Jakarta Compassionate Systems workshop and Southeast Asia network

The British School of Jakarta (BSJ), a prestigious International Baccalareaute anchor school, hosted over 60 educators from Southeast Asia for the first regional Introduction to Compassionate Systems workshop on December 9-11, 2019 led by Mette and Peter. The workshop grew out of over a year of building capacity within BSJ and their wanting to engage other Indonesia schools and education innovators from the region.

In addition to almost forty Indonesians, the workshop gathered teams from Singapore, Thailand (both led by participants in the Master Practitioners Certification program), Australia, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. The participants included fifteen BSJ students who are part of the global youth ambassador community and have been teaching the Compassionate Systems tools to the younger BSJ students this past year. The Indonesia participants also included the innovative school community and web-based organizations working with young people beyond school.  Altogether, it was a wonderful group of diverse, highly experienced, and committed educators from a broad cross-section of influential organizations across the Southeast Asia region.

Time will tell, but we left the session feeling that this group could be the seeds for a strong Southeast Asia regional community, with potentially each group becoming a local hub. Indeed, before the session was over, the Hong Kong group, who have also been founding members of MIT J-WEL, had begun to organize the next capacity building workshop, now scheduled for March 16-18 in Hong Kong. Mette will co-lead the session with some of the regional master practitioners.

As the world’s fourth largest country by population and largest Islamic country, Indonesia is also one of the most culturally diverse countries on the planet with over five hundred native languages spoken across literally thousands of islands. But despite its uniqueness, the country is also facing the same imperative for basic innovation in education as we all are, and seems serious to rise to the challenge.  Only a few months before the workshop, Nadiem Makarim, one of the country’s most successful technology entrepreneurs, was named as the new Minister of Education. Within a few months, he initiated a series of radical policy changes including breaking down the traditional national testing regimen, devolving more authority to local schools, and inviting many from outside the traditional power structure to come forward with new ideas for innovation in pedagogy and educator capacity building.  We look forward to exploring how the principles and practices of Compassionate Systems could provide an underlying coherence for the diverse innovations Makarim hopes to encourage.

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