On Wednesday, Ogilvy & Mather held a joint event with Google Indonesia to recognize six Indonesian entrepreneurs whose work on technology has made a difference in people’s lives. Indonesia Innovates is a program that aims to identify and highlight Indonesian innovation and the increasing role of technology in positive contributions towards a better society.
Speaking at the event, Minister for Tourism and Creative Economy Mari E. Pangestu said, “As a stable economy in these challenging economic times, it is imperative for Indonesia to stay ahead of the curve and consolidate our place as innovators”.
The six companies and entrepreneurs that were recognized at the inaugural event are as follows:
- Lianna Gunawan – La Spina
La Spina is a shoe and fashion company, established in 2009, with products that draw on the country’s history of design to develop and make shoes using traditional fabrics intended for fashion oriented shoppers. Gunawan’s products incorporates traditional fabrics such as batik and songket to preserve their heritage and promote them across the region.
- Aldi Haryopratomo – Ruma
Ruma is well known as an organization that connects small scale entrepreneurs with information resources, transaction services, as well as people to assist them in developing and growing their businesses.
- Bambang Basuki – Mitra Netra Foundation
The foundation began in 1992 by developing software to convert text into Braille to assist the blind in improving and expanding their education. It has an extensive library of audiobooks and tapes that can be downloaded on request by its members.
- Rudyanto Linggar – Nebeng.com
Founded in 2005, Nebeng.com is a car-pooling community created out concerns regarding the increasing traffic congestion in Jakarta combined with rising fuel prices. Eight years later, the community has become more relevant than ever, serving more than 50,000 daily commuters, and saving thousands of liters of fuel per day.
- Nancy Margried – Batik Fractal
Having recognized patterns across many batik motifs, Batik Fractal developed mathematics based software for consumers to create various contemporary batik styles which will then be applied to fabrics using traditional methods.
- Aulia “Ollie” Halimatussadiah – NulisBuku
Together with Brilliant Yotenega, Ollie co-founded NulisBuku to help writers publish books and essays on demand and independently without having to go through the filtering process that many publishers impose which are designed to maximize sales and reach. With over 30,000 members, NulisBuku has become more than just a publishing platform, it is a means to freely and openly express stories, ideas, and perspectives.
According to Google Indonesia’s Rudy Ramawy, “The Internet already contributes 1.6 percent to Indonesia’s GDP and is expected to double in 2016. Given the extraordinary economic potential of the Internet, it is vital to create an environment where local innovators are inspired and empowered to create products with a global impact”.
Indonesia Innovates is expected to be a regular, perhaps annual or biannual event in recognizing Indonesia’s technology innovators. By taking advantage of technology and especially the Internet, these individuals and their teams have managed to deliver efficient, creative, and effective solutions to various issues affecting the society.
Through this initiative, Ogilvy & Mather, Google, and the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy hope to raise further awareness of the positive impacts delivered through the appropriate use of technology and greater adoption of the Internet.
The accompanying Indonesia Innovates report profiles each of the individuals in even more detail and highlights a number of issues that hinder their progress such as unclear regulatory environment, insufficient infrastructure, and various other restrictions but it also provides examples from other parts of the world where innovation in similar areas have managed to prosper.
Essentially the initiative and the report are calls for the government and the private sector to recognize the possibilities that are brought forward by adopting a more open attitude towards new technology and to realize that technological innovation is the way forward for the country’s economical and societal progress.
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