Youth Action Towards SDGs
As a part of the SDSN Youth team, I had a chance to work with youth-led and youth-focused organizations. My full time job at Gerakan Indonesia Diet Kantong Plastik (GIDKP) is a youth-led and also youth-focused organization on environmental issue. My colleague in United in Diversity (UID) is youth-focused organization. UID is also Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) Southeast Asia secretariat. Being surrounded by youth spirits, it makes me feel always younger than my real age. Youth Action Forum (YAF) held by UID and SDSN Youth Indonesia, where I volunteered my time to, recalled my memories to seven years ago, when I first experienced in youth campaign.
It was a surprise to feel and see the spirit of YAF participants. I must admit that today’s youth spirit is way better than in my generation. Technology disruption helps today’s generation to be better than ever. More than 50 young people from 16 provinces in Indonesia gathered in Jakarta to get to know each other, to find connectivity, and to learn how youth can contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
It’s different from any other conferences I have ever had. The conference was using Theory U method, which first introduced by Dr. Otto Scharmer. He is a Senior Lecturer at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a Thousand Talents Program Professor at Tsinghua University, Beijing, and co-founder of the Presencing Institute. I heard about this since a year ago and had a chance to feel the method at YAF.
Seven years ago I was a participant and for YAF I helped the facilitator from UID to conduct the conference. How time flies. Not only as a co-facilitator, my contribution was a committee, a moderator for some inspiring talks, and a guest speaker. How multitasking I was! In between, I took some notes on my Mac about the whole process of the conference.
It’s not only about youth. The conference invited some of expertise to share their experiences and inspirations. Prof. Mari Elka Pangestu, Prof. Bambang Brodjonegoro, Dr.Jatna Supriatna, Cherie Nursalim, Tri Mumpuni, and many more. Those inspiring people recharged youth’s spirit and power to do more for SDGs. Their consistency, commitment, loyalty, and existency to Indonesia became foundations to what they are now.
In the Nawacita program, which is the vision and mission of President Joko Widodo and Vice President Jusuf Kalla, leadership character, forward-thinking, and independent youth are the expected output in youth and sports programs. The program in building youth is (1) opportunity to get education and skill; (2) enhancing youth participation in social, political, economic, cultural and religious development; (3) increasing the potential of youth in entrepreneurship, pioneering, and leadership in development; and (4) protecting young people from harm, drug, alcoholism, the spread of HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases among youth. As part of society, youth have a role in development. Students Partnership Worldwide (2010) introduces a three lens approach to youth participation in development that is divided into: (1) youth as beneficiaries, (2) youth as partners, and (3) youth as leaders. The role of youth is important as the number of youth in Indonesia is 61.68 million people or 24.20% of the total population of Indonesia. However, only 5.86% of youth actively participate in organizations outside the workplace / school. Among the actively organized youth, the most widely followed areas of activity were religious (38.09%), social (23.72%), and sports (16.64%).
Through SDSN Youth, youth are projected to be a future leaders. This is reflected in SDSN Youth purporses:
- Educate young people about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and encourage them to prioritize their implementation.
- Initiate and support projects that are aimed towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
- Integrate concerns and views of young people into the pathways for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
This is one of the reason why we held YAF. We want YAF to be a platform for youth to learn share ideas, experiences, knowledge, and social innovation that can promote quality of life of people inclusively without compromising the quality of the nature. YAF is prioritizing principle of togetherness and Gotong Royong (collaboration) in a diversity environment to conduct real action on sustainable development.
I am proud to be part of SDSN Youth family and connected to the SDSN and UID family, a group of senior yet humble to share inspirations to young people. Investing leadership skill to young people is really an important thing. I learn new things everyday. I develop so much things at GIDKP from what I have learned in SDSN Youth. I always believe that balancing your life through professional and voluntary activity will lead us to the quality of life.