Capacity Building on Circular Economy: The Journey of Indonesia and Japan collaboration through SDG Academy Indonesia

April 19, 2024

It takes substantial collaboration to accelerate the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2030. This is why UNDP Indonesia through SDG Academy Indonesia (SDAI) together with Nippon Closures Co., Ltd and ICMG have set a remarkable example.

What is SDG Academy Indonesia?

In the pursuit of sustainable development goals (SDGs), education plays a pivotal role in driving changes and fostering inclusive growth. Recognizing this, SDG Academy Indonesia has emerged as a beacon of hope, empowering communities and catalyzing positive transformation across the archipelago. Through its innovative programs and collaborative approach, SDG Academy Indonesia is shaping a brighter future for Indonesia and beyond.

SDG Academy Indonesia was launched in 2020 as a program which was developed based on a collaboration between UNDP Indonesia, Indonesia’s Ministry of Development Planning (Bappenas), and Tanoto Foundation. To accelerate the SDGs achievement in Indonesia, SDG Academy Indonesia stands on its vision as an innovative capacity building program aiming to increase Indonesia’s state and non-state actors’ capacities in localizing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), covering the areas of governance and policy, innovative solutions, and monitoring and reporting. In supporting its vision, the Academy has a mission to empower all SDGs stakeholders’ leaders in Indonesia to effectively and intelligently use the SDGs framework to jointly deliver on Indonesia’s sustainable development agenda 2030.

What are the programs of SDG Academy Indonesia?

Moving from its mission and vision, the Academy provides a wide array of capacity-building efforts aimed at expanding understanding, enhancing leadership skills, and strengthening commitments to SDGs. These main goals are achieved through three primary programs: the SDG Leadership Program, the SDG Mobile Learning Program and Knowledge Sharing Platform.

SDG Leadership Program and Mobile Learning Program were established in 2021. The SDG Leadership Program is an intensive five-month capacity-building program, which is designed to nurture SDG leaders. The courses encompass governance, leadership, and SDG-focused topics, and guide the participants to create capstone projects to solve the SDGs related challenges in their communities. After completing the program, participants will be awarded with the title, “SDG-Certified Leaders.” In the first quarter of 2024, a total of 195 alumni graduated from the program.

The mobile learning program is a year-round Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) accessible to everyone who is interested in learning about SDGs and its related topics. Materials are delivered in Indonesian language. Today, the Academy offers 15 learning modules available on the platforms. As per December 2023, the platform has 8,000+ registered learners, 13,000+ course enrollment, and 47% completion rate.

Aside from the two mentioned programs, the Academy has two knowledge sharing platforms, namely Beranda Inspirasi and Alun-alun Inovasi. Beranda Inspirasi was launched in 2021 as an interactive medium where users can share their SDG-related ideas/opinion, innovation and programs through writings. As per December 2023, there are 560+ active users on the platform and 380+ articles published.

On the other hand, Alun-Alun Inovasi launched in 2023, emerged as a platform to share curated contents on good practices, new approaches, innovation related to SDGs implementations, and SDGs in actions. The platform has exhibited 10 best practices on SDGs-related projects.

Aside from the mentioned programs, SDG Academy Indonesia actively engages in providing knowledge on SDGs, especially for youth, through its campaign and outreach program such as SDG Talk, One Day SDGs, Writing Competitions, and Speaking Engagements. In 2024, through its SDG Talk program, SDG Academy Indonesia has successfully partnered with Indonesia’s Balai Guru Penggerak (Transformational Teacher Association) in four provinces in Indonesia and attracted around 11.400+ teachers to participate in the collaborative webinar on SDGs introduction.

Partnership journey of NCC-ICMG and SDG Academy Indonesia

SDG Academy Indonesia believes that partnership is the key to achieve the SDGs, therefore in 2021, SDG Academy Indonesia explored partnership with the Nippon Closures Co., Ltd and ICMG. From a series of discussions, NCC, ICMG, and SDG Academy Indonesia raised similar concerns on awareness and implementation of the circular economy in Indonesia. Therefore, in July 2022, NCC - ICMG and SDG Academy Indonesia formally collaborated to conduct capacity building programs on Circular Economy in Indonesia.

Circular Economy (CE) is seen as the powerful breakthrough to force transformation of ‘business as usual’ into sustainable business (linear economy into circular economy). The goal is to create a closed-loop system where products and materials are continuously cycled through various stages, reducing environmental impact and promoting sustainability.

Highlighting the two years partnership since 2022, NCC-ICMG and SDAI have successfully completed four programs under the series of capacity building on CE with a total of more than a thousand beneficiaries across Indonesia from various backgrounds including from the private sector, government, CSO/NGO, and academia.

Partnership journey of SDG Academy Indonesia - NCC and ICMG

1. Delving into the CE knowledge through a five-series dialogue 

From October 2022 to February 2023, the partnership achieved a significant milestone through a series of online dialogues on CE with over 1,300 participants registered. The dialogues convened stakeholders from Indonesia and Japan to share their insights on CE implementation. The dialogues were launched by the Ambassador of Japan to Indonesia, representatives from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) of Japan, NCC, ICMG, and SL2 of Japan, as well as the Project Board Members (the Indonesian Ministry of National Development Planning/Bappenas, UNDP Indonesia, and Tanoto Foundation).



Opening Ceremony and Circular Economy Dialogue

2. Empowering youth voice on CE through SDG Youth Talk 

SDG Youth Talk was successfully conducted on May 25, 2023 in a hybrid format. This Youth Talk edition was part of the collaboration between SDAI, NCC and Intellectual Capital Management Group. The Talk aimed to broaden the perspectives of the participants on CE and capture best practices from the cross-disciplinary panel. The esteemed panel included representatives from the Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry, NCC, UNDP Indonesia, Puteri Indonesia Lingkungan 2018 (Environmental Ambassador), and the visionary Founder of EWastePU. The event was attended by 88 participants. The exchange of ideas and experiences during the Youth Talk not only involved intellectual stimulation but was also a beacon of optimism, illuminating the path toward a profoundly sustainable future.



The panel from the SDG Youth Talk and a participant who joined on site at the SDG Academy Indonesia Office.

3. Strengthening public understanding through Mobile Learning Program on CE  

The Academy also launched new learning resources on CE as one of the results of the collaboration with NCC. The module was developed based on issues raised from the Circular Economy Dialogue series held from October 2022 to March 2023. 

This learning material targets members of the public seeking to deepen their understanding of CE and its relationship with SDGs. The curriculum elaborates on CE as a model to address environmental management challenges. The learning scope encompasses CE concepts, fundamental principles, practical applications, priority sectors in Indonesia, as well as the opportunities and challenges it presents. Case studies and examples of CE applications across various scales are integrated into the curriculum. Learning methods include online learning, assignments, and assessments. Each learning topic features instructional videos, reading materials, quizzes, and discussion forums. The medium of instruction is Bahasa Indonesia. The learning material is divided into eight sub-topics which can be completed in two hours.

4. Forming local leaders for a sustainable future: SDG Leadership Program 

The SDG Leadership Program Batch V, spanning from October 2023 to February 2024, selected 45 diverse participants from various sectors. During the five-month program, participants focused on thematic issues of CE. The program features five workshops, mentoring sessions, and colloquium. As part of their graduation criteria, participants developed capstone projects in groups to solve issues in their community to accelerate the SDGs achievement in Indonesia, specifically on CE. The program concluded with 42 graduates earning the title of SDG-Certified Leader. Led by instructors, mentors, teaching staff, and guest speakers from diverse institutions, aiming to nurture leaders capable of promoting sustainable development through CE initiatives. In supporting the capstone project, NCC presented seed capital to the top three capstone projects.


5. Summarized Session: The Circular Economy Talkshow  

The hybrid-format Circular Economy talk show, titled "Exploring Opportunities and Challenges of Circular Economy in Achieving SDGs in Indonesia," took place on March 20, 2024. Attracting hundreds of participants, the event marked the culmination of various capacity-building endeavors mentioned above. 

The talk show commenced with opening remarks from distinguished figures including Mr. Norimasa Shimomura, UNDP Indonesia’s Resident Representative, Ms. Vivi Yulaswati, Deputy Minister on Maritime Affairs and Natural Resources at Bappenas Indonesia, and Mr. Sei Nakagawa, Product Development Manager of NCC. The panel discussion featured notable speakers such as SDG Mover Chelsea Islan, Yanuar Nugroho (Coordinator of the Expert Team of the National SDG Secretariat), Verania Andria (Senior Advisor for Program and Strategic Policy on Renewable Energy at UNDP Indonesia), and Cynthia Wijaya (Chief Corporate Officer of Daya Selaras Group). 

Efforts to make CE as a day to day business model, need a strong commitment and collective action from society. The collaboration between the SDG Academy Indonesia and NCC-ICMG marks a significant milestone in empowering individuals through education for sustainable development. Reflecting on this journey prompts us to explore further opportunities within CE and its potential contributions to achieve the SDGs, ultimately striving for a future where no one is left behind.

Circular Economy Talkshow

Media Contact 

● Radhe Ayu, Communication and Campaign Assistant, SDG Academy Indonesia, 

● Devi Nugraha, Communications Analyst, UNDP Indonesia,