Looking Back on 2019

Before we kick-start the first semester of 2020, it is worth reflecting on 2019, which was an exciting year at Thammasat University’s School of Global Studies. We launched Thailand’s first Masters in Social Innovation and Sustainability and welcomed 14 students from Thailand, Nepal, the UK and the USA. Over the first semester, they developed analytical, critical thinking, research and design thinking skills through a range of courses such as disruptive innovation, sustainability, design thinking and organisational management.

The program’s mission is to develop a community of researchers and practitioners to tackle the region’s most pressing social and environmental challenges, so we’ve been paying attention to getting out of the classroom and creating conversations with the public.  

On September 25, we held a public panel discussion about the Sustainable Development Goals. On the panel, we were fortunate to be joined by Nicola Crosta from Impact46.  He reflected on his time at the UN and working on the development of the SDGs. We also welcomed Dayyan Shayani from UNESCAP’s Statistics Division. He gave an insightful talk on how they measure the progress of the SDGs and the various measurement challenges they face. 

On October 9, we held the Research for Sustainable Change public talk with the support of the Thailand Market Research Society. Grant Bertoli shared valuable research his company Market Buzzz conducted on the perceptions of Thai consumers to social and environmental issues. Dave McCaughan brought his wealth of experience as a researcher and strategist for the world’s leading brands by sharing several insightful case studies on social and behavioural change campaigns. 

On October 16, we brought together in panel discussion young parliamentarians, including Kunthida Rungruengkiat from Future Forward Party, Phetchompoo Kijburana from the Action Coalition for Thailand Party, Saratsanan Unnapporn from the Pheu Thai Party, and Chitpas Kridakorn from the Democrat Party. They discussed the challenges of being young parliamentarians and how they are trying to challenge the status-quo inside and outside their parties. 

On October 26, MA students Nattakorn Asunee Na Ayudhaya, Pongkarn Boonsema, Kwanchanok Kongchoksamai, Amornchot Singh, and Naphat Sukcharoenchok organised the Re(mind)set: rethink before you think(ทิ้ง)  public event at FREC to learn and raise awareness about plastic waste and how they can be transformed into valuable products. They welcomed speakers Ms. Papawee Pongthanavaranon (Pear Papawee), co-founder of Refill Station Bangkok and Better Moon café, Medhawarintr Dhanarachwattana from Precious Plastic Bangkok, and the Assistant Professor Dr Prinya Thaewanarumitkul, the Vice-Rector for Sustainability and Administration at Thammasat University and the Founder of “Kayaking for Chao Phraya”. You can learn more about the event here.  

On November 13, MA students Rebecca Walker, Saurav Raj Basnet, Adam Sharpe and Sutima Detsakulrat organised an event on the power of empathy to achieve quality education for all at WeLearn. They brought together representatives from Two Minutes Video, the Jump Foundation, Aristotle’s cafe, and the Malongdu Theatre to share how they facilitate the development of empathy through immersive learning. 

On November 27, we were fortunate to be joined again by Nicola Costa, CEO and Founder of Impact46. He shared his valuable experience and outlined key findings based on exhaustive research into what makes an impactful and successful non-profit. Learn about the many insights Nicola shared with us here. 

For the final event of the year on December 4, MA students Michou Tchana-Hyman, Kamonchanok Konghahong, Tarie Phasomsap Caouette, Thaniya Theungsang, and Atcharawadee Srinandphol organised a panel discussion on creating an education system that addresses the needs of the hundreds of thousands of young migrants in Thailand.  They held the event at SEA Junction and welcomed migrant students from Myanmar and representatives from Beam Education Foundation, Partners Asia, the Baan Dek Foundation and the Office of Non-Formal and Informal Education, who participated in an enlightening dialogue on the many challenges faced by young migrants in Thailand. Learn more here. 

We want to thank everyone that joined events as speakers and attendees during our first semester. We plan on organising more public events over the next year as we try to expand our community and engage in public conversations about the many challenges the region faces. 




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