Promoting Democracy and Inclusivity in The Digitalization Era

the 4-6 December of 2019, Willy Dwira Yudha attended the 3rd Bali Democracy Student Conference (BDSC) as part of the 12th Bali Democracy Forum (BDF) in Nusa Dua, Bali. BDF is an annual conference hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Republic of Indonesia. The forum facilitated dialogues through sharing experiences and best practices in managing diversity that encourages equality, mutual understanding and respect as principles of democracy. This year, Bali Democracy Student Conference raised the theme of “Democracy and Inclusivity” in which digital democracy became the main topic of discussion amongst the best youth leader of the world. The forum attended by 150 youth from 50 countries all around the globe.

Let’s Talk Digital with H.E. Vice Foreign Minister Mahendra Siregar

Upon arrival in Bali, BDSC participants were greeted with a light-discussion with the Vice Foreign Minister Mahendra Siregar about digitalization of Democracy in Courtyard Hotel Nusa Dua. The talk was added to the conference schedule to respond the lessening interest of youth into politics through conventional ways. The reason being, is technological advancement in Industrial Revolution 4.0 and globalization has changed their way of communication. Now, government institutions must reform their way of communication to adapt to change. Mr. Mahendra Siregar said that youth are the largest population in most countries. Their voice is important in order to promote an inclusive democracy; and social media is the way to capture their voice whether it is using online petition, hash tag or trending topics. The talk was closed with a surprise welcoming speech by Foreign Minister Retno L. P. Marsudi.

Before the formal talk in Courtyard hotel, Willy Dwira Yudha had the chance to discuss in private with the Vice Foreign Minister Mahendra Siregar in Soekarno-Hatta airport. In this informal discussion, Willy asked about how Indonesian education institutions can contribute to youth inclusivity of in conducting democracy. His answer was fundamental: (1) Education institutions are here to prepare our youth to deliver quality thoughts that is produced from critical thinking and well-mannered delivery processes; (2) Social Media is a natural product of industrial revolution 4.0 and globalization to capture youth’s voice, government institutions are the ones needed to reform; (3) In recent time, education institution needs to integrate their curriculum and teaching methods with industry; this way, youth can feel that democracy has a major relation to their future well-being.

3rd Bali Democracy Student Conference

The conference was started with a join session with Bali Democracy Forum (BDF) participants and Bali Civil Society and Media Forum (BCSMF). Foreign Minister Retno L. P. Marsudi opened the forum and greeted all Ministers, Vice Ministers, Ambassadors and Diplomats from foreign countries to Bali, Indonesia. Then, participants are preceded to their parallel sessions.

During the three panel discussions, Willy noticed that most student attendees are those pursuing their master’s degree or young research fellow in their local research institutions and embassies. The panel discussions are also moderated and presented by fellow attendees. Those selected students were representative of Italy, Sudan, Russia, Australia and Indonesia covering topics including: (1) Media and Democracy: A Contest of Credibility; (2) Democracy in Digital Ecosystem; (3) Democracy in the Era of Industry 4.0; (4) Social Media as Platform for Freedom of Expression; (5) Promoting Media Role and Literacy Against Hoax; and (6) Demographic Bonus: Opportunities and Challenges of Democracy.

Closing Ceremony and Site Visit

On the last day of the forum, students come out with a Policy Recommendation that was presented in a cross-plenary session with BDF and BSCMF participants. The students were represented by Nyeuvo Veronica Amukushu from Namibia through an open election by the 150 participants. The session was moderated with H.E. Dino Patti Djalal, former Ambassador of Indonesia to U.S. and discussed with 4 other representation from BDF, BSCMF and MOFA RI. The Policy Recommendation by the youth can be retrieved in After the cross-plenary session, H.E. Meutya Hafid, Chairman of the Commision 1 of House of Representative of Republic of Indonesia concluded the 22th Bali Democracy Forum with a closing remarks.

Willy Dwira Yudha