Wednesday, September 27, 2023 | 16:24 WIB

Will Indonesia Young Voters use their power to shift to a more Sustainable Indonesia?


Jakarta, IO – Counting months toward the Indonesia presidential election held in February 2024, many have declared names to be candidates for Indonesia Presidential Election. Looking at the previous cycle, the momentum will be a great opportunity for Indonesians to communicate their aspirations–including demand to become more sustainable. Since this world pressing issue (sustainability) is not only imperative to the government but also business and surely influences individual day to day life, will this concern relevance for the upcoming 2024 presidential election in Indonesia to attract especially those, the youth? 

How powerful are Indonesia ‘s young voters to shift Indonesia’s future to be more sustainable? 

As predicted by CSIS through their survey in August 2022 (Rilis Survei Pemilih Muda dan Pemilu 2024: Dinamika dan Preferensi Sosial Politik Pasca Pandemi), youth will have the highest portion of voter population accounted for about 54% with increasing numbers of participation from election in 2014 (85.9%) to 2019 (91.3%) as per Which means, young voters (age: 15-39), Z generation (age 17-23) and Millennial generation (age 24-39), have huge opportunities to bargain with their demand–including to embrace and emphasize Indonesia sustainability needs since the decisions made by them today will have a profound impact on their future as well as their planet. 

(SOURCE: CSIS (2022))

Indonesian youth would likely vote for a candidate having vision on environmental issues, employment, democracy and corruption. As per the data above, although environmental issues may only have 2.3% of priority in mind as compared to other issues such as public welfare (44.4%), employment (21.3%) and corruption (15.9%), but when they were asked on whether or not it is urgent to solve climate change problem, the majority (76.9%) agreed that it is strongly urgent– showing their concern on the issue that led to their candidate choice. Therefore, leader comprehension on sustainability agenda becomes more and more important nowadays considering that the field covers three fundamental issues, namely: environment, social and economic. Unlike an unsustainable one, a candidate having a long-term sustainability mindset as demanded by young voters may have a strategy not only to try to adapt and mitigate climate change but also see opportunity in it as a good investment for its people. Not only viewing it from an environmental and social responsibility perspective but also finding its economical value as a way to adapt and compete in the market. 

How comprehensive is the sustainability vision and agenda of your preferred candidate? 

Comprehension on Economic Resilience 

Børge Brende and Bob Sternfel wrote in collaborative report by World Economic Forum and Mckinsey (2022) on Resilience for sustainable, inclusive growth that “Resilience should be seen as the ability to deal with adversity, withstand shocks, and continuously adapt and accelerate as disruptions and crises arise over time.” 

“Resilience has been described as the ability to recover quickly but recovery alone is not an adequate goal. Truly resilient organizations bounce back better and even thrive.” 

The world’s unprecedented challenges such as Covid-19, Russia-Ukraine War, and others have given us an alarm on the importance of economic resilience. In addition to that, a report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) also highlights that “this economic resilience involves preventing the build-up of potential vulnerabilities, preparing to absorb shocks when they occur, and engineering a swift rebound from those shocks”. 


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