Panel Topics

The Academy aims to shed light on the importance of studying urbanization in Indonesia from an interdisciplinary angle, emphasizing its intricate relationship with the aforementioned challenges. We encourage participants to submit original research papers, case studies, and theoretical perspectives addressing three critical topics:

1. AI in Society and the Emergent Digital Economy

The urban future is here, and AI technologies are at the forefront of shaping Indonesian city life. These advancements offer immense potential to boost the new digital economy, revolutionizing sectors such as transportation, governance, and services. Generative AI enables innovative solutions and creativity, while self-driving cars promise efficient and safer mobility. Big data-driven urban governance empowers decision-making for efficient resource allocation. A prime example of this transformation is Gojek, a company that has revolutionized the urban landscape by integrating ride-hailing, food delivery, and various services. However, as AI permeates Indonesian cities, it also presents new ethical dilemmas. How does AI impact human relations, our social values, or all the things we believe in? Will it enhance or erode our urban ways of dwelling and living together? Moreover, sustainability concerns arise. Can and should we design sustainable AI technologies, or are they exhaustively consuming our natural resources? Additionally, there is a pressing need to address potential exclusions caused by AI-inspired technologies. To what extent might these advancements inadvertently deepen existing societal divisions or create new forms of exclusions? 

 2. Human-Environment Relations and Climate Governance in the City

Indonesian cities stand as stark hallmarks of the Anthropocene, an era in which humanity has become increasingly out of tune with the surrounding life and species. Amidst this disconnection, water in all its forms emerges as a crucial element for human survival, well-being, and the natural environment. Humans have demonstrated remarkable ingenuity in adapting to the complexities of their surroundings and navigating changing social and environmental conditions. Remnants of past practices, structures, and objects persist within our built environment, institutions, ways of living, and even languages but are often ignored in modern day urban planning. In contemplating our future, we must reflect upon the lessons embedded in local approaches to climate change mitigation. How can we harness the wisdom of local communities and their sustainable practices? Furthermore, it is imperative to recognize that humans are not the sole inhabitants of this world. We must acknowledge the need to provide space for other-than-human entities and shift our mindset from working against the environment to working with it. Can we embrace the perspective of a river, a forest, or any other natural entity, to foster a deeper understanding of our interconnectedness and strive for a more harmonious coexistence in and around the city?

 3. Post-Colonial Urban Heritage and Language Politics

Indonesian cities are blessed with an abundance of ethnic diversity, encompassing a myriad of cultural groups, languages, and literature. These distinct heritages, often rooted in traditions predating colonial times, form the tapestry of Indonesia's rich legacy. However, this invaluable heritage, whether tangible or intangible, faces the threat of neglect and marginalization due to ongoing urbanization, gentrification and putting economic interests first. Intangible treasures such as oral histories, poetry, and literature rely on local languages, often unwritten and absent from formal education. Consequently, much of this heritage remains overlooked, under-documented, and under-researched. Moreover, the shift towards a more widespread usage of Indonesian among younger generations places this legacy at further risk. For this sub-theme, we encourage research that documents and investigates various aspects of Indonesian heritage, including older traditions and their contemporary manifestations. In which ways local languages within traditional regions are adapted as city dialects in urban communities, what is the presence of local art forms on social media platforms, and their incorporation into modern art forms like video clips and music genres such as hip-hop. How can we preserve a richness of local legacies in spite of urbanization. Indonesian city life may offer the key.

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