FNF joins GPCCI’s Mabuhay Germany to reach new heights!
This year, they took on the theme “New Heights!” where they aimed to feature the “most comprehensive display of German goods, services, innovation, tradition and culture”. It also exhibited the German Maibum summer tradition that coincides with the celebration of the Flores De Mayo in the Philippines.
“The theme is a wonderful metaphor for our thriving business relations: In 2018, we reached another record-high in our trade volume of around 7.3 billion US Dollar,” GPCCI President Tristan Arwen Loveres.
As an innovation platform for the promotion of freedom, the Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF) participated in the exhibition and bannered innovative projects on startups and human rights.
Mabuhay Germany took place 25-26 May 2019 at the Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City, catering to over10,000visitors who participated in the activities and took interest in FNF’s work.
Creating spaces for startups
Head of Country, Mr. Wolfgang Heinze, sat as one of the panelists for the Jump Start!, a startup pitching competition organized by the German Embassy and Impact Hub Manila at the Mabuhay Germany. He said: “FNF looks at policies that enrich the startup environment and promote a culture of innovation. We’re connecting the startups with the German community and the world.”
FNF has been actively supporting the startups community since 2016 providing platforms for multi-sectoral discussions and reviewing policies that create a fertile ground for startups to flourish. The foundation organizes forums and exhibitions with different stakeholders from different parts of the country to achieve these. Most recently, the I am Free to Lead and Innovate forums for the youth sector in Butuan City tackled the basics of creating one’s own startup Senator Bam Aquino introduced the Innovative Startup Bill in this forum, where he explained the provisions in the bill, which primarily include giving incentives to innovative startups in the country through research grants, access to government facilities and exemption from fees.
UP Bike Share was the featured startup in FNF Philippines’ booth. It is a bike-sharing system initiative by the students of the University of the Philippines - Diliman led by Miguel Laperal, 5th year engineering student and founder, that allowed them to use bicycles within the campus through a bikesharing technology.
FNF would like to amplify innovative, youth-led projects such as this, which are highly relevant, scalable and replicable in numerous cities and communities in the country As transport and mobility are problematic in most cities in the Philippines, UP Bike Share system can provide an accessible and affordable alternative that will allow every Filipino to experience more freedom through free movement.
“Bike Share gives freedom of mobility. Physical mobility can really affect social mobility: how can a right to move gives a person the certain autonomy and the sort of agency to change parts of their lives for the better,” Laperal remarked.
Participants were allowed access to the bicycles located in the booth as a sneak peek and use it to move around the Bonifacio High Street Central.
UP Bike Share was also one of the featured groups for the World Creative and Innovation Day video produced by the FNF in April 2019.
Another highlight in FNF Philippines’ booth isthe “Female Forward!”. A multiplayer online quiz game via Kahoot was enjoyed by groups of kids and adults to emanate the spirit of gender inclusivity and equality. Situational questions on discrimination and definition of feminism were asked to press the importance of the aforementioned issues.
Gender equality is one of the advocacies that the foundation advances for a more inclusive and a less gender-biased society. One of the many campaigns of the FNF is the Female Forward where women leaders in politics, businesses and civil society are featured to encourage other women to be more proactive in their roles in the society.
LawKo, the HackSociety 2017 winners, which was supported by the foundation was featured to reinforce the movement. It was created by two incredibly smart women, Alex Austria and Keyshia Mayuga, as they aim to bridge the knowledge gap of the ordinary Filipino citizens and the law through a Facebook chatbot. It is a one-stop-shop that could address both the legal and the government processes. "Legal processes shouldn't be this hard to understand. Through these dark times, LawKo aims to shed light for the ordinary citizen," said Alex Austria.
FNF participates in public events such as the Mabuhay Germany to amplify the positive message of freedom for a more inclusive, proactive and freer society.