The Australian Embassy recently held the Australia Indonesia Youth Leaders Seminar in Jakarta, where attendees, including AIYA Jakarta’s Felix Sihombing, heard from speakers Dino Patti Jalal, Noke Kiroyan and Derval Usher who presented fascinating and noteworthy TED-inspired talks to the assembled Australian and Indonesian youth.

Photo: Felix Sihombing

Speaker #1: Pak Dino Patti Djalal

Pak Dino is quite well known in Indonesia, as he was previously the presidential spokesperson for former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and was later the Indonesian Ambassador to the United States. After his time in the political space, he founded the Foreign Policy Community of Indonesia (FPCI). His presentation was on “Looking Beyond the Bumps in the Road: Promoting Strengths in a Broad Relationship”.

Pak Dino clearly understands how Indonesia must see Australia. As someone who has observed the bilateral relationship between the two countries for a long time he clearly sees the shift in the narrative about Australia within Indonesia. Back in the 1960s when the New Order regime had just begun, the narrative in Indonesia was that Australia was a western country that would try to divide Indonesia for its own benefit. But today the narrative is different, as every country wants to have stable neighbours around them and it is in Australia’s interest to see Indonesia succeed as any unrest in the country would negatively impact its neighbours.

What surprised Pak Dino was that he still sees the old narrative among students in some universities that he visits. Regarding this, he urged youth to see the bilateral relationship differently unlike people from previous generations. His message for youth from both countries was clear: it is time to look beyond bumps in the road and promote the strengths of both countries for a strong relationship.

Speaker #2: Pak Noke Kiroyan

Photo: Felix Sihombing

President of the Indonesia-Australia Business Council (IABC), Pak Noke is also the managing partner and chief consultant for Kiroyan Partners. His relationship with Australia started when he began handling various companies from Australia to increase trade between both countries. His presentation at this event was entitled “Emerging Opportunities to Tighten Economic Ties” and his main point was that both countries are dependent on each other.

Indonesia will continue to keep importing wheat because it won’t grow in tropical Indonesia, as well as import other high quality goods such as beef. Indonesia will also continue to send students to Australia, as it is one of the best education providers in the world. On the contrary, Australia will continue to import clothes, shoes and other Indonesian goods, and Australians will continue to travel to Indonesia as tourists. However, trade between Australia and Indonesia has not grow much for some years. How has that happened?

What hinders us the most is the existence of an invisible barrier: the lack of understanding of what is needed by our neighbour and a lack of understanding about each other’s regulations. He believes that with better understanding, we can lose this barrier and strengthen economic ties. Hence, there is huge opportunity for young entrepreneurs from both countries to export and import in the future.

Speaker #3: Ibu Derval Usher

Photo: Felix Sihombing

Ibu Derval is the head of Pulse Lab in Jakarta, a company which focuses on analysis of digital data on a large scale to give real-time results that can be used to address various issues. The Pulse Lab became a partner with the government as the results of their studies have potential to aid the government in making decisions.

In her presentation “How Big Data is Addressing our Big Issues”, Ibu Derval explained the interesting and growing field of studies of analysing large amounts of data in a short time. The collected data could be as simple as social media posts or take the form of tap-on tap-off data in a busway service.

So how can collecting small data make a big impact? This large-scale data analysis using small data sources could give real-time results that can be used for faster reaction times when issues arise. Such data analysis is not static compared to more traditional data collection methods which take a much longer time to compile results.

As an example, Bu Derval and her team obtained the price of vegetables in local markets in Nusa Tenggara Timur by crowdsourcing, where they asked people to take pictures of the vegetables and state the items price. They compared market fluctuations in vegetable prices to determine the overall cost of goods in real time using social media. By doing that, they can create the formula that predicts the vegetable prices in the future. Other interesting studies that have been conducted include collecting data of people entering and exiting the Jakarta city busway with the ultimate aim of helping to design a better transportation system for the city.

Such an analysis is achievable right now with current technological advancements. So how is it related with the youth? It turns out that most of the team members who work with Derval are youth themselves! This demonstrates our role in shaping important projects to make breakthroughs in addressing big issues.

Read the Indonesian version of this article here.