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Remarks by AIT Deputy Director Raymond Greene at the Presidential Hackathon Press Conference
February 21, 2020

Presidential Hackathon press conference
Presidential Hackathon press conference

Remarks by AIT Deputy Director Raymond Greene at the Presidential Hackathon Press Conference
February 20, 2020

  (As Prepared for Delivery)

Vice Premier Chen, Deputy Secretary-General Lee, Minister Tang, Ambassador-at-large Chen, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, wu an!

It is my great pleasure to be here today to help kick off the 2020 Presidential Hackathon process.  AIT has been involved in the Presidential Hackathon since its inception in 2018, but this year AIT is proud to co-host with Taiwan the International Track of the Presidential Hackathon, which will bring together teams from around the world to use technology and social innovation to realize the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals.  The Presidential Hackathon exemplifies the best of Taiwan – technology, innovation, and social good.

Despite being unfairly excluded by China in various international bodies, Taiwan nonetheless is relentless in finding creative ways to contribute to solving the most challenging problems in the world, such as through the Presidential Hackathons.  Under the inspiring vision of Digital Minister Audrey Tang, the Presidential Hackathon not only encourages the development of innovative solutions to global challenges, but it also showcases that Taiwan is an indisputable force for good in the world.

It is estimated that more than 2.5 billion people will move into cities in the next 30 years.  This will created unprecedented demand to reimagine urbanization in a way that balances economic growth, environmental protection, and human welfare.  The development of sustainable smart cities will be one of the central governance challenges of this century, and the United States is honored to work side-by-side with Taiwan to realize this goal.

The United States has worked closely with Taiwan for the last three years on promoting social entrepreneurship through the Social Innovation Congress and Taiwan’s Social Innovation Lab.  In December of last year, under the auspices of the U.S.-Taiwan Digital Economy Forum and SME Work Plan, we jointly launched an agenda to promote technological and social innovation aimed at realizing the Sustainable Development Goals.  We look forward to working closely with Taiwan to transform these goals into a reality.

The U.S. and Taiwan are uniquely equipped to drive global progress and tackle emerging threats. We are also deeply invested in each other’s future successes and we often describe our partnership with the phrase “Real Friends, Real Progress” (真朋友,真進展).  Our shared future means that when confronting common challenges, we “strive together and thrive together” (共同努力,共同得益).  Today’s event perfectly illustrates this idea.

Once again, I would like to congratulate Taiwan for fostering an innovative and entrepreneurial spirit through this exciting Presidential Hackathon.  We look forward to celebrating the success of the many hackathon teams in July.

Thank you.