The role of philanthropy and the partnership between philanthropists and between philanthropists and other actors at the national and international levels is key to support Indonesia in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Only by collaborating with various parties can we make a greater impact. This was the message from Indonesia Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati in her remarks at dinner with Indonesian and United States (US) philanthropists on April 8, 2019 in New York, USA. The event was held at the office of Bloomberg Philanthropies, an institution founded by Michael R. Bloomberg, US philanthropist who is also Special Envoy of the Secretary-General of the United Nations for Climate Change and former New York Mayor.
Filantropi Indonesia with the Minister of Finance and PT Sarana Multi Infrastruktur, a state-owned enterprise under the Ministry of Finance, encourages close collaboration between US and Indonesian philanthropists. The practice of philanthropy in the US, especially by the high net worth families, is well established and offers many valuable lessons to be learned by Indonesian philanthropists to help overcome various social, economic and environmental problems.
Prior to the dinner, philanthropists listened to Bloomberg Philanthropies Chief Executive Officer Patricia Harris and her management regarding the background and variety of programs supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies. Bloomberg Philanthropies is one of the largest philanthropists not only in the US but also globally with a contribution value of more than USD 700 million dollars per year (in 2018) channeled to arts, education, environment, government innovation, public health and pro bono consulting services to city governments.
On the second day of the visit to New York, Indonesian philanthropists visited the National September 11 Memorial & Museum which was established to remember and honor the victims of terrorism attacks on the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York in 2002. The construction of monuments and museums cost more from USD 500 million, more than half was filled with contributions from private and philanthropic companies. The area is now managed by a non-profit institution with Michael Bloomberg as the Chair of the Board. The construction of the 911 monument and museum is important not only for physical environment purposes but also for the collective healing of families of the victims in particular and Americans in general. It also serves as a reminder of the strong social solidarity of the citizens of New York in the face of difficult times.
The series of Indonesian philanthropic visits to New York is part of Filantropi Indonesia program to strengthen partnerships and networks between Indonesian and global philanthropists. Indonesian philanthropists also met with other international philanthropists during the dinner including Eileen Growald (granddaughter of John D. Rockefeller Sr.) and Richard Lawrence of the Overlook International Foundation. The partnership promotes information and knowledge exchange in order to improve philanthropic management and practices so as to be more effective and responsive to various local, national and global challenges.