A Birthday Wish for DKI Jakarta

How should cities “develop”? And what can we do to ensure it is done correctly? Those are probably the questions that many people inside – and outside – the city government are asking. What do we have to do to ensure a good future for the citizens of the city of Jakarta, especially when it

Alistair Speirs

Vox Populi: What Are Your Hopes for a Non-Capital Jakarta?

In losing its title as Indonesia’s capital city, Jakarta must spread its many feathers to show the world what it has to offer. So, NOW! Jakarta asks prominent figures what their hopes are for a Jakarta without its title, asking them to answer about their field, industry or community. Here’s what they had to say:


Growing Naturally: Meet Michael Lorenti, Founder of Sensatia Botanicals

Photography graduate turned adventurous surf-traveller turned skincare entrepreneur, Michael Lorenti’s previous life offers a glimpse as to why he runs Sensatia Botanicals the way he does, i.e. full of heart. As CEO and Founder of this wildly successful, Bali-born skincare brand, Michael Lorenti has imbued his love for nature and community into the very fibre of

Room to Read: Scaling Access to Libraries and Storybooks in Indonesia

Founded in 2000, global non-profit organisation ‘Room to Read’ has brought the magic of reading to children in marginalised regions across the world. The organisation’s core belief is that by designing and providing reading materials and programmes, educational outcomes will significantly improve. They continue this mission here in Indonesia. Working in 24 countries, since its

Can Surabaya Become a Sustainable City?

Surabaya is probably not the first place you would have chosen as the preferred model for sustainability – its hot, busy, industrial and very developed… but as you will see when we examine all the reasons and criteria, it has an excellent chance of indeed becoming the first Indonesian city to be at least on

Kartini Day Commemoration: Beyond the Ritual

Based on a Presidential Decision issued by President Sukarno in May 1964, 21st April is celebrated as Kartini Day in Indonesia, to honour the national heroine recognised as a pioneer for female emancipation in the country.  School girls and sometimes female office workers would dress up in kebayas, to go to school or work, similar

East Meets Wines: Pairing with Asian Cuisine

Leading up to this year’s Chinese New Year celebrations I received many questions about what wines pair best with Chinese food. As you can imagine, many dishes from this rich and flavourful cuisine won’t find a good pairing, but a handful result in some surprisingly delicious combinations! Firstly, let’s get to back to the fundamentals


The Ambassadors Round Table: Edition 1

The Ambassador’s Round Table highlights the important diplomatic relationships Indonesia has with the global community, made possible through well-established, Jakarta-based embassies. Hosted by NOW! Jakarta Founder, Alistair Speirs, this forum gives a platform for prominent Ambassadors to Indonesia to share more about their respective country’s programmes and on-going objectives here in Indonesia. Edition 1 welcomes

Indonesian Democracy in Process: A Historic & Contemporary Review

On 14 February 2024, Indonesia held its simultaneous general and presidential elections. This has attracted global attention as it is the largest democratic process of its kind in the world; whatever opinion one might have on its outcomes, the sheer scale of its process is without a doubt an impressive feat. The geographic and demographic

The Evolution of Chinese-Indonesian Rights and the Sign of a New Indonesia 

In the Indonesia we see today, one might take for granted the freedoms and liberties we currently have. However, older generation Chinese-Indonesians are one group that certainly do not take this lightly, many of whom continue to live with the mental and emotional scars of the country’s darker, discriminatory past. The open cultural celebrations of

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