The Brunei Chevening Youth Forum (BCYF) recently kicked-off its thirteenth installment, carrying the theme “Smart Youth for a Smart Nation”.

The topic was based on Brunei’s current transformative phase of socio-economic development driven by digital transformation underpinned by the 4th Industrial Revolution which calls for our youth to be leaders and co-creators in the realisation of a Smart Nation.

Minister of Transport and Infocommunications Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Abdul Mutalib Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Setia Dato Paduka Haji Mohammad Yusof speaks to the invited audiences during the Brunei Chevening Youth Forum (BCYF) held at The Core, Universiti Brunei Darussalam. Image: Fazizul Haqimie

The one-day event which was hosted by Chevening Alumni Brunei, Majlis Belia Brunei and the Young Professionals Network (YPN), featured six key sessions including a panel discussion on “Realising the Smart Nation Together” with representatives from DST, Progresif, DARe, Evyd Technology, Mixmedia, Tyne Solutions and Chevening Alumni Brunei.

Breakout sessions on entrepreneurship, employability and future-ready society were also held in the afternoon where participants were given the opportunity to envision the transformation that they anticipate which saw the involvement of Brunei’s leading entrepreneurs and social innovators as speakers. 

British High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam His Excellency John Virgoe delivers his remarks during the Brunei Chevening Youth Forum (BCYF) held at The Core, Universiti Brunei Darussalam. Image: Fazizul Haqimie

In her remarks, the founder and convener of BCYF Fatin Arifin said that the theme is quite an exciting one this time especially at this juncture where Brunei is actively adapting and seeking to transform into a smart nation as part of our national aspiration to be globally competitive.

Legislative Council Brunei Darussalam member and Chevening Alumni Brunei President Yang Berhormat Khairunnisa Haji Ash’ari delivers her welcoming remarks during the Brunei Chevening Youth Forum (BCYF) held at The Core, Universiti Brunei Darussalam. Image: Fazizul Haqimie

“Today we bring together industry leaders, entrepreneurs, social innovators, policy makers and young leaders in a constructive setting to have honest conversation and dialogue to provide our young people the opportunity to understand the realities and opportunities in national development and the forces shaping our transformation aimed to collectively empower young people’s participation and leadership towards shaping the future of Brunei and contribute to developing a generation of future-ready agents of change,” she said.

The BCYF team, she added, was pleased with the support received from various agencies including Ministry of Transport and Infocommunications, Smart Nation Office, Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports whose participation in the forum have helped steer the discussions in the right direction.

On her part, the co-founder of YPN Aspa Mohd Sah said that the collaboration saw a group of tireless youths from three organisations, coming together in accomplishing a shared vision. 

L-R): , Chevening Alumnus Brunei Abdul Azim Kassim, Digital Innovation & Growth, Tyne Solution Co-Founder and Director Aimi Ramlee, Progresif Head Product Innovation Mohammad Haziq Haji Mohd Sahrip, DST Digital Business Associate Vice President Freddie Ting Lik Wei, CEO Evyd Technology Ming Jie Chua, MIXMEDIAGROUP Founder and CEO Azlan Ahmad and DARe Startup Development Manager Reuben Chin during the Brunei Chevening Youth Forum (BCYF) held at The Core, Universiti Brunei Darussalam. Image: Fazizul Haqimie

“The YPN has always been an advocate of capacity building for leaders in the professional domain and our core team members played a pivotal role in not only ensuring the forum was run successfully but also became a platform that brought in a huge number of youth leaders and co-creators into one arena, paving the way not only for themselves but also for future generations,” she said.

Over 250 young people from across the districts including deaf and blind students as well as over 25 speakers, moderators and facilitators gathered at the forum.

Minister of Transport and Infocommunications Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Abdul Mutalib Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Setia Dato Paduka Haji Mohammad Yusof (C) pose for a group photo with the invited speakers and guests during the Brunei Chevening Youth Forum (BCYF) held at The Core, Universiti Brunei Darussalam. Image: Fazizul Haqimie

Moreover, the forum also had A PERSPEKTIV open mic session led by Deputy Chief Information Officer of BIBD Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam Yusof Sidek (CISSP), and facilitated by Core Team, Young Professionals Network; Executive Deputy Chair, Brunei Youth Council & Member of Youth Advisory Group under Dasar Belia Negara dan Strategi 2020-2035 Fadli M Zaini, where the session provided participants space to collectively reimagine and deliberate the future of Brunei. 

It also had a sharing session on the Digital Economy Masterplan by the Smart Nation Office and DBNS 2035 by Brunei Youth Council.

Some of the invited students during the Brunei Chevening Youth Forum (BCYF) held at The Core, Universiti Brunei Darussalam. Image: Fazizul Haqimie

The forum was opened by Member of Legislative Council Brunei Darussalam and President of Chevening Alumni Brunei Yang Berhormat Dayang Khairunnisa Awang Haji Ash’ari while a special guest at BCYF British High Commissioner in Brunei John Virgoe also delivered his remarks at the opening session.

Present as the Guest of Honour was Minister of Transport and Infocommunications Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Abdul Mutalib Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Setia Dato Paduka Haji Mohammad Yusof, who delivered a keynote address on “Smart Youth for a Smart Nation” followed by a conversation with the youth participants moderated by Director – ASEAN & Corporate Affairs, UK-ASEAN Business Council Allen Lai, who is also a Chevening alumnus. – Analisa Amu

THE BRUNEIAN | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

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