Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi spoke in 2015

FPCI to Host Next Conference on Indonesian Foreign Policy Next Month


SEPTEMBER 07, 2018

Jakarta. The Foreign Policy Community of Indonesia, an independent think-thank on foreign relations, will host the next edition of its flagship conference in Jakarta on Oct. 20.

FPCI founder Dino Pati Djalal, a former Indonesian deputy foreign minister, said he aims to repackage discussions to repeat the success of the annual Conference on Indonesian Foreign Policy.

More than 6,500 people attended last year's conference, while in 2016, the Indonesian Museum of Records recognized the annual event as the world's largest conference focusing on Indonesian foreign policy.

Dino said this year's conference, with the broad theme of "A Dangerous Drift: Ideas to Fix a Broken World," will repackage discussions to prevent it from becoming "dry" and only appealing to the small group of people who share the same interests.

"Our aim this year is to get more than 7,000 [attendees]," said Dino, who is also a former Indonesian ambassador to the United States.

The FPCI is currently in the process of inviting up to 100 speakers to address 20 parallel sessions during the full-day seminar. Dino said he aims to get a balance between speakers from Indonesia and abroad. Like last year, this year's event will also take place at Kota Kasablanka shopping center in Tebet, South Jakarta.

The FPCI is a nonprofit organization that provides research and data, while also engaged in various discussions on foreign policy matters related to geopolitics, globalization, urban development, diasporas, emerging powers and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).

Finding New Stars

Dino said the conference also seeks to present new speakers and find "new stars" among foreign policy experts, either academics or professionals.

"We want to find new good people who are not yet on the radar," he told the Jakarta Globe recently.

"If you package foreign policy like the way it has been packaged ... with the same kind of language, it becomes very technocratic, very elitist and you only get a small circle of people who will come.

"But when you change the language, then you make foreign policy not just interesting but also inspiring and relevant."

Dino has played a central role in Indonesian foreign policy, having been a career diplomat for many years.

He said some high-profile startup founders or executives may be invited to speak at this year's conference to appeal to millennials and talk about what globalization means for young people.

Dino, who is also a youth ambassador and chairman of the board of trustees of the Indonesian Diaspora Network Global (IDNGlobal), said the FPCI will "glamorize" the event to lure more participants with famous celebrities who can present themselves in a smart way and talk about popular issues.

"We will appeal to their idealism," Dino said, adding that Indonesia has many well-educated celebrities who may wish to go beyond their popularity as public entertainers and show the public that they can also talk about heavyweight topics.

Under the slogan "Festival of Diplomacy," the Conference on Indonesian Foreign Policy has proven itself over the past few years in attracting not only diplomats and academics, but also many stakeholders, including people from the business community, local government leaders and students.

Last year's conference hosted House of Representatives Speaker Zulkifli Hasan and Prabowo Subianto, founder and chairman of the opposition Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra).

The following themes will be discussed during this year's conference:

  1. Are we on the verge of a trade war and how can we fix it?
  2. Indonesian foreign policy update: From Trans-Pacific Partnership to global maritime fulcrum: Evaluating President Joko "Jokowi: Widodo's foreign policy in the last four years and what to expect over the next 12 months.
  3. Foreign policy in the age of disruption: Where artificial intelligence, big data, robotics and automation will take us and how countries are responding.
  4. The unraveling of the liberal international order: What are the alternatives and how will this play out?
  5. Indonesia and Southeast Asia: Are we complacent about our most important strategic theater?
  6. The global economy in 2018: Risks and opportunities.
  7. The Indo Pacific: Going somewhere or going nowhere? Evaluating points of convergence and divergence.
  8. Regions that are changing the world: The new forces of change in the Middle East, Europe, Latin America and Africa.
  9. Pioneering companies to watch: The art of going global and going local.
  10. 5x3: Five distinguished panelists each highlight three effective solutions to today's global and local problems.
  11. The return of the angels (Part 3): How millennials see the world and what they want to see fixed.
  12. The new geopolitics of connectivity: The new competition and cooperation between major and regional powers.
  13. The multilateral agenda: What is the state of play, how do we accelerate and who will lead?
  14. The Korean Peninsula: Assessing the prospects for normalization, denuclearization and reunification.
  15. Asean in a sea change: The struggle for centrality and coherence.
  16. The human security agenda: Refocusing on conflicts, refugees, modern slavery, radicalism and terrorism.
  17. The global military buildup and militarization: How can we keep this from spiraling out of control?
  18. Last chance: As some nations lose focus on the climate issue, can we still achieve climate security? What needs to be done?
  19. What is going on with emerging and middle powers? What can we realistically expect from them – including Indonesia – in shaping world affairs?