On its first year, the ASEAN Peace Project launched environmental awareness and peace-oriented social entrepreneurship programs for young people from two areas known for violent political unrest – Mindanao in the Philippines and Southern Thailand.

These areas are considered to be hotbeds of conflict as well as vulnerable to climate change and environmental decay. This environmental degradation in these two regions adds to the multitude of livelihood risks and challenges, including poverty, crime and disease, as well as water and food insecurity. The project identified forty-five (45) aspiring social entrepreneurs who gained skills and experiences through an accelerator program aimed at conceptualizing products and services through a series of capacity-building workshops, lectures, and training sessions. The project is one of the winners of the Young Southeast Asia Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) Seeds for the Future Grant Competition under the supervision of the East-West Center, U.S. Department of State and International Republican Institute.

18–25 April, 2016 | Davao City, Philippines
12–16 May, 2016. | Bangkok, Thailand

Overview of the Program

  • The accelerator program for the Philippines and Thailand included lectures, workshops, fieldwork, and mentorship sessions with a focus on peace-building, product development, environmental protection, technology use, business compliance, marketing, and impact investing.
  • Participants visited existing social enterprises and hear the experiences of young people who have already started their own businesses.
  • Standout participant projects included a heat stress analyzer to help farmers improve crop growth and a test-preparation tutoring program to bridge the educational gap for high school students in conflict-affected areas.

Program Objectives

  • Promote social entrepreneurship as a strategy for community-driven solutions in conflict-affected areas in the Philippines and Thailand;
  • Provide participants with applicable best local and international practices in achieving peace and environmental sustainability;
  • Create a network of young social entrepreneurs from the Philippines and Thailand who will develop innovative solutions through business with social and environmental impacts;
  • Foster inclusive community development by facilitating collaborative business model among the youth, business leaders, government agencies, and non-profit organizations; and
  • Enhance and integrate environmental peace-building with entrepreneurship.