As an advocate for youth participation in this tech-driven era, Cyber Youth Singapore (CYS) leads the way as an organization dedicated to fostering young talents in the ever-evolving technology landscape and empowering the future generation of tech visionaries.

Recently, CYS organized CYSummit 2023, a transformative event that marked a significant milestone in this mission. The summit provided an exceptional platform for youth to grow, learn, and network with its theme, “Defining Our Digital Narrative, Together.”

Through forums featuring esteemed panels, CYSummit 2023 exposed attendees to diverse tech applications, including law, finance, consulting, cybersecurity, and national defense. It not only inspired young individuals to shape the future of technology but also offered valuable insights into various opportunities within the tech industry despite uncertainties. The summit’s impact extended beyond inspiration, as it provided tangible support to aspiring tech leaders through access to essential tech skill sets and mentorship, facilitating their career advancements.

In this exclusive TechNode Global Q&A with Ben Chua, the President and CEO of CYS, he reflects on the recently concluded CYSummit 2023 and the collective efforts to empower Singaporean youth in the field of cyber education and careers. Apart from this, Chua shares valuable insights, discussing the achievements of CYSummit 2023 and the long-lasting benefits it has brought to the development of the cyber industry in Singapore and beyond.

A charitable organization focused on developing Singapore’s digital future, CYS is supported by NYC, IMDA, and CSA, CYS champions the national SG Cyber Talent initiative. Ben received the Singapore Computer Society’s IT Youth of the Year Award 2020 for his contributions to the tech industry.

With extensive youth engagement experience, Ben leads a community of over 1,800 youths in CYS. He mentored over 200 youths as a lecturer and panelist for CSA’s Youth Cyber Exploration Program. Ben completed his National Service in the RSAF, contributing to digitization efforts and receiving the NSF of the Year Award 2021.

Currently serving as SingTel’s Business Partnerships Lead, Ben plans to pursue further studies in 2023. He holds a Diploma in Infocomm Security Management with Applied Psychology from Singapore Polytechnic.

Ben Chua, President & CEO of CYS

What is the purpose of CYSummit, and what are its goals?

CYSummit serves as a platform to help youth explore their interest in technology and obtain opportunities to positively influence their community. Our main goal is to empower young people to determine the future of technology and contribute to constructive change in society. The theme for CYSummit 2023, “Defining Our Digital Narrative, Together,” reflects our aim to provide Singaporean youths with a comprehensive hub where they can forge their own paths in the tech industry. We offer immersive experiences, mentorship programs, and connections with industry leaders and government representatives to help them grow both personally and professionally.

Tell us more about the activities and workshops offered at the summit, and who they are aimed at.

At CYSummit 2023, we organized an exciting lineup of programs:

  • YouthxForum featured youth-led panel discussions on technology, Singapore, and the future;
  • YouthxWorkshops offered valuable knowledge and skills in the tech industry;
  • YouthxIndustry, a career development festival connecting young people with industry professionals for mentorship and growing their network.

The event was further enhanced by a prestigious gala dinner where our Guest of Honor, Minister Edwin Tong (Minister for Culture, Community and Youth & Second Minister for Law, Singapore) delivered an inspiring address by highlighting the importance of collective effort in the future tech industry.

We also achieved significant milestones at CYSummit 2023. We signed MOUs with nine leading Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLS) in Singapore, including SP, TP, NP, NYP, RP, SIT, NTU, PSB, and ITE. Additionally, we formed partnerships with the Digital Intelligence Service (DIS) ,Drew & Napier LLC, and Exabytes. These collaborations will allow us to work closely with these esteemed organisations, providing exceptional growth and development opportunities for youths in the tech industry.”

What distinguishes the CYSummit from other cyber events?

I believe that CYSummit stands out by offering a comprehensive experience for Singapore youth. We provide practical skills, mentorship, and networking opportunities; participants gained practical knowledge and connections through interactive sessions, workshops, and forums. Attending CYSummit equipped young individuals with the tools to thrive in the tech field while receiving valuable mentorship for career growth. It’s an event where they can learn, network, and receive guidance in the tech industry.

How does CYSummit contribute to tech education, awareness, and industry development in Singapore and the region?

CYSummit is at the forefront of promoting tech education and awareness among Singaporean youth. We offer hands-on workshops and forums that inspire young people to pursue careers in technology. By providing exposure to the latest trends and connecting them with industry professionals, CYSummit provides valuable insights into the field. Our event has made a significant impact on the development of the tech industry in Singapore and the region by fostering knowledge exchange and professional growth. Stakeholders recognize and appreciate our efforts in addressing complex cyber challenges and advancing the sector.

What are some of the major challenges and obstacles facing the cyber industry in the region, and how does CYSummit help to address these challenges?

I think the tech industry faces a significant global challenge: the increasing demand for tech professionals in the face of rapid technological advancements. CYSummit was established to tackle this challenge head-on. We empower young individuals with the resources and opportunities needed to excel in the tech space. Through hands-on experiences, mentorship programs, and connections with industry leaders and government organisations, CYSummit shapes the future of the tech industry. By equipping young people with essential skills and knowledge, we ensure the continued growth and success of the tech sector.

How can parents, educators, and the wider public support young people’s involvement in tech education and careers, and what role does the government play in this support?

I believe that parents play a crucial role by guiding their children to participate in hands-on experiences, access industry leaders, and engage in mentorship programs like YouthxIndustry at CYSummit, supporting their pursuit of technology careers. While for educators, they can shape the next generation of tech professionals by incorporating tech concepts, topics and applications into their curriculum and providing guidance to interested students.

The wider public supports young people’s involvement through sponsorship and recognizing the importance of cybersecurity education, while the government, including the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) and initiatives like Forward SG and Mentoring SG, actively support CYSummit and the tech industry, providing job opportunities, skills development, and mentorship for Singaporeans.

CYSummit 2023: Defining our Digital Narrative Together – Connecting Youths-in-Tech to Prepare for Our Digital Future