Digital Innovation Award

ADAMAS BELVA SYAH DEVARA MPA 2016 started during his time at Harvard Kennedy School. Since its founding, Ruangguru, which means “teacher’s room” in Indonesian, has grown to become the largest educational technology enterprise in Southeast Asia, operating in Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand and employing 4,000 people across the region.   

Ruangguru connects 15 million K–12 students with 300,000 teachers, allowing students to obtain high-quality tutoring on web and mobile platforms that make it easy to interact with others. In addition, Ruangguru has expanded to provide professional courses and corporate training to adults.

The affordable subscription cost dovetails with wider adoption of smartphones and internet connections to distribute high-quality education, especially in rural areas. Ruangguru, which has received several rounds of venture funding, comprehensively tracks the learning behaviors and quiz results of its students; it is leveraging this data using artificial intelligence to recommend the most optimal path to complete mastery for every student, taking into account population-level data and probabilistic estimates of each student’s mastery of every topic.

Devara, who has a social media presence with more than 350,000 followers, was selected by the president of Indonesia to serve as a special advisor. In this capacity, he helps ministries become more innovative and relevant in today’s digital world.

Photo courtesy of Adamas Belva Syah Devara