Founder of Bye Bye Plastic Bags and Youthtopia
We started Bye Bye Plastic Bags in 2013 and have been campaigning at the frontlines ever since. We now have 60 teams around the world and have become one of the largest youth-led organisations in Indonesia.
Tell us your story – how did you get here?
Wow – this story feels like a rollercoaster to share! I started my journey as a changemaker when I was 12 years-old, even before I knew what the word changemaker was! As I was growing up in Bali, I saw the problem of plastic get worse. Long story short, my sister and I at the age of 10 and 12 years-old decided enough was enough and that we didn’t want to wait until we were older to take action. We started Bye Bye Plastic Bags in 2013 and have been campaigning at the frontlines ever since! We now have 60 teams around the world and have become one of the largest youth-led organisations in Indonesia.
Today, my focus is on building the number one go-to platform for young changemakers, through my new company Youthtopia. This mission started when I began noticing that we got asked the same question no matter where we were; students our age would ask, “How can I do what you do?” Youthtopia helps answer that question by bringing frontline knowledge onto the screens of thousands, highlighting and showcasing real life examples of young changemakers creating change. We share the HOW to become a changemaker with over 108 programs already created and slowly releasing on our new Youthtopia learning platform.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
This movement has gone through a lot and there are many things that I am proud of. I think looking back, I am proud of the 12 year-old me who took a stand… because today thousands of 12 year-olds can look at what is possible! I love that Bye Bye Plastic Bags and Youthtopia prove that kids can do things! I think that is what I am most proud of today.
What impact have you made in Bali?
We were amongst the many organisations that built momentum towards the ban on single-use plastic bags. As a youth-led movement, our strength lay in spreading awareness and changing mindsets. We focused on education and would spend a lot of time in classrooms, board rooms, backstage and on stage. One of our biggest ongoing events is Bali’s Biggest Beach Clean Up which mobilises the masses on the island every year for a clean up! The last six years we have mobilised over 100,000 people in over 300 locations on the island, and collected over 100,000 pieces of plastic!
What does 2022 look like for you?
2022 has been INSANE so far! Lots of shifts and changes happening, and turning 21 for me was a big deal… especially because of the fact that my activism (from an early age) depended a lot on the fact that I was a “little young girl”. I’m learning a lot about the type of business I want to run and the leader I want to become! At Youthtopia I’m really able to focus on helping others reach their full potential and mentor aspiring changemakers to create real change. This is where I find the most joy and where I will mostly be kept busy in 2022.
We have our online learning platform and my film, “Bigger Than Us” is premiering around the world and here in Indonesia as well! So we’re planning massive roadshows where I will spend time with young people here in Indonesia!
What do you love most about Bali?
Kind of an expected answer from me, but I can’t say it enough: the thing I love the most about Bali is the environment. Growing up here, I could easily find myself exploring the rice fields, swimming in the rivers and the ocean, and then climbing up an ancient tree all in the same day! I love everything about the beautiful natural world of Bali, it keeps me constantly inspired.
What's the one change in the world you’d like to see?
I strongly believe that we need two types of radical changes happening at the same time:
1) A shift in the education industry to teach more relevant, solutions-driven learning.
2) Policy that is bolder and more strictly implemented to change our world for the better; in other words, serious systemic change.
You can see them as two different things, but I strongly believe that only when we have both happening at the same time we will achieve real and just change.
Who is your Local Legend and why?
My Local Legend would probably go out to all the local SD kids and teachers. Why? Because they have had an incredibly difficult two years during the pandemic and on and off education. The resilience that this generation will have because of it is inspiring and I can’t wait to see how they continue to grow out of this challenge. It puts us all in a position, especially teachers and schools, where we have to be innovative and adapt to the classrooms of today.
My Local Legend in Cemagi is the Kepala Desa, Pak Putu, because he has supported us very strongly in keeping up the engagement with the elementary schools near our HQ.