OCEAN (Open Collaboration with East Asian Networks) is a biennial gathering in the Philippines that connects cross-sector leaders to new ideas that will shape the country’s future.


This year’s theme focuses on six high-impact sectors that
influence national growth and innovation.


This year’s theme focuses on six high-impact sectors that
influence national growth and innovation.



The Creative Economy encompasses all industries that involve the production, promotion, distribution and/or commercialization of goods, services and activities that are cultural, artistic and/or heritage-related in nature. This includes artists, designers, photographers, videographers, writers, performers, and more. According to the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines, creative professionals comprise of 14.4% of national employment, but as a whole, only rank 22nd in their contribution to the country’s GDP in 2014. Despite the vivid creative landscape of the Philippines, the Philippines lags behind Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam in formalizing a national creative economy strategy.

OCEAN18 seeks to highlight the work of key innovators in the Filipino creative economy and have multisectoral discussions on strategies to expand their opportunities for trade and increase their economic contribution to national GDP. Ultimately, OCEAN18 will delve deeper into the increasing relevance and importance of Filipino creativity and cultural distinctiveness within the local economy and on the global stage.

In recent years, the Philippines has been increasingly emphasizing the importance of education. Back in 2005, only around 2% of the budget was used for education infrastructure; comparatively, in 2018, the government has allocated 14.7% of the budget toward education. The growing financial commitment to educational infrastructure demonstrates the government’s commitment both to increasing operational funding and supporting the respective improvement initiatives of learning institutions nationwide. 

However, in order to properly harness the mechanisms that drive economic growth, such as professional capacity building and the scalability of innovation, education principles need to be prioritized and redefined. OCEAN18 seeks to support innovation in education, including efforts that reach beyond traditional schools and institutions. This could include vocational training, apprenticeship, mentoring programs, and other initiatives that distinguish learning as their key objective.

The Food Sector includes a wide range of stakeholders in the national food system, such as agricultural production, food processing and manufacturing corporations, and the restaurant industry. Pressing issues facing the Philippine food system include the dependence on imported foodstuffs, lack of accountability and efficiency in the food supply chain, and unequal access and distribution of food throughout various regions of the Philippines. 

The industrial food system generates huge profits, but fails to adequately serve the nutritional and economic needs of all Filipinos. Often neglected by research, policies, and investment, OCEAN18 puts the spotlight on smaller and local food initiatives that are working toward building innovative, sustainable, and scalable food processes in the country. How are indiepreneurs working to resolve our country’s food inequities?

The Global Filipino Engagement sector addresses the organized efforts to interact, involve, and integrate the overseas Filipino population to any efforts or activities taking place locally in the Philippines. Including Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), the number of Filipinos living outside of the Philippines totals over 12 million worldwide, or more than 10% of the population of the Philippines. Their remittance investments match that figure, contributing approximately 10% of Philippine GDP each year. 

Often overlooked, the global Filipino population is an underutilized player in the development of the Philippine economy. OCEAN18 would like to highlight and support ventures whose sustainable and systemic-oriented efforts economically engage our overseas population in more creative and innovative ways.

The healthcare sector refers traditional systems such as medicine, pharmacy, and nursing, as well as emerging complex health phenomena, such as environmental and occupational health, industrial hygiene, mental health, fitness and exercise, and nutrition. Despite advancements in public health and medical technology, health service delivery in the Philippines still remains fragmented. This is due to factors such as lack of innovation in our health systems, international workforce mobility, and maldistribution of health resources.  

Innovation within the health sector is frequently faced with multi-sectoral resistance to change, and too often others consider the consequences of innovation are not worth the high stakes at risk – the lives of Filipino people. However, innovation in healthcare is crucial to appropriately minimizing health risk factors and addressing social determinants of health. This may include integrating across specialties and facilities to make healthcare seamless and efficient, and shifting proper allocation of resources.

The dawn of millennial culture has resulted in the expansion to new forms of Philippine tourism, such as social tourism, ecotourism, cultural learning tourism, and even agricultural tourism. Likewise, digital marketing has put the spotlight on regions previously untouched by tourists. To keep pace with travelers’ evolving purposes and methods that guide their travel, the tourism industry likewise needs to adapt to the growing demands of Philippine tourism, which will require multi-sectoral support, thought leadership, and innovation.

OCEAN18 seeks to support tourism ventures that elevate the global recognition of the Philippines as a world-class tourist destination, shed new light on essential sustainability efforts, and preserve the natural resources of our unique, diverse ecosystem.

We’re taking our Indiepreneur master classes on the road! To elevate homegrown innovation, we’re bringing some of our favorite business experts to you and your homegrown ventures.


Road to OCEAN18 Workshops and Master Classes
will be conducted in partnership with:






Chateau by the Sea, Mactan, Cebu