Written by Student Reporter (Deo Fernando, Entrepreneurship 2021)

“Sustainability is not about moral movement, but it is our need,” Said Melia Famiola when opening the webinar that discussed social and ecopreneur contribution to SDGs. 

Nowadays, environmental and social problems arise in Indonesia day by day and must be resolved immediately. With that in mind, SBM ITB and the Principles of Responsibilities Management Education (PRME) held a webinar and guest lecture about youth ecopreneurs. PRME is an initiative by the United Nation to promote sustainable development goals among business schools all over the world including SBM-ITB. The webinar was attended by Ricky Elson who is the founder of Lentera Bumi Nusantara, and moderated by N.Nurlaela Arief, a lecturer of environmental management system & sustainability SBM ITB.    

Ricky Elson is an Indonesian technocrat who passed his education and 14 years of work experience in Japan. Ricky was more concerned about sustainable issues after his company was attended by representatives of the United Nation who talked about sustainability. It made him remember Indonesia and wanted to contribute more to Indonesia. “From 2010 to 2011 I travelled around Indonesia and found that many Indonesians still experienced poverty, unavailability of clean water, unavailability of electricity, and no access to education,” he revealed.

From that situation, Ricky who has expertise in Mechanical Engineering then had a strong motivation to fix the lag by collaborating and empowering people around. Ricky said that in 2011 with a team of around 10 youths, he created a place to develop the potential through technology and contributed to the development of the nation, and solved the problem. Then, they established a sociopreneurship named Lentera Bumi Nusantara which not only engaged in food and energy but also knowledge sharing and empowering the society. Lentera Bumi Nusantara that is located in Ciheras, Tasikmalaya, has grown significantly. “Today, Ciheras has been visited by more than 2000 students who learned about sustainability and electricity,” he said on Thursday, (26/11/2020). 

There, besides developing the windmill to produce electricity, they also developed some products such as Moringa leaf tea bags, forest honey, and virgin coconut oil to support food security. He said that, before, people ignored the Moringa leaf. But actually, Moringa leaf is rich in vitamins and minerals that can support food security. Then they can process it into a product and sell it. 

Lastly, he advised students to pursue their vision by doing it step by step and to make sure that every day has progressed. “Every morning I asked my team what to do, and at night I asked them what had been done,” he said. Then, he emphasized that it is crucial to have a mindset that wants to grow together and takes into consideration all relevant aspects such as the environment and society when establishing a business or a movement.