IDCourserians: A Tribute and a Vision

Our lives cross path with thousands other. Some pass by, some orbit. Some hover, some get deep. As moments happen, it’s hard to separate the ephemeral from the eternal, not to mention the rest along the spectrum. But as they happen, they’re here to enjoy, aren’t they?

During the past 2.5 years I have greatly enjoyed the company of IDCourserians – a community of life-long learners at which core is a group of people who have the audacity to dream, the grit to push hard enough to leave a dent in their corner of the world, and their own versions of a sacred fire of rage that burn in their heart to keep them going even when the world around them seem to be dictated by mediocrity, conformity and narrow-mindedness.

This community may have been a serendipitous coterie that happen upon them. While we first came for various reasons, many have stayed for similar interests – some burning campfire that finally provides the warmth we’ve been longing for, a surprisingly resounding frequency for which many have long been eager to hear echoed back to our ears and hearts.

We have been through ups and downs, multiple pivots, failures and faux pas until we have our 33rd meetup today. This is quite a feat and as far as we’re aware of, we’re the only community of Courserians in the world to have actually built a lasting community attested by the number 33. Other communites are subject-based and hence short-lived.

As I’m leaving this community for a year of study abroad in China – from where I’m afraid it will be hard to access Facebook, Google, YouTube and a number of other major communication channels – I look back and feel grateful for the support this community has provided me. Co-founders and Partners @desmaster2011 and @Steven_Sutantro have been wonderful co-workers in maturing and directing this community to what it is now. Other Partners who have joined in later years are nonetheless great sources of energy and enjoyment. The erudite @setyonugroho whom I met in our July 2014 meetup has been a constantly energising companion with his deep thoughts and endless engaging questions. The curious mind @vigiliustc have always amazed me with how much he learns from seemingly so many creative sources in endless areas of interest. The career diplomat @carolinetanjaya has been providing fresh sources of insights when we seem to be thinking in a way that’s too coherent.

Indeed, one of the most enjoyable aspects of this community is its members’ multi-disciplinary interests: veterinarian who becomes e-education practitioner, engineer who becomes programmer, pharmacist who’s been flirting with diplomacy and management, social media practitioner who pivots into entrepreneurship … endless combination of interests in every single person. Yes. You read that just right. Every. Single. Person. It’s so different from the relatively more boring academia life where people (at least many whom I know) tend to have just one (or maybe a few) very specific area(s) of interest. I think this is one important fuel that makes the lively discussions possible every time we meet.

We’ve had our 33rd meetup as a community of life-long learners. It has been helpful to have Coursera as our blanket identity and starting point of our discussions. Nevertheless, we have also found that some of the most engaging moments are actually the post-meetups: the sessions when the craziest discussions have taken place, the wildest dreams exchanged, the gravest frustrations echoed. The coda oftentimes even resonate further than the movement; it’s as if the movement is but an introduction. I envision that we wil keep this spirit alive, that IDCourserians will be a community of life-long learners where the craziest of ideas discussed and the wildest of dreams exchanged; a community where deep longings of yearning minds find their long-due echoes and cross-disciplinary interests get pollinated through people who dare to see their lives beyond the claustrophobic containment of traditional disciplines.

For generations Paris has had their cafés for les philosophes. As we part our ways, either for a time or for good, may this community be a vessel to foster our own les philosophes in Jakarta. For this vision I raise you my glass.


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