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Our #2 Hack Day: Education

On 5 April 2020, Nusantara Innovation Forum (NIF) held its second Hack Day. Participants gathered from the United Kingdom (UK), Indonesia and Brunei Darussalam to celebrate creativity and innovations in education.

Professor Aminudin Aziz, Education and Culture Attaché from the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in London, welcomed the initiative with a hope for deliverables beyond ideation. Dorothy Ferary, Chief of Hack Day Committee, and Lilis Iskandar, NIF President, also welcomed all speakers and participants.

The event commenced with a series of sharing. The first speaker, Najeela Shihab from Semua Murid Semua Guru (SMSG), outlined the problem of ‘education emergency’. “Children have become victims of conventional schooling, a one-size-fits-all model that only looks at results and compliance,” she said. Through SekolahMU, a learning technology platform, she instigated a network of campaigners to promote learning independence that focused on personalized education.

Continuing on, Talitha Amalia, Director of Education and Development from Solve Education! (SE!), talked about gaming and chat bot technologies to make learning fun. To accelerate adoption, SE! introduced various programmes such as Play & Learn, Apply & Earn, and learning incentives. Its newest content, Solve Corona, was a joint initiative with NIF to help children learn about COVID-19.

Picture 1. Talitha Amalia from Solve Education!, also a NIF Core Committee member, talked about gaming in education.

The next speaker, Dr Sang Kompiang Wirawan, Program Director of Innovative Academy Gadjah Mada University, introduced the incubation syllabus. This syllabus provided a road map for start-ups to determine their product fit, market fit and business fit. He also welcomed seasoned entrepreneurs to join as mentors. “What’s important is not only the product, but the mentality to invest in people and find a solution-product fit,” he advised.

Picture 2. Kompiang Wirawan explained about the Innovative Academy.

The final speaker, Sandra Tusin, Founder and COO of Mindstream AI, agreed with this. She shared some key considerations for investors, including passionate founders, unique selling points and traction. Using her own story as an example, she acknowledged that the journey was uphill but liberating. “It is a marathon, not a sprint,” she expressed.

The virtual room buzzed with energy as discussion took place. The sharing sessions had inspired not only ideas, but also new collaborations.

Picture 3. Sandra Tusin introduced Mindstream AI.

Afterwards came the project team presentations. Five teams presented their entrepreneurial ideas for some of Indonesia’s toughest challenges in education. Preceding this, each project team had baked their idea for months under the facilitation of Hack Day Committee members and dedicated experts in each field.

Interesting ideas made themselves known on screen. Sobat Bhinneka team tackled multiculturalism through theatre and video workshops. Kopdar Guru Indonesia team introduced a teacher learning community for teachers’ development. Data to Money team demonstrated the use of data to raise awareness on preventative efforts. PENTAS Think Tank focused on policies for education in remote areas. Finally, the literacy group through Anak Indonesia Bercerita used folktales to embed education into children’s life.

Picture 4. PENTAS Team proposed a solution for education in remote areas.

This year’s Hack Day had sparked optimism, collaboration and creativity in improving education in Indonesia. It was fascinating to witness sharp minds band together towards the same goal. While the event concluded, the teams had just begun their journey to translate these novel ideas into reality.

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