January 23, 2017

WeCare.id.id goes to Berlin as The Top Finalist of Bayern Aspirin Social Innovation Award

“What might seem not possible is actually possible.”

In December, 2016 WeCare.id was selected as a top finalist for the Aspirin Social Innovation Award, supported by Bayer. Gigih Septianto got to go pitch WeCare.id to a panel of judges in Berlin. This opportunity came through StartUp AsiaBerlin, and connections that Gigih made through that network of people and opportunities. PLUS is the country partner for StartUp AsiaBerlin in Indonesia, and invited Gigih to join the Asian roadshow and meet entrepreneurs from Berlin, Bangalore, Manila and even at home in Jakarta!

PLUS asked Gigih a few questions about his experience in Berlin. Answers below (slightly edited).

How do you feel to be selected as the top finalist of Aspirin Social Innovation Awards and how it will affect WeCare.id.id in the near future?

I’m deeply humbled and feeling grateful to be nominated for this Award. The other nominees are super wonderful and I really admire their commitment to improving the lives of so many people through their innovations. I learnt so much not only from other nominees but also from the spirit of the award itself – I hope Bayer will keep supporting social entrepreneurship endeavors in many parts of the world in the upcoming years.

Participating in the finalist session in Berlin has already affected WeCare.id.id in so many ways. It helped us to see that what might seem not possible is actually possible. After seeing the innovations by other nominees, we’re really motivated to push the effort further and to get better everyday. And I hope the exposure from the award will help us to drive more support for us. We look forward to scale WeCare.id to Europe!

What do you learn from the other finalist of social innovation participants that can be useful for other fellow of Social Entrepreneurs in Indonesia?

Strong commitment to the cause that you believe in. That was what really struck me most. Some of the nominees have been growing their innovations for many years. It is their strong passion and commitments that help them to endure the challenges. Be open-minded to possibilities and the potential of collaboration. The #RFRC for example, a fantastic medical container kit, was built with the collaborative effort of various expertises from medical, community organizers, engineers, business, etc. All worked together and brought their expertise to provide medical access for the most difficult regions such as in refugee hotspots, conflict/disaster zones. Be determined and keep iterating the solutions. One of the award winners called LifeShift built a solar-powered medical kit sterilizer that was the result of very careful and constant iteration over time.

What was the most interesting question from the judges there and how did you deal with it?

There was one question related to an ethical concern about how WeCare.id.id makes decisions about what type of patients we can help. It has been a constant focus for us as we develop procedures that make ethical sense from the perspectives of both medical and income-classification. So far we are working with trusted medical partners including individual medical doctors, hospitals and even health departments from local governments to verify the patients and develop the procedures.