Monday, June 4, 2012

Gambung, trip 2

On the way back to Gambung, we first did a little bit of sightseeing of the surrounding mountains. The rest of the trip provided some new insights into our biogas/waste management project... and also saw us encounter our first set of problems and issues! But first, the fun stuff.

We took a little detour to the White Crater (Kawah Putih), a beautiful hot spring at the top of a mountain (pictured below), about an hour and a half away from Gambung. Unfortunately it was quite rainy, but it provided for some nice pictures of us in the clouds. It didn't help our breathing situation, however, especially with the smell of sulfur 1800 meters above sea level! The rest of the pictures can be seen via our picture link.

The team and our local project manager, Fikri, in front of Kawah Putih

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Gambung survey results

On our second day at Gambung, the team conducted a survey with a number of villagers to gather information on their monthly expenditure, energy usage, sources of water, and health issues concerning water and pollution. We all split up and tackled a different part of the village, reaching almost 8% of a village of 700 over the course of two hours, and gaining some insight into the lives of the local population; how they live daily, what they need, and what their standard of living is. It was eye-opening, to say the least. There more pictures to follow and you can access them via our pictures link on the left hand column!
The results (shown below graphically) clarify a lot of what we assumed. The majority of answers were quite obvious, and it was interesting to note that more people owned TVs and mobile phones than understood the health risks involved with river pollution! Another interesting result was that the two most important aspects over the next five years were education and electricity. 
This data goes a long way towards our scenarios and recommendations for the biogas/waste management project. 

Feel free to browse through it all, starting with Friddy and one of the participants in our survey!
We're back in the village tomorrow to monitor the installation of the biogas generator. Keep an eye out for our posts. 

Editor's note: We got some feedback on the communication process during the interviews with the villagers and it was something we forgot to mention. We each had a translator - a volunteer from the Rumah Pintar - go along with us to every household. Rizki, our resident Indonesian, translated the survey itself so we were all able to read it out in Indonesian to our respondents! Half of us had the survey on our ipads/iphones so a lot of the people enjoyed inputting their answers on the touch screen directly. Our translator introduced us in the beginning and explained what we were doing, for which everyone seemed quite eager to help and their eyes lit up whenever we said, "hatur nuhun," which means "thank you" in Sundanese, the local dialect!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Meeting the Indonesia Hult Alumni Chapter

Hult alumni from Indonesia reached out to us earlier this week when they heard about our project through Facebook. They were interested to know a little more and want to present our work and give a little information on what the Masters of Social Entrepreneurship program is all about at the first Global Hult Alumni Summit being held in Bali this weekend.
Lynda with Team Indonesia

Monday, May 28, 2012

ISSP Recap

The International Society of Sustainability Professionals is opening a chapter in Indonesia, and we were lucky enough to go to their inaugural event. It included a number of TED-styled talks (in Indonesian, of course, but we made sure to have a translator for the presentations) and ended with a cross-sectoral debate on what sustainability is, how it can be achieved, and what each stakeholders' roles are. The panel included Liana Bratasida, head of the supervisory board of the ISSP, Sofyan Wanandi, head of the Indonesian Entrepreneurs Association, a representative of the Walhi NGO that focuses on environmental issues, Prof. Dr. Bambang Shergi Laksmono, Dean of the social and political faculty of the University of Indonesia and finally Dr. Emil Salim, the head of the presidential advisory board of the Republic of Indonesia who we had the pleasure of meeting and discussing our project with (more to come on this later).

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Gambung, Day 2

The team has been conducting surveys all morning with the villagers - an awesome experience getting to know some of the people in the area and learning how they live and what their wants and needs are.
HSBC's team of volunteers is at the Rumah Pintar today, too, helping out with all the kids, and we're going to have a meeting with them to talk about the scope of our project.
We're just about to get some much needed lunch before an afternoon football session with the kids.
Look out for pictures!

Friday, May 25, 2012


Playing football and mixing cow dung

Early today Josh, Sebastian and Friddy bonded with the local children during a game of pick up football. However Tena was the center of the attention of one local boy in particular, while Rizki was acting as translator.

As of now, Sebastian and Josh are busy mixing cow dung with their hands to use for our power plant.

Most recent update: cow dung landed on Sebastian's foot... Good times!

Gambung village

We arrived at gambung village!

Click for more Pictures

Thursday, May 24, 2012

International Society of Sustainability Professionals Indonesia

It is an honor for our team to be invited and be a part of the launch of ISSP Indonesia. During this event there will also be a talkshow discussing the topic "Towards Rio+20: Quo Vadis Indonesia Sustainability?" & Declaration of ISSP Indonesia.

We expect ourselves to interact with some Indonesia's top government officials, academia, corporate, and NGOs. Further updates from this event will be made throughout the day, so stay tuned!

Monday, May 21, 2012

We are at Satoe Indonesia Office in Jakarta and meet the team and officials from Sateo Indonesia for our BioGas Project in Gambung.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Day One

It finally hit us on arrival that we were actually going to spend the next month in Indonesia.
The five of us arrived at different times and all met up at the house (pictures to follow). We're getting to bed early so we can have a fresh start tomorrow morning at the Satoe Indonesia office in Jakarta and we're excited to meet all of the staff that will be assisting us during the course of the project - as partner, mentors and translators, of course.

For those who are unaware of our project, our team is in Indonesia as consultants for a biogas project based out of Gambung, a small village in West Java. While we are doing this for school as an action learning project, the parent NGO that's hosting us, Satoe Indonesia, will run it long after we leave. The next five weeks will be used as a pilot in order to satisfy all stakeholders and ensure that we can make this project sustainable. In essence, there are a number of factors that our team will be monitoring. Our ultimate goal is to reduce the level of pollution in the river while simultaneously finding revenue streams for the biogas plant to sustain itself in the long run, and show that the project itself will be scalable throughout Indonesia.