Citizen Diplomacy in Jakarta

On Wednesday evening, I had the pleasure of visiting the @america center in Jakarta. They hosted the APSIA graduate forum which was a massive success. Students came throughout the country, some even flew in from Papua, all of them were impressive. Equally impressive was the @america center. Not only do they have a 3-D printer, but their walls were coated with pictures of DU (thanks to yours truly). You can read this NYT piece on the center here.

This is a brilliant, and successful, attempt at citizen diplomacy. While they promote American culture, it is not all Hollywood and higher ed. Actually, the mission of the center really seemed to be to share the commonalities that Americans have with Indonesians. While people like me come in from time to time to promote our colleges, they also encourage Americans in Jakarta to come in and share what it is like to grow up in places like Richmond, Indiana, Medford Oregon and Galveston Texas. None of us live the life that Hollywood suggests we do, which is what the center is trying to convey.

Again, they have a 3-D printer. I always thought those suckers were a mythical legend. Nope, they have one and it printed a plastic cat.

Brad Miller

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