I enjoyed the ‪#‎FOSSASIA‬ conference today with fellow geeks, developers and advocates of the ‪#‎OpenSource‬ community. Had some fun showing how NEA’s latest APIs on air quality could be accessed using simple self-taught Javascript in the Node Red system.

I believe in ‪#‎OpenData‬ and #OpenSource tools. They help build credibility and trust in government data and systems, especially when provided in real time. Even more crucial, they allow us to take collective ownership of the challenges confronting our society, and co-create solutions together. This is how we build a more innovative ecosystem, with fertile ground for entrepreneurs and enterprises. Ideas can flourish, compete and combine in novel ways. We can build a more open, transparent society with a right balance between cooperation and competition.

But there are challenges. We need to secure online identities, ensure data security and protect privacy. One concern. How many #OpenSource pioneers are going to become billionaires? It’s not just about money, but to signal the sustainability of this approach.

Education and retraining through ‪#‎SkillsFuture‬ is vital for us to have the right skills, up-to-date toolsets and knowledge to flourish in the digital economy. Our people need to be owners, creators, makers, designers, programmers, artists, builders and communicators in the new economy. We cannot merely compete to be cheaper, better and faster than robots and smart computer systems. We should build and program the robots, not compete and lose to them.

We must get ahead of the technological arc or risk stagnation and obsolescence.

It’s going to be an exciting ride as we ‪#‎buildSG‬ into a ‪#‎SmartNation‬. Rest assured of our support for #OpenData and #OpenSource.