9 October 2023

Champions of Sustainability: National Youth Ideathon's Grand Finale on Food Management and Circular Economy

Jakarta, Indonesia – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Indonesia, through The United Nations Partnership for Action on Green Economy (UN-PAGE) and the Circular Economy (CE) Project in close collaboration with The Ministry of National Development Planning/Kementerian PPN-Bappenas, has successfully concluded and executed a Final day Presentation of “National Youth Ideathon: Better Management of Food Loss and Waste to Support Green and Circular Economy” competition on 3rd of October 2023 (hybrid) at Borobudur Hotel Jakarta. This event brought together young students, innovators, and practitioners between the ages of 18 and 35 to address pressing issues related to green and circular economy, with a special emphasis on better management of food loss and waste issues in Indonesia.

The National Youth Ideathon has witnessed an exceptional response with a total of 289 proposals submitted. These proposals were classified into two categories, 210 from groups and 79 from individuals. Impressively, a total of 897 individuals from 33 out of 38 provinces in Indonesia participated in this ideathon, demonstrating a remarkable nationwide reach. Furthermore, gender representation remained balanced, with 47% of participants being male and 53% female. In a noteworthy addition to this remarkable competition, young Indonesians currently pursuing their education abroad in countries such as the USA, UK, China, Egypt, Australia, New Zealand, and Taiwan also participated. This global engagement further enriched the ideathon by bringing in diverse perspectives and innovative ideas from the international community.

Following an intensive screening process, 25 outstanding proposals from 289 proposals submitted emerged as semi-finalists, and from this poll, 15 grand finalists were selected to present their visionary ideas on the final presentation day. As a part of the collaboration and partnership, the Director of Environmental Affairs-Bappenas, Dr. Medrilzam delivered the welcoming remarks to officially open the event. This event was a vibrant showcase of creative ideas and sustainable solutions. The primary objective was to foster innovative thinking and simulate business plans for managing food loss and waste in Indonesia, encompassing urban, rural, and coastal contexts.  

After a rigorous evaluation process that involved five (5) reputable judges from various backgrounds (Government Officer, UN Officer, Academia, and Practitioner), the winners of the competition were announced:

1st Place: Slamet Riyadi, with the innovative concept titled "We-Lab (Waste to Energy Lab): Metode Pengumpulan dan Pengolahan Minyak Jelantah menjadi Biodiesel 100% (B-100) dengan rancang bangun teknologi tepat guna untuk efisiensi dan safety, sabun cuci tangan padat dari gliserol limbah pembuatan biodiesel dan lilin aromaterapi 100% nabati dengan menggunakan minyak kedelai dari ampas tahu (soywax) dan esessential oil dari limbah pertanian."

2nd Place: CFEM Team, impressing the judges with their idea "Fish Protein Concentrate (FCP): Bahan Pangan Fungsional dari Limbah Rebusan Industri Pindang Ikan".

3rd Place: Endura Team, presenting their vision of a "Sistem Pengemasan Busa Penyekat Berbahan Dasar Selulosa untuk Mendorong Ketahanan Pangan Buah dan Sayuran".

These outstanding ideas not only showcase the spirit of innovation but also represent significant steps toward a greener and more circular economy for Indonesia. Their innovative approaches and passion for addressing food loss and waste management have marked them as true champions of sustainable development solutions. The event emphasized the importance of engaging the youth in the policy-making process moreover innovative ideas will be adopted in the process and development of the Circular Economy national and strategic action plan in Indonesia. The first winner will be invited by Bappenas on the 10th of October to present their innovative and stupendous ideas in the commemoration of the International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste.

(UNPAGE Project, October 2023)