The Armenian National Committee of America’s Silicon Valley Chapter organized a panel presentation titled “The Future of High Tech in Armenia” at the Kabuki Theater inside Netflix’s headquarters. With over 300 community members and supporters in attendance, the theater was full to a capacity crowd, Asbarez reports.
The panel discussion was meant to be an open dialogue in the Armenian Community of the Silicon Valley. The panel was moderated by Aline DerAlexanian Barsoumian. Aline, who is currently the Assistant Director of Development at the American University of Armenia, is a longtime ANCA activist and community leader. After introducing herself, she shared with the audience how the committee came to organize the event.
“Armenia has been a high tech hub since before the fall of the Iron Curtain. The idea for this event came to our committee naturally. We live in the Silicon Valley and Armenia is in the midst of a high tech revolution. We aim to bridge the 2 worlds on this platform this evening,” said Aline.
Today, Armenia has attracted some of the biggest tech giants in the world, and is also home to some amazing innovation and startups. There are so many factors contributing to the growth of the IT sector in Armenia, including a highly skilled and educated workforce, and some government initiatives that are expediting this renewed growth.
The purpose of this event was to bridge the 2 worlds: Silicon Valley and Yerevan and discuss what role education, law, and entrepreneurship play in securing a better future in Armenia in the High Tech sphere.
The panelists had a lively discussion and their feedback primarily focused on 4 areas: Armenia’s education system, Armenia’s competitive advantages, key areas to focus business development, and Silicon Valley’s role in Armenia’s technology revolution.
Dr. Mary Papazian, a seasoned leader with nearly 30 years of experience as a university professor, academic and administrative leader, who is also avidly involved in educational initiatives in Armenia, highlighted the need for more pedagogical higher learning institutions in Armenia.
She also highlighted Armenia’s strong background in foundational sciences and stressed the importance of focusing more on applied learning. Papazian explained that the pipeline of talent in Armenia needs to be made larger by improving the educational system and by fostering a closer partnership and collaboration between industry and universities.
Further, the panel observed that there is a higher proportion of women in tech in Armenia than in the Silicon Valley, but still more work to do. “It is very exciting to be a female in technology today. And Armenia is light years ahead in that aspect where more than 40% of its workforce in Tech related jobs are female” mentioned Nina.
The panel discussion concluded by a thoughtful question from the moderator to all the panelists. She asked the panelists to highlight how the diaspora can feel empowered to be a part of this High Tech revolution in Armenia. All of the panelists had encouraging and hopeful messages to the audience. Nina said, “It is possible to make an impact sitting 7,000 miles away.