Digital Inclusion Project

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) published the "Guidelines for Designing Inclusive Digital Solutions and Developing Digital Skills". The United Nations suggested that higher digital literacy will be required in the digital era to work, live, learn, and communicate effectively. Without these digital skills, people will be marginalized in society and digitally disadvantaged individuals will develop social disadvantages. Therefore, Digital Inclusion is used to establish policies and activities promoted by an information society without discrimination. Here, all individuals should have equal opportunity to access and utilize information, regardless of their education level, gender, age, ethnicity, or residency.

Since its inception in 2008 with the aim of bridging the digital divide, the ASUS Foundation has been establishing digital learning centers globally and resolving local digital divide issues in cooperation with non-profit organizations, volunteer groups, and government agencies. Moreover, the ASUS Foundation has been continuously giving back to society through practical and sustained actions with the expectation of cultivating international talent and practicing ASUS’ ideal of global citizens.

ASUS Digital Inclusion Project consists of three main cores in the following sequence: 1) establishing basic hardware infrastructure, bridging the digital divide; 2) improving education and cultivating talent, creating digital opportunities; and 3) preserving and delivering cultures, practicing digital inclusion. Information technology measures are employed to improve the life quality of disadvantaged groups and carry forward and preserve the traditional cultures of various regions.

Establishing Basic Hardware Infrastructure: Bridging the Digital Divide

The rapid development of information technology has promoted the popularization of information appliances. However, not everyone has the opportunity to share in such an achievement. Different digital divides have been formed due to differences in economic income, residential area, age, education level, ethnicity, etc. This phenomenon has led to unequal information acquisition and reduced educational opportunities, resulting in expanded knowledge and wealth gaps between information appliance owners and others.

Meanwhile, the United Nations predicts that 50 million metric tons of electronic waste will be generated globally in 2021 due to the rapid replacement of digital products. On account of extended producer responsibility, ASUS promotes computer recycling services around the world to reduce the environmental impact of discarded electronic products. In the recycling process, we noticed that many discarded computers are either still usable or could be reused if repaired. Therefore, since the establishment of the refurbished computer program, we have been recycling computers regardless of brand and donating them to disadvantaged groups upon repair, thus bringing a new lifecycle to old computers.

The ASUS Foundation has been continuously promoting its “Refurbished Computer and Digital Training Program” since 2008. Through recycling and repairing discarded computers, usable components can be reassembled, and software can be updated. Through this, waste electronic products can be recycled through reverse logistics, the concept of environmental protection can be promoted, and an information product infrastructure can be established as the first step toward promoting digital learning and bridging the digital divide. Thus far, 400,593 discarded electronic products have been recycled in total. In 2018, 2,482 refurbished computers were donated (including overseas), contributing to a gross number of 13,228 up until now. Five hundred and ninetynine non-profit organizations from 38 countries have benefited.

The ASUS Foundation has been working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Digital Opportunity Center (APEC ADOC) project to assist ADOC member nations and non-profit organizations with diplomatic relations with Taiwan establishing digital learning centers in countries where digital resources are lacking, promoting digital learning and bridging digital divide due to nation, region, age and gender differences. This is done in the hope of improving the digital competency and quality of life of local residents. The ASUS Foundation has contributed to the establishment of digital opportunity centers in 38 nations with over 500 computer classrooms, and the donation of about 15,000 devices, including new notebook computers, refurbished computers, and tablets. In addition to the donation of the devices, we also provided support service through our volunteers as well to promote digital learning, improve the digital skills of children in rural regions, of students and young adults of economic difficulty, and of women, and of the elderly. Work practice positions were also provided. Over 550,000 people are benefit from the project.

In 2018, the ASUS Foundation worked with TDOC and the Department of Latin American and Caribbean Affairs to donate 701 brand new notebook computers and 1,904 refurbished computers to the rural schools or organizations in 24 nations. The joint effort of governmental organization and private company helps spread the warmth and resources to rural regions or vulnerable population populations around the world, improving the digital competency of local vulnerable children and academic organizations.

Improving Education and Cultivating Talent Creating Digital Opportunities

"Digital Opportunity" refers to the potential for progress or development through the employment of information technology. Creating "digital opportunities," can narrow the knowledge gap and improve people's economy and social development, thereby enabling the sharing of the achievements in information technology development by all people.

Education is one of the best ways to create digital opportunities. During the process of establishing information infrastructure, we noticed that the recipients’ service groups are mainly volunteer services, supplementary educational centers for disadvantaged school children, seniors, handicapped people, and new residents. They lack opportunities to access hardware and may not have learned the relevant software applications. Therefore, the ASUS Foundation worked together with the Digital Phoenix Association to maximize the benefits of the donated hardware equipment by providing software courses for recipients, enhancing the non-profit organizations’ administrative capabilities, expanding their international horizons, and cultivating their future competitiveness. The supply of software courses and textbooks benefitted approximately 27,000 people both directly and indirectly in 2018.

In addition to the cooperation with external organizations, we also encouraged our colleagues to actively participate in social services. Therefore, we established the ASUS Volunteer Club to encourage our colleagues to participate domestic and overseas services, share their knowledge and experience, and cultivate new scientific and technological talents. Meanwhile, we are trying to improve the social influence of digital learning centers; please refer to the volunteer services in the report for further details.

On the other hand, we hold NOP to Day-Smart NOP which works as a learning and interacting platform for non-profit organizations. Moreover, it became one of the primary communication platforms for donors and recipients. The donors will know to whom the donated equipment go, whereas the recipient could learn how to use digital tools efficiently to elevate its digital power. To enable effective exchanges between the recipient units, the ASUS Foundation builds a Facebook fan page to share the benefits of refurbished computers.

Preservation and Transmission of Culture: Practices of Digital Inclusion

The goal of digital inclusion is to create an information society shared by all people so that everyone can understand the benefits of information and communication technology and obtain useful information on education, the economy, the environment, and society. We find that although the development of information technology brings convenience, it makes people spend more time on information devices and reduces the interaction between them. Therefore, it is our hope that, at the time when digital gaps are gradually being narrowed and digital opportunities created, culture may also be preserved and transmitted through digital means.

Image Transmission and Culture Preservation

The environmental and sustainable educations are integral parts of ASUS corporate social responsibility. We understand that in the current highly digitized environment, the network platform has become the main channel for most people to obtain information, and image communication is one of the most effective ways to communicate. Therefore, we have engaged in long-term cooperation with external organizations to promote digital image communication, preservation of a good culture, and the concept of sustainability.

99-Second Film

Starting from 2009, the "99-Second Film Selection Event", co-sponsored by the ASUS Foundation and Public Television Service, is having its ninth session this year. In the past, it has held many short film campaigns, such as "Environment 99 for Long-lasting Beauty of the Earth", "Touching 99•Discover Taiwan's Vitality", "Touching 99•Discover Taiwan's Truth, Goodness, and Beauty", "Touching 99•My Home under the Roof", "Touching 99•Happy Heart Movement", "Touching 99•Twilight" and "Touching 99•My Continued Generation", all of which have received great responses.

In 2018, with the theme of sustainability, which had received attention from all walks of life in recent years, "Touching 99 Sustainability ∞ Discovery" was named as the subject for solicitation for the ninth session. It is hoped that, through this campaign, young students can use images to record the sustainable actions of our generations and expand their lasting influence. In recent years, in order to respond to the core value of cultivating domestically the new “image power” of the next generation, the ASUS Foundation and Public Television Service have organized a free "Mobile Phone Video Workshop" and "ASUS International Volunteer Image Workshop" for different target groups during the recruitment period. The events encourage beginners to use their mobile phones to record the stories around them, to be aware of moving details in life, and to transform them into passionate service or positive energy in the future, as well as to continue and expand the influence of images in different ways.

In the ninth year of Touching 99, the number of participants has exceeded 10,000, and the total number of entries over the years of campaigns has reached almost 3,000, with diverse topics in the entries. This year’s session attracted students from 108 schools and departments. A total of 63 schools signed up to participate, spanning high schools, vocational colleges, and universities. The judges gave high praise to the entries for this year. Film director Kok Lok-Hin said that maybe "environmental protection" could easily be linked with "sustainability", but several pieces did much in thinking and discussing sustainability from spiritual level, such as films with the theme of inheritance, organ donation, family, senior care, etc., saying that "some of the works are even better than the advocacy short films that are generally shown on TV channels." Film director Shaun Su believed that this year's work made much progress compared with previous years’. He pointed out that both the choice of subject and the execution of the film were the most diverse and comprehensive of all seen in the past years, though maintaining "students have amazing performances every year".

The award-winning films will be edited into a teaching plan by a professional team of teachers. It will be free for primary school teachers throughout the country to apply for or download and use, making it possible for many stories about sustainability to be deeply rooted in campuses through the guidance of primary school teachers.

Mobile Phone Video Workshop

ASUS combined professional video processing technology from Chinese Public Television and the latest ASUS handheld device, Zenfone4, to hold the workshop, not only attempting to improve the video competency of students, but also hoping that students would share their unique life experiences with more refined video creations with the public, and contribute to the efforts of requesting resources for people in need.

Each year, over one hundred people from all over Taiwan signed up for the “Mobile Phone Video Workshop” in the past three years. In order to create more learning opportunities for the students, we moved the camp to Kaohsiung in 2017. Moreover, an image workshop for ASUS international volunteers was held this year. Volunteers could bring these touching memories from the services involved back to Taiwan and share them with more students in Taiwan, creating a virtuous domino effect.

Volunteer Services

ASUS encourages employees to participate in volunteer service. For overseas teaching service volunteers, two weeks' vacation, plus board, lodging, and travel, are provided. Volunteers for domestic service are given one day's leave, with financial subsidies for related activities, thereby stimulating the potential of our employees and fulfilling its social responsibilities.

Education Volunteers

In 2018, the ASUS Foundation cooperated with nine international volunteer teams. A total of 121 international volunteers were recruited from among students and instructors of various colleges and universities, as well as ASUS employees. They traveled to impoverished areas of seven countries—Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Myanmar, Vietnam, India and Tanzania—to provide education services on subjects such as information and communication, Chinese language, ecological conservation, science, and technology. The ASUS Foundation also shares the process of volunteer service and interesting or touching stories through results-sharing conferences, Facebook, and volunteer websites using videos, photos, and written records. In 2018, volunteers served a total of 6,221 persons-time in the above service units, and stories and related messages shared through Facebook reached about 110,000 people.

ASUS not only recruits international volunteers to serve in remote areas abroad every year, but also actively provides care for vulnerable groups domestically. Domestic volunteer activities include self-propelled car learning camps for orphans, the Secret Base Digital Learning and Environmental Education Camps for Dayuan Catholic Church’s children and, the Secret Base Digital Learning Camps for children in Tamsui, and charity sales for Zenan Homeless Social Welfare, the winter warming program by Taiwan Fund for Children, and Families and Genesis Social Welfare Foundation, as well as the Fun Guandu Festival.

Since 2017, ASUS volunteers have been going deep into Nantou Fa-Zhi Elementary School and Changhua Tongan Elementary School for two consecutive summers to hold four-day digital learning camps. The camps train children's logical thinking through lively programmed courses, teach them to make their own toys by 3D printing, and enable them to experience information technology in practical operation, so that the children in remote areas can have different learning opportunities.

Self-Propelled Car Fun Learning Camp for Orphans

In 2018, ASUS saw lack of learning resources for many orphan children. As a result, we started an eight-month self-propelled car fun learning camp at the Yilan Branch of the Orphan Welfare Foundation. We integrated program learning into games, through modules such as programmed robots, 3D printing, laser, Bluetooth and gyroscope, so as to enhance children's interest in learning.

Adopt-A-Coastal and Clean-Up Event at Wazihwei Coast

Since 2017, ASUS has responded to the “Adopt-A-Coastal and Clean-Up & ” initiated by the Environmental Protection Administration and has adopted a 500-meterlong coastline in the “Wazihwei Nature Reserve,” Bali District of New Taipei City. The place adjacent to the Mangrove Nature Reserve, is the last bend of the Tamsui River. It has gradually changed under the influence of environmental impacts and human activities, forming a lagoon terrain that bends towards the land and contains a precious wetland ecosystem. Due to its location at the estuary, or the end of the lagoon, the area is an important base for bird watching in the autumn and winter of Taipei. One can find many species of migratory birds, resident birds, small crabs, and coastal plants. It is a natural ecosystem classroom that is perfect for a family tour.

ASUS has focused on the issue of sustainability for a long time and believes that environmental protection and community prosperity are important topics along with business growth. Therefore, we invite our ASUSers, together with their relatives, friends, and even other external stakeholders to join, from time to time, the coastal clean-up volunteer service in spring and winter, avoiding the migratory bird restoration period from April to July. In the past two years, we have collected 1,648.7 kilograms of marine garbage, cleaned up the comfortable environment for the birds in the reserve area, practiced environmental education through our actual efforts, and demonstrated the enthusiasm of ASUSers in the form of social good.

One of the 2020 Sustainability Goal is to enhance the benefits of social service participation and reaches 5,000 service hours annually by local employees and accumulates to 30,000 hours by 2020 worldwide. In 2018, employees of ASUS and of its subsidiaries dedicated a total of 6413.5 hours to volunteer services. And volunteer services accumulated to 24,952 hours worldwide.

Achievement of International Volunteer Service:

China Volunteer Service - ASUS e-Entrepreneurship Volunteer Action

2018 is the tenth year of the “ASUS e-Entrepreneurship Volunteer Action.” The theme of the action this year is “Technology-Connected Villages: Care for Leftbehind Children,” which continues the theme of the previous year. Care and Internet technology are used to enhance the ability of left-behind children to communicate with their parents and the outside world so that they can become closer to their families and see the vast world with their hearts.

In 2018, on-site recruitment was conducted at 16 colleges and universities in 70 cities of China, with the online promotion covering 300 colleges and universities. All enthusiastic young college students could participate in the on-site recruitments or register on the official website. Selected candidates participated in a two-day exclusive training, and instructors, who were enthusiastic about public interest with certain influence, were invited to conduct training online and offline. In 16 cities and 70 colleges and universities, a total of 45 training sessions were conducted, in which 3,677 volunteers were trained.

From July to August, elite volunteers, who were selected from the 30,000 college student volunteers through redeemed points and interviews, participated in the e-Entrepreneurship Elite Volunteer Summer Camp. These elite volunteers went to Anshun, Guizhou, together with the charity ambassador NZBZ, and brought a variety of interesting courses to the local children. They walked into the villages with the children and considered and proposed ideas to help the village improve. Meanwhile, we launched "Dream Action" in 2018. e-Entrepreneurship volunteers communicated to bring the left-behind children to the cities in which their parents were working and let them witness their parents' contributions to the cities - thereby helping the children feel proud of their parents. The self-esteem and self-confidence of left-behind children could thus be further established, encouraging them to study hard and realize their dreams. At the same time, we also strived to expand the influence of the activities using images and videos. In 2018, the e-Innovation public service materials were edited into five public service short films. Among them, the documentary “Stones' Vocations” won the Philanthropic Movie Award in the 2018 China Charity Festival.

Over the past ten years, the event has accumulated 16 volunteer organizations and hundreds of colleges and universities to create a volunteer team with more than 35,000 trained university student volunteers. These volunteers went to more than 5,000 villages and towns in 31 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions in China, completed more than 33,000 IT science lectures, and established a total of 1080 ASUS Science Science Library (5 in 2018), benefiting more than 4 million people. In 2018, ASUS e-Entrepreneurship volunteer activities affected more than 300 million people.