The time is now for a fundamental shift in how we see the world and the role of young people within it.
Founder, Semua Murid Semua Guru
Najelaa is a prominent educator in Indonesia who has founded and initiated several organizations that empower teachers, parents, and children to be an active player in revolutionizing the education system in the country.
In this rapidly changing world, Najelaa believes that education needs accelerated access to improve its quality and equality. This could only be done through collaboration between the government, educators/teachers, parents, and the young people themselves, because education is a shared responsibility. Hence the development of Semua Murid Semua Guru as a platform and a joint movement for different actors in the ecosystem to create a collaborative effort for a better education.
Global Partnerships Director, Ashoka
Sumitra has over 20 years track record in initiating, managing and leading innovation work globally in the creative, media and social-impact sectors. She is in a leadership role with Ashoka Innovators for the Public in South East Asia; particularly in the work related to social entrepreneurship and empowerment of young people. Ashoka is a global organisation that has built the field of social entrepreneurship over the last 37 years, with a presence in over 75 countries and is ranked as the 5th NGO in the world. Ashoka now champions the power of young people, to create a better world in a fast-changing future.
Prior to this she co-founded an international award winning social impact organisation in Singapore - Playeum, The Children’s Centre for Creativity in Singapore which is centred on play that unleashes the agency of young children to take charge. The systemic nature of the work includes empowering teachers, parents and community leaders to embrace childled play and creativity. Playeum is recognised as an innovative leader in Singapore and Asia.
Planet and Culture
We live in a world with rich culture and nature which we have to respect and nurture for a better future. See what Jessica has been doing in fighting against racial intolerance and inequality, along with Rafa and Riski who are preserving nature through promoting mindful consumption of electronics and creating the correlation with economic aspects in their communities, respectively.
Starting with a research question for a school project, RJ learned about the gross negligence of tech companies and lack of oversight by the government for electronic waste (e-waste). E-waste can be extremely toxic, a growing concern for environmental and public health. RJ’s research project became a book about electronic waste to educate others about the issue.
With encouragement from his grandfather and mother, RJ later started EwasteRJ. With a team of other young people, RJ educates the public on the dangers of e-waste and the proper way to process it, advocates for the government and companies to be responsible for their environmental impact, and partners with other organizations for proper recycling of electronic waste. Through recycling and advocacy, but RJ and his team aim to shift consumer behavior to be more environmentally cautious and sustainable.
Founder, Be One in Diversity
When Jessica Gunawan was a young girl, she remembers everyone in her school playing together. However, she noticed these interactions changing over the years as external social prejudices and adults’ intolerance of “others” was infiltrating the classroom. The racial, economic, and religious intolerance Jessica experienced in primary school coupled with the bombing incident in her city of Surabaya, triggered her to start the “Be One in Diversity” initiative.
Jessica breaks barriers with children from different backgrounds through casual and fun activities instead of serious interfaith discussions. The activities range from entrepreneurship, social movement, ecology, and community engagement to ignite young people’s ability to collaborate and achieve a common goal together. By promoting values of diversity and tolerance, Jessica and her team are shifting how young people interact with one another for a more resilient and equitable Indonesia.
Founder, Satu Cinta Lingkunganmu
When Riski moved to a new village, he saw multiple environmental and social problems, including poor water drainage, a deficient of trees, economically disadvantaged elderly and widowed community members, a lack of public spaces to play, and a general lack of community involvement. After living in the village for six months, Riski discovered that these social problems were not isolated, but rather intimately interconnected.
Riski decided to take action by finding solutions to environmental issues through economic development and women empowerment. Together with his team of local young people and the neighborhood chief, he optimizes idle resources with activities such as utilizing vacant land for gardening, establishing a public space for children to play, and recycling plastics waste while creating income generating activities for women and elders in the community. Riski’s holistic approach demonstrates how changemakers can tackle complex issues through a sustainable, solutions-based lens.
Moderator, Co-Captain of River Warrior
Devastated at seeing a village in Gresik, East Java, flooded with imported waste from several European countries, including Germany, 12-year-old Nina sent a letter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, demanding that country stop sending waste to Indonesia.
In her letter, the young environmentalist and student of SMP 12 Gresik state junior high school explained how she and her best friends one day visited Bangun village in the regency where the residents received all sorts of trash to be sorted for recycling in order to make a living.
To date, Nina and her peers have done a number of concrete actions to protect the environment from creating a petition until cleaning up the river to create a better future.
The New Literacy
Something transformative is happening in this world. To be a contributor, an active player, everyone must learn a new set of skills beyond reading and math. Anugreh is optimizing the power of digital literacy in empowering differently-abled people. Whereas Rere and Ila are equipping children and young people to be a changemaker with the concept of multiliteracy through their community libraries, defining a new norm for growing up.
Founder, Rumah Baca Mc. Ganz
Growing up without a television, Rere developed a love for reading early on. However, when she was in school, she was dismayed by the negative content online her friends’ were watching and reading. In response, Rere opened a “multiliteracy” center, Mc Ganz Reading Center at the age of 10 and with the help of her mother.
With an abundance of books, they opened the Center inside their home. For Rere, the Center incites a community of young people to practice reading and writing to express their voice, master empathy, and prepare enriching content for other young people to read. Together, Rere and her friends are producing positive, youth-written content to challenge and outpace more mainstream, negative narratives.
Founder, Mari Mengenal Dunia
Ila grew up in a family that supported her education and independence from an early age. However, unlike Ila’s family, many people in her community fail to see the importance of educating girls and follow cultural tradition of marrying early in life. Ila found that many of her female friends do not dare to dream big as their agency and changemaking ability are suppressed by these cultural norms. Ila began to question these norms when some of her friends began to drop out of school and one of her friends died in childbirth.
Ila was undeterred by tradition and encouraged by the power of education and her own love of reading. So she gathered her friends and teachers, and together they started a public library to create a culture of reading, learning, and changemaking among young people in her community. Mari Mengenal Dunia, the library, acts as a platform to share educational and inspirational stories to spark young people’s big aspirations for their futures.
Founder, Hybrid Ideas
Anugreh founded HYBRID IDEAS, the first design company for assistive technology in India to provide products that assist the specially-abled. According to The World Bank, India alone has 40 to 80 million persons with disabilities who also face lower rates of literacy, less access to jobs, and widespread social stigma. Right now, his team is developing 8 projects for different groups of people including those with deafness, visual impairments, and autism.
One branch of HYBRID IDEAS is Hybrid Labs, a dedicated workspaces where students can learn and practice design thinking in order to contribute their skills towards developing assistive technology. One of HYBIRD IDEAS’ projects is to create an app for marking wheel-chair friendly places. Another project includes SheVend, a GPS enabled vending machine with sanitary products for women, which is financially backed by Black Tech San Diego. Anugreh has taught over 500 students about assistive technologies, and in the future aims to train more young people while removing the social stigma in India for the specially-abled people.
Moderator, Co-Founder of Rumah Faye
Leaders of Tomorrow
Society needs to see this historic moment as a time of possibility where young people are capable of solving problems and taking action. Angela, Manat and Lita are supporting young people to realize their power to lead and make a difference with deep empathy, creativity and the spirit of changemaking. Now is the time for a fundamental shift in how people see the world and the role of young people within it.
Founder, Dare to Lead
Angela remembers a time when she was unaware and apathetic toward social problems facing her community in Surabaya, Indonesia. She remembers thinking to herself that “if it was not my problem, then just let it be, right?” In Grade 7, when she was entrusted to be a “class administrator”, she experienced bullying. She tried to talk to her friends about bullying, but did not feel heard.
After consulting a teacher, Angela realized the importance empathy, teamwork, and leadership. She formed Dare to Lead to encourage other young people to develop their self-concept and leadership capacity. With a team of her peers, they conduct several activities such as a self-actualization camp, a leadership boot camp, a young researcher club, ecologist club, social awareness training, health education campaigns for the community, and more.
Founder, Main Bareng Project
Lita’s father encouraged her to develop a love and skill for drawing from an early age as a form of self-expression. However, after transferring to a new school, Lita and her friends noticed the lack of time and opportunity for young people to express their interests, talents, and voices. In both home and school environments, she discovered that many young people were not encouraged to explore their artistic interests or engage in creative play because of economic and cultural barriers surrounding “free time.”
Lita was determined to offer other young people a space to explore their voice. So, she started a venture called Main Bareng Project, which provides an outlet for creativity and imagination through writing, drawing, painting, playing music and dancing. These activities invite not only personal exploration and intellectual bravery, but foster a peer environment that supports multiculturalism, diversity, and changemaking.
Manat felt pressure growing up around stereotypes of femininity and popularity, which didn’t match her love for STEM. However, she discovered through talking with friends and family that these pressures were reinforced by confining gender norms. As a syndicated young journalist, Manat recognized that she could harness the power of storytelling to challenge social norms.
Manat started Object to help young women in the Bay Area ages 8-15 discover their self-esteem, confidence, and self-image. Object, as in “objecting to female stereotypes”, is a platform that shares professional women's stories of struggle and success and host experiential workshops to develop leadership skills. As of Summer 2019, Manat has connected over 500 girls with women role models in various fields - sports, politics, entrepreneurship, etc. - to inspire them with the confidence to discover their authentic goals and freely explore their passions.
Moderator, Leader of Become More
Nutrition for Change
From a change in lifestyle until a shift in the food system, young people like Christophe, Icha, and Rizal are demostrating leadership in trackling nutrition issues, which often being ignored in the community. This panel will feature their transformational journey from passive participants to active advocates who champion an initiative around nutrition and eating behavior to better the quality of Indonesian adolescents inside-out.
Starting from a challenge posed by Ashoka in partnership with Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, Christophe began to develop his interest in food system and eating behavior among adolescents. He discovered that many of his peers prefer to eat junk food over vegetables, some said that the reason was not merely a matter of taste, but also the price of nutritious food tended to be higher, which create a health disparities in lower socio-economic group.
Together with his friend, Andrew, and a mentor from Saya Pemberani, Christophe tried to find a way to improve the access of nutritious food for people in the surrounding communities, starting from his school and neighborhood. They launched an initiative called BUJO (Kebun Ijo; Green Garden), which encourage each household in the neighborhood to allocate a corner in the terrace or in the back yard to plant vegetables or herbs to show people that healthy food is just one step away from where we live.
Icha once met a child who dreamed of becoming a police officer yet felt insecure about his pint-sized height, which might be caused by stunting as the boy explained how his parents could not afford nutritious food as a scavenger. Fueled by empathy and curiosity, Icha digged deeper on the issue with the support from KIR (Kelompok Ilmiah Remaja), a research club in her school.
She found out how pregnant mothers and young people, especially in certain villages with low income communities, have poor eating behaviour due to the lack of access to healthy food, minimum knowledge on nutrition, and the inadequate response from the government.
In effort to better the situation, Icha and her friends developed GENTING (Gerakan Mencegah Stunting), a community-based movement to prevent stunting among women and young people by surfacing local nutritous food sources in the surroundings and encouraging restaurants to donate some servings for people in need.
Co-Founder, Sister Health
As a new college student, Rizal experienced a common digestive problems himself, because he doesn’t know how to choose a good quality yet affordable food around the campus. Later on, Rizal realized that many of his fellow students were also facing the same unpleasant issue.
Then, Rizal started a small surveys to deep dive the situation. He found out that new university students that still new to the area are having a hard time finding affordable foods with good hygiene. Besides, the food vendors themselves did not pay attention to their food quality and sanitation.
With this knowledge, Rizal started to build an app called Sister Health, which is able to track the food vendors that has passed the standard quality of sanitation. With Sister Health, Rizal also help educate food vendors in how to keep their foods in good quality. Sister Health was hoped to create a smart and healthy producer and consumer.