The personal experiences of Tanoto Foundation founder and successful entrepreneur, Sukanto Tanoto, have helped shaped the Foundation’s philanthropic approach. The combination of the challenges faced in his early years and later in his career has given him the belief that nation-building through philanthropy requires both the systematic creation of equitable access to educational opportunities and a sustained, collaborative, growth-minded approach to its implementation.
The opening of new business operations exposed Tanoto to parts of rural Indonesia that are on the less advantaged end of the nation’s uneven growth and development. Job creation by the thousands would have been the socioeconomic panacea, but informed by his experiences, Tanoto saw it as only one of many facets of the complex task that is building a community and a nation. This view would continue to guide Tanoto Foundation’s philanthropic approach in nation-building – one that closely considers the endeavour’s nuances as well as the co-dependent and overlapping determinants of socio-economic progress.
The creation of equitable access to quality education requires constant attention and renewal of infrastructure and resources in, among many sectors, education, health and the economy. The implementation of impact investing demands systematic, multi-sectoral and inter-generational input to design holistic solutions with sustainable results for a sector that comprises 50 million students, 2.6 million teachers, and 250,000 schools across 900 islands.