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Vision and Background

The cities of today appear to be struggling to cope with the multiple problems they are facing. These include serious infrastructure shortcomings, unrelenting rural-urban migration, uncoordinated planning and an absence of a holistic future oriented vision. Despite the urban chaos to lose hope and despair is to give up on cities that will increasingly be home to bulk of humanity in the coming decades.

Transformation and change are vital and the need of the hour. An urgent transformation towards Eco Cities that are bearable, breathable and livable. Since the youth of today will inhabit the Eco Cities of tomorrow they are critical stakeholders whose energy and ideas for change must be understood, appreciated and developed into practical solutions for civic transformation.

Young Leaders for Eco Cities is a youth oriented initiative from EmergingWISE and IndonesiaWISE that are pioneering sustainability oriented consulting solutions for emerging markets. Under this initiative awareness and competency development workshops, research and projects are developed in collaboration with leading high schools and universities. Deserving projects with practical and time bound actions are socialized to responsible corporations with the objective of raising necessary funding support. The focus is on starting with small meaningful steps and achieving impact as quickly as possible. Projects are developed in collaboration with key stakeholders including government agencies, companies, non government organizations, academic institutions and experts in the field.

Benefits to Youth

Young Leaders for Eco Cities is a participative initiative that aims to channel the positive energy of youth (primarily high school students, university students and young corporate professionals) in practical projects in their towns, cities, neighborhoods, fields of work and social engagements. Through interactive workshops conducted with collaborating academic institutions the concept and vision of Young Leaders for Eco Cities is explained to youth.

Interested youth can volunteer to participate in practical projects under guidance and mentorship of project coordinators from IndonesiaWISE and EmergingWISE. Deserving projects with tangible impacts will also be socialized to leading companies for possible sponsorship. Projects are executed with clear milestones, accountabilities, quality assurance and impact assessments.

Volunteering youth are required to complete a registration form and will be sent the quarterly Young Leaders for Eco Cities newsletter as well as provided ongoing guidance. Participation is based on the Young Leaders for Eco Cities P.A.C.T which involves commitments regarding Personal Responsibility, Action Focus, Constructive Attitude and Transformation Orientation. Expectations under the Young Leaders for Eco Cities P.A.C.T are socialized and reinforced periodically by the project coordinators.

Benefits to Companies

The corporate sector in emerging markets is playing an increasingly important role in corporate social responsibility or CSR activities. Leading companies are aware of their social obligations and keen to balance their business models with prevalent cultural values and societal expectations that necessitate greater engagement with neighboring communities and sustainable growth.

IndonesiaWISE and EmergingWISE have been assisting companies in enhancing their sustainability initiatives including CSR. Young Leaders for Eco Cities engages progressive companies through an annual membership process under which companies are offered information about practical projects identified by youth in towns and cities where their plants or offices are situated. Where interest is shown projects are further refined and integrated into the CSR activities of the company.

While execution of projects remains primarily youth driven there are complementary contributions from employees and other corporate stakeholders like suppliers, distributors and so on. Successfully executed projects are a win-win benefiting the community, properly harnessing the energy of the youth and demonstrating the caring approach of companies. It is hoped companies signing up to support Young Leaders for Eco Cities will do so from a long term commitment perspective and integrate the initiative into their annual calendar of CSR activities.

Periodic updates are provided to companies and projects also feature in the quarterly Young Leaders for Eco Cities newsletter.


Young Leaders for Eco Cities hopes to facilitate meaningful change and transformation. Given the enormity of the challenges we have adopted a practical one step at a time approach.

If as a responsible corporation, progressive academic institution or interested individual you wish to engage and be part of this exciting movement please contact information@youngleadersforecocities.com

Our Projects

Young Leaders for Eco Cities – Malang Initiative

Spread over an area of approximately 250 sq kms and having an elevated topography, Malang city in East Java enjoys a rich historical, cultural and academic heritage. But there is an additional rare heritage that this city of close to 1 million residents also enjoys – a green heritage. Unlike most of the other Indonesian cities that are suffering from the serious consequences of chaotic and unplanned urbanization, Malang still retains vast green spaces, gardens, parks and a variety of flora and fauna.

However, these are under growing strain as construction, traffic, garbage and careless lifestyle habits threaten to distort the character of the city. Being the second most important city in the region after Surabaya, Malang is finding development to be a double edged sword. The more it prospers the greater the influx of migrants, haphazard construction boom and adverse impacts on its quiet and natural charm. It is vital that a multi stakeholder approach is urgently adopted to protect and strengthen the green heritage of Malang and address weaknesses that can prevent it from becoming a true Eco City.

To assist in this process IndonesiaWISE has pioneered the Young Leaders for Eco City project. Since 2009 the company has been sharing its expertise with students and youth who have demonstrated commitment, energy, sense of ownership and a willingness to share ideas. Socialization seminars have been conducted, mentoring provided to local conservationists and research compiled including perspectives from officials, academics and citizens. It is hoped that with greater support some of these practical suggestions will be developed into implementation actions.

Through this project IndonesiaWISE is committed to providing long term commitment to preserving a Green Malang. If you want to support this initiative please contact information@indonesiawise.com

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ThinkingWISE™ Quotes
"Satisfaction does not come with achievement, but with effort. Full effort is full victory"
– Mahatma Gandhi
"It takes but one positive thought when given a chance to survive and thrive to overpower an entire army of negative thoughts"
– Robert H Schuller
"Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win"
– Sun Tzu
"It's fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure"
– Bill Gates
"When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge"
– Albert Einstein
"Just as energy is the basis of life itself, and ideas the source of innovation, so is innovation the vital spark of all human change, improvement and progress"
– Theodore Levitt
"The innovate point is the pivotal moment when talented and motivated people seek the opportunity to act on their ideas and dreams"
– W Arthur Porter
"Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. It's not about money. It's about the people you have, how you're led, and how much you get it."
– Steve Jobs
"The nation behaves well if it treats the natural resources as assets which it must turn over to the next generation increased, and not impaired in value."
– Theodore Roosevelt
"After all, sustainability means running the global environment - Earth Inc. - like a corporation: with depreciation, amortization and maintenance accounts. In other words, keeping the asset whole, rather than undermining your natural capital"
– Maurice Strong
"Literacy is at the heart of sustainable development"
– Kofi Annan
"In the long term, the economy and the environment are the same thing. If it's unenvironmental it is uneconomical. That is the rule of nature."
– Mollie Beattie
"The noblest search is the search for excellence"
– Lyndon Johnson
"I wanted to change the rules of engagement, asking for more from fewer. I was insisting that we had to have only the best people...If you wanted excellence, at a minimum, the ambience had to reflect excellence"
– Jack Welch
"You only find out who is swimming naked when the tide goes out"
– Warren Buffet
"All of the top achievers I know are life-long learners... Looking for new skills, insights, and ideas. If they're not learning, they're not growing... not moving toward excellence"
– Denis Waitley
"Strategy 101 is about choices : you can't be all things to all people. Strategy is about making choices, trade-offs; its about deliberately choosing to be different."
– Michael Porter
"Uncommon thinkers reuse what common thinkers refuse"
– JRD Tata
"For me campaigning and good business is also about putting forward solutions, not just opposing destructive practices or human rights abuses"
– Anita Roddick
"We will try to create conditions where persons could come together in a spirit of teamwork, and exercise to their heart's desire their technological capacity"
– Akio Morita
"Be not afraid of greatness : some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them"
– William Shakespeare
"Innovation is the specific tool of entrepreneurs, the means by which they exploit change as an opportunity for a different business or a different service"
– Peter F Drucker
"To prevent environmental catastrophes caused by human negligence or obtuseness or callous obduracy, we need practical reason as well as sympathy and commitment"
– Amartya Sen
"We don't know where the markets are going....we have to observe what's going down, see the trends, look at every vibration on the market, prepare the technology and jump when consumers start to think one way or the other"
– Carlos Ghosn
"I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb"
– Nelson Mandela
"We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths."
– Walt Disney
"The highest use of capital is not to make more money but to make money do more for the betterment of life"
– Henry Ford
"The five elements of success are an openness to learn, meritocracy, speed, imagination and excellence in execution"
– NR Narayana Murthy
"There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else"
– Sam Walton
"We are approaching a new age of synthesis. Knowledge cannot be merely a degree or a skill.....it demands a broader vision, capabilities in critical thinking and logical deduction without which we cannot have constructive progress"
– Li Ka Shing
"If you can, be first. If you can't be first, create a new category in which you can be first"
– Al Ries & Jack Trout
"A business has to be involving, it has to be fun, and it has to exercise your creative instincts"
– Richard Branson
"The innovation challenge will be to craft business strategies that not only deliver unique customer value propositions but also enable a twin impact of ensuring a positive environmental footprint and creating sustainable livelihoods"
– Y C Deveshwar
"Sustainability has become the foundation of almost all economic thinking nowadays. It is essential not only to economic recovery today, but to ensuring peace and security tomorrow"
– Ban Ki-moon
"The world is not ours, the earth is not ours, it's a treasure we hold in trust for future generations"
– African Proverb
"Organizations can either be efficient, open and honest, or they can be closed, conspiratorial and inefficient"
– Julian Assange
"We didn't want people who thought servicing others was demeaning we wanted people with high self-esteem. Not people who said in a crisis, "That's not my job," but people who'd say, "How can I help?" People who'd never answer a customer's question by saying, "I don' know," but rather, "I'll find out""
– Isadore Sharp
"The ability to convey emotion convincingly, from the heart, requires that a leader be sincere about the message being delivered; truly believing the emotional message is what segregates the charismatic leader from the self-serving, manipulative one"
– Daniel Goleman
"When you organize your mind, a sense of power will come to you, and you will soon wonder at the ease with which you can handle responsibilities. Your capacity for work will increase; so will your pleasure in what you are doing. Strain and tension will subside"
– Norman Vincent Peale
"If you want to change things, you have to change yourself. And become a 'DJITU' person. D stands for 'disiplin' (discipline) in whatever we do; J for 'jujur' (honesty), because you win trust with that, it is your capital; I is for 'iman' (faith), which must be strong; T is for 'tekun' (focus) and knowing what you want to be, not scattered doing this and that. And U is for 'ulet' (persistence), because you have to work hard for success"
– Martha Tilaar
"Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall."
– Stephen R Covey
"Organization doesn't really accomplish anything. Plans don't accomplish anything, either. Theories of management don't much matter. Endeavors succeed or fail because of the people involved. Only by attracting the best people will you accomplish great deeds."
– Colin Powell
"It is impossible to go through life without trust; that is to be imprisoned in the worst cell of all, oneself"
– Graham Greene
"It is a thousand times better to have common sense without education than to have education without common sense"
– Robert G Ingersoll
"The best leader is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and the self restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it"
– Theodore Roosevelt
"If a man is called to be a street sweeper he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say: "Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well"
– Martin Luther King Junior
"Innovation in Bottom of Pyramid markets can reverse the flow of concepts, ideas, and methods. Therefore, for an MNC that aims to stay ahead of the curve, experimenting in Bottom of Pyramid markets is increasingly critical. It is no longer an option."
– CK Prahalad
"Each of us carries around a crippling disadvantage: we know and probably cherish our product. After all, we live with it day in and day out. But that blinds us to why the customer may hate it or love it. Our customers see the product through an entirely different set of lenses. Education is not the answer; listening and adapting is"
– Tom Peters
"Many hands, and hearts, and minds generally contribute to anyone's notable achievements"
– Walt Disney
"In the end organizations will move on, brands will morph, market shares will remain cyclical and stock prices volatile. Owners and business partners will also gravitate to the new person holding the seat of power. What will endure for a professional will be his legacy as an inspirational manager"
– Amol Titus
"An optimist sees an opportunity in every calamity while a pessimist sees a calamity in every opportunity"
– Winston Churchill
"Good is the enemy of great. And that is one of the key reasons why we have so little that becomes great"
– Jim Collins
"Leave the beaten track occasionally and dive into the woods. Every time you do so, you will be certain to find something that you have never seen before"
– Alexander Graham Bell
"What is malleable is always superior to that which is immovable. This is the principle of controlling things by going along with them, of mastery through adaptation"
– Lao Tzu
"It's the sign of a leader to step in when something's not working, have the guts to reverse it and not let the mistake linger"
– Jeff Zucker
"In the early days, philanthropy was about creating development institutions such as hospitals, and initiatives of a nature which at the time were more about nation building than ours are today. Today, our philanthropic initiatives have greater focus, for example, on creation of awareness of things like discrimination against the girl child, on microfinance, to get people away from money lenders, on water harvesting and conservation and in moving more to small community initiatives"
– Ratan Tata
"Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself, but talent instantly recognizes genius"
– Arthur Conan Doyle
"It is hard to overstate the importance of reputation in a market economy. To be sure, a market economy requires a structure of formal rules a law of contracts, bankruptcy statutes, a code of shareholder rights to name a few. But rules cannot substitute for character. In virtually all transactions, whether with customers or with colleagues, we rely on the word of those with whom we do business"
– Alan Greenspan
"I have always found that my view of success has been iconoclastic: success to me is not about money or status or fame, it's about finding a livelihood that brings me joy and self sufficiency and a sense of contributing to the world"
– Anita Roddick
"If you do not know how to ask the right question, you discover nothing"
– W Edwards Deming
"My greatest challenge has been to change the mindset of people. Mindsets play strange tricks on us. We see things the way our minds have instructed our eyes to see"
– Muhammad Yunus
"The problem is never how to get new, innovative thoughts into your mind, but how to get old ones out. Every mind is a building filled with archaic furniture. Clean out a corner of your mind and creativity will instantly fill it"
– Dee Hock
"If you hire only those people you understand, the company will never get people better than you are. Always remember that you often find outstanding people among those you don't particularly like"
– Soichiro Honda
"One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one's work is terribly important"
– Bertrand Russell
"The test of a first rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function"
– F Scott Fitzgerald
"Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing"
– Abraham Lincoln
"The two words 'information' and 'communication' are often used interchangeably, but they signify quite different things. Information is giving out; communication is getting through"
– Sydney J Harris
"When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us"
– Helen Keller
"The human being who lives only for himself finally reaps nothing but unhappiness. Selfishness corrodes. Unselfishness ennobles, satisfies. Don't put off the joy derivable from doing helpful, kindly things for others"
– B.C. Forbes
"Any man's life will be filled with constant and unexpected encouragement if he makes up his mind to do his level best each day"
– Booker T. Washington
"The biggest obstacle to learning something is the belief that you already know it"
– Teaching from Zen philosophy
"Technology does not just offer a set of limited functions, it provides a vocabulary of elements that can be put together programmed in endlessly novel ways for endlessly novel purposes"
– W. Brian Arthur
"The real essence of work is concentrated energy"
– Walter Bagehot
"Victory belongs to the most persevering"
– Napolean Bonaparte
"In order for an organization to progress there must be development of six key offshoots of intelligence business, market, technological, customer, creative and practical"
– Amol Titus
"Local managers are best equipped to manage local operations given their understanding of business, customer needs, culture, language, what is said and what is unsaid"
– George W. Buckley
"There are no such things as limits to growth, because there are no limits to the human capacity for intelligence, imagination, and wonder"
– Ronald Reagan
"If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow"
– Chinese Proverb