KH Abdurrahman Wahid
H.E Abdurrahman Wahid, affectionately known as 'Gus Dur', was an important Islamic thinker and leader committed to promoting peace, justice and respect for difference in a plural world. In Indonesia, he was known as a prominent intellectual figure as well as one of the main figures promoting progressive Islamic thought and practice. Known around the world for his commitment to peace and to campaigning against sectarian violence and intolerance. The focus of his thought was on working to to reduce communal tensions and conflicts around the world, including between Islam and the West. He led the largest Islamic organization in the world – the 40 million strong Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) – for 15 years (1983-1998), when he introduced the tradition of inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue, not only in Indonesia, but also throughout the world, and was a tireless promoter of democratic values. His leadership as the fourth President of the Republic of Indonesia (1999-2001) came during a time of crisis that was full of turmoil and intrigue instigated by counter-reform forces. Nevertheless, he succeeded in laying the foundations of the country for law enforcement, the reform of the military and its withdrawal from politics, and people-oriented economic development, as well as fostering cooperation between religions to support democracy and law enforcement.
Prof Greg Barton
Greg Barton is Professor of Global Islamic Politics in the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalization at Deakin University in Melbourne Australia. Since the late 1980s he has researched the influence of Islamic liberalism in Indonesia and its contribution to the development of civil society and democracy. One of the central figures in his research has been Gus Dur, whom Greg came to know better than perhaps any other researcher.
Yenny Zannuba Wahid
Yenny Wahid, the second daughter of H.E. Abdurrahman Wahid, was a former journalist for the Australian newspapers, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. A graduate from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government where she obtained a master’s degree in Public Administration, Yenny was appointed as a member of the special staff for political communication working in the office of President Yudhoyono in 2006, before leaving a year later to concentrate on her work with grass roots communities. In 2009 she was named as one of the Young Global Leader honorees by the World Economic Forum, along with the likes of Tiger Woods and Mark Zuckenberg. She is currently, amongst other positions she holds, a member of the Global Council on Faith.
Ahmad Suaedy is well known as a long-term activist of progressive Islam. Since 1990s he has been facilitating the progress of Islamic youth movements, many proved critical to the democratization process that began with President Suharto’s resignation in 1998. Apart from democratic reform, he has been involved in advocacy for religious minorities and traditions in Indonesia. For the past 5 years, he’s been actively conducting research on Muslim minorities across South East Asia; including communities in southern Thailand, Southern Phillippines, Singapore, Cambodia, Vietnam, East Indonesia, and Malaysia (Penang); as well as contributing to the burgeoning network of South East Asia progressive Muslims.