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  • Writer's pictureErika Ly

Digital Asia Hub concludes Platform Futures Workshop

Between the 4th to the 20th of April, 2023, we hosted a three-week workshop as part of our ongoing Platform Futures engagement. Drawing on key insights from the roundtables hosted in 2022-2023 we translated this into a program for scholars and practitioners to deepen their expertise and knowledge on platform governance issues in the APAC region.

The workshop presented different perspectives from across the APAC region exploring constructivist approaches to decolonising perspectives, through to policymaking practice and tools and mechanisms for effective change. We had 12 participants joining us throughout the program.

From our participants:

I found the workshops to be really enriching and had cut across a lot of different perspectives when it comes to thinking about the future of platforms. Coming from a public policy perspective and background, I was more inclined to see how we can govern platforms better moving forward, but I thought it was apt to learn about the history of platforms and abstracting them from being merely just a form of technology or service but seeing how it affects our lives in so many ways. There's a lot I managed to gather from this programme to consider how to better govern platforms after taking into account these diverse perspectives and chart a better future for platforms, governments and more importantly, society. – Ryan Chua

I'm grateful for the opportunity to participate in the Digital Asia Hub's Platform Futures workshop in April 2023. I appreciated the interdisciplinary approach of the workshop and the diversity of perspectives shared by speakers and participants from a wide range of backgrounds. I learnt a lot from the workshop and would highly recommend it to other professionals in the field – Dominic Paulger

We were also joined by leading experts and practitioners representing a diversity of perspectives and experiences from academia, civil society, policy, industry, and government on the topic including:

  • Cheryl Chung, Head of Singapore for Kantar Public

  • Nighat Dad, Founder and Executive Director of Digital Rights Foundation (Pakistan) and member of the Facebook Oversight Board

  • Deborah Elms, Founder and Executive Director of the Asian Trade Centre and the President of the Asia Business Trade Association

  • Yuko Harayama, Professor Emeritus at the Graduate School of Engineering, Tohoku University, Japan and Former Executive Director at RIKEN

  • KS Park, Founder and Executive Director of Open Net Korea

  • Professor Jack Qiu, Shaw Foundation Professor in Media Technology, Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, Nanyang Technological University

  • Professor Nishant Shah, Professor of Global Media and Director of the Digital Narratives Studio at the Chinese University of Hong Kong

  • Noopur Raval, Postdoctoral Researcher at University of California

This was an interesting group of people working on a critical topic. I think it's important for people in the digital and tech space to understand how government regulation and policymaking can affect business outcomes and for me to carry back information from other stakeholders to government officials in the region. The range and number of questions from the participants were great. – Deborah Elms, Guest Speaker

The program is led by Malavika Jayaram (Executive Director of the Digital Asia Hub), Dev Lewis (Program Lead and Research Fellow) and Erika Ly (Research Fellow), with substantive inputs and support from the Platform Futures expert network and the broader community.

Platform Futures is a program from Digital Asia Hub, an independent, non-profit Internet and society research think tank incubated by the Berkman Klein Center at Harvard University. It convenes an expert network of academics and civil society actors to discuss opportunities, challenges, and governance best practices across the Asia-Pacific region. The Small Books for Big Platforms series was produced in collaboration with knowledge partner ArtEZ University of the Arts, led by Dr. Nishant Shah.

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