As international event, WCF, organized and initiated by Indonesia through Ministry of Education and Culture, is an avenue to discuss strategic issues and recommend policies to the sustainable development, particularly with respect to peace, prosperity, preservation, and development of the high quality of life towards the global civilization. The selection of venue in Bali is considerate to be the central place to discuss the development of world culture. The Forum is part of continuous major efforts geared to encourage and promote culture as a driver and enabler of sustainable development. The central theme of the WCF 2016 is â€œCulture for an Inclusive Sustainable Planetâ€. The Forum will bring local wisdom and culture from Indonesia and the world, bridged by technology to become global values for sustainable future development.
Over 1,500 participants are expected to attend the upcoming forum. Along with the Grand Plenary and six Symposiums, the Forum will feature Ministerial Forum, Youth Forum, and the Cultural Tour in Bali. The Forum will have a special meaning for participants as it will allow them to re-experience, re-conceptualize and rejoice the culture. WCF 2016 invites Heads of State, Nobel Laureates, Ministers of Culture, top experts, senior policy-makers, NGOs, Youth and Academia, cultural practitioners and other stakeholders to attend this significant global gathering. WCF is expected to revisit local wisdom for the subsequent transformation into global values that will foster international understanding.
The Forum will be attended by Keynote Speakers such as Ban Ki Moon (UN Secretary General), Irina Bokova (Secretary General of UNESCO) through video conference, Megawati Sukarnoputri (Indonesian 5thPresident), King Abdullah II (King of Jordan), and Justin Trudeau (Prime Minister of Canada). Meanwhile, as a speaker at the symposium will present well-known names such as Ridwan Kamil (Mayor of Bandung), Aleta Baun (Village Head Mollo of East Nusa Tenggara), Celio Turino (Culture Points, Brazil), Jill Cousins (CEO of Europana), Shinsuke Ota (Japan Water Agency), Wayan Windia (Expert Subak), and Desi Anwar (CNN Indonesia).
The names above will share their knowledge and experience in the symposiums to discuss sub-themes WCF in 2016, among others: Reviving Culture for Rural Sustainability; Water for Life: Reconciling Socio-Economic Growth and Environmental Ethics; Interweaving History, Urban Space, and Cultural Movement; Culture in the New Digital World; Reconciling State, Community, and Cultural Divides; and Cultural Diversity for Responsible Development. These themes have been selected as they are viewed as the important issues of the sustainable development.
Indonesian Minister of Education and Culture of Indonesia, Muhadjir Effendy, said about the importance of culture as a source of sustainable development, and was confident that WCF could be the useful avenue of human development. "I believe it's time for us to create a platform of mutual understanding and respect for cultural diversity," he said. Culture is an important component. This forum provides an opportunity on how culture helps sustainable development," he said. Minister of Education also stated that culture could be the â€œdriverâ€ and â€œenablerâ€ of sustainable development. "We have to be able to conduct the cultural partnership in all aspects of our lives," Minister said.
Director General of Culture, Ministry of Education and Culture, Hilmar Farid expressed that WCF 2016 is expected to be a forum for participants to experience the cultural richness of interaction with Indonesia. "Indonesia, as the home of incredibly rich culture, should be viewed not merely a cultural heritage, but as a fundamental element of the future," said Hilmar. Ministry of Education and Culture Indonesia hopes that WCF 2016 could be the bridge of three components: the bridge between the past and the future; the bridge of yesterday generation and future generation; and the bridge between legacy and modern landscape.
"Indonesia is the home of the cultural diversity. We can see how people shape ecosystems through our wealthy culture, and that will be the main core for discussion. Thus, at 2016 WCF, Indonesia not only serves as a host but also as a place for participants to experience the interaction with the richness of our culture," he continued.
Azyumardi Azra, one of the WCF Steering Committee asserted that Indonesia is a relatively safe and peaceful country. The general election process, for example, was safely and successfully organized. Among other things, the peacefulness is aimed because the cultural diversity. Multi-cultural diversity is a most valuable asset, and Indonesia wants to increase its role on the world stage through cultural diplomacy.
"Well, this is actually in accordance with the principle or repeated statements from President Joko Widodo that Indonesia is a huge country, which has a great responsibility. This is mainly to make the world a safe and better place to live, and away from the violence. The basic idea is still the same, and Indonesia wants to play a more assertive role in the cultural development of an inclusive multicultural and peaceful," he continued.
Hilmar added that over 1,500 participants from hundred countries will participate in this forum. On the concept of the organization, Hilmar pledged that the field cultural trip and the participation of youth through Youth Forum will be the distinction of the prior WCF. The agenda of the cultural trip and youth participation are the integral parts of the forum. "Arts here are not a decoration but a way of expression, as well as the cultural trip which is more than just a time killing activity, but it is a way for participants to experience what was discussed," he explained.
The Youth Forum of WCF began in early October 2016, or 12 days before the main forum begins. This activity aims to enable young people to get adequate opportunity to discuss important issues among themselves. Then, the results of the talks will be presented at the forum. A total of 200 young people were divided into 100 people who came from outside Indonesia, and 100 people from Indonesia to discuss at this forum. "We tend to define the culture from the old generation, but youth must be given the space to define and express the culture their way," said Hilmar.