Thursday, October 18, 2012

Second day of the #FutureGov Summit.

I was attending SAP Public Sector Advisory Council. It was a very interesting forum to specifically discuss about Public Sector development. I think there are a lot of opportunity for all of us to contribute in the sector. I found that there are a lot of similarity between private sector and public sector, even more so in the day and age, where everything is brought closer by technology. I also found that Public Sector is at the same time very complex. Public sector in one countries to another are most of the times are very different, even if not, you still have to deal with sovereignty issue. I was inspired by one of fellow delegate from Denmark who shared that Denmark since 1970 has started the effort to integrate public sector services and they have succeeded. I really hope with the advancement of technology and the growing population of the new digital generation, Public Sector can complete its transformation faster to be more effective, engaging and innovative. I also met some of very interesting people. I met Adaire Fox-Martin who leads SAP Public Sector Services and also some fellow delegates from Australia, Denmark, Germany, US, Singapore, Malaysia and of course, Indonesia. I would love to join similar event in the future and contribute more.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Some Thoughts from First Day of FutureGov Summit

Several key points that I would like to raise and I believe are really important lessons are:

- Technology transformation is inevitable in public sector. People, esp. Young Generation are expecting services from the public sector to be at least on par with those services offered commercially

- Public sector must also shift the mindset of how they run their organisation. Public sector is now competing the "air-time" to gain the attention of the public. People will not engage with the public sector if they cannot find the same level of ease of use, interactivity that they find from private sector.

- Public sector must also follow where the crowd are. If people are engaging in the social media, then Public sector need to create a presence there too. Treat it as a part of promoting brand. Yes, people need to know why you exist and what you have achieved to engage and own your cause.

- Public sector and private sector is actually very similar. What works in private sector should also work in public sector and vice versa. Even the same business challenges are applied, such as both sectors are experiencing budget cuts and leadership changes, etc.

- Public sector, especially government, really need to go back to why the organisation exists in the first place and not worry about the politics part of how public sector traditionally accustomed too. I can see this as being probably the ultimate obstacles to reach the optimal performance in public sector. Way too much energies are being spent on this, compare to focused efforts on really try to make the betterment of the cause, whatever it is.

- Public sector is developed because we have an idea of how things should be, or how our world should be, or what kind of service we should provide to our stakeholders (which is sometimes even touched the greater sense of purpose). I think a lot of great talents are actually care about this thing, but if the politics side of it are creating too loud of a noise, then most of us won't bother.

Hopefully, we can all together work continuously on this and I hope we can start to make real positive changes.
And I'll start with myself.

Handoko Said

Sunday, October 14, 2012

32nd Birthday - Reflection

Today is my 32nd birthday. And today is especially super special because today would be my last birthday with my marriage status - "Still Single"

The reason why it means more is because I've been blessed with the greatest gift one could ask for. For 32 years, my family have supported me through all kinds of times. They cheered for me when I did something good. They encouraged me when I made a mistake. They share their love with me and I share mine. It is the most beautiful thing one could experience.
Their love has been the single most meaningful thing in my life that constantly reminds me that I am special and meant a lot for them.

In about a month from today, I will add that blessing and make it even more complete with another member that will redefine my future in the most meaningful way I can imagine.

Other than your love to and from your family, to have someone else whom you love and who love you back is truly a blessing. I am extremely grateful to be able to share this experience with Priscilla.

I remember a quote from the great Chinese philosopher - Lao Tsu
"Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage."

I cannot be more excited about the future.


Because I have strength and I have courage.


On his 32nd birthday - 13 October 2012

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Gross National Happiness

My colleague in the office asked me one day about Bhutan's national commitment to endorse Gross National Happiness, instead of Gross National Product, which is a metric that are widely used in Macro Economic World to represent how significant a country's contribution toward global economy.
A good indication of how wealthy and developed a country is.

According to the official site of "Gross National Happiness", this concept is first introduced in 1972, by King Jigme Singye Wangchuck who was concerned about the problems afflicting other developing countries that focused only on economic growth. He decided to make his nation's priority not to focus on its G.D.P. but its G.N.H., or gross national happiness.

The king said,
Bhutan needed to ensure that prosperity was shared across society and that it was balanced against preserving cultural traditions, protecting the environment and maintaining a responsive government.

which is not a bad concept at all.

While household incomes in Bhutan remain among the world's lowest, life expectancy increased by 19 years from 1984 to 1998, jumping to 66 years. The country, which is preparing to shift to a constitution and an elected government, requires that at least 60 percent of its lands remain forested, welcomes a limited stream of wealthy tourists and exports hydropower to India.

The concept which are practically based on Buddhist doctrine, teaches people to think of human well-being in broader terms, in which material well-being is only one component and that it doesn't ensure that you're at peace with your environment and in harmony with each other

This was further discussed in his Madhavrao Scindia Memorial Lecture (2009) - "Changing World and Timeless Values"

(you can find the complete transcript here

Then, I stumbled across this article:
World's Happiest Countries: Norway, Denmark, Costa Rica, Turkmenistan?
The article mentioned that maybe the King of Bhutan is on to something here.

Scandinavians which are well-known in their relentless pursuit of happiness are on the top three most happiest countries, with Denmark at #1, Finland at #2 and Norway at #3, then Sweden at #4, followed by Netherlands at #5 (all 5 also represents top five in Europe).

In America, surprisingly, it's Costa Rica at #1 (#6 overall), Canada #2 (#8 overall) and Panama #3 (#12 overall), with Brazil #4 (#13 overall), while United States is at #5 in America & #14 overall.

In Africa, Malawi is the most happiest country in the continent (#63), followed by Libya (#67) and Botswana (#68)

In Asia, which also include Australia and New Zealand, New Zealand is the most happiest country with #7 overall, followed by Israel (#9) and Australia (#10). The next one is Turkmenistan (#19) and Arab Saudi (#20), followed by a bunch of middle eastern countries, such as Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, etc.
What about the fastest growing country in the world today? China is at #125, India at 115 and Japan at #81.

Indonesia? at #85 overall (or #22 in Asia), only behind Thailand (#79) and Singapore (#81)

What about Bhutan? Not even listed in the ranking.

I guess the "Gross National Happiness" is still a work in progress.

Complete List

Complete Transcript of King of Bhutan's Speech on Gross National Happiness

Full transcript (with some important message block-quoted):

During my year at the National Defence College in Delhi, I came to value my visits to this auditorium as a place, at which one would hear words of wisdom delivered, often very memorably. I always thought of myself as the humble listener. Even though I am here today as a Head of State, this auditorium fills me with the same reluctance to speak – I wish I was here to listen. I know that there are others present and others who have preceded me on this platform with far greater experience in leadership and with much greater achievements behind them. And then there are those of you who are poised on the brink of remarkable careers in the service of a great nation and people. I feel humbled in your presence.

But I accept this responsibility because I represent a small nation - the Kingdom of Bhutan and her citizens who, I believe, possess a unique experience from which they may offer – through me - something of value to the people of the world. So when Shri Jyotiraditya called with the invitation to be here I said ‘Yes’ immediately – as friends – and out of great respect for the late Shri Madhavrao Scindia. This is indeed a wonderful forum in which to represent Bhutan. Thank you all for this opportunity.

The title for my talk today is ‘Changing World and Timeless Values’ – the reason for such a title is that I had always wanted to think more deeply about how one might find an enduring place for simple human values in a world that is becoming unrecognizable from one generation to the next. And how, sadly, while the need for values is stronger and more urgent than ever, the climate in which they would flourish grows more and more unfriendly. Alas, I am neither an academic, spiritual leader nor philosopher and I can only bring to this important topic my own personal thoughts.

Many years ago, I told a group of students at a convocation ceremony in Canada that

“The power of the individual has never been greater than at this time in history and yet, the helplessness of the less fortunate may never have been as distressing either - in an age of plenty. Modernization and political change have raised the individual’s freedom, but it has also led to a less desirable and unconscious freeing of the individual from his obligations to society and the greater good.

An inherent sense of values has gone missing.” I told them, I felt that while young people leaving university must be armed with degrees, it is more important that they be endowed with a strong sense of values that bring meaning and purpose in their lives as well as stable, bright futures ahead for society and the world.

This is the theme of my conversation with you today. I truly believe that
the only way to observe the most important things in life and in this world is by putting them through the lens of ‘Simplicity’. You must break everything down to its fundamentals, break it down to basic human instances.
For in the end, no matter what country we may be from, we are human beings – no matter what our cultures and beliefs may be, we share the same needs and abide by the same fundamental values.
In fact, it may be these very values that could guide us, through the great problems, even those of environmental degradation, terrorism and world poverty. Perhaps the first of these values is the sense of a shared planet. This is a world that is shared – not between governments and nations but among us, the people. It may sound idealistic – but this is a natural and practical way of approaching things that seem intractable and inflexible – no matter how big the problem. The image of a shared planet must always be present in our minds – and especially in the minds of those who are in positions of leadership.

I don’t claim to be an expert on global issues but it can only help in the search for a solution if we remember that this planet must be passed on to our future generations and to other living beings. Isn’t it natural that every individual will seek to enhance his inheritance and pass it on to his own children? Shouldn’t it be even more natural, then to assume that our generation ... every generation that inherits this earth must pass it on stronger and more secure to the next? Without this simple guiding value, that our world is shared among us and our future generations, we will continue robbing our planet and our children.

Is it wrong to assume that a huge step to finding solutions to global problems, and averting future crises, will be taken if we can think in the spirit of community and fraternity, not as individual entities? When we accept that this is a world of people all alike, of families all alike, of communities all alike - of countries facing the same challenges – of human beings ultimately seeking the same thing – then we will truly be in a position to foster well being, security and happiness.
In this interconnected world no nation stands alone. How could it? Disease, poverty, strife – these afflictions do not understand national boundaries – the internet age and the free and fast flow of information shows us daily, the incongruity, injustice and inhumanity of a world of vast inequality.
“Individual or even national success is a ship that cannot carry everyone together to the same place at the same time”.

Rich nations must stop to be mindful of the poorer ones left behind. Successful people must stop to remember those who didn’t make it. No nation today can stand alone in achievement.
Time is slowly telling us that there can be no lasting individual success without success as a community and there cannot be lasting national progress and success if it does not fit into a future of global peace, harmony and equality. The world must progress together or fail together.

I believe that any real and lasting solution to global issues can only come through a universal wave of human empathy, desire and passion for the common good. Global problems are problems that face mankind and our planet. Governments might mediate problems at the global level, but its effects are felt by people, like you and me. While we know it is an accepted process that governments and large institutions debate the issues, negotiate and bargain on the concessions to be made we tend to forget that in protecting our own constituencies, we jeopardize the world and thus ourselves and our own future generations. Global problems cannot be solved by protecting local self-interest.

As I said before, I risk sounding idealistic – but the fact is that I believe it is only when we are willing to bear the embarrassment of being a little innocent that we will be able to say – ‘Let us place the interest of humanity, not national populations and constituencies, above all else. Let us take political risks and strong decisions in addressing the needs of humanity. The answer to global problems will come closer at hand when we grasp that universal simplicity – that sense of a shared planet and a shared fate for those who walk on it. We need shared human endeavour not just negotiated change.
I have been inspired in the way I look at things by Bhutan’s development philosophy of Gross National Happiness (GNH) and its pioneer, my father His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck. Today, GNH has come to mean so many things to so many people but to me it signifies simply - Development with Values.
We strive for the benefits of economic growth and modernization while ensuring that in our drive to acquire greater status and wealth we do not forget to nurture that which makes us happy to be Bhutanese. Is it our strong family structure? Our culture and traditions? Our pristine environment? Our respect for community and country? Our desire for a peaceful coexistence with other nations? If so, then the duty of our government must be to ensure that these invaluable elements contributing to the happiness and wellbeing of our people are nurtured and protected. Our government must be human.
Thus, for my nation, today
GNH is the bridge between the fundamental values of Kindness, Equality and Humanity and the necessary pursuit of economic growth. GNH acts as our National Conscience guiding us towards making wise decisions for a better future. It ensures that no matter what our nation may seek to achieve, the human dimension, the individual’s place in the nation, is never forgotten. It is a constant reminder that we must strive for a caring leadership so that as the world and country changes, as our nation’s goals change, our foremost priority will always remain the happiness and wellbeing of our people – including the generations to come after us.

Thus, that is why I say GNH is Development guided by human Values. The greatness of the concept lies in the simplicity of its origin. For, it is born from nothing other than one person – King Jigme Singye Wangchuck’s - passionate desire to serve a country and people – from virtuous human endeavour.
I am confident that the noble goal of Gross National Happiness will be key to Bhutan’s success in maintaining our unity and harmony – indeed our character as a nation.

Another factor that has always played a central role in our success – without which we would certainly not be where we are today – is India’s friendship. Some say Bhutan was wise to seek strong bilateral relations with India. Yes, after all whether we speak about our socio-economic progress or our recent transition to democracy, India has been our steadfast partner and friend.
But I feel that the true wisdom lies in the fact that we sought and continue to seek true friendship with India. I see the roots of our ties in the difficult yet most personal and intimate journey of Pandit Nehru to Bhutan in 1958 on the invitation of my grandfather. And how, after all these years and such a great widening of our cooperation - our friendship remains as intimate and strong as it was then - between two very great men.

It is said that a man’s most important relationships are formed in the early years of life. I have always said that this saying holds so true for India and Bhutan. One country – while still radiating joy and warmth from the attainment of Independence – ushered the other into the realm of modernization.
Since then, our relations have grown strong, vibrant, and dynamic. From religious and cultural links to political and economic cooperation - today our ties encompass a great diversity of areas and issues on which we work closely together in each other’s best interests. The strength of our friendship is even more striking when viewed in the context of the profound changes that have taken place in the world in the last few decades. With modernization our peoples have a greater awareness of the world beyond our region. And though awakened to new realities and experiences, our friendship has evolved, as only true friendship can, over time. Despite the vast difference in size and population, our friendship has been constant because of the pillars of trust and understanding on which we have founded it. Our relationship stands as a model of partnership and cooperation.
If we view India Bhutan Friendship - through the prism of simplicity – the perspective of fundamental human values, Indo-Bhutan friendship began as a bond between two men – two leaders – and that our best future lies in an unaltering bond between our two peoples.

Finally, let me say something about the role Values play in my life as an individual – and as someone called upon to assume a position of leadership.
As a young person, I thought a great deal about the future awaiting me. I thought about the question of how good Kings and great leaders come about – what factors bring them into being. We see that world history speaks of leaders with great foresight and vision – leaders for troubled times – leaders for young nations and ancient empires. Leaders in different fields. All kinds of leaders – religious, economic, political.
After many years of observing my father, working with government, touring the country, living in the villages and meeting the people , I learned that you don’t just become a leader for a prescribed and planned situation – you have to offer leadership whatever the circumstances. Now, having assumed the duties of Kingship of this small Himalayan nation in the midst of a globalizing world that changes in an instant, it is even more clear that there is no way to foresee the circumstances and plan for leadership in such a world.
So my guiding principle has been born and nurtured on the simple instinct that in order to do the job I have been given as best as I can – first and foremost, I must strive to be a good human being.

So while the wider vision is crucial to me – it is more important for me as a King whose aspirations are lodged within those of my country and people – to be able to crystallize that vision – to fulfill the ultimate aspirations of the people – in the form of simple daily acts carried out from moment to moment.

I take each day as it comes. If someone in a village has something to tell me, I stop and listen. If an old man’s house must be rebuilt after a natural disaster, I try and stay there to see it through. It may take an extra few minutes or months but it must be done. Not only is it the duty of a good human being, but each moment, each action is to me, a building block that will one day take shape in the wider vision. Besides, it’s all very well to have a vision that stretches to the top of the peaks, but unless you are walking a little up the hill everyday, you will never get there.

That is why today, I do not have my eyes on the rewards or legacy that accrue to the work of leadership. I prefer to focus on the immediate, most pressing needs of people – not just in Bhutan, people anywhere. Every day, as an individual, I aim at being a good son, brother, friend – a good human being. As a King, I always find myself humbled by the duty to serve a country and people. So I strive to do so in a spirit of Kindness, Integrity and Equality. I always seek to discern what is right – what is good for the country and the people – every moment of the day. These Values mean everything to me and they will always define me, and my duty to the country.
I cannot imagine living in a world where one’s duty is only to oneself or to one’s family or country. We must build from these true and intimate relationships outwards and upwards to the nobler duty to the greater world and to peace, prosperity and happiness that is global.

In conclusion, after this long speech, all I have said is that there is only one starting point to resolve any problem – big or small – that is one’s self. Each one of us must embark upon our personal journey towards the timeless goal of living a good life – being a good human being – even as we tackle the world’s largest problems.

Thank you for being here to listen to me today.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Iron Man

How would a guy not flinch when somebody fakes a ball to his face?
It's either he's a man with an iron heart or he's a man with a slow reflex.

Given that Kobe Bryant has won 5 NBA Championships, 2 MVP Finals, 2 MVP All-Star Game, 1 MVP Regular Games, 1 Scoring title, and scoring 81 pts in one game (second only to Wilt's 'fixed' 100 pts effort), I think it would be SAFE to conclude that it's the former.

Go Lakers! Go Kobe!

Here's a video of what happened in real time:

And here's in slow motion:


Thursday, August 05, 2010

Men are better at Parking Cars

Finally a research to back my suspicion all this time.

Men are 35% faster and 2.4% more accurate than women at parking cars overall, with the differences being even more pronounced in parallel parking, according to research led by Claudia C. Wolf and Sebastian Ocklenburg of Ruhr-University Bochum in Germany. Men's superior ability at identifying rotated images of three-dimensional objects is presumably important in parking, the researchers say.


Google WAVE is dead!

A classic example where too many functionalities are becoming too much and create unnecessary complexity.

My office has been trying to utilize Google Wave as one of our productivity tools but it's just too hard to explain novice users how to use it that the benefit will not outweigh the efforts.

So now. with this official announcement from Google, our project will also officially killed.

Looking forward to more innovations from Goggle though.

Official announcement from Google
Comment from one of the most devout Google Wave's supporter - Gina Trapani from F@st Company

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

China Plans Huge Buses That Can DRIVE OVER Cars

China may have found an environmentally friendly way to save money while easing congestion on city roads, Engadget reports.

Instead of spending millions to widen roads, the Shenzhen Huashi Future Parking Equipment company is developing a "3D Express Coach" (also called a "three-dimensional fast bus") that will allow cars less than 2 meters high to travel underneath the upper level carrying passengers.


China Hush, which has nicknamed the project "Straddling Bus" has details:

The model looks like a subway or light-rail train bestriding the road. It is 4-4.5 m high with two levels: passengers board on the upper level while other vehicles lower than 2 m can go through under. Powered by electricity and solar energy, the bus can speed up to 60 km/h carrying 1200-1400 passengers at a time without blocking other vehicles' way. Also it costs about 500 million yuan to build the bus and a 40-km-long path for it, only 10% of building equivalent subway. It is said that the bus can reduce traffic jams by 20-30%.

I think this could be a solution for a lot of cities. Although probably this type of transportation can only be implemented on highways. (or in Jakarta, for busway)
I couldn't imagine this transportation method can be used in city downtown.

Anyway, this is yet another evidence that 2000s will be ruled by the Chinese.


Volvo is now owned by a Chinese company

Today marked the first time in history, a Chinese company owns 100% of a foreign carmaker.

The Chinese carmaker Zhejiang Geely Holding Group paid $1.3 billion cash for the carmaker on Monday and issued a $200 million note payable to Ford. And today, officially Volvo is owned by a Chinese company.

I remember someone said to me, that 1800s was ruled by the British, 1900s was ruled by the U.S. and 2000s will be ruled by the Chinese.

I think early evidences show just that.

for more info about the news, Chinese company bought Volvo by NY Times.