“… I’m passionate about harnessing the engine of commerce to create social, environmental and economic value with the communities that we work with.” Simon Baldwin
Simon leads the Indonesian branch of SecondMuse where our efforts focus on creating economic, social, and environmental value by supporting new venture creation. Simon is particularly passionate about the role that new businesses can play in creating social value in emerging markets like Indonesia. In today’s blog, we invite you to meet Simon and hear what he’s working on with the team in Indonesia and what inspires him to do that work.
Simon, what excites you most about the work you and the SecondMuse team in Indonesia are doing?
While the Indonesia office is working on a number of really exciting projects, the one I’m most excited about is the innovation ecosystem that we are building around the aquaculture and fisheries sectors. Indonesia is an archipelago of over 17,000 islands and it’s estimated that over 10 million people derive their livelihoods from these sectors. Moreover, aquatic protein is an extremely important source of nutrition for people living in Indonesia. Despite this, over-fishing and maritime pollution is placing strains on wild caught fish stocks. To tackle this, and to support new innovations within the industry, with support from DFAT and Intel, we are currently conducting research that will lead to Indonesia’s first ever aquatic-focused business accelerator. Over the past few months we’ve been speaking with fishers, farmers, feed suppliers, and other key stakeholders to inform the design of the accelerator, which will launch in August 2018. We’ve already identified a range of really exciting local start-ups who are providing new solutions to some of the problems that have plagued the industry. For example, Magalarva is a waste management company that uses black fly larvae to produce an aquaculture feed. There’s Fishcoin, a blockchain-powered certification system. There’s also Jala, an internet of thing shrimp farm assistant, and eFishery, a smarter fish feeder.
To take a step back, what is the journey that led you to your work with SecondMuse?
In the early 2000s, while working on an HIV prevention project in Northern Thailand, I met a young man at a health clinic. That young man would die three weeks later. Whilst his death certificate read AIDS, I soon realised that the real reason for his death was not medical but social – he died from stigma and poverty. Over the next decade, I’d work in several senior positions on international development projects in South and Southeast Asia and the Pacific. However, frustrated by the failings of the international development complex, I quit, turned my hand to digital entrepreneurship, and built a private crowdfunding platform. This experience led me to SecondMuse, where I’m passionate about harnessing the engine of commerce to create social, environmental and economic value with the communities that we work with.
What are you passionate about outside of the work you’re doing in the innovation space?
I’m a passionate surfer and cook. For me, these two pursuits underpin much of the way I understand the world. These loves connect me to the environment, introduce me to new cultures and provide justifications to visit far flung places right across the amazing archipelago of Indonesia. Eating is more than a source of fuel, it’s a window into culture. Sharing a meal is my favourite way to spend time with people. On the other hand, for me, surfing is a solitary activity. It’s a chance to be reminded of nature’s beauty, power, and vulnerability. Over the past few years, I’ve begun to document my adventures in a cookbook that tells the amazing stories behind sambal, Indonesia’s famous spicy condiment. If you’d like a recipe please be sure to reach out!