Held for 10 days, the international community engagement program was held by Office of International Affairs Consortium of three higher education institutions in Malang. The institutions are Politeknik Negeri Malang, STIE Malangkucecwara and STIKI Malang. This program was held collaboratively with Universitas Islam Raden Rahmat Malang. This program was supported by Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education, Republic of Indonesia through their national program for strengthening International Offices of Higher Education institutions in Indonesia. The program, which was started on July 22, 2018 to August 1, 2018, was designed to focus on the economic sustainability of fishermen in Tambakrejo Village, Sumbermanjing Wetan, Malang Regency. Under the topic “International Community Engagement for Economic Sustainability of Fishermen at Southern Malang Coasts”, as many as 29 international students from Malaysia, Vietnam, China, South Korea, Laos, Libya and Somalia participating in this program. To accompany these students, 14 Indonesian students from three universities participated also in this program. This program was also supported by the village government of Tambakrejo. They welcomed the international students and provided many supports to make this program ran successfully.
Before engaging with the fishermen community in Tambakrejo Village, the students from different background of knowledge were given three workshops in relation to the topic. The first workshop focused on “Fishery and Fish Processing” that was delivered by Dr. Ir. Muhammad Fajar, M.Sc from Brawijaya University on July 25, 2018 at STIE Malangkucecwara. This workshop provided a knowledge on the situation of Southern Malang Coasts, the knowledge on fishery and the information on processing the marine sources. Taking place in the Village Hall on the following day, July 26, 2018, the second workshop on “Marketing Management” was delivered by Imama Zuchroh, B.Sc., M.Com from STIE Malangkucecwara. This workshop provided the students with the knowledge on management on promoting the marine products and the village. Meanwhile, the implementation of the marketing management in the practical level was explained clearly by Fariz Rizky Wijaya, A.Md., S.Sn. on the third workshop entitled “Branding and Promotion of Tambakrejo Village, Malang Regency for Supporting Economic Sustainability”. In the third workshop, the students learnt about how to design the promoting package and design for promoting the marine products and the place.
By employing the design thinking method, the students implemented the knowledge they had from the workshop to the field. Through empathize, define, ideation, prototyping and co-creation with user, the students tried to explore more on the life of the fishermen of Tambakrejo. In the emphatize stage, the students did not only observe the environment and the fishermen community, but also interviewed the fishermen to get in-depth data on those aspects. The students also had a chance to engage with the fishermen daily life and activity to get to know more on the potential resources to be developed further or potential problems to be solved. Then, the collected data were gathered and analyzed in group discussion in the define stage. Next in the ideation stage, the students brainstormed the ideas for solving the problems. After the students choosing one particular idea, they made the prototype of the solution that was presented in the co-creation with user phase. The co-creation with user is the final phase in the design thinking process where the students present and explain their ideas to the users, in this case was the fishermen of Tambakrejo. This phase enables the users to discuss further on the ideas with the students to meet the users’ expectations and needs. In the end, the alternative solutions generated by the international and Indonesian students were in relation to cleaning management system, food production and promotion. These solutions have the direct and indirect impact to the economic sustainability of the fishermen in Tambakrejo. Among many problems that might be faced by the community of Tambakrejo, it is expected that the solutions might help improving their village and their economic condition.
Design thinking which was used in this program is a methodology in finding solution faced by the community as design thinking is a method that focuses on people. This method unlocks the students’ creativity and innovation in order to create feasible and viable solutions/ideas. By having interaction with the fishermen in Tambakrejo, the students understand the beliefs, values, motivations, behaviors, pains, gains, and challenges of the community. It is proven that this methodology enables the students from different background of education and culture to explore and share their perspectives in solving the problem in the fisherman community in Tambakrejo. By living in the community for five days, the students were able to uncover the unmet needs of the community for improving their environment as well as their economic condition.
The creative ideas that have become the output of this program are the world contributions to the welfare of the fishermen community. It is expected that the ideas can be beneficial to the community by bringing them to the reality. Many follow-up programs can be made in the future for empowering the fishermen community of Tambakrejo. Dream big, start small.