UP Diliman and University of San Carlos top Accenture’s Program the Future 2017

Isabel Salvosa
UP Diliman and University of San Carlos top Accenture’s Program the Future 2017
The winning apps, announced during the culminating event last August 30, were built to make parking easier and to help the differently abled

MANILA, Philippines — With their thirst for knowledge and digital skills, the Filipino youth can lead us in building a forward-thinking society. 

They need a space where they can cultivate their talents. This is why Accenture launched Program the Future, a competition that challenges college students to create apps for social good.

Each year, the program focuses on different themes: education in 2014, environment and public health/safety in 2015, and small-to-medium enterprises in 2016. 

This year, contestants were tasked to create an artificial intelligence app to improve the human experience. 

Not everything about creating apps was taught in school, but the students educated themselves and came through — pitching apps that ranged from healthcare to transportation.

Through these apps, these students prove they’re socially aware millennialsThey see what Filipinos need, can craft solutions to improve their quality of living, and know how to execute their ideas using technology. (READ: Young Filipino innovators making a difference)

After sleepless nights and nerve-wracking pitches, all 15 finalists gathered for one last day to conclude their journey. 

The culminating event for Program the Future 2017 was held last August 30 at the Maybank Performing Arts Theater in Bonifacio Global City. Jen Tuazon, Accenture Managing Director, hosted the event. 

INSPIRING THE NEXT GENERATION. Ambe Tierro, Accenture Technology Lead in the Philippines, shared how her passion for technology evolved since she was a child.

During her opening remarks, Ambe Tierro, Accenture Technology Lead in the Philippines, told the students: “Program the Future is rooted in the belief that technology improves how people work and live. Your participation in this competition tells me that you share this belief and are willing to work to bring it to life.”

Aside from Tierro, the panel of judges included Lito Tayag, Accenture in the Philippines Country Managing Director; Carlos Antaran, Technology Products Industry Group Lead; Carlo Castro, Technology Platform Lead; Chips Guevara, Philippine Development Foundation Executive Director; and Jay Fajardo, CEO of Launch Garage. 

TECH VISION AWARD. Team AID from the University of San Carlos won P50,000 for their efforts in applying technology trends to their app.

Team AID of University of San Carlos, with members Jeremiah Valero Jr., Rannzel Dwayne Tongco, Danielle Ann Piamonte, and Erl Joshua Arcenal, bagged the Tech Vision award. The team pitched an app to help people with speech deficiencies communicate better. 

GRAND WINNERS. Team Parakeet, (pictured with a member from Team Brainsmart in center) is the overall champ for this year’s Program the Future.

UP Diliman’s Team Parakeet, with Carl Dizon and Agatha Uy, was announced as the grand winner. Parakeet aims to create sustainable parking solutions. The pair received P250,000 and tickets for an all-expenses-paid trip to the Accenture Innovation Center in India. 

These brilliant and tech-savvy students look out for their fellow Filipinos. What they and other STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) students need is a supportive educational and research system.

Technology is ever-evolving, but with students who innovate, the Philippines can keep up — and even produce applications which can change not just the country, but the world.

What other tech solutions can the Filipino youth create? Watch out for next year’s batch of new ideas! — Rappler.com

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