ӯƱs Southeast Asia Development Symposium (SEADS) 2020: The New Normal: Driving Economic Recovery through Digital Innovation

Event | 21 October 2020


In 2020, ӯƱ is organizing the first of what will be an annual development policy symposium in Southeast Asia, the Southeast Asia Development Symposium (SEADS). The main objective of the event is to?help crystallize thinking on relevant and critical issues, and support countries in successfully?making the transition to becoming high-income, knowledge-based, and, most importantly, sustainable?economies.

SEADS was originally scheduled for March 2020 in Jakarta, with the theme Driving Digital Disruption. It was postponed due to the COVID-19 crisis, and is being reorganized virtually.

SEADS will maintain its focus on digital innovation with the context of the COVID-19 crisis. Digital technology is already helping offset COVID-19 impacts in many areas and will be an integral part of longer-term economic recovery. In line with this, SEADS will focus on The New Normal: Driving Economic Recovery through Digital Innovation and will explore policies that?can help Southeast Asian nations achieve a competitive edge in the age of disruptive?technology. SEADS will provide government officials from Southeast Asia, industry leaders, development officials, and other stakeholders with a unique opportunity to explore innovative responses to the COVID-19 crisis.

For more details regarding registration and general details, please visit the .


This annual event will serve as a platform for ӯƱ developing member countries (DMCs) to share insights, innovations, and experience on areas of practical policy relevance. Each year a post-event compilation of proceedings will be circulated to participating governments and stakeholders. The Southeast Asia Development Solutions Platform (seads.adb.org) and special topical webinars will provide insights on cutting-edge issues throughout the year.


More than 1,000 people, representing governments, the private sector, academia, think tanks, and NGOs will participate in the inaugural event on 21 October?2020.? Select members of national, regional and global media will also be invited.


SEADS will build on discussions at ӯƱs 53rd Annual Meeting, and provide countries with a unique opportunity to interact directly and discuss the COVID-19 crisis. The forum will feature an open morning plenary and afternoon special sessions. The morning plenary will include:(i) welcoming remarks from ӯƱs President (ii) high-level keynote speakers; (iii) a panel discussion; (iv) launch of an ӯƱ knowledge product and the SEADS Knowledge and Innovation Platform; and (v) a senior-level action dialogue. Topics for the afternoon special sessions include: (i) The Fintech and E-Commerce Revolution; (ii) Access for All: Remote Learning and EdTech; (iii) Leveraging Digital Tech for Healthcare; and (iv) The New Normal: From Technology to Leadership. A number of Partner Sessions will focus on innovation, stories of impact, inclusive recovery, and digital technology helping to address COVID-19.

How to register


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