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AIR ASIA’S THE RED HUB CONVENTION: CONNECTING DIGITAL NOMADS ACROSS ASIA & BEYOND

Yesterday, March 17, 2018, I had the most wonderful opportunity to attend and cover Air Asia’s Red Hub Convention at The Axon at Green Sun in Makati City, Philippines. Thank you Air Asia. As a BIG Member, it was a privilege and an honor to be covering this event.

Me attending Air Asia's The Red Hub Convention at The Axon, Green Sun, Makati City, Philippines
Me attending Air Asia’s The Red Hub Convention at The Axon, Green Sun, Makati City, Philippines

AirAsia, the World’s Best Low Cost Carrier, held a digital convention for digital nomads and entrepreneurs at the The Axon at Green Sun. The convention focused on the culture of digital nomads and how AirAsia connects them across Asia.

Air Asia Red Hub Convention Media Kit
Air Asia Red Hub Convention Media Kit

Who or what are Digital Nomads? They can vary from self-employed freelancers or full-time employees, often of start-ups. Digital nomads are internet-savvy individuals who earn their living from a distance. They usually move from one place to another from co-working spaces to coffee shops to beaches, both in Manila and in other parts of the world.

Me with fellow digital nomads: self-employed freelancers, full-time employees who move from one place to another locally and abroad.
Me with fellow digital nomads: self-employed freelancers, full-time employees who move from one place to another locally and abroad.

Yes, I am a digital nomad.

Walking to work. No holidays for #diginomad #online #content #producer #producerlife

A post shared by Joel Jaws Andrada (@joeljawsandrada) on

You see, I have been self-employed after leaving the corporate environment in 2016. With the lack of a better term then, I would call myself an online nomad, working outside cubicles and the usual working hours as an online content producer/creator.

Working on my laptop in my little nook at Air Asia's #Redhub Convention
Working on my laptop in my little nook at Air Asia’s #Redhub Convention

I first learned about the term digital nomad two years ago and how digital nomads, mostly foreigners, have crowded the internet cafes and coffee shops in Bali, Indonesia, sharing work spaces while waiting for the next wave to surf.

The term digital nomad or diginomad was all too foreign then.  It amazes me how fast it has become popular locally in just a span of two years. Now there are more virtual offices and co-work spaces and more jobs offering  flexible work schedules and work-from-home options.

Me with Aileen Dreyfuss, Air Asia Philippines' Communications Executive at the Red Hub Convention
Me with Aileen Dreyfuss, Air Asia Philippines’ Communications Executive at the Red Hub Convention

AirAsia Philippines CEO Captain Dexter Comendador welcomed everyone by how AirAsia supports the growing needs of these digital nomads in the workplace.

Air Asia Philippines CEO
AirAsia Philippines CEO Captain Dexter Comendador

AirAsia Philippines CEO Captain Dexter Comendador said “AirAsia aims to continuously provide better connection to our guests, not only through our massive network in Asia and beyond but also through innovative, digital, and mobile solutions so they can grow and expand their experiences and network on a regional scale. There is a lot of talent in the region which, to date, has lacked the access and opportunities that are readily available to budding entrepreneurs in the West. Through AirAsia Red Hub Convention, we aim to provide the platform and the environment to encourage, validate, and ultimately implement new exciting ideas.”

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The prominent speakers who graced the event were:

  • Pete Chareonwongsak – Regional Chief Operations Officer, AirAsia
  • Norhizam Kadir – VP, Growth Ecosystems Development, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC)
  • Johannes Jaeger –Co-founder, Hack Horizon
  • Shahab Shabibi – CEO & Co-founder, Machine Ventures
  • Steve Munroe – CEO & Co-founder, Hubud
  • Mikko Barranda – CEO & Co-founder, Acceler8
  • Aarom Sarma – CEO, Touristly
  • Trisha Velarmino – P.S. I’m On My Way, Travel Blogger
Me and Kenneth Surat with fellow Travel Blogger and Red Hub Convention Speaker Trisha Velarmino who told us that being a Travel Blogger is a profession. Be proud. You worked and should continue to work for it.
Me and Kenneth Surat with fellow Travel Blogger and Red Hub Convention Speaker Trisha Velarmino who told us that being a Travel Blogger is a profession. Be proud. You worked and should continue to work for it.

The Red Hub Convention Speakers focused on 3 topics:

  • The Future of Work-  about the growth and expansion of the startup industry
  • Venture Adventures- focused on how the way we work is changing with the emergence of new, innovative economic models and how mobility has evolved to bring new opportunities for the workforce of tomorrow
  • Borderless Business- highlighted the opportunities and ease of doing business across borders, particularly for entrepreneurs in key startup economies such as Manila, Jakarta, Bali, Hong Kong, China
Facebook remains to be the biggest "nation" in the world with 2 billion active users.
Facebook remains to be the biggest “nation” in the world with 2 billion active users.

The Red Hub Convention came at a perfect time for Filipinos, especially with more people venturing into their own businesses. Manila is fast becoming one of Southeast Asia’s growing startup hubs.

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Fellow Travel Blogger Rona Beltran striking a pose.

Although the startup scene in the country may be young, it has a lot of potential for innovation and the recent convention encouraged our fellow Filipinos to step up and step out of their comfort zones.

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Red Hub Convention attendees doing an interactive activity after lunch

Through AirAsia, Filipinos now have the opportunity to explore business beyond borders while continuing to thrive in entrepreneurial pursuits. With Air Asia’s low-cost and efficient flying options, digital nomads can now easily travel across different cities in Asia and look for business opportunities. The Red Hub Convention was perfect for whether you’re a digital nomad, industry expert or social entrepreneur.

The convention ended at four in the afternoon. I had a grand time connecting with other digital nomads from different segments of the online world. I believe I gained enough confidence after learning that there is indeed a bright future for me as an Online Content Creator and a Travel Blogger. I just need to be authentic, consistent and persevering in publishing relevant online content for the 3.6 billion people who are online. Got to go! Every minute counts. I need to finish stuff here in the Philippines before I board a plane to Jakarta (of course, via Air Asia) tomorrow morning. Signing out for now. Peace!

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There are 3.6 billion people who are online per minute.

 

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