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Jakarta, 19 October 2013

The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time” Abraham Lincoln

So happy that finally, I can see the finish line! Today is my last day of three-week trip in Jakarta, for my final field work to reconfirm my findings with my respondents. I don’t know how I did it, but I eventually managed to submit the first draft of my dissertation on 25 September, one day before my trip to Jakarta.  The last eight weeks have been very exhausting but rewarding, just like delivering a healthy baby after a long labor pain! Since September 1, I have been revisiting my literature review and methodology (chapters 2 and 3); finalizing my chapter 4 (research context – Indonesia), chapter 5 (Astra International), and chapters 6, 7, 8 (the three cases).  The most challenging parts were to write the cross-case analysis and discussion (chapter 9) and the conclusions, implications, limitations, and further research (chapter 10).  Finally, I managed to put all chapters together, wrote chapter 1 and submitted the whole thesis as my first draft on 25 September.  I gave the title of my thesis “to prosper with the nation: the social capital that bridges CSR programs and corporate sustainability in a developing country”.  I felt very exhausted actually, but relief. I still couldn’t believe that I could produce a thesis, my 3 ¾ years of work as an entirety. Continue Reading »

Canberra, 25 August 2013

Riding bicycle taxi during my fieldwork in Sunter, North Jakarta, 2011Few days ago, 23 August 2013, the Indonesian Commission of Election (KPU) announced the permanent list of candidates who would participate in the national election on 9 April 2014.  My name is there, representing Jakarta III (West Jakarta, North Jakarta, and Thousand Island area) from PDIP (Indonesian Democratic Party Struggle).  That means I need to get 100,000 votes from the area to secure my seat as an MP (Member of the Parliament) at the National Parliament of Indonesia (DPR-RI).

I have started writing about my motives in running for an MP.  My intention is to start building a more dignified Indonesia for my son’s generation and beyond, by being a change agent in DPR-RI.  I have posted my story at Neng Koala: http://nengkoala.com/2013/08/05/saya-bercita-cita/ and shared it on my FB wall and FB groups of alumni from secondary school to post graduates.  It attracted quite a number of readers.  After 20 days of posting, I had 1,556 readers.  Not bad.  I hope it could achieve 10,000 readers by March 2014, so it could reach its viral effects.

My postings in public domain have attracted many comments: pessimistic, optimistic, doubtful, encouraging… mixed responses.  From there, I can understand what people expect from me, if I indeed become an MP.  Below is an excerpt from one of my dialogues with a friend, taken from my post in the ILUNI UI (University of Indonesia alumni FB group, with the consent from the inquirer):

Q & A taken from the FB group of the University of Indonesia alumni: Continue Reading »

Canberra, 13 August 2013

We have just celebrated Ied al Fitr on 8 August after fasting for 29 days.  It has been a tradition in Canberra that the Embassy conducts shalat tarawih every Saturday during the fasting month where the hosts take turn.  Usually, the Ambassador would host the first weekend of shalat tarawih at the residence.  The second, third and fourth tarawih were done at the ‘Balai Kartini’ of the Embassy with Indonesian Muslim community taking alternate responsibilities to host the tarawih.  At home, I was fortunate to have Pugo who stayed with us when Kanya was traveling to Turkey.  He was a good Imam, and he led our tarawih prayer during weekdays.

As for me, I could not attend the first tarawih at the Ambassador’s residence as it coincided with the welcoming and farewell of ANU students.  It was difficult to find a schedule to fit everybody so they could attend the event.  Both PPIA ANU farewell and the tarawih at the residence were important.  People were split between the two events.  Nevertheless, I decided to come to PPIA ANU gathering to meet and greet my new friends and my old friends who were leaving.  I was a small but nice and cozy gathering.  We truly enjoyed each others’ company. Continue Reading »

Canberra, 21 July 2013

Apparently there has been no downhill in doing PhD.  Just when I felt relief as I managed to submit two conference papers in the last few weeks, I had to go back to my dissertation chapters.  When I started to do my cross-case analysis (chapter 9), discussions, implications, limitations and further research (chapter 10), and conclusions (chapter 11) few weeks ago, I realized that I would not be able to do those last chapters without improving my literature review.

My thesis is about the linkages of CSR, social capital and corporate sustainability in the context of developing countries.  There are recent research about the role of companies in developing countries that should go beyond economic interests (e.g. Scherer and Palazzo, 2011) .  There are also studies on the role of social capital in improving the capabilities of the people at “bottom of the pyramid” (who earn below $2 per day) so people can function in living their lives they chose to live (e.g. Anshari et al, 2012). Therefore, I need to enhance my literature to be able to analyze the last three chapters of my dissertation. Continue Reading »

Canberra, 4 July 2013

Today is Rifqi’s birthday. Alberth, Pugo and I woke him up at 7am to remind him that an 18 year-old grown up should wake up early in the morning.  Starting today, he is an independent and a legal person with huge responsibilities ahead of him. Special thanks to mbak Dina and Merry for delicious and pretty birthday cakes.  Indeed, it was such a blessed day for Rifqi that he blew candles in the morning (mbak Dina’s cheese cake) and at the dinner (Merry’s green tea cake).

Kanya had the opportunity to capture his birthday wish, taken on 17 May 2013. A very cute and candid video. Gotcha Rifqi! Continue Reading »

Canberra, 28 June 2013

On 27 June, Anne (my PhD colleague whom I share my PhD office with) and I had another opportunity to record and report on the National Business Leadership Forum on Sustainable Development (NBLF)[1] at the Parliament House.  For this year, the theme was Investing in Sustainable Security: Business leadership in a world of strategic risk and opportunity”.  It was the 13th forum since NBLF was established in 1998. NBLF is a not-for-profit organisation that organizes high profile annual event on sustainability issues in the Australia. Continue Reading »

Canberra, 15 June 2013

For the last few months, starting in January actually, I have decided to reduce my social activities and focus on finishing my dissertation.  I’ve deactivated my facebook account temporarily, and only attended social events which were compatible with my schedules.  But on mid May, mbak Kusuma invited mbak Dewi, mbak Iwu, mbak Betsy, Tante Mar, mbak Vonny, mbak Yuni and I to climb Mount Taylor which was located behind her house in Wodden.  Hence, our adventure in conquering mountains in Canberra  began…

The Mount Taylor walk (around 3km up and down the hills) happened to be very refreshing for us. The views, the exercises, the conversations, and importantly the lunch (hosted by mbak Kusuma) proved to be a wonderful day out for the ladies.  So we decided to do it as our regular activity… And we did!

Mount Ainslie (3.5 km return trip) was the hill that we have conquered next, on 9 June 2013.  We had the same group of people with additions of mbak Naniek and mbak Tiwi.  Again, we were very fortunate.  Our friend, Erna (actually I just got introduced), hosted a bubur ayam and mie ayam lunch at her house although she herself didn’t climb Mt Ainslie…  So, it was another delightful experience. Continue Reading »