Finding Reason at IdeaFest 2015

Since September is a sign for the last quarter of 2015, let’s welcome it with a nice and happy hug. But first, let’s recap what we made on last month :P August was a great month from me, because I got to do many things, going on a short getaway, attending friend’s engagement, snapped my first Polaroid and learning many new things.

One of it, happened to be in a form called IdeaFest.

IdeaFest is a bi-yearly event that aims to empower creative movement in Indonesia. This year, IdeaFest hits its third conference. I know about this event after reading one of the newsletter from GEPI. After running Kawung Living for about a year, I’ve been intensively seeking and learning deeper about it, so I subscribed to GEPI newsletter. GEPI is an incubator and angel investment network for young startup and entrepreneur made by Ciputra. Located in Lotte Shopping Avenue (which just happen to be few steps from my office), GEPI offers co-working space and held several free events to empower many rising startups. GEPI also famously known by its angel investment program called ANGIN, which already helped many startup grow their business even more. ANGIN previously invested on startup company founded by women like Wangsa Jelita, Berry Kitchen, and Kakoa Chocolate.

After many doubt, I bought the 2 days ticket conference anyway. One of my reason was because the theme called Creativity with Purpose, the second reason was I really badly want to meet Melissa Sunjaya.


The first day was a program called IdeaTalks, where they held parallel classes with many different topics and famous speaker on its field. Some of it turned out so good and inspiring, but there were some classes that I really bummed out. But afterall, I was blown away by its diversity of topics and speakers. I wish I can split my body into several pieces so I can attend all the classes or I have a friend who can tell what other classes were talking about. Read all the classes here.

A quick review for some classes that I attend:

Let’s Meet New Hottest Start Up

The session, hosted by Natali—founder of, invited some of new start-up founders like YesBoss (personal assistant service), Gogonesia (travel tour platform), BerryKitchen (online catering where you can personalized your catering menu), and Setipe (online dating service). The session mostly talked about their initial reason to start, the struggles to run a business in Indonesia, what work and doesn’t work, how broke they become (haha) and what impact they bring to community. This is one of the session I enjoy because many topics were covered really well.

What’s Cool of Being Social Entrepreneur?

The session featured Veronica Colondam from Yayasan Cinta Anak Bangsa (YCAB) and Irvan Kolonas from Vasham, hosted by Chaerany Putri from Gerak Cepat. YCAB is one of the first social company who works really sustainable long before social entrepreneur phrase become widely known. The session started off with the introduction of what YCAB and Vasham are about and what they have accomplished so far. The session mostly discussed about the term of social entrepreneur and what differentiate them from charity work.

Veronica Colondam is someone I admire back from my early year at college. She shared her reason to start YCAB when she found the calling to wanting ‘more’ in this life. She has a successful career, a husband, two loving daughters and she kept searching about what’s in life that can give her more meaning.

She closed the session by sharing one of the success story from YCAB student, Muntaka, who enrolled to one of mechanic school run by the company. This school aims to provide a skillset for underprivileged kids in order to give them better chance of finding job. Muntaka was a scavenger and suddenly, he graduated top of the class. At that time, Honda offered YCAB a slot on their own mechanic school. Muntaka took the offer to once more graduated top of the class and got the chance to work there. Being a top graduate student, Muntaka was also given a cash prize which later he used to go to study in university. Veronica also shared when the first time meeting Muntaka, his eyes were glued to the floor. It took time for him to see people in the eyes and speak directly with confidence. The great thing about education is they empower you in some ways and it is amazing what education can nurture a person. She then told us, ‘Him. He is what made it cool of being social entrepreneur.” The session is really empowering personally for me. I wish I have more than an hour to just hear more from her.

Cultural Storytellers: Reintroducing Indonesia to the World

The session hosted by Ein Halidj, featured Didiet Maulana (Ikat Indonesia) and Chitra Subyakto (Sejauh Mata Memandang). They shared the story about bringing Indonesian fabric to younger generation while also introducing it to the world. The session mostly talked through the fashion world and how they empower local craftsman. I didn’t enjoy the session as much because it kind of goes one way, where they need the craftsman to do their job while there is nothing much to offer to the craftsman, except the job.

We Should Create Alternative Education Format

Featured Iman Usman (Ruang Guru), Amanda Witdarmono (We the Teachers), Ivandeva Wing (LimitlessCampus), hosted by Didiet Mudita (Impact Factory). Liven to its name, this session mostly discussed about how to find alternative education format and several company/organization which already did that. The session was so alive and engaging, but failed to wrap some important topics.

Healing the World through Social Innovation      

Rene Suhardono (Impact Factory) and Fajar Anugerah (Kinara) made the class so interesting with their interactive method of communication. They shared inspiring stories about people around the world that solve social problem on their surroundings, because they realized it is their calling. Since Rene was speaking, he also linked it with passion and reason to live.

Girls in Tech: How to Win among the Brogramming?      

Featured Nuniek Tirta (StartupLokal), Anantya Van Bronckhorst (Pranala), Affi Assegaf (Female Daily), hosted by Oktora Irahadi (Mirum). I think this was one of the class that I really excited to attend but turned out to be a hug dissapointment for me. The classes didn’t meet my expectation. The class just discussed how to be a woman entrepreneur using technology, like internet. I don’t think the speakers liven up to the topic as one of them said that if you don’t a capacity to code and understand technical stuff, you can just ask the bro (man). I was really bummed out that moment and lose the energy to continue the entire class. I ended up going home after this class over.


(Image from here)

Day two was a conference like session. I really love all the speakers, especially Mellisa Sunjaya (Tulisan) and Carline Darjanto (COTTONINK) session. I’m a fan of COTTONINK clothes since their early age. I think their clothing line suits tropical weather where people tend to like clothes that’s not too tight. There was time that I bought their clothes only at Idul Fitri because I think it is too expensive :)) But in terms of comfort, I think their clothes is one of the best I’ve ever had. I also happen to be totally in love with Tulisan bag. In the conference, Mellisa really talked like an artist. She explained her method of running the brand where she uses more intuition or the time when she designed Tulisan store while trying to engage customer’s five senses. In terms of price, Tulisan bag is way way out of my league :)) Read more on Tulisan Blog.

The million dollar company session was one of the most awaited, since every time I talked with other people, they said they wanted to hear Nadiem Makarim and his famous Gojek story. The session invited William Tanuwijaya (Tokopedia), Nadiem Makarim (Gojek), and Kevin Mintaraga (Bridestory), who each company got large funding investment from foreign company. Other session titled How to Win The Moslem Community invited Salman Subakat (Wardah) and Dian Pelangi, who by all means changed the way people looking at hijab community. Interesting question popped out where one of the audience asked a question that said the concept of hijab is to simplify, do adding more complexion considered a misinterpretation? Such a tough question, no wonder the answers were all too subtle :))

There was other session featured all viral YouTube/Instagram artist in Indonesia, like Indovidgram, SkinnyIndonesian24, and Last Day Production, which I didn’t get the point anyway :)) They talked about being a content creator and how to get income by producing more video and endorsing a brand. Yeah, stuffs like that.

The conference also included judging panel of the social entrepreneurship competition, where the panel happened to be Andy F. Noya, Veronica Colondam, and Basuki T. Purnama. Sure Ahok was well-received among the audiences. They also invited Triawan Munaf as the Ministry of Creative Economy Agency and Vice President Jusuf Kalla to speak. The end of the event closed by a short video from President Joko Widodo who promised that he will be participated at next year event.

After all, it was a new experience for me. In terms of the price of the ticket, I don’t know whether it is common for people to spend that much money, but for me it is a lot of money. Is it worth it? Yes. Do I wish it’d be cheaper? Yes. But then again, I realized that one of the reason I attend the event is to remind me of my being. I wanted to be encouraged and sometimes it is easy to lose yourself at this kind of time. I had fun after all and feeling energized by it.

Note: As usual, I didn’t take any photos during the event :)) but you can always check Ideafest’s Twitter and Instagram for more details of the event.

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