#TECH: MaGIC to hold country's biggest online conference

March 16, 2021

CYBERJAYA: The largest convergence of Malaysia's entrepreneurial movers and shakers at the E-Nation Conference just got larger this year.

Organiser Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC) said the flagship conference will grow to a series of four conferences across 2021.

MaGIC said this year's inaugural 'season' of E-Nation - titled Future Fast: Thriving for a Better Tomorrow - will feature a series of three virtual satellite conferences across each quarter, followed by its curtain closing showstopper at the end of the year, which will combine both virtual and in-person events at MaGIC's Cyberjaya headquarters.

The first of the virtual conferences, Series 1: Innovative Leadership by Design, will debut on March 31, 2021, featuring a stellar cast of speakers such as Khairy Jamaluddin, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Muhammad Yunus, social entrepreneur, founder of Grameen Bank and Nobel Peace Prize winner, and Beth Davies, former Director of Learning & Development at Tesla.

This will be followed by Series 2: People, Planet, Profit - The Art of Balance on 24 June 2021, Series 3: Tech for Good on 26 August 2021, and culminating with the E-Nation Conference on 28-29 October 2021. Other illustrious speakers set to grace the podium across the year are notable leaders and innovators such as Paul Polman, ex-Unilever CEO and Vice-Chair of the UN Global Compact, and Yancey Strickler, Co-founder and former CEO of Kickstarter, Nick Earle, Senior Vice President of Virgin Hyperloop One, and Jeremy White, Executive Editor at WIRED Magazine UK.

"The rules have surely changed in the new normal. As challenging times also present us with great opportunities, we recognise the need to take E-Nation one step further to ignite the flames of Malaysia's wealth creation players - the innovative entrepreneurs, the social innovators and the ecosystem that enable them - to drive greatness for the nation," says MaGIC's chief executive officer, Dzuleira Abu Bakar.

She said the E-Nation 2021 will meet a growing appetite for radical, trailblazing ideas with its new format shift to an "always-on" series of conferences and supporting platforms instead of a single event, ensuring growth of Malaysian innovators are continuously nurtured throughout the year.

"As the nation's go-to platform for enabling and facilitating the growth of our greatest thinkers and innovators, it's our role to help them rally around a common purpose: to convert impact-driven concepts into actions, to disrupt the status quo, and to enrich societies through positive and innovative discussions," she said.

Driving E-Nation 2021 are objectives which are closely aligned with the government's wider goals to drive Malaysia's progress with technology and innovation. These objectives are to support the nation's technology and innovation agenda, drive MaGIC's strategies and initiatives for tech start-ups, social innovators, and innovation ecosystems, inspire the movers and shakers of the start-up ecosystem and advance Malaysia's position as a regional market producer for digital products and digital solution providers with start-ups as catalysts.

Since 2019, E-Nation has gathered more than 5,000 participants such as entrepreneurs and social innovators, investors and impact investors, thought leaders, academicians, innovators, corporates, technology companies, policymakers, regulators and government agencies. Some of its most distinguished speakers include the highly celebrated statistician and philosopher Nassim Nicholas Taleb, visionary disruptive entrepreneur Peter Diamandis, and Nadiem Anwar, Co-Founder of Gojek and Indonesia's Minister of Education and Culture.

The new structural improvements to the E-Nation platform is a reflection of Malaysia's growing confidence in Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) to chart an equitable path forward for all its citizens.

Over the past year, the Malaysian government, through the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI), has introduced new policies and initiatives to accelerate the growth of STI and social innovation in the nation. Most notable is the new National Science, Technology and Innovation Policy (DSTIN) 2021-2030, which sets the framework for Malaysian STI to galvanise the nation and improve our standing from technology consumers to technology developers.

Also notable is MOSTI's National Technology and Innovation Sandbox (NTIS) - of which MaGIC is lead secretariat - to fast-track advanced technology solutions that are relevant to tackling Malaysia's present and future challenges.

To boost social innovation in the country, the government has also introduced the Social Impact Matching Grant - of which MaGIC is leading as well - that aims to support local social enterprises and other social impact businesses to sustain their initiatives and supersize their ability to do more social and environmental good. It is deployed via a 1:1 fund matching mechanism and made available to applicants with successful crowdfunding initiatives.

Go to enation.mymagic.my.