The Digital Transformation of Southeast Asia: Issues and Prospects

Tuesday, February 22, 2022
5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

Via Zoom Webinar

  • Huong Le Thu,
  • Elina Noor,
  • Moderator:

The digital transformation of Southeast Asia is in full swing.  In 2021, 8 of the 10 ASEAN countries had internet penetration rates higher than those for Asia (64%) and the world (66%).  But digital access is unevenly distributed between and within Southeast Asian countries.  How are the new technologies impacting the region?  Are they helping civil society or the surveillance state—free speech and economic growth or unaccountable concentrations of power and wealth?  Are Huawei and the Digital Silk Road creating a future with Chinese characteristics?  Who will write the rules of the digital road?  How are specific countries coping?  What is ASEAN’s role?  What should the US do?  Two leading experts, Huong Le Thu and Elina Noor, will discuss these and related questions.

Huong Le Thu
Huong Le Thu is a co-author of Digital Southeast Asia, a just-published policy-focused study of the webinar topic.  A prolific and influential policy analyst of security and diplomacy in the region, she has written widely in journals and global media and for international think tanks including, as a non-resident fellow, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (Wash., DC).  She has held positions at the Australian National University, the ISEAS Yusof Ishak Institute, and the Institute of International Relations in Taipei. Her alma maters include National Chengchi University (Taiwan, PhD) and Jagiellonian University (Poland, Master’s).  She speaks five languages and has published in four.

Elina Noor
Elina Noor has just launched a podcast, “Between the Binary: Tech and the Global South.”  It assesses technology’s intersections with history, gender, power, and economic growth through the underheard voices of guests from developing countries.  Cybersecurity has figured prominently in her many publications on Southeast Asia.  She is a member of the Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace and has held key positions at the Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies (Hawaii), the Institute of Strategic and International Studies (Malaysia), and the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (CSCAP). Her higher degrees are from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LLM) and Georgetown University (MA).

This event is part of the 2022 Winter webinar series, New Frontiers: Technology, Politics, and Society in the Asia-Pacific, sponsored by the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center.