Two hundred young leaders, including high school and university students, entrepreneurs, community organizers and NGO representatives, attended the 2011 Young Leaders Summit in Jakarta on December 2–4, 2011. The Summit was an opportunity to create initiatives for positive change in Indonesia in areas such as poverty reduction, educational reform and development, and social inclusion through fostering greater tolerance and appreciation of diversity.
Participants came from throughout Indonesia, from major cities such as Jakarta, Surabaya, and Bandung to small and distant cities such as Aceh and Nusa Tenggara Barat. The Summit combined lectures, group activities and service work, and is a project of Global Peace Festival Indonesia Foundation (GPFIF).
Following welcoming remarks by GPFIF President Mr. Chandra Setiawan, Mr. James Poon explained that GPFIF’s vision of One Family under God can enhance an appreciation of the diversity that exists in society. Think of diversity “not as the trigger of conflict but as a characteristic that makes life more interesting,” he said. Another presenter, Mr. Romo Magnis, noted that even though religions have significant differences in ritual and belief, most faiths encourage followers to uphold universal values such as kindness, generosity, honesty, and respect for others. Other speakers emphasized the inner qualities of true leadership, which form the basis for guiding people, bringing unity, and achieving effective social change.
Another presentation stressed the importance of creating a culture of service. Mr. Tengku Naufal asked each participant to consider his or her best abilities. How can those gifts directly empower others to realize a better life either materially, socially, environmentally, or spiritually, he asked.
Addressing some practical means of supporting Indonesian society, Mr. Setyawan said that small to medium–sized enterprises in Indonesia are believed to be the most feasible economic approach for those who may not have much experience or capital but have a strong desire to empower others with an income and a step-by-step approach to actualizing the better life. Another presenter, Mr. Anton Abdul Fatah, described his agro-forestry project which restored soil that had been depleted so it can again be cultivated by farmers to provide a livlihood.
The Summit sought to gain more insight into the most important issues facing Indonesia. Participants were asked to identify the greatest needs in areas of children and education; the environment; social entrepreneurship, and leadership. Participants broke into groups with the task of defining the status quo in Indonesia relating to these areas, then identifying the problem, generating solutions, and presenting comprehensive communal goals and how to achieve them.
The Summit also asked participants to put into practice the ideals of service for peace through short projects that included helping rice farmers in the field, cleaning a madrasah and mosque, and fund raising for improvements for the mosque facilities. Participants said the service work required them to move out of their comfort zone to help others and have a humble and open heart to serve without expecting any returns.
Through the Young Leaders Summit, GPFIF sought to recognize and uplift the leadership capacity that already exists within each person. Participants also could widen their networks, recognize best practices as well as personal talents and abilities, while affirming that each person is the one who responsible to be the change that can lead to a peaceful and prosperous Indonesia.
***The Global Peace Festival Foundation was renamed Global Peace Foundation in November, 2012. The Global Peace Foundation-Indonesia has not undergone the name change yet and is officially registered as Global Peace Festival Indonesia Foundation.