In collaboration with the Asian Universities Alliance (AUA), Universitas Indonesia, a member of AUA, held the 2021 AUA Academic Conference on Global Strategies for a Resilient and Sustainable Post Pandemic World towards a Better Future for All on 26-27 October 2021. The conference brought experts from various backgrounds, stakeholders and of course, scholars and students to speak about the weighing points from their expertise and/or experiences on the effort of creating a Post-Pandemic’s better future.
Professor Ari Kuncoro, Rector of Universitas Indonesia, pinpointed the pandemic as a global crisis that needed a dire response. Quoted from his early speech, “The crisis calls for an urgent commitment of all sectors, including academics, to overcome all of the continued challenges” and this very conference is part of the big picture of those commitments mentioned.
Professor Qiu Yong, President of the Asian Universities Alliance and Tsinghua University, also gave a speech. During his speech, Prof. Qiu Yong said that the difficulties caused by the pandemic were unprecedented, however, he was thankful that the unity and courage demonstrated by AUA member universities during the pandemic were also unprecedented. He introduced Tsinghua University’s experience in working towards the 17 SGDs promoted by the United Nations. He expressed agreement on the emergence of thinking on what will make universities resilient and strong in the face of the pandemic. “As we work to build a resilient and sustainable world, multi-disciplinary interplays and synergies can generate new strengths and provide innovative solutions to multi-faceted challenges,” said President Qiu.
As the conference officially opened, Dr. Ir. Hi. Suharso Monoarfa as the Minister of National Development Planning and Dr. Suminto, representing the Ministry of Finance of Indonesia, delivered keynote speeches.
The plenary session continued right after the two keynote speakers addressed their speeches and it went just as all the remarks and keynote speakers wished, a fruitful discussion. Prof. Ir. Gunawan Tjahjono, M.Arch, Ph.D, the architect of Universitas Indonesia’s Rectorate Building who is also one of the prominent architects from UI, effectively moderated the discussion between all the cross-sectors representation of the plenary speakers. All of the speakers gave their insight that started off with Emeritus Prof. Stefano Varese from UC Davis, USA, continued with Prof. Dr. Riri Fitri Safitri who talked about the sustainability of the Sustainable Campus Concept. Then, Prof. Neil Collins from Nazarbayev University gave his perspectives through the lens of the geopolitical atmosphere and ran on Dr. Gwimi Sebastian Peters as Nigeria’s Director of the Code of Conduct Bureau with his updates and perspectives from Africa in general, especially Nigeria.
Lastly, the regent of North Minahasa as the first discussant brought a local example of how the district government handled the situation so far and challenges that opened wide for the Academics to think more of the answers. Prof. Dato’ Dr. Ahmad bin Ibrahim stepped in the discussion as the second discussant. Several questions from the audience, and then Prof. Tjahjono moderated all the experts to have a say on respectable questions and discussions.