Jakarta. President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo is keeping his promise to fill his government with young people, introducing on Thursday seven new special aides aged between 23 and 36. Jokowi said he needed these "millennial aides" to give him fresh, out-of-the-box ideas for managing the country more efficiently.
The new aides – most of them digital startup chief executives – appeared with the president on the veranda of the State Palace on Thursday afternoon, all dressed in crisp white shirts and black slacks – the unofficial uniform of Jokowi's aides – as he introduced them to the public.
Among them were Putri Indahsari, 23, the daughter of media and property tycoon Chairul Tanjung, and deaf activist Angkie Yudistia, 32.
"I will talk to these seven young people every day to give me fresh and innovative ideas, to explore new, out-of-the-box ways to advance this country," the president said.
"I believe fresh and creative ideas will help us develop this nation. But first, let's see if their ideas can be implemented in the government," Jokowi said.
Jokowi said he needed technological breakthroughs and innovations to help him manage the world's fourth most populous nation.
"We have 300,000 schools, we might need an online app to allow the government to communicate with each one of them. We have 514 districts and municipalities, we have to [find ways] to handle complaints and deliver solutions in a timely manner. That's the direction we want to go to," he said.
Jokowi said he also expected his millennial aides to bridge the distance between his government and young people and the Indonesian diaspora around the world.
Here are the profiles of the president's new "seven millennial aides":
1. Adamas Belva Syah Devara, 29
Adamas earned his bachelor's degree from Harvard University and his master's degree from Stanford University. He is the chief executive of education platform and app Ruang Guru.
2. Putri Indahsari Tanjung, 23
A graduate of the Academy of Art in San Francisco, Putri, the daughter of media tycoon Chairul Tanjung, is the chief executive of Creativepreneur Event Creator and chief business officer of art and design platform and app Kreavi.
3. Andi Taufan Garuda Putra, 32
The young entrepreneur is known for his involvement with local small and medium enterprises. The Harvard Kennedy School graduate is also the chief executive of financing firm Amartha.
4. Ayu Kartika Dewi, 36
Ayu founded the Sabang Merauke Foundation, an avid advocate of pluralism. The social activist is a Duke University graduate.
5. Gracia Billy Mambrasar, 31
The Papua-born man is a graduate of the Australian National University and is currently completing his master's degree at Oxford University. The president has given him a special task to work on new ideas to develop the impoverished provinces of Papua and West Papua. He is the chief executive of learning center Kitong Bisa.
6. Angkie Yudistia, 32
Angkie has been deaf since she was ten and is now an activist at the Asia-Pacific Federation of the Hard of Hearing and Deafened and a member of the International Federation of Hard of Hearing Young People. Angkie has been appointed as the president’s spokesperson on social affairs.
7. Aminuddin Ma'ruf, 33
Known as a Muslim activist with moderate views, Aminuddin is tasked with delivering new ideas to modernize Islamic boarding schools and identifying great talents from there.