One afternoon in October 2016, WRI Indonesia was delighted to receive a visit of 40 undergraduate students from Parahyangan Catholic University, Faculty of International Relations. The office has been blessed to employ some of the university’s bright alumni and it was a treat to be able to see a glimpse of the alma mater that help shape our colleagues.
That afternoon, we hosted some second to fourth-year students who visited Jakarta from Bandung as a part of Parahyangan Catholic University’s International Relations Department annual program that aims to give students some firsthand information from practitioners and a foretaste of working life before graduation. Prior to the visit, the students expressed their curiosity about the work that WRI does as a think tank organization, which is still uncommon in Indonesia.
The session started with an introduction of WRI by Clorinda Wibowo, one of WRI Indonesia’s longest-serving employees. Inda shared the history of how WRI Indonesia was established, the scope of work we cover, and the growth we have experienced over time. It was then followed by a presentation by Arief Wijaya and Hanny Chrysolite, WRI’s climate specialists, on climate actions at the global level (what countries have done) as well as at national level (what Indonesia has done).
The time was filled with warm and meaningful discussions around global climate actions and WRI’s role as a think tank organization in tackling climate issues. Having networks of WRI representatives in Brazil, China, India, United States, and Mexico, to name a few, WRI Indonesia is enriched with valuable global knowledge and opportunities to create potential diversified collaboration.
The presentations were followed by question-and-answer sessions from students and WRI staff. One student asked what concrete actions we as regular citizens could take in order to make a difference to support global climate action. Arief answered that there were many ways we could do, but one of them is by being informed and educated of the environmental initiatives that are already there. We could also help monitor government’s commitment and pledge and voice our concerns if we observe actions that are not in line with their commitments. WRI has several platforms to help the public be informed of climate information, such as PINDAI (wri.org/pindai) to monitor sub-national climate action and development plans. At the end of the visit, we delivered a brief tour of the office and provided an opportunity to ask questions to other available WRI staff in the office.
Through this short session at the office, we hope the students returned to the university, armed with new information and aspirations to prepare them on the track to become the future leaders, be it in Indonesia or even broader.