MANILA – The first-ever National Youth, Science, Technology and Innovation Festival (NYSTIF), which opened at the PICC Forum Tent in Pasay City on Wednesday, was likened by Senator Francis Tolentino to the prestigious Aspen Ideas Festival being held annually at Aspen, Colorado in the United States.
Tolentino shared his optimism that the NYSTIF, spearheaded by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), would go international in the coming years and may involve ASEAN countries and even Japan.
"Try to read something about the Aspen Festival in Aspen, Colorado and try to link it to what you are doing right now. There will be a point of convergence. Para sa atin (For us), mini steps but I hope in the days ahead, years ahead, we will have our own innovation festival to include our ASEAN brothers and sisters, to include perhaps Japan," Tolentino said in his keynote speech.
Founded in 2005, the Aspen Ideas Festival became a venue for innovators, policymakers, academics, business and nonprofit leaders, advocates, artists, and journalists to have a dialogue about various issues and ideas.
It is a week of programs and discussions dedicated to advancing and improving society that is being hosted by the Aspen Institute focusing on addressing the most critical challenges being faced by the globe.
Tolentino noted that like the Aspen Ideas Festival, the NYSTIF can also be a permanent exhibit highlighting the brilliance of Filipinos, especially the youth.
"Not just in terms of dreams and aspirations but what they are doing right now. And we will be surprised. You will be surprised that they have done a lot. It is just that some are not yet recognized or waiting to be recognized. Marami na po tayong magagaling na kababayan na nakatulong na, nakapagbigay ambag nang malaki sa larangan ng agham (We have a lot of countrymen who have already contributed a lot to the field of science)," he said.
Tolentino also suggested that next year’s NYSTIF could showcase the beauty and importance of the Philippine marine ecosystems.
"It is our job to showcase, champion, change, and safeguard the treasures of our seas and our archipelagic waters," he said, encouraging the DOST and the NYSTIF attendees to continue showing the brilliance of the Filipino youth and raise awareness of science and technology.
This year's NYSTIF will feature science and technology competitions, exhibits, forums, seminars, technology demonstrations, and workshops, among other activities. (PNA)