Alfin Nurul Firdaus from Pasuruan Youth Forum, during ice-breaking game at Creative Hub Academy 2019. 

Sixteen Creative Hubs leaders from across Indonesia exchanged ideas and learned from each other at the Creative Hubs Academy Workshop held at SUBstitute Makerspace in Surabaya on 16-19 June 2019. The Creative Hubs Academy is a joint programme between Hivos, Nesta and British Council that consists of training and fellowship for Creative Hubs leaders who are impactful in bringing social change through social innovation and creative activities.  

Through an open call process, 16 creative hub leaders with strong desire in developing their hubs were selected: Renjana, Backline Creative Warehouse, SUBstitute makerpsace, Coding Mum Surabaya, Gresiknesia, Heartcorner, Cekbeng.ID, Pasuruan Youth Forum, Damar Kurung Institute, Lamongan Sekarang, Forum Sudut Pandang, Kedai Buku Jenny, Tuli Mendongeng, Kanopea, Anak Bertanya, and Bumi Setara. Their work ranges from training housewives to understand coding, to creating programmes for people with disabilities.

Dee Halligan, Founder and Director of From Now On, a London-based creative consultancy, and Managing Director of FixEd, a creative education think and do tank, led the workshop as key facilitator who partnered with Ratu, Director of SUBstitute, the first makerspace in Surabaya that is committed to be inclusive.  

The four-day workshop combined a series of learning modules and encouraged participants to actively network with experienced hub leaders and seek constructive inputs from experts and their peers on the challenges they face. 

On the first day, participants revisited their vision and mission, dissecting the roots of values they are going to communicate, their challenges, and the change that they are trying to achieve through individual and hub perspectives. By the end of day one, participants were able to promote their distinctive identity, strengths and weaknesses of their hubs. 

Rizka Lazuardy, Founder of a storytelling community for deaf people called ‘Tuli Mendongeng’, said she gained a lot from the workshop, particularly the Theory of Change session that focuses on the stages of social impact that her community aims to deliver.

On day two, participants learned to improve their hubs’ impact for different audiences and users. It also tackles the issues and challenges that are core to the hub’s mission. On the last day, participants reviewed their worksheets as a basis for a new or refreshed business plan. Together, they wrote a pledge card on the next concrete steps to implement in their own hubs, as a follow up of the workshop.

“The workshop enabled me to see opportunities to grow and scale up, focusing on key activities that hit our purpose, not to think too broadly and understand that impact is being done in smaller pieces,” said Ellen Septiane, founder of Kanopea.

The Creative Hubs Academy Workshop is implemented under the Developing Inclusive and Creative Economies (DICE) programme within the British Council that is delivered across the globe to understand the main challenges and skills gaps amongst hub communities. With a growing young workforce, global shortage of job opportunities, and an ever-present need for community organising and activism, DICE aims to support local communities to be creatively entrepreneurial and collectively strong. This year, the programme focuses on countries across Southeast Asia, Sub Saharan Africa, North Africa and the Americas. 


16 creative hubs leaders during Pecha Kucha Session at the workshop. Each Hub had 5-minute duration to introduce the objective, work, passion of their Creative Hub to the forum. 

Voices from The Hub

All the materials, especially the theory of change. Dee is very talented and incredible speaker and I can't ask for more - Rizka Lazuardy, Tuli Mendongeng

I got so much from theory of change and business plan session. Because it forces us to go back and strengthen our concept, goals, and sustainability - Rena Amalika, Anak Bertanya

I learn a lot about stakeholder napping and business Plan. Because this whole time I never did both, right now I feel more confident in recognising the busniess opportunities  - Novan, Damar Kurung

I can decide what I can keep on doing and stop in my community, and thinking about how to produce work that are worth to "sell" - Harnita Rahman, Kedai Buku Jenny

I learn that I can be more directive in managing and running the hubs - Niko Dwi, Lamongan Sekarangi

I can identify the opportunities for my Hub to grow and scale with the focus on key activities that hit our goal. I also able to learn not to think too broadly by being able to understand our impact done in smaller context - Ellen Septiane, Kanopea