Buka Jalan Menuju Mimpi dan Pengetahuan - Ketty Lie | Endgame S3E17
The existing system, however broken, it exists because there are benefits. - Interesting. – It's delusional to say that, everyone would want to change the system there. Not really. Because if everything does change, nothing's preventing us.
[Voiceover: This is Endgame] GITA WIRJAWAN: Hello friends, I often got asked on social media. "I want to contribute for better Indonesia in 2045." Where should I start? Maybe one of my suggestions is to learn about public policy. Being able to understand policy analysis will enable us to actualize solutions to various problems, moreover, if it is structural. Not only within the government, but also businesses and non-profits.
The former United Nations General Secretary, Ban Ki-Moon Singapore's Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong, and journalist, Rachel Maddow are amongst those who graduated from public policy. SGPP Indonesia, the first school of public policy in Indonesia, with English as its language of instruction, are now open for admissions for the new batch. further details about the program and how to apply, or inquiries about your future career plan, contact SGPP Indonesia through the links in the description. Now back to the show. GITA WIRJAWAN: Hello friends, today we have Ketty Lie, co-founder of ErudiFi, which is also known as Danacita.
Ketty, thanks for coming to the studio. KETTY LIE: Thank you, sir. It's an honor, a privilege for me to be here. - You're welcome. I want to deep dive later about your mission for education in Indonesia and in Southeast Asia. But tell me about your background, You were born in Jakarta, schooled at Karawaci, and so on.
Please. - So maybe starting from childhood, I was born in North Jakarta, so I was born and raised in Pluit, and even now still living in the same area, but from education side, I am very grateful for my parents to enrolled me, since elementary school until the second grade, to school at Ipeka – 2nd grade of elementary? Yes. Then if I'm not mistaken, my mother has a friend who happened to know about the fairly new school at the time, The Pelita Harapan School in Karawaci. So even though it's far away, At that time there was no Outer Ring Toll, only the Jakarta-Merak toll road. But according to my mother, one, the school excels from other schools because it's one of the schools that used international curriculum.
So even though my parents didn't actually graduate from high school, even middle school. – Where are your parents from? – From Pematangsiantar. But they grew up in Medan. - Okay. Did they meet at Medan or Jakarta? - In Medan.
Then if I'm not mistaken, once married, they moved to Jakarta. So my family, I have four siblings, I am the third child. There are three girls, one boy, Coincidentally, my younger brother is at the class eight. we are all born in Jakarta. So from childhood, even though my parents were not high school graduates, for them, especially my mom, education is very important. So for her, when she saw a chance to go to school, even though it's far away, but it can provide good opportunity, international curriculum where at that time, getting into an international school was difficult.
To get such an education, she enrolled the four of us, though it's far away, and early in the morning at 5 o’clock, we had to go. There was a school bus at that time. And she was the one who drove us to the bus station. So I go back and forth from Karawaci, Tangerang, to Pluit until I graduated from high school.
From there, back again, my brother opened the way. Long story short, I went to overseas, to Australia, because during high school actually, in 1998, there was an unexpected riot, so my mom and dad felt that It's quite stressful to manage 4 children in Indonesia, so they sent 2 of us away. It was quite an impromptu. they were sent to Australia. but I think it's the path shown by the God. From there, they go to America for their bachelor's degree.
With the path opened by my brother, I also see that it is possible to study abroad. And long story short, I studied for my Bachelor's at Chicago, University of Chicago, which many don't know that it's a nerd school - It's a damn good school. I remember, I signed up because, one, in terms of my filters, At that time, I wanted to live in a big city, like Jakarta. So I think it might boring in a small town.
Then, my interest is in the field of economics. Chicago is known for its econs, right. So, I applied Thank God, I got in. If I'm not mistaken a week before I got in, my sister asked "You know that in Chicago, the theme is where the fun goes to die, right?" I was confused, “I don't know that. Nobody told me that!"
But it's very precious in my opinion, the undergraduate study taught me, one, to learn independently, because I live alone, abroad, and I really think that college is when ones find one’s true self, and for me, they time I study was the time to introspect, to build our mindset, to define our way of life, our principles, our value. And I'm very grateful that the community I met in Chicago was open-minded and very critical too. So many new challenges in terms of religion, culture, outlook on life, etc. Then, I spent 4 years in Chicago... - Was it cold there? - Very cold. But the funny thing is maybe I was before…
- Because the wind was so cold. It's breezy and the temperature is cold. - Right. But the funny thing is I have nothing to compare. So in my opinion I guess this is what the US is. – Try Texas. – Yes, it's very different, sir. Years after, after I went back to the US, I am like, “Oh my ...” Winter in Chicago is not normal winter.
- Right. – For 4 years, long story short, I mean, a lot of people are asking because, I decided to return to Southeast Asia. So, I moved back to… That time I feel like I always have a love-hate relationship sometimes with Indonesia, growing up really, because it feels like a lot of problems. So I felt "never mind, you can go abroad, as a mean of escape. But when you know maybe a sign from up there, felt called to return to this region. Yes, so I went back but was still afraid to return to Indonesia, So I stopped by in Singapore first.
I worked in Singapore, there when asked, I had entered the private sector and also NGOs, a lot of my friends, colleagues also asked, "Why did you join an NGO?" And of course, I answered, “I want my career to have a positive social impact especially in economic development.” Surely many will ask, "But you're Indonesian, right?" why not Indonesia? Why in Singapore?" So the questions really pushed me to reflect on myself and those are also the times when I see a lot of changes in Jakarta. And I saw that on a government scale, at that time coincidentally, the era of Mr. Jokowi and Mr. Ahok,
I saw that changes were possible and there was encouragement from my colleagues, so I have made the decision to return. I took a job at a USAID project where I was based in Jakarta, but the project was in Papua. – Wow! Interesting. - So, I think it's a golden opportunity because as a Jakartan, maybe I am very guilty for traveling abroad more often than within Indonesia. So there is an opportunity to… - Where in Papua? - I toured in Jayapura, in Jayawijaya, in Mimika, yes three places. Because the project happened to be in those 3 places. - How long? - I usually stayed for two weeks then back again.
Almost every month or every two months there. - Okay for How long? - At least 1.5 years, almost 2 years maybe. – Wow! Extraordinary. - Yes. And I learned how big Indonesia is, that the travel from Jakarta to Jayapura is much longer than from Jakarta to Melbourne. I was amazed, "Wow, Indonesia is really big." - and in those days, there were no direct flights.
- Right. – We must transit at Ujung Pandang... Now there is. - Right. I actually saw the transition.
And the price is not cheap either. Some things I see that, one, our domestic tourism can actually be improved again, even by the end of working terms, I went to Raja Ampat, it was very beautiful. So, it opens my knowledge, and I think experiences like that also build my patriotism, probably, making me prouder of Indonesia.
And see that there are many needs. And actually, because there're a lot of needs, what people say, with problem comes potential, comes opportunities, if you look at it from different point of view. So it's implanted in my head that I am Indonesian with the opportunity that has been given, I can go abroad, I can work in various sectors, what can I bring to our country, then? That's because there're many needs. - What did you do for USAID and Papua at that time? - At that time, I wanted to go... So, when I worked for an NGO in Singapore, I was doing fundraising for microfinance organization in the region.
I want to go back more to the economic development. So with the USAID project, I was in monitoring and evaluation with a project that actually build... Let me make sure I am saying it right, it's basically a local governance with the local clinics. So, it's about how we improve the clinics in the local areas, but by building their management capacity.
That's the point. -It doesn't change, but it complements. - Right. Because I think if you look at the way we usually do historically speaking, want to change a community/society usually the old school methods is like, let's build a school, let's build hospital, but lately we know that you can have the building but if the system doesn't exist, the people don't exist, there will be nothing in the end. So I find this project very interesting but it's difficult, people are difficult to change.
But it's interesting. So, I have a chance, truly grateful that I was able to meet the local community, with my team, which was also quite diverse, there are people from Jakarta, there are people from Ambon, and I learned a lot from my friends, honestly, from their views, their life experiences. - Then, you continued your education, right? - Yes, because maybe I, one, I am sort of a nerd, I feel like. I actually I like going to school. And again, I think education is... - Nobody's forbidding. - Yes.
I think education is a golden opportunity to... in some ways a little selfish, because you get to really think and take stock of your life What do you want? What do you want to achieve in this life? So after I worked for 5-6 years, I feel that, one, a bit jaded honestly, because seeing from the sectors I've been working with, either NGOs, private sectors or USAID, what we really need is not financial resource, but people. Having the right leaders, having the right people to execute. How do I do that? What is my real role? Cause I saw, people said, and I didn't believe it when people told me when I was younger that older you're, the more jaded you'd become. – Don't ask me.
- No. You're an inspiration. You help me keep going. But I felt like my idealist self, at that time, got questioned because I saw that it's not easy on the field and humans are humans.
If you want to go to any sector, there must be different incentives or motivations. So for me, what is sustainable and needle moving chain which I really think can bring, especially Indonesia, because of my background, I can contribute something to reach our potential. Cause people always say, "Indonesia has a lot of potentials."
My question is, when do we fulfill that potential? It doesn't make sense for us to wait for the next generation. we only have a lot of potential but they're not realized. So, I decided to go back to school Initially, I wanted a master's degree in public policy, because I saw that, one, it's highly relevant to my previous job, but encouraged by my sister who took double degree, policy and business, and to be honest, I actually had applied for a Master’s in Public Policy only, while I'm waiting, many of my friends are entrepreneurs, there are many Indos, so I thought as I waited, “if they can do it, can I do it?" and at the same time, I feel like private sector is playing a bigger part.
The birth of venture philanthropy, the birth of impact investing. So I started to think actually, maybe my resistance towards the private sector was derived in some ways, from capitalism, and I don't know we have time for that but long story short, I had this love-hate relationship with the private and business sectors, but I saw that if you do business well, that's one way to make a change that is sustainable and long lasting. So I also got encouraged, "Is it enough, Master in Public Policy?" So give it a try, I prayed. So let it be. If I don't apply, I don't know if It's not there when I apply for it, let it be. - It's not my match. - Yes, yes.
But no regrets. So it's pretty tight too. In May there was a decision from my first application for Public Policy, but I decided to waive it first because one, there was an impacting investing job that I was interested in. Second, I got rather confused So I was like, can I defer it? and I deferred it for a year and in the same year, at the end of the year, because the US application round is open at the end of the year, I decided to apply for an MBA.
And out of nowhere, I got in. Honestly, I was very surprised. The funny thing is when I tell my parents, my mother, just ask, "Are you sure about that? Have you checked the spelling name yet?” I was like, "I am pretty sure, Mom, but I'll double check". Asian parents keep you humble.
Long story short… - You graduated - I Graduated. – Two years huh? - 3 years. - 3 years? Double degree? - Yes. I graduated in 2019. - Good! From Harvard Kennedy School, and Harvard Business School – So, came back right before COVID. – Wow! Then you found ErudiFi.
Why did you find ErudiFi? – Actually, interestingly, at that time, in terms of ErudiFi or our Danacita, as it known in Indonesia, It's actually been around 1-2 years. At the beginning it was founded by my sister with Naga, one of my co-founders right now. They found it when I was still studying for my master's so I knew of it, but since I was still studying, I wasn't involved. But always interested, because of Danacita, our vision and mission are in education. And as I said earlier, one of the reasons I studied in graduate school was I want to see how we can invest in people, and if we withdraw, for example, it is education. Education is an investment in people.
So, what kind of investment and who gets the investment? So, knowing the existence of this Danacita, while I, as a student, got distracted with everything that was happening in grad school, but when I came back in 2019 actually, I also want to try to build something, I didn't think about joining my brother, with Naga, at that time because I'm very close to my family, I was also very afraid of, many stories if for example…. But the journey of an entrepreneur is difficult. People say it all the time, obviously, I had to try it before I admitted it to myself, but actually 2 things I was looking for. One, founder, team, people who are not only have similar mindset, but also similar passion and motivations That's quite difficult. I've met amazing smart people, but we're just thinking of it differently. – The mind must be connected. - Right.
And it's hard because sometimes it's not a black or white thing, that's one. And also in terms of the "What." Back again, the "What" are plenty.
In Indonesia, many people are interested in education. But the angles are many, and if it's a little different, sometimes as an entrepreneur, you're like, “Ok this is a long-term mission, right. Is this the thing that resonates?" - Why is it funding the education, not directly in education? – So Danacita is basically an education financing. I had a chat with Naga and my sister, at that time. So for us, there are so many problems from education.
And the problem of funding is actually our starting point. The point is that if we untangle it, you can create the best kind of program, but if for example only a minority can enjoy it it's also not very meaningful. So we see that funding could actually open accesses to what was before, so hopefully, we really anchor it in education, we through funding open access and we collaborate with the existing campuses. So, we, also from Danacita, focus on higher education and beyond lifelong learning, because we see that the gap there is still big. in K to 12, I think, in terms of enrollment, almost 100% it's quite high in that sense. A lot of work still, from K to 12. But if we look at the registration side, who are registered, who should be sitting in college, are only 30% and it has been consistent over the years.
– And that 70% is more due to lack of funding? - Yes. - Not a lack of will? - No. I think in terms of will, it still needs to be improved, but if, for example, we have FGD, we chat with...
I don't know Gen Z or millennial basically for them, it is economy. One, if for example, mainly in the family of more than one child, if you're the eldest child, you may feel, "I have to make a living." So what we see is from funding, sometimes they have funds, for example, but it's limited so they went to the wrong major, or just go as it is. our hope is that Danacita can actually open accesses so that all young people, students in Indonesia, you guys can dream as high as you want achieve your goals, that's why we named it "Danacita," and reach your dreams so that you can study as high as possible in the major you want and don't have to sell yourself short. You don't have to settle to the existing department due to the lack of funding or the existing campus because of the cost.
Because that's often the case, they got filtered at the beginning. One, "Can I go to college, if I can't, maybe later on," but we also know that the "later on" means it won't happen. or "Okay, I'll go for college," but, you know, "I'll just look at what I can afford" – Is there a focus on which major that get more funding? - As for us, now the focus is broadly on higher education. From our model, we collaborate with others.
So for now we only fund students who study at our partner campus. The way we select the campus Of course, by also looking at their credibility and in terms of the program, we still have no focus. - Okay. Is it as if, people want to take (major) Law
or Industrial Engineering, both will be supported, right? No discrimination or no priority one on top of the other, right? - Nothing. What we see apart from universities that are degree conferring, the formal ones, we also serve students, for example young professionals who are already working, who want to upskill in non-formal. For us, here we are more... maybe not discriminate, but more selective, so we emphasize on digital technology skills, many language skills, and skills needed in our globalized world. - Okay, how's the economics? Of course, if we want to help there should be an understanding that the capital must be returned and those who are helped must also have the ability. Has it been proven sustainable from the business model? – We still have a lot to work on, obviously, continue growing but for us, why do we cooperate with campus? that's one of the risk mitigations.
And we also channel funds directly to campus, so from students side, we want to be education-focused, right? So, in terms of funds, it is also specifically for your education. And for us, as an NPL, if in financing, for example, God forbid, a default, it's still very minimal, because we believe that we had filtered to include only students who are seriously committed in approved campuses and in terms of our financing, we paid per-semester, so actually it helps us buffer. And I think for us, because of technology as well, you don't need a physical building, like a bank, for instance, if for example from fintech, I think that's what we can leverage on. And our hope is again, in terms of access… - You have faith that when people have to buy motorcycle and pay for their education, they will prioritize education, don't you? Are we there yet? - Not yet.
- That's the mindset too, right? And culture. How to... so that in everywhere, we have the culture to prioritizes education above other things which can be considered consumptive, that this is an investment. That, in my opinion, is quite structural. - So, I don't think we're there yet, sir. So, a lot of what we do, is also build financial awareness.
Why are we at the beginning, in terms of application, we contact the students contact their families, especially for the younger ones, because we want to make sure that they understand what they agree on here. To make sure again, you are aware because we also know that, for example, sometimes from a financial perspective, this is financial management as well. So actually from us, we really want to build this financial inclusion, this financial awareness from the start. So, either you apply for undergraduate ed., I am a big believer you're not too young actually, you have to learn how to manage your finances for me, I wish I had known about this when I was younger. So for us, the important one is financial awareness.
And it's like what Mr. Gita said earlier, many.... I understand too, basically your current need is "I need to make a living for my family."
Of course, the motorbike has a visible short-term benefits, but we want to put forward two things; financial management is important, it's about how can we think for the long term, because education is, as what you said, it's a long-term investment. However, it's an investment for yourself which I feel like, why shouldn't we invest on ourself? -Is it possible, if we look at the cost for education, supposedly in the United States, this has inflated out of control in the last 30-40 years, if I compare my school fees in the 80s to now, it's like there's no correlation with how to get the return on investment. And that might also resulted with a thought "It doesn't worth it," to take an educational program because it's too expensive, the IAR doesn't flow in, so it's no longer considered an investment thesis. It's even been considered a very elitist product which cannot be enjoyed by the general public.
But I'm sure it's not like that in Indonesia. because the cost of education is still relatively much more affordable compared to what we see in developed countries. But it's important, in my opinion, to think how to position ourselves that this is an investment in nature, not consumptive.
I want to ask you, as a financier, what is important for the candidate to aim for, what they have to learn to build Indonesia forward in a cool way? – It's a great question. ... so I feel like this is an answer that's still a work in progress, but what I see now is we really want to be partners for long term planning. Why do we make decisions for funding in education? because honestly, if you want to talk about pure business, for example funding in other things will be much easier. Basically, because for example, funding the existing businesses, or business people is easier because of the concept of credit and the value of credit have been felt by entrepreneurs. In education, this is very new.
But why do we feel that this worthwhile? It's because of access. For example, if now there are still many who are retreating, or dropped out because of the economy, in my opinion it's unfortunate, because it'll seal their future. So how can we together be able to plan. Our real hope is, Danacita or ErudiFi could help them, even by planning their education, and education, for me, I define it quite broadly, not just a degree.
I think this is knowledge. Invest in yourself knowledgeably, skillfully. That's why we are very grateful to have a partner which provides that flexibility. So, basically, in some ways we … Now if anyone really wants a bachelor's degree, there's a needs and interests to study further at campus, 4 year college, great! Let's make that happen to you, with more access. So you have many choices. For example, for you who want to learn something—coding I know I am a coder, I want to be a coder, but I can't afford it for 4 years.
Well now I'm very grateful that there are people who gave the training. How do we give you a choice? So, the way I see it is, our role is actually, when we talk about access to education and the quality of education, It must be done collaboratively. It can't be done by just one person. Well, Danacita's role is to open access collaborating with existing training, educational institutions so that, we, in some ways, open the mind. So, someone has a role to provide the training as content providers for example, we open the door to all that, or greater than that, so that people would see it as, "Regardless of my economy, I can study and become a coder, I can become a digital marketer, I can speak English professionally, and compete them.
At the end of the day, why are we also interested in higher education and beyond? It's because we want to see education that could really bridges the employment gap. So we have education to employment gap, what have you learned or what we have now, maybe not suitable or outdated with job requirements. So how can we enforce the making of that bridge. Indeed, you know there are many things that need to be done, so, for us, we want to start with funding, opening the access, maybe in the future we can be partners again, I hope so. - This sounds a bit ironic if we hear that the disbursement of funds for education from the government is huge, 20% of the state budget.
That's just over Rp 400 trillion per year. But the reality on the ground is there are still many who are powerless or unable to be empowered. You're filling that gap.
What I'm curious about is your philosophy. Do you do this just to pick up the ball, or to shape the rhythm of the game? If you pick up the ball, it's like, "Okay, let's just wait. There are people who need money to learn coding for two-three months until he gets a certificate, so he can work in one of the startups, etc." Or, maybe you already have an analysis that this is important for the wider community, to learn how to paint, or to study literature, to study philosophy, to improve the quality of life, Have you been there or not? Or, do you still wait for the ball? - We haven't, this time. But clearly it's in our great mission. Why haven't we? That's because we saw that, one, the homework to pick up the ball is also still difficult.
Back to what Mr. Gita said, willingness to learn, in my opinion, sad to say, in some ways, it is still low in Indonesia. if you compare, at ErudiFi, other than Indonesia, we also serve the Philippines. So I often compare these two markets. In the Philippines, we have a smaller market organic—number of population— but for those who want to learn, you don't need to tell them twice that college is important. So, it's apparent there, we...
- They really chase the ball, don't they? They don't sit still at the goal. - No. Why? Cause I think they see too, as the Philippines's economy rely on... - Services. - Overseas services. How to be able to compete abroad? Education. There could be an argument,
but basically you have to! So, no question to ask. Now it's just a matter of, "okay which campus," and this is our role. In Indonesia, in my opinion, we are still one step behind unfortunately.
Why are there still so many Homework? because in the city of Jakarta, so, we operated a lot in Jakarta now, because it's also crowded, if we look at the campus, it's still in Jakarta, in Jabodetabek, who want to study more than what is required is still minimal. But again, sometimes, I can't blame them, as there are other daily urgencies. - Hence, let's get back to my earlier point. If we look at the Philippines, the remittances that it get every year from Filipino workers working overseas; it's 40 billion dollars. Indonesian workers from abroad, only send a fraction of that, between 10-15 billion dollars even though Indonesia has more workers abroad.
It reflects that workers from the Philippines are at a higher level, and the service provided is of better quality compared to services performed or rendered by workers from Indonesia. Let alone, on the top of that, from call center management and everything done for multinational companies by Filipino workers, that's all 30-40 billion dollars. This is foreign exchange, yes. The math should be that, if we can get 40 billion dollars worth the investment for education so I can work as a nurse in a cool Hospital in Singapore, I can work as IT Manager in Dubai, I can do anything in Pittsburgh. Well, we could form a narrative like that, how we can cooperate with institutions in Indonesia either for vocational purposes, or even for the sake of a cooler degree to fulfill much-needed services not only at home, but abroad.
- That's right, sir. So we picture it... why did we say we haven't, not "we will not"? But it's a play of data and information as well. - Right. - We want to know what kind of works needed.
So I totally agree, technology and language are actually two things which are less empowered in Indonesia. Because if, for example, I look at graduates from the Philippines, they won with language. – Philippines, India, they empowered their languages. - So if from Indonesia, I really believe we are smart, that's not the question.
But how can we compete if we can't convey ideas in our mind? Cannot communicate well? Because the reality on the ground, unfortunately, Indonesian is not a global language, right? So if you don't fix it with language, which our current one is English, right? It'll stuck. and that is very unfortunate. So, I totally agree, and that's our big vision. Hopefully, why my leadership team and I, we always, again, entrepreneurship is a rollercoaster, right. You're up, you're happy, you're down, you're like, "Why am I doing this again?" We always go back, why we are doing this? Because we want to see not just opening access, which is super important, but how can we play more role even for us to foresee 2 -3 steps ahead, where will our world be? How can Indonesia really play a role? and how should we invest now? Well, this is sometimes foamy too, because our we need to invest now, while the return will be there later. What I see, if I can be truly honest here, Indonesians tend to be short-term minded, we think "Short-term-ly".
Because I think… - Most human being. – True. Human being, right. Especially, I think, you know, with the technology that we have now. It's an instant gratification.
So, how do you flip that? How do you say, "Ok, I need to invest for the long-term, now you might not see it, maybe it's just the cost, obviously very real, time, energy. However you believe that in the future, this will lift us up. - Actually, the demand for funding like this, is huge, as long as they can be convinced that this can be paid back with anything to reach at the end of the bridge. And the bridge you provided is a temporary bridge, for the short and medium term, for him to see a much longer bridge, that's the point.
In my opinion, it's just about how can I be convinced. Are you sure you will most likely be at the other point of this river? and at the other point of this river, there are people waiting to empower you with whatever boat you use, or the clothes you wear, the shoes you wear, the hats, etc. Well, that's important.
Because, going back to your words, 70% is the gap, 30% higher education but 70% of it was unserved. Well, if they see this, “Wow! It turned out to be a bigger river, I can work in Dubai, I can work in Pittsburgh, I can work in Singapore, I can work, doing things that not just have and can be done by Filipinos, but even cooler than what they do. I guess it could. - Yes. Hello friends. Thank you for being a loyal friend of Endgame.
Check our new releases of Future Narrators merch. collections, and keep on supporting our mission to find the best ideas from even cooler narrators. The links are in the description.
Now back to the show. So we imagine it, in Danacita, in ErudiFi, we are indeed local students for local universities, first. But it does not rule out something that I want to explore, how can we help open access for schools abroad, for example. Why? That's not only because of the desire to go abroad, but back again to access, access to the best education that you can achieve, that doesn't get limited by geography. Because the reality is now, it's hard to study abroad.
I also feel that and for my grad. education, thank you very much from Ancora Foundation who helped pay for it, otherwise, 3 years, it was quite heavy. But how can we open, so that it's not, let's say just the 1% because based on my experience, Studying abroad opens your mind. - Right, your knowledge. - Yes. And from a community perspective, I'm grateful, I was very lucky to meet friends from all over the world.
In my opinion, it was a very precious experience. Because it's different from just searching online, you can meet the person with the existing complexity with existing views/life experiences, which are rich, so that what I imagine, and in my opinion, what is our benefit, many people from Indonesia go abroad, many go to school/work abroad, but actually in my opinion, there are also many who return, and more and more. Now, maybe two things; how to send more people abroad, not just of certain segments. Secondly, how can we welcome those who come back and ensure that there's an actual employment opportunity here, Or at least they have a chance to make their own jobs. So yesterday I had a chance to chat with friends I asked questions and discuss it Must those who get/receive the LPDP scholarship go home? I am not creating policy, it's just, you know, thought process. Some say "yes" some say "no" for some reasons that make sense.
What I often hear if you don't have to, that's because sometimes there are those who study for ther master's in... I am not a bio person so I feel like I am going to butcher it, but having an expert ice on a very advanced biotech, etc., but once they go back, there is no job available. So, it's hard to say as well.
And I don't think we necessarily have to create but we give space, you're smart people, you come, and create this, and this is an opportunity you can't get if you live abroad. Because you're not going to be as competitive as citizens there, like, that's just the matter of fact. And our country needs, we need this and I'm sure we can in terms of the resources that we have it's just a matter of how to allocate it.
So what I sometimes get annoyed is, "Oh, the potential is huge." - Structurally, education is not only how we formulate thoughts or patterns of thought, but how can we burn what's in our heads so we can imagine we can, as I often call it, democratize ideas. So, if we get excited about it, we should be agnostic about people want to work in Klaten, or in Kuala Lumpur or in Kyiv. as long as we believe that whatever he does in each city or place, it's for his sake to keep on democratizing ideas and learn.
So it's like this, sorry, I kinda want to go back to history, if we look at the period or era of The Enlightenment in the 17th and 18th centuries, it was so obvious that before, they put forward science/rationality/technology, they often exercise very philosophical and philosophizing thoughts, I think it's connected with how we can democratize ideas in our heads and to the people around us. But now, in these past few decades, the tendency is for us to structure mindset too quickly, too soon to put science before philosophy. Well, I don't know, my intuition, I feel this is not healthy because philosophy is important to ensure that there is wisdom in science empowerment. We are very quick to talk about artificial intelligence but we're not too quick to talk about what this philosophy is. This is, for me it's structural for the sake of our educated future.
If we don't teach young people to be more philosophical then they are immediately given a gadget and play it with their two thumbs, will they be wise? How to put this concept into what you do when you donate. This a bit irrelevant. - No, it's a great question and I am a big believer. Quick question, Sir. According to you, would you define philosophy as the way to think or the way to see the world? - Absolutely.
I saw the era of The Enlightenment as a manifestation of the combination between wisdom, and knowledge, and ideas, and information in harmony. Now, we are presented with something very paradoxical where information, ideas, knowledge, wisdom, it should be the same this is because maybe, the philosophizing is lacking. I saw it, hopefully, those who hear this can think more about putting forward topics or the subject of philosophy. Because, it is very important to produce wisdom in technology empowerment. Because, if I ask anyone including you, What is the end of this AI, what are the pluses and minuses? You've got the Elon Musk school of thought, you've got the Zuckerberg school of thought.
But it must be put to context, one is dystopian and the other is utopian. This in my opinion should be discussed because in the future if we do robotization, we do AI empowerment, let alone if it's combined with biological intelligence, It's a bit scary, the consequences, if you don't bar it or if it's not accompanied with wisdom. - Exactly. And in my opinion, wisdom is something you cannot learn from textbook. - Cannot. - You can't just read theories, and
"Okay, now I am wise." But in my opinion, one, life experience. Second, dialogue between people that is not only from one side. So I think for us, although in Danacita obviously, we haven't touched that.
Because this is basically community build that, I mean this is a big problem but I am a big believer that in the end if I pull the red thread, the key thing at least is how we can build people whose souls think... - Complete. - Right. - Or as complete as possible. - Yes. Whose critical thinking is strong. You might not know the what or the how now. - Look, Ketty, if I want to see a child, want to go to school, then I paid the tuition, I don't just want to make sure he can count How much 1 + 1 equals to, but I want him to study philosophy too. Because I don't know how I think That's what will make him complete in the process of him becoming an adult, he becomes part of the wider community that contributes for the nation and state.
Uh... a bit big. But I mean, if you can go there, go there. - Right. The biggest gap is there. If I may ask you, Sir, have you seen, either school or any institution which is actually done that well, both in Indonesia and abroad or what? - I think many schools have done something like that, but it's just the scale and speed. In the end, this is wrapped in the context of competition with other countries which they are vying to put forward.
But maybe the opportunity for us to catch up is much bigger than we thought because most countries only think about science and not about philosophy. So if we refer to the thinkers of ancient times, they mix and combine philosophy and science; mathematicians are also philosophers; Socrates, Pythagoras, Aristotle, Al Khwarizmi, Benjamin Franklin, until now we can see the trends in the past. That's important, in my opinion.
- Yes. I think one way of doing it... so I really agree that for example from the Enlightenment period, Education is holistic, not just practical. Now I think we might put forward, maybe too much on practical stuffs, can these be applied? And, we have to apply it now. If you cannot apply it now, then it has a less value. But in fact, thinking skills are fundamental. What I predict is actually how we are hopefully, right, if I can play a role and I'd love to build, you know, curriculum, school, or some sorts of organization or just community where you basically bake it.
So now the question is how are we going to package this way of thinking this is actually the core. Packaging can be for the business sector, or the health sector or any sector, in the end we can sort out, how do you see the world, it's critical thinking, problem solving, core skills that are intangible. So the question might be how can we make it tangible, so the final layer is about what the application is.
That's my imagination. Hopefully, back again why for us, for me, the education sector is very rich, because there are so many layers which in my opinion still deserves to be improvised and needs innovation. I am a big believer the status quo is no longer possible.
We cannot maintain the status quo. - There's even an observation that curricula in schools around the world might no longer irrelevant for the benefit of us living in the 21st century. And this needs perhaps a structural rethinking, not structural changes to the curriculum, but the first is thoughts. And in Indonesia, from what I see, Let's just look at the sectors that have been disrupted; transportation, retails, and financial services.
But we've only scratched the surface of which financial services contribute only about 40% of our economy. the modern economy, usually, the ratio of financial services to the economy is 100% or above. So we still have a 60% upside, 60% of it is already at 700 billion dollars per year. So, I'm not surprised that there are so many startups just want to get into fintech. But don't forget that there are other sectors that have not been disrupted; agriculture, animal husbandry, education, tourism, health, energy, real estate.
How we could talk to educational institutions, “These sectors have not been disrupted yet" Maybe we can lead your students in this direction, you look for them, I'll fund it, if you can't. - Right. So actually, what we see, because we all play these two sectors; fintech and education. - Yes. And we cooperate with educational institutions.
And then, basically, our hope actually, we want to act as partners for students to plan their long term financially, for investment in education, specifically there, but also with the institution where, "Okay, now you as an educational institution, one, during COVID-19, you know that keeping the status quo isn't possible. Now, about the benefits, the blessings in disguise that I see, rarely does anyone say that, "Okay, we don't need innovation," because they need to, at least for online learning. So how can we make use of it to encourage, again, that this is where we have the data.
We work directly with the students in the field and not only for those enrolled in undergrad program, but also for those who have been working. This means everything is long term from this right, This is an indication, and our hope is we build the information. To get by-end from the educational institution, of course, we need supporting data. So, in the end, it is not what I say, as you can see it from the fact that a number of students want to study here or even we can have a comparison. A number of students ended up needing short trainings.
So why? The thing I want to see more is how in the future, I don't think in the near future, 5-10 years, maybe 10 years, colleges, at least in the formal traditional way, will disappear. I don't think it will go away completely so all become non-degree. The real question for this more traditional education is how can we innovate? And innovation, I wish, is necessary ... I guess change comes step by step
but I think we need, especially in education, a breakthrough. Cause we've been around too long, So the gap that I see in the workplace has changed a lot. What are they doing now? They're just filling up the gap themselves.
Short courses, informal courses, on the job training, etc. What I see now, at least, Of course, in terms of the Ministry that we have now, I was quite, it's refreshing to see a figure like Mr. Nadiem Makarim who quite different to come in. Of course, we still have a lot of homework.
But what I see, what I applaud, is the initiative like Kampus Merdeka program, by given incentives and encouragement that the curriculum must be relevant, If it's not relevant, what's the investment for? From us, why are we still a bit program agnostic? but definitely in the future, as we gather more data, we want to work together with our partners so that Campus A, Campus B, let's see the data that we can get from them. This is the curriculum that needs to be fixed or needs to be replaced or the way it's delivered, at least. So I think, I am hoping with COVID pandemic, and as we embark into a new normal, hopefully, nothing weird anymore, how we, at least don't waste this crisis, as what people say. Innovation, and everything that's good, we take it and we fix it, we develop it more, don't regress. Don't say, "Oh yes, it's safe, it's back to normal."
That's what I think would be a pity, because education, it should be, what I would like to see, Again, I think what's interesting in the Philippines, the education sector is able to attract smart talents to enter the education sector. Meanwhile, in my opinion, Indonesia a lot, not all but a lot which for example I asked, those who took teachers training but when I asked, "Why did you pick a major as a teacher?" "Because it's affordable. That's all I can afford." "Do you want to be a teacher?" "No." It's painful to me, one, it's such a waste.
If that's not your passion, then please pursue your passion. But secondly, why should our teachers are like, again, not all of them, I've seen incredibly dedicated teachers, but the figure of a teacher, lecturer, mentor, should be a source of inspiration. - Yes. – I know it's also close to your heart.
- We talk about this a lot. I'm afraid the cassette is broken. But true, the teacher is the differentiator. – So, how can we uplift the role of teachers? – Even I was held back several times from discussing how can we fund people who want to become teachers? Because the multiplicity is very high.
if we can fund one teacher for him to be a cool teacher, it's impact on not tens, hundreds, but thousands of students in the future are extraordinary. how can we cooperate with educational institutions, "You look for someone who wants to be a teacher, I'll fund it." And we work with who can empower them later. That, in my opinion, is more impactful than we look for people who, not to discount, but it's more impactful than us looking for people who want to learn to be entrepreneur or professional or something like that. But if we fund people who want to be teachers, that's very noble.
– It's in the pipeline, Sir. We've already discussed it and I really want to. – You're going to change the nation in a small way, but really impactful.
Do you use AI in your day to day? – Again, AI is basically placed with data, right. So, sometimes it's chicken or egg. So, right now I would say we're not necessarily using very hi-tech AI, but it's because we have gotten the data. But we are building in-house technology. So technologically, we really build it ourselves because again, in our opinion, this is a new segment.
A new segment where funding for students at that age, is unavailable in Indonesia, in Southeast Asia, minus Singapore. So there's new segmentation, and this is also a new way of thinking. Actually, we get in early so we can also build the right mindset, so that later when we have the data, then we can use the AI robustly. So, it's a step-by-step. So, it is definitely, why we initially should empower technology, that's because of the scalability.
With technology, we can process the data even more dynamically. And secondly, we can achieve, my hope and the one we've been pushing now, how can we reach Indonesian, friends outside of Jakarta, even outside of Java. Additionally, I am grateful that we can see from our campuses in this time of COVID, with online learning it looks like the access is more open which proves actually the thirst for learning is high.
But how can we open the same access, regardless of which island they live in. And our hope is in Indonesia and beyond. It's already in the Philippines. But if for example you want to trace through, how can we even build cross-learning in the region. If we talk about the development of the region, the West have been developing, and I think it's, I hope no one kinda criticizes me but it's almost a sunset era in some ways, you see the rise of Eastern Asia.
My question is, when will Southeast Asia be? Because we are really big, it's hard, because there are so many, we're not monoliths, we are very diverse, in Indonesia alone, it is quite diverse, let alone with different countries. But in my opinion, if we can find out a way, we can work together in this strategic region, where we also become the bridge of the continent of Australia and Eastern Asia and the big Asia continent eventually to European Union. We're strategic. So our hope is, we could have...
actually, when we about to expand to the Philippines, everyone was like, "You guys are crazy, it's just a year, focus on one." But entrepreneurs are crazy, right, in some ways. But I think obviously, my heart is to see Indonesia succeed I think that's very key.
Even if we want to talk about regional, we can't be separated from Indonesia. But how after that we can have cross-sectoral, cross-regional, so that, the opportunities that exist in Indonesia and beyond, one, I hope that Indonesians can learn from neighboring countries maybe you don't even have to go far but if you want it's okay but from Indonesia we can also help. So that we're not just a receiving end And I believe so much that we have the potential to give but how do we do that, how do we unlock that? That's my big hope. But this is long term, it can't be overnight. - Yes. You have to think for long term.
And I am proud that there are already many players in ed-tech in Indonesia it's very encouraging because they seem to think that this is important going forward. Lately that person often talks about the metaverse, any views? – I am not an expert in it, so a disclaimer at the beginning before I say anything wrong. – Neither am I. – So I still have a lot to learn. But I think it's quite interesting because we are already in a situation where technology is here to stay. We've seen maybe a few years ago of Bitcoin, crypto, I think it is here to stay, What does it look like? That's the question. Now this metaverse is even wider in scope, not only in finance, it's like that.
But what role it is going to play, and what kind of impact. So for me, technology has a good side and a bad side. Well, how do we ensure this metaverse can open up the opportunities that exist, the way of thinking that we have, as Mr. Gita said earlier,
how can we possibly use this for build that philosophy of culture in an easier way, let's say, more accessible but don't let technology be our master. So that we depend so much, I haven't watched it recently as much, but a little old school but like an aerobot, sort of the rise of the robot, which the more I see it, the more real it is. I used to watch Black Mirror on Netflix, etc., so this is not too far from the truth. But what do you think about the metaverse? - Oh, it can be long.
But I don't really agree with the concept for us to use tools just to virtualize. Actually, for life, humans are given a gift to do virtualization is called daydreaming or contemplating. That's metaversing. How can we create metaversity for our sakes going forward with imagination, and it can be enriched by reading books, reading fiction/non-fiction literature, autobiographies of people who have greatly influenced the world or the wider community.
I don't know, I see it's more positive than we use tools to virtualize alternative reality which time there seems really good, so back or our cholesterol rises again. We continue to suffer from cognitive dissonance. I'd rather just watch a Bollywood movie full of imagination. – Escape. - Yes. It's not really necessary,
What is healthier is how we imagine and it is pasted with rich readings. But lately, I don't know how a lot of kids are asking about the metaverse. You don't need to wear the goggles, just pick up the literature book. – Exactly. – How about the future, Ketty? For Indonesia in 2045.
Usually at the end of the session we talk about how can you impact or have an impact on Indonesia in 2045. – Big questions. So this is my opinion, hopefully it will be realized too, Again, I am just a woman, need all the hopes I want, and again, I mean this, right, it's great to see a figure like you, where you have experienced a lot of things and you open the way.
Because for me, to have a long-term social impact. And often we see the failure, the failure that occurs. Cause I'm not very old my thirties, this closure, I don't want to say which side of the thirties, But enough to take it with a grain of salt. I see that the existing system, however broken, it exists because there are benefits. - Interesting. – It's delusional to say that, everyone would want to change the system there. Not really.
Because if everything does change, nothing's preventing us. But for the existing system, no matter how bad it is, there must be something that's going to happen. – And it goes on like this. – Right. So how can we maybe I'm less than idealistic, my practical side, how can we work together with those who are more resistant to change so that together we see, by and by but we progress at least upwards or exponentially, or at least the right direction, not going down.
For me, if for example during my master's, honestly, it became the time I gave to myself to encourage or really challenge myself actually, What do I want to invest in the future? And for three years I've not seen things which make me more fire up when we talk about investment in people. And what is investment in people, in short it is education. But education, in my opinion, should not be in the status quo. Cannot be in status-quo. The way we educate children now and not only in Indonesia, globally, it's outdated in my opinion.
It can't keep up with the stages of change in the workplace or in our lives. Like we just talked about; metaverse and technology, 5-10 years from now there may be whatever verse that we might not even know, right. So how can we ensure that our children or us, are well equipped. For me, it requires a whole village, I can't do it alone. So we are very grateful, like you said, that we met a lot of friends who are passionate about education and want to innovate.
for me this is... I hope I don't regret this, because this is recorded, but my commitment to the next stage is indeed focusing on how we innovate in education, in investing in people, not necessarily to get a degree, for me, the degree doesn't really matter, but how it can really build a way of thinking, build skills and knowledge that are more adaptive, not just information, not just to download information, but to sharpen our brains so that we are ready. So, I actually agree with what you say about metaverse, where the data in demand, I totally agree on how do we, one of the homework is to build a culture or to revive reading culture. It's a shame that yesterday, Kinokuniya, at Plaza Senayan was closed. I was devastated. - My favorite place.
So how do you say it... - But you can buy online. - Exactly. So, I was going to say e-books are available,
but how can we accompany it with the use of technology, but also don't omit the manual things so we can create a hybrid solution. We use technology, but not completely, I don't think technology is a silver bullet. Technology is a tool. similaly to us, by opening access, which tools to use, we use financing tools through technology but the focus is on education, investing in people. You give me a lot of homework, I feel like I'm sure I'll take notes from this conversation.
But I totally agree, we want to invest strategically. So I imagine that through Danacita, for however long hopefully much longer than... you know... as long as possible, but I think there is a lot of work to do, So let's start from here we'll see how, but I am very grateful that with the existing community, with friends, you and so many other people that I know that are passionate about education, I think that's the change we need, how can we think about education, innovative in education for the future of our country and our world. – Well said. All the very best, Ketty. – Thank you, Mr. Gita. - Success for you. – It's been a pleasure talking to you
a lot of fruitful talks. – You're welcome. Friends, that's Ketty Lie, co-founder of ErudiFi. Thank you.
[Voiceover: This has been Endgame]