department of Education opened the summit, who stressed on the importance of quality through education. “Quality is always a moving subject. It is not static. But in order to achieve quality standard, we must revolutionize our curriculum,” Malaluan said. In response to the growing recognition of STEM education in the private sector, Kelly List Wells, Founder and Executive Director of the STEM Leadership Alliance (US) emphasized on “breaking the silos” and how working collaboratively can enrich the development of STEM education in the world. 

The three-day summit concluded with various panel discussions and workshops that tackled holistic approaches in discussing STEM such as building an Industry 4.0-ready workforce, developing a culture of innovation and engaging women and girls in STEM and fostering cross-collaboration, and in achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.