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Morphlabs' Damarillo on Eve of Davos: Education Priority in Developing World

World Economic Forum Young Global Leader Discusses His Cloud Computing Vision

Philippine native Winston Damarillo is CEO of Morphlabs, Inc. and G2IX (Global Gateway Innovation Exchange), and has also been named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.

I interviewed him shortly before he left for this year's Annual Meeting of the Forum in Davos. The first part of the interview covered his current business; below is the second part, which covers his activity with the Forum and outlines his vision.

The World Economic Forum
Roger Strukhoff:
How has being named a Young Global Leader helped you present your vision to the world?

Winston Damarillo: It's an honor to be able to see first-hand what the world needs, and to be a part of the formulation of the solution. Being cooped up in board meetings and product testing for years and now being able to recognize what the world needs is enriching and enlightening.

We are blessed to be living in this generation of information sharing through communities of like-minded people, of solutions shared to break down barriers and to a world that is hungry not for individual recognition but a global way of addressing issues.

And as an entrepreneur in the emerging and disruptive world of IT, I bring to the WEF solutions that can bridge everyday problems to a solution that can be developed and deployed in the web in minutes to hours, vs. legacy architecture.

Cloud Computing
Strukhoff:
Speaking of the world of IT, wow do you see Cloud Computing and its evolving utility model playing out throughout the world? Who will benefit the most from it?

Damarillo: We've seen how far-reaching Cloud Computing can be in addressing issues in the enterprise. Now, exposing it to issues in developing countries in Asia and Africa, for example, I think its use in the education sector will have to be the number one priority on my list.

Strukhoff: What are some examples of putting this into action?

Damarillo: The use of current cloud technology using video-on-demand and web infrastructure will simplify the dissemination of basic education resources to the classrooms in far flung areas, where there are fewer teachers and resources are scarce.

Imagine having elementary school materials shown over the web to islands in the Philippines, where the teachers have to be ferried from the main island to the smaller islands to do their advocacy! The government can only do so much, and we are all here to help technology work for all of us.

The Philippines & Asia
Strukhoff:
OK, turning toward the Philippines specifically, how do you assess the IT scene there?

Damarillo: The Philippine IT scene has evolved leaps and bounds from the first time I returned to the country in 2001 after being away for more than 10 years.

For one thing, we now have a lot of technologists who have come home to help shore up efforts to build an IT-centric economy. There is a great opportunity to grow with the government, the academe and the private sector working closely and side by side.

In my case, I'm excited to have been part of the board of PSIA (Philippine Software Industry Association) for three years. Seeing how other companies have helped inspires me to do more for the country.

Strukhoff: And how about the rest of Southeast Asia?

Damarillo: Well, you know the rest of Southeast Asia, apart from Singapore, is a work-in-progress. There are ASEAN IT initiatives highlighting the cultural diversity, the physical structure of most countries being archipelagos--Indonesia and the Philippines being great examples of this--and the concern on security to do online transactions.

We are pleased that these are being addressed in a master plan ratified by leaders in the region.

Strukhoff: Can you also comment on China and other places in Asia?

Damarillo: Sure. Many places--including China, Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea--have developed their ICT capabilities by leaps and bounds. You will note that in the Red Herring Asia 100 companies, these four plus Australia and Singapore have dominated the Top 100 companies.

We hope to see more Filipino companies there!

Motivation
Strukhoff:
When you start work each day, what do you wish to accomplish?

Damarillo: I am a father of a 12-year old talented young man who hungers for new concepts and learning new skills, and a husband to a wife and life partner who believes that education is key to the success of any individual.

It is always a routine for me to look at my day on how I can impart my knowledge to my family, ensure my son's continuing education, and see how I can be of help to the companies and its employees I steward.

Strukhoff: What can people in the technology world do to inform and educate the global leaders of business, government, and NGOs about the economic and societal benefits that can be brought about by IT?

Damarillo: That's it. You just said it, inform and educate. We need to work harder to have an open line for communication, an open mind to learn, open ears to listen, and an open heart to accept change.

More Stories By Roger Strukhoff

Roger Strukhoff is Executive Director of the Tau Institute for Global ICT Studies, (@TauDir), with offices in Illinois and Manila. He is also a writer & editor for SYS-CON Media. He writes for Cloud Computing Journal & Computerworld Philippines. He is Conference Chair of WebRTC Summit and Things Expo. He has a BA from Knox College, Certificate in Tech Writing from UC-Berkeley, and MBA studies at CSU-East Bay. He serves on the board of the Campbell Center for Historic Preservation Studies, and has served as Director, U.S. Coast Guard Aux Int'l Affairs.

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