Here in Indonesia

Hi curious readers– I thought I posted this here, but I guess I didn’t. Sorry everyone!

So I am writing this post from the Pemkot Informasi Publik building, in the Resilience Office where I will be doing my work for the next 2 months. I apologize for the delay in writing this blog post, but I have been having a wonderfully busy time here in the past couple of days, just learning the local ways, the language, and what my role in the government office will be. Also, I forgot to bring a universal power adapter with me, and therefore I couldn’t charge my computer…. it’s also surprisingly difficult to write a blog on your cell phone.

[Aside: it’s actually quite difficult to find one here, surprisingly– I checked every electronics and phone store in two malls (Indonesia is considered the social media capital of the world, and everyone has a smartphone…so it was a lot of stores) until I walked by a secondhand electronics kiosk and saw it out of the corner of my eye. The salesclerk thought I pointed to it by accident and didn’t understand what it even was. It looked like it had been sitting there for awhile.] 

I arrived here on Friday (and I have a separate travel blog that has all of the fun details of the trip 😉 –> link at bottom) and the team was preparing for a huge launch of the City’s Resilience Strategy, a culmination of years of work and research, and a 120 page report detailing the assets, opportunities, weaknesses and risks of the city, with accompanying pillars or goals of the city’s resilience and accompanying project suggestions (complete with platform partners that could help with such a project, such as Save the Children and Future Cities Laboratory ETH Singapore working together to research critical areas affected by congestion and targeting initiatives to get more children to safely use public transit). This launch– which the city actually asked me to be the English-speaking MC for (!!!!!)– was then accompanied by a strategy workshop where the city, platform partners, and 100 Resilient Cities all got together in a room and discussed our action items for the summer, and what needed to be achieved by two July workshops, one in Singapore and one again in Semarang. I was very honored to be able to contribute to the workshop in better understanding how I can help the work that 100RC is doing, the work that the city needs done, and specific ways that I can help a number of the platform partners in my own research (i.e. much of the data that I need and will build for the city will help build the city’s capacity to be able to collaborate with future partners).

The strategy launch corresponds with an Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network, or ACCCRN, Final Conference– wrapping up 8 years of work surrounding development in Asia, particularly oriented towards the concept of building and understanding urban resilience.

I am using this first week to watch this process, to meet the entire team (both in Semarang and from 100 RC), to decipher where I can fit and help the team here so as to collect as much of the data that I possibly can, as well as to learn the customs, the language (which is coming pretty quickly!) and get used to the food (which is DELICIOUS). The team here has been wonderfully welcoming, and fascinating to get to know. I can talk more in detail about my role here and what data I can find and have access to as well as what data I will not have access to, and so on and so forth. However, I am hopeful!! So far, the city has been more than open and accommodating, so I am happy to be here in such a transitional time in this city’s progress!!

Stay tuned for fun updates surrounding a more detailed work plan!