Donny B.U.

Ashoka Fellow
Jakarta, Indonesia
Fellow Since 2010


This profile was prepared when Donny B.U. was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2010.
The New Idea
Donny is creating a suite of strategies that put Indonesia’s 38 million Internet users in charge of their own freedom of expression. His Internet Sehat (Healthy Internet) project encourages responsible Internet use by engaging many thousands of teachers, parents, and students to improve their online literacy and skills through various training and workshops in partnership with schools or held openly in public places. As part of this training, citizens encounter and agree to a “virtual code of conduct” that discourages the negative excesses of online activity. Together with Information and Communication Technology (ICT Watch), an organization he co-founded, Donny also catalyzes the development of “Internet Sehat” software applications—filtering software and a kid-safe browser, e.g. by local producers that reinforce the virtual code. His organization also supports the deployment of social media by citizen organizations (COs), engages bloggers and journalists and sponsors a blogging award to stimulate high-quality online content.

On the one hand, these services and others promote broad information citizenship, preparing millions of citizens to participate fully not just as responsible users of online information, but as active content creators and distributors who contribute to a rich and varied media universe. But indirectly, they also serve a crucial policy objective: The spread of responsible information citizenship on the Internet, achieved in partnership with government agencies, is meant to head off the looming threat of new regulations that would dramatically limit freedom of expression online. Donny is, essentially, solving a problem before political forces decide there is one.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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