#Reshaping Europe
FNF Hackathon Empowers Asian Youth


On day 1, the participants were introduced to the hackathon and treated to a thought-provoking recap of FNF’s Policy Paper "EU-ASEAN Relations in Light of the War in Ukraine". Dr. Marc Pinol Rovira, research manager of the Asia Centre, featured crucial topics such as regional integration, the future of an ASEAN-EU Free Trade Agreement, and value-driven discrepancies. The ensuing discussion was enlightening and provided participants with a chance to share their views.

Additionally, the participants heard from Dr. Vachararutai Boontinand, Director of the Institute of Human Rights and Peace Studies at Mahidol University. She delivered an enlightening talk on Human Rights and Democracy. Finally, Dr. Suwannarat Meesomboonpoonsuk, Assistant Professor at the Southeast Asian Studies Department at Thammasat University, shared insights on Economic Cooperation. These presentations aimed to equip the participants with a better understanding of topics, which are central elements of ASEAN - EU relations.

Engaging with Mentors and Project Consultations

The second day of the Youth Hackathon focused on the participants' projects, providing them with an opportunity to receive guidance from expert mentors. The esteemed mentors included Dr. Surachanee Sriyai, co-founder of the Centre for Democratic Innovation, Human Security, and Atrocity Prevention (DISAP) at the Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University; Dr. Narut Charoensri, Assistant Professor of International Relations and Deputy Dean of Research at the Faculty of Political Science and Public Administration, Chiang Mai University; Lina Sakina binte Salim, Centre Coordinator for Asia Centre; and Dr. Marc Pinol Rovira, Research Manager at the Asia Centre. These mentors brought a wealth of knowledge and experience, supporting and nurturing the participants' ideas.

Public Presentation

On the final day, participants honed their presentation styles and finalized their projects in the morning and presented them during a public event in the afternoon.

Some project ideas include the promotion of sustainable fashion from Myanmar, an AI integrated digital learning platform from Vietnam, or an EU-ASEAN global gateway initiative from South Korea.

To learn more about our contestant

Winning team

Our Winning Team

Three esteemed judges evaluated the projects: Ed Legaspi, Former Executive Director of Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA); Dr. Natthanan Kunnamas, Associate Professor at the Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University; and Dr. James Gomez, Regional Director of the Asia Centre.

Amidst fierce competition, the winning idea seamlessly blends education and active citizenship through an accessible online course designed for ASEAN member states. In this project, chosen participants will gain comprehensive knowledge in vital subjects such as ASEAN-EU relations, Digital Literacy and Advocacy, Freedom of Speech (Human Rights), and ASEAN values. The primary objective of this course is to equip youth with the necessary skills for their Social Journalism project and empower them as "Change maker Ambassadors." Beyond that, successful participants will have an exciting opportunity to partake in a study tour in Germany, fostering cultural exchange and networking. During this tour, they will gain invaluable firsthand experience with the principles of Freedom of Speech in EU countries, further enriching their understanding of global citizenship.

We would like to congratulate the Nurilly Rania Jusly and Dean Delaina Denis Ejoh from Malaysia who will be invited by FNF to present their idea to policymakers in Berlin in October.

We extend our heartfelt thanks to all participants who contributed to the success of the Hackathon. The event showcased the potential of Southeast Asian youths. By exchanging knowledge, discussions and through mentorship, the event helped to address pressing regional and global issues. Participants returned to their countries with newfound inspiration and determination to make a positive impact.

Special gratitude to Khun Matt Yutthaworakool for facilitating the event and to the Asia Centre's team for organizing it. FNF is honoured to collaborate with the Asia Centre on such a wonderful project, which fosters cooperation between Europe and Southeast and East Asia.

*Warisala Chatuchinda is the Regional Communications Officer Southeast and East Asia of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom.