7pm, Wednesday 20 January,2016
Members: Entry free, buffet 350thb, Non Members: Entry 450thb, buffet, 350 thb
One of the products of the 1997 Asian financial crisis - or tom yam kung crisis as some in Thailand called it - was the formalization in 1998 of the Sufficiency Economy Philosophy of HM King Bhumibol Adjulyadej. This embraced Buddhist principles and advocated moderation, ethical behaviour and a concept of self-immunity, preparedness and resilience - but not autarky.
Based on King Bhumibol' s involvement over many years in development work, it offers thinking on sustainable development in a global era. Although it can be applied more widely, most tend to think of the Sufficiency Economy primarily in terms of agriculture. The related New Theory of agriculture has been promoted through study centres around the country - a vision of villages and family-scale farming that must compete in a world of hypermarkets, dual carriageways and credit-driven consumption.
In the late 1990s, living within ones means and avoiding excess were ideas that resonated with a deeply disillusioned nation that had been laid low economically and forced to take the bitter medicine dispensed by the International Monetary Fund. Like many countries, Thailand once again faces economic hardship, and people are looking for answers. How can sustainability and stability be achieved, and where does Sufficiency Economy thinking fit in? Is it prescriptive or counsel to help guard against the perils of unbridled capitalism?
To find out more about sufficiency and the quest for sustainability, join our first distinguished panel of 2016:
Dr Priyanut Dharmapiya (Piboolsravut) directs the Sufficiency School Centre, Foundation of Virtuous Youth. From 2005 to 2011, she was Sufficiency Economy research project director at the Crown Property Bureau following two years directing the Sufficiency Economy unit at the National Economic and Social Development Board. She has researched Buddhist economics, and took her PhD at Simon Fraser University, Canada, and her earlier degrees at Tsukuba University, Japan
Mom Luang Dispanadda Diskul is deputy chief executive officer of the Mae Fah Luang Foundation under Royal Patronage and has been its chief development officer since 2007. He oversees various rural development initiatives in Thailand and abroad intended to improve livelihoods directly and to train organizations in sustainable and alternative development, and social entrepreneurship. ML Dispanadda is active in the Doi Tung Development Project set up 27 years ago by HRH the Princess Mother to tackle opium cultivation, illicit trade, environmental degradation and economic insecurity, and has represented Thailand at various UN bodies. An MBA from Sasin, Chulalongkorn University, he is an economics graduate of Brandeis University in the US.
Dr Viroj Ali is an associate dean and lecturer for international affairs at Thammasat University with a PhD in political science and international affairs from the University of Birmingham in the UK. Published in numerous peer-review journals and a frequent speaker at conferences on international affairs, he contributes political commentary to Voice TV on its Wake Up Thailand and Voice Insight programmes.
Dr Sumit Champrasit is secretary general of the Institute of Sufficiency Economy and chairman of Scenario Thailand Foundation. An engineering graduate from King Mongkut's University of Technology, he took his PhD at Victoria University, Australia, and has a masters in management from Sasin.