All disruptions emerge from an Edge; from the boundaries of what is dominant or ‘core’ today. What is initially dismissed as peripheral may evolve to eventually disrupt, and even supplant, the core.
Somewhere between the skyscrapers and tuk tuks in bustling city centres, on beautiful tourist beaches, in the rural farms, and flowing down the Mekong River, Edges are pushing the boundaries of our imagination. Edges have the potential to disrupt how people live, work and play, in the future.
But how does one unearth the relevant Edges? How do we distinguish between those with the potential to have significant impact and those that are simply interesting anomalies? Firstly, we have to pay attention to what is actually emerging, whether it is a technological, societal, political, environmental, or economic trend. Secondly, we need to understand the broader global trends to recognise where an emerging Edge aligns with deeper currents.
Southeast Asia is a region of cultural diversity, vibrant opportunities, and youthful optimism. The Deloitte Center for the Edge, together with the US-ASEAN Business Council and the Singapore Economic Development Board, have sought to curate and showcase the Edges of Southeast Asia, to shine a light on the bright spots of creativity and innovation in the region.
As you explore the Edges, you will realise that they go well beyond the opportunities of digitalisation to reveal untold stories of economic inclusion, urban renewal, sustainability, a rising middle-class and an evolving identity and aesthetic. Southeast Asia is home to a new generation of aspiring entrepreneurs and changemakers who have demonstrated their grit, passion and conviction to break through a myriad of linguistic, cultural and geographical complexities to showcase the untapped potential of the region. As the world begins to look to the horizon of recovery from the pandemic, Southeast Asia is aspiring beyond, to a more ambitious horizon of transformation.
With this Edges of Southeast Asia series, we explore some Edges that present a more nuanced and vibrant picture of Southeast Asia today. These examples come from business, art, design, architecture, science, culture, movements, and policies that are largely unknown outside of the region.
This series is not meant to be comprehensive nor definitive. We solely intend to provoke curiosity for you to further explore the evolution and impact of these interesting examples. We hope you enjoy and learn from these Edges. We invite you to connect with us and share both feedback and additional examples for this ever-evolving collection.