Here’s an inconvenient truth…
An increment of two degree celsius in global temperature over the last two decade is largely to blame for mass poverty, hunger, deaths, displacement of humans and animals as well as warfares — as we transcend into a resource-less (scarcity of resources) planet. Our ability to consume the earth’s resources fare greater than our ability to renew it. At this rate — it would take 1,7 earth to accommodate human consumption (Attenborough, 2018). It is also forecasted that if we are unable to reverse the trend of putting a stop to the rise in global temperatures by a further two degree increment by 2050 then we are possibly looking at mass extinction of the earth’s inhabitants — including humankind.
You might have already predicted from reading my previous articles that this article will shed more light to a series of koperasi articles I have previously written.
But how exactly does the threat of climate change tie in with the existence of Indonesian koperasis/cooperatives?
Let me tell you a story….
Indonesian koperasis/cooperatives are very peculiar by way of default in that they operate with very high human touch/interaction. The value-driven nature of Indonesian cooperatives/koperasis entails that they operate, and are sustained by emotional values. All of this aligns with the seven principles on which the koperasi idea is founded upon.
The close-knit culture means that Indonesian koperasis/cooperatives will inevitably go about their day-to-day with countless in-person meetings within actors of their ecosystem; Management, members, as well as relevant external parties.
Put Covid aside, how else would an in person-meeting at a time like this have adverse effects on society as a whole? To add more context, let’s take the example of a traditional simpan-pinjam or savings and loans cooperative. Members of this koperasi make monthly mandatory deposits to crowdfund. Because of this, on top of making monthly trips to the koperasi secretariat to make savings, members would also come to the office to borrow money as well as making loan repayments. There is a common theme in the day-to-day operations of a traditional KSP: a lot of commuting!
To further deep dive on the implications of this, the carbon footprint of the average Indonesian is around 2.09 metric tonnes/year (2018). Whilst this is already an appalling statistic, It gets worse when you take into account that Indonesia boasts the largest koperasi member base worldwide: 28 million active members within 150,000 Indonesian koperasis. Do the number crunching and you will find that Indonesian koperasis account for approximately 56 million tonnes of overall Indonesian carbon footprint collectively.
The issue of mitigating climate change is a very serious one and hence every element of society including governments and corporations are doing their parts to contribute to de-accelerating this global phenomena. This is a bandwagon that koperasis should also join in. It is crucial that koperasis also play their part in mitigating climate change.
Poor collective action would mean that we would fail to effectively mitigate climate change. A consequence of this would mean that there will be serious repercussions in maintaining our habitats. Not only will we be faced with displacements and food security issues as a direct consequence of habitat loss, we — as a society — could be looking at a pandemic far more severe than Covid-19. To explain this simply: if humans and animals were to coexist in one habitual setting as a direct result of scarcity of land — this presents a great chance that there will also be a transference of diseases.
Whilst all of this may seem light years away, I have seen through Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s climate simulation pulling algorithms of millions of datasets, that we have a 30 year timeline to reverse and undo this trend to salvage a mass extinction of the earth’s inhabitants.
So where does technology fit into all of this?
Technology serves as digital enablers in streamlining business/operational processes. In the context of serving koperasis/cooperatives, technology is already proving to be crucial in streamlining the interaction within koperasi management and members to help koperasis effectively operate in this pandemic.
At VIS Indonesia, we have been studying the environmental as well as socio-economic implications to this cost-heavy model of koperasi/cooperative operations in Indonesia. Our intervention?
The VIS web-based dashboard for koperasi management and mobile app for members allows for simple technological interventions in helping koperasis manage their members database and streamline onboarding of members as well as help both members and management to carry out automated transactions at their convenience without having to commute.
Whilst our technological intervention help mitigate the need for heavy commuting within koperasi members, our integrated communication module also aims to increase interaction within members whereby the koperasi can communicate with members individually and as a whole. Furthermore, members also benefit from making cost-less transactions among each other as well as the koperasi.
To add to this, Our integrated platform is built in such a way that it enables members and koperasis to keep track of their finances in detail. VIS intends to enhance the digital and financial literacy of koperasi members for inclusive socio-economic growth and in line with Indonesia’s vision and mission in anticipating the nation’s demographic bonus in 2030–2040.
If digital enabling technologies are able to effectively sympathize with their koperasi partners and formulate a way to not only streaming managerial and transctional processes, but mediums of communication between the koperasi and it’s members then these are the changes are are likely to follow:
- The koperasi will prosper as a result on management being of strategically-oriented towards growth;
- Not only will koperasis prosper but koperasi members will likely have more disposable income as a they can then save on costs associated with frequent commutes such as fuel;
- Eliminating the need for commuting frequently can bring down the carbon footprint of each koperasi member and as well as the koperasi collectively by about a third — which is vital in ensuring the koperasi plays its part in contributing to de-accelerate climate change.
In-line with the government’s mission to accelerate the growth of koperasis through technology, members of the collective multi-sectoral coalition are also calling out on koperasis to jump in on technological advancements, to do their parts in helping our common sustainable development goals.