Sustainability on Show at The Apurva Kempinksi Bali

From afar Indonesia can appear as just another anonymous emerging country, something like China but maybe more like India, but when you get here and start to uncover its unique  heritage of history, culture and tradition you realise that – wow – this is a powerhouse of art, dance, architecture, music, design, cuisine, textiles and

The Consultant Conundrum: The Infantilising of Government

First of all, I have to admit, I am, at least part of the time, a consultant, so everything I write from here on in has to be conditioned by that. I am part of the problem, though I have to admit, a very small part indeed… But hold on, I haven’t told you what

Can Jakarta Become a ‘Biophilic’ City? 

I was recently watching a very good documentary on Singapore’s impressive progress on sustainability, which now falls under a new but very relevant term: Biophilia. This is a term given for the love of biodiversity, and whilst it may seem futile to compare what Jakarta has done or can do in comparison, we honestly have

Metta Murdaya: Championing Jamu and Indonesia’s Herbal Traditions

In this far-reaching and diverse interview, NOW! Jakarta publisher Alistair Speirs talks about enterprise in both the cosmetics and jamu businesses with a lady who is a New York-based Indonesian, but really beginning to go worldwide, entrepreneur. Her name is Metta Murdaya and she has recently published a great book called Jamu Lifestyle, which attracted our

Successful Women of Jakarta

What Makes a Successful Woman? Answered by the NOW! Jakarta Community

Everyone’s measure of success is different, but people always look at successful women in a different way to men, sometimes questioning why they have done so well. Publisher Alistair Speirs’ first boss in the City of London was a German lady who succeeded in the cut-throat, public-school, English dominated insurance industry despite all her disadvantages,

The Era of Suspicious Sustainability

Yes, finally it’s the time for everyone to claim “sustainability” as their new mantra, new passion, or in many cases, just their latest marketing campaign. “Surely not“, I hear you say, “doesn’t sustainability have to be real, certified, audited or something to prove the claimant isn’t just giving us a load of hot air?” (or

Can’t be Bothered to go to Work? Here’s why.

I don’t know about you but I honestly believe that governments are elected – and paid – to look after their citizens, exercising their judgment as to the right path of course, but basically looking at the essential elements in the lives of their people and saying: “right we’ve got to fix this or make

Celebrating Imlek, Embracing Identity

It’s not that many years ago that anything even vaguely Chinese was absolutely forbidden in Indonesia, even though for literally hundreds of years there has been a strong presence of ethnic Chinese people here. There was no visible Chinese language anywhere public or published, and certainly celebrations were not allowed in public places. Even the

Rebound and Revival, but no Rethink or Redesign. 

I don’t know if you’ve noticed but life in Jakarta has rebounded to pre-covid levels, and perhaps more. Cafes and restaurants are busy, with the tables quite often full of laptops and notepads, as people take their negotiations to their favourite coffee shops. And there are more and more of them: PIM III is bursting

Gift, Hampers and a Taste of Swiss Diversity

We at NOW! Jakarta have been the very lucky recipient of a lot of gifts and hampers from our partner hotels and restaurants over the last few weeks, for which we are very grateful. And we have to say the standard of preparation and presentation seems to be higher than ever before. Notable for their

Is Travel ‘Necessary’ Amidst Increasing Climate Change?

One hundred and fifty years ago, in the late 1870’s there were no cars, few trains and definitely no airplanes. People travelled locally by coach and horse, or on horseback, or by that much forgotten method: walking. Can you imagine a world that essentially lived within its village, town or city limits, only venturing forth

Terry Burkin and Friends Cianjur Relief: Part 2

We include the second part of this marvellous effort by Terry and now 100 donors and sponsors, with our thanks for their dedication and effort to help. Well done guys! Another long but fulfilling day on our second run up to Cianjur. For this trip, we had 3 cars and a box truck kindly lent

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