bold = confirmed; italic = to be confirmed





Sulak Sivaraksa (Thailand)

Sulak Sivaraksa was recognized with the Right Livelihood Award in 1995. He received several international awards including the Niwano Peace Prize, 2012.         

“Right Livelihood (…) is a Buddhist term, a key element of the Noble Eightfold Path, or Middle way, as the Buddha taught. It is a way for all of us to transcend greed, hatred and delusion (…)”

The Right Livelihood Award Foundation extended the traditional Buddhist concept into a universal recognition “of courageous people and organisations that have found practical solutions to the root causes of global problems”.

Sulak returned to Thailand (which he keeps calling Siam) after studying law in Great Britain, and has since played a leading role in the mobilisation of Thai and South-East Asian civil society. This has repeatedly brought him into conflict with public authorities. Some examples of the lifelong activism of “Ajarn” (= Doctor) Sulak are the creation of a string of social innovation and development organisations, such as the Spirit in Education Movement (SEM), International Network of Engaged Buddhists (INEB) with the INEB Institute for transformative learning; and the early “Alternatives to Consumerism” network. His support for community development leadership training in Burma, now Myanmar, was initiated long before the country opened up, with Wongsanit Ashram – which he founded – as a “hidden” meeting place.

Right Livelihood Lecture 2019

Raúl Montenegro (Argentina)

Raul Montenegro is Professor in Evolutionary Biology and Founder of FUNAM.

Raúl Monenegro will deliver the Right Livelihood Lecture during the Earth Trusteeship Forum, 19 – 21 July 2019.

Raúl received the Right Livelihood Award in 2004 “for his outstanding work with local communities and indigenous people to protect the environment and natural resources”.

If we destroy their environments and communities, we will lose the answers they have to solving our problems, and to the protection of our common futures.” 

Since 1985 he has been Professor of Evolutionary Biology at the National University of Cordoba. In 1982 he was the principal founder of FUNAM (Environment Defence Foundation), and has been its President since 1995. At present, he is FUNAM’s representative at the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) at the United Nations. Raúl Monenegro has managed to bridge the gaps between the environment, development, universities, citizens and NGOs. He is a supporter of the Campaign for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly (UNPA), an organisation that promotes democratic reform of the United Nations.

In addition to his actions, Montenegro has come up with theoretical concepts in order to increase the knowledge and understanding of balanced ecosystems, and has held numerous conferences on this topic. Raúl Montenegro leads the Right Livelihood College campus Cordoba.

Resource persons

Klaus Bosselmann (New Zealand)

Professor Klaus Bosselmann delivered a groundbreaking presentation on Earth Trusteeship for the UN General Assembly, New York.

Dr. Klaus Bosselmann is Professor of Law and Founding Director of the New Zealand Centre for Environmental Law at the University of Auckland. He has provided consultancy for the OECD, UN, EU, and the governments of Germany and New Zealand. He was a delegate at the Earth Summits in Rio de Janeiro (1992 and 2012) on Environment and Development. He is Chair of the IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law Ethics Specialist Group and Co-chair of the Global Ecological Integrity Group. Recently he founded ELGA, the Ecological Law and Governance Association.

Klaus has authored 15 books, edited or co-edited 14 volumes and has written over 100 articles. For his pioneering work on ecological law he has received numerous awards including the Inaugural Senior Scholarship Prize of the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law.

In April 2017 Klaus Bosselmann presented his views at the UN General Assembly “Harmony of Nature” interactive dialogue in a groundbreaking speech titled “The Next Step: Earth t(T)rusteeship”.

Neshan Gunasekera (Sri Lanka) – Educationist and Lawyer

Neshan Gunasekera is a Councillor of the World Future Council, a sportsman and lawyer.

Neshan Gunasekera is an educationist, coach, facilitator and lawyer from Sri Lanka. He is committed to bring communities together for environmental protection, healing and conservation through the use of intergenerational, holistic and experiential learning. Neshan was also the former Director (2007-2012), of the Centre set up by late Judge C.G. Weeramantry, former Vice-President, International Court of Justice and founding member of the World Future Council.

Neshan has supported the work of several international organizations including the World Future Council from its inception in a variety of capacities including as a Policy Advisor to the Future Justice Commission during the last few years. He is affiliated to several organizations, including the International Association of Lawyer’s Against Nuclear Arms and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Neshan is a keen sportsman and uses sports as a tool for leadership training and integration.

Neshan Gunasekera became a member of the World Future Council in September 2017.

Alide Roerink (the Netherlands) – Earth Charter

Alide Roerink is Earth Charter International Council member.

Alide Roerink is an anthropologist and has been involved over the years in networking, advocacy, and policy development for gender justice, international solidarity, and global governance. Alide cooperated with the Earth Charter Initiative in the launch of the Earth Charter in 2000 in the Peace Palace in The Hague and in several key global Earth Charter events, such as the celebration of 5, 10 and 15 years Earth Charter. From 2000 to 2013 she worked at the National Committee for International Cooperation and Sustainable Development (NCDO). She coordinated several multi-stakeholder consultations in the context of key UN conferences on sustainable development and international cooperation. Together with Earth Charter Commissioner Ruud Lubbers, Alide initiated the Round Table of Worldconnectors for People and the Planet. Alide Roerink initiated and co-edited the book Earth Charter in Action: Towards a Sustainable World.

Dasho Karma Ura (Bhutan)

Dasho Karma Ura is a gifted artist, famous for his mural paintings and Dochula Festival at
Druk Wangyal Lhakhang.

Karma Ura studied at St. Stephen’s Delhi; Magdalen College, Oxford; and Edinburgh University. He worked for the Ministry of Planning of Bhutan for 12 years before becoming the Director of the Centre for Bhutan and GNH Studies (CBS) from its founding in 1999 until 2008 when he became its President. The CBS has been at the forefront of promoting His Majesty the fourth King Jigme Singye Wangchuck’s development philosophy of Gross National Happiness and conducting multidisciplinary research about Bhutan.

He was a member of the Drafting Committee of Bhutan’s first Constitution, enacted in July 2008. His Majesty the Fourth King bestowed on him the red scarf and the ancient title of distinction, Dasho, for his dedicated service to the country. In 2009 Dasho Karma Ura co-founded the School for Wellbeing Studies and Research.

In 2010, he was bestowed the honour of Druk Khorlo (Wheel of Dragon Kingdom) by His Majesty the King for his contributions to literature and fine arts. He is a gifted painter. He has written several books, such as The Hero with a Thousand Eyes; and Leadership of the Wise: Kings of Bhutan. He has contributed articles to numerous books.           

Suntariya Muanpawong (Thailand)

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Longstanding champion of the environment.

Judge Suntariya campaigned for establishing of the Environment Court of Thailand.

Dr. Suntariya Muanpawong is a longstanding champion of the environment. A Research Judge in the Court of Appeal, she is one of the growing number of women
judges who are committed to environmental jurisprudence.
Judge Suntariya plays many important advisory roles in the parliament and has
consistently been an advocate for nature conservation. She is a key initiator of establishing the Environment Court of Thailand. The proposal passed by the National Reform Assembly and the National Reform Steering Assembly of Thailand, and is expected to be operational in 2022.

Prior to her current role, Judge Suntariya was the Director of the Judicial Research
Institute and the Secretary of the Environment Division of the Supreme court. During
that time, she managed many innovative initiatives and proposed novel judicial
policies to enhance the role of Thailand’s judiciary in conservation and environmental
protection. She gives environmental law lectures at the Judicial Training Institute and
many leading law faculties in Thailand. Her works and contribution are also for
human rights protection, juvenile justice, gender justice and justice reform.

Aneesh Thillenkery (India)

Aneesh Thillenkery © Yann Forget / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0.

April 27, 2019: We received news that Rajaji fell ill in Europe and is recovering in India. As soon as he is fit again he will have to concentrate fully on the preparations for JAI JAGAT 2020 in India and may not be able to join the Earth Trusteeship Forum. We are looking for ways to still connect with the JAI JAGAT 2020 campaign.

Aneesh Thillenkery, Coordinator Ekta Parishad, will represent Rajagopal P.V. during the Earth Trusteeship Forum! Rajaji is in good health again.

Rajagopal P.V. (India)

Rajagopal will deliver the 150 Years Mahatma Gandhi lecture, Friday afternoon 19 July, sponsored by the CU Indian Studies Center.

Rajagopal P.V. is a Gandhian activist, and a former Vice Chairman of the Gandhi Peace Foundation, New Delhi. He is the president and founding member of Ekta Parishad. Rajagopal started his peace-building life mission by working alongside Gandhian stalwarts J.P. Narayan and Subba Rao to disarm 578 dacoits (outlaws) in Chambal region of India in 1972. Thereafter he turned away from dealing with direct violence, to the indirect violence suffered by Adivasis (indigenous peoples), bonded labourers and other landless communities affected from poverty and exploitation.

Over the course of 30 years (1989 to 2018) Rajagopal trained thousands of rural young people to be in villages as trainer-leaders to build up community leadership and people’s action. This culminated in a series of national actions, one in 2007 when 25,000 landless poor –mainly Adivasis, marched to the capital New Delhi to demand the land reforms promised at Independence. ‘The government was forced to agree to all the demands that we made in that long march.’ This led to the implementation of the Forest Rights Act.

The JAI JAGAT 2020 March will conclude in Geneva with the Geneva People’s Action Forum, 25 September – 3 October 2020.

The second national action came in 2012. Rajagopal led a march of 100,000 people to the capital of India to demand people’s control over land and livelihood resources. The movement signed a ten point agreement with the Government of India.

From 2018 onwards Rajagopal is embarking on an even more ambitious agenda: to mobilize people from all over the world to undertake a walk on Geneva in 2020 to non-violently address their livelihood rights. A group of young Gandhian leaders will walk from New Delhi to Geneva. They will meet the international community gathered in the Geneva People’s Action Forum from 25 September – 3 October 2020. Rajagopal’s main contribution can be seen as introducing nonviolence as tool for millions of people to address their grievances and also to enhance dialogue with the state and other stakeholders.

Netiwit Chotiphatphaisal (Thailand) – could not join

Country belongs to everyone.

Netiwit is a student activist, librarian, conscientious objector, publisher, and author. He is also a founder of TERA (Thailand Educational Revolution Alliance).

Netiwit is an outspoken activist. In 2018, the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) filed a police complaint against him and six activists for being leaders of the protest and accused them, along with thirty-two other protesters, of violating the 2015 Public Assembly Act.

In 2018, Netiwit was announced as 1 of 50 Asians to watch in public and social sector by the Straits Times as an honor to his social works, especially on democracy, education and military conscription.

Netiwit is currently studying at Chulalongkorn University, majoring in political science. He was the elected student council president at Chulalongkorn University and a librarian at the Santi Pracha Dhamma Library.

Jan van de Venis (the Netherlands)

Dutch Ombudsperson for Future Generations Jan van de Venis, Human Rights Lawyer.

Jan van de Venis is a solicitor and owner of the law firm JustLaw and Legal Desk Director of Swiss Waterlex. He particularly concentrates on human rights and sustainable development issues. He is also chair of the board of Stand Up For Your Rights. Jan was a member of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) in the Governance and Remuneration Working Group and a special guest lecturer on Human Rights for several universities, including the University of Utrecht.

Jan van de Venis was previously legal counsel at Greenpeace International and senior associate at the law firm Marree en Dijxhoorn. He is author of several publications on human rights law and sustainable development. He is a popular speaker on these subjects, also given the relation to responsible business practices.

Jan is currently involved as advisor to multiple campaigns and initiatives on human rights and a healthy environment (incl. Child’s Right to Nature and a Healthy Environment) and he is the first Dutch Ombudsperson for Future Generations.

Diana Archer (UK / Thailand)

Diane Archer's picture

Diane Archer joined the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) Asia in September 2018 as Urban Research Fellow, working on the City Health and Wellbeing Initiative. She also works on urban climate resilience and other initiatives seeking to achieve more equitable and sustainable cities.

Diane brings expertise on urban poverty and urban community-led development, with an emphasis on achieving inclusive urban governance in cities of Asia and Africa. She has also previously worked on responses to urban humanitarian crises as well as adaptation to climate change in cities.

Before joining SEI, Diane worked at the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) in London and the Asian Coalition for Housing Rights (ACHR) in Thailand. She holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge on social capital in participatory slum upgrading in Bangkok, an MPhil in Planning, Growth and Regeneration, and an MA in Land Economy.

Pipope Panitchpakdi (Thailand) – during CURLS gathering at Wongsanit Ashram

Image result for Pipope Panitchpakdi

Pipope Panitchpakdi is currently a Deputy Director-General at Thai Public Broadcasting Service. He is also known as a social documentary film maker and a veteran news reporter with emphasis on environmental issue, climate change adaptation in developing countries and social justice.
His best known work is about the impact of development projects that are taking place in the Mekong river basin.

Pipope is also active as an advocate for media literacy and democratization of the media. He developed a mobile phone workshop for citizen journalists nation-wide. He also a strong advocate for mindful documentary and news production with the focus on do-no-harm concept of journalistic engagement.
Pipope is also a member of Thailand Broadcasting Journalists Associations and was its vice president for two consecutive terms, from 2014 to 2016. He was also a board member of Thai Media Fund from 2016 to 2017. His educational background is in Mass Communication and Theatre Arts.

Gerald Häfner (Germany/Switzerland) – could not join

Gerald Haefner is a co-founder of the Green Party in Germany. Currently he is the Head of the Social Sciences Section at the Goetheanum, Switzerland.

Born in Munich, Germany, Gerald Häfner is Leader of the Section for Social Sciences at the Goetheanum, Dornach, Switzerland, since 2015. He was a German politician and co-founder of the Green Party in Germany. During 1987-2002 he served several times as a member of the German parliament (Bundestag) for the Greens and was during 2009-2014 Member of the European Parliament. In that period he was actively involved in the EU delegation for relations with the Korean peninsula and countries of Southeast Asia and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)

Häfner is a journalist, Waldorf teacher and (co-)founder of numerous initiatives and foundations as for example “Democracy International eV.” based in Cologne, Germany, and the Petra Kelly Stiftung.

Systems are thoughts that have crystallized into rules and institutions. Wherever they do this they create a new, second, reality. Social ideas and forms must continue to evolve because if they don’t they will hinder the development of the human individuality and of society – with dire consequences for both.

Gerald Häfner says about the Section for Social Sciences that it is concerned with the critical revision and renewal of the concept of property. A brotherly and sisterly, sustainable economy, interested in the wellbeing of all, needs new, appropriate forms of property. This is particularly true when it comes to the ownership of enterprises. Who owns an enterprise? Society? The staff and workers? The investor? The shareholders? The enterprise itself? Finding new and adequate forms in this sphere is a crucial precondition for a successful new economy that strives to bring together entrepreneurial freedom with consideration for the wellbeing of all and the Earth community.

Gunjan Singh (India)

Litigation Head, Human Rights Law Network (HRLN), New Delhi. HRLN was founded by Right Livelihood Award Laureate Colin Gonsalves. Gunjan is practicing as an advocate before the Supreme Court of India and various other courts and tribunals, representing cases of human rights violations with a particular focus on cases relating to bonded labourers, acid attack victim survivors, refugees, disability rights and labour rights. Responsible for mentoring advocates and interns.

Gunjan was an intern at the International Bar Association, London, U.K. where he worked on a Business and Human Rights project; and earlier at the TATA Institute of Social Sciences (TISS); and a researcher at the ILO. He drafted complaints before international bodies like ILO and OECD, and was instrumental in organising legal clinics for workers at the industrial belt of Gurgaon. At TISS Gunjan conducted fieldwork and submitted a report on the theme Social Exclusion of Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups, Parahias in Palamau, Jharkhand. 

Mike Hayes (Australia)

Mike Hayes
Programme Director

Dr. Michael George Hayes is Programme Director, Master of Human Rights and Democratisation, Institute of Human Rights and Peace Studies, Mahidol University. The programme is co-funded by the European Commission, the Master of Arts in Human Rights and Democratisation – Asia Pacific Region (APMA). It is the region’s premier degree in human rights and democratisation. Mahidol University has been involved in the program since 2010. The degree offers students the opportunity to study both at Mahidol University, Thailand, and one of four selected universities in the Asia Pacific, each with a particular expertise in human rights and democratisation.

The four universities are:

  • Ateneo de Manila Law School (the Philippines)
  • Universitas Gadjah Mada (Indonesia)
  • Kathmandu School of Law (Nepal)
  • The University of Colombo, Centre for the Study of Human Rights (Sri Lanka)

The Institute of Human Rights and Peace Studies is the Asian partner of the Global Campus of Human Rights which recently signed an MOU with the Right Livelihood Award Foundation towards collaboration with the Right Livelihood College.

Lasse Schuldt (Germany)

Corporate and business crimes in ASEAN countries

Dr. Lasse Schuldt joined the Faculty of Law, Thammasat University, in 2015 as a full-time lecturer. He received his legal education from Humboldt University Berlin, with an exchange semester at the University of Paris I. He completed a doctoral dissertation at Humboldt University on the criminal liability of journalists and holds the qualifications for judicial office in Germany. Prior to joining the faculty, he practiced as an attorney in Berlin. Dr. Schuldt lectures in comparative constitutional and administrative law, business crimes and German law. His current research focuses on adjudication by human rights courts, international criminal law in Southeast Asia, and corporate and business crimes in ASEAN countries. He has been supported by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and is also a member of the German-Southeast Asian Center of Excellence for Public Policy and Good Governance (CPG).

Jennifer Chang (South Korea).

Jennifer Chang emphasized the importance of land ownership for organic agriculture

Jennifer Chang has been working as the Executive Director of IFOAM Asia since 2012.

She has lived and worked in many countries including the US, Europe and Asia for over 25 years and speaks English, Korean and Malaysian. She also understands French and German. She has worked at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland before becoming part of IFOAM Asia.

In November 2017, she was elected as Vice-President of IFOAM Organics International based in Germany.

Anwar Fazal (Malaysia)

Anwar Fazal is the Founder of the Right Livelihood College.

Anwar Fazal received the Right Livelihood Award for his work in promoting and protecting the public interest in 1982. Anwar Fazal is a leading international civil society person who has contributed much to society in areas of consumer, environment, human rights and social ethics.

Deeply concerned about the social injustices, especially marketing practices by the transnational corporations in developing countries, he has strived to and has succeeded in bringing these to international attention way back in the 1970s. In his work on consumer issues he is responsible for broadening consumer concerns to go beyond weights and measures. Anwar’s consumer activism ensured that appropriate infant feeding practices, pesticide hazards, pharmaceuticals and health became indeed consumer issues requiring urgent global action.

As the Director of the Asia-Pacific Regional Office of the International Organization of Consumers Unions (IOCU) now known as Consumers International (CI), 1974 – 1990, and President of IOCU (the first third world person and at 37 years the youngest to be elected to that position) with head office in the Netherlands, 1978-84, he ensured that the voice of the poor consumers in the developing world was heard in international fora. Anwar Fazal is a founder and one of the prime movers of several local and global citizens movements: the Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) founded in 1969, International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) and Pesticide Action Network (PAN) formed in 1982. 

He also serves as Chairperson of the Taiping Peace Initiative and, as a devout muslim, the Malaysian Interfaith Network. He is on the Board of Citizens International, Sahabat Alam Malaysia (Friends of the Earth, Malaysia).

Phra Win Mektripop Siriwatthano (Thailand) – represented by Buddhist monks group

Phra Win(POP) Siriwatthano(Mektripop)

Phra Win is an Executive Committee Member at the International Network of Engaged Buddhists (INEB). He was a Committee Member and Coordinator of the Volunteer Spirit Network, a conglomerate of the social workforce that brought together the volunteers who helped ease the tragic tsunami disaster in 2004 and those who place a significance in volunteerism and giving to society. Phra Win studied economics at Thammasat University and holds an M.Sc. in Ecologocal Economics of Chulalongkorn University.

Katherine Marshall, USA, The Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers

Professor at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs

Katherine Marshall is currently a senior fellow at Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs and Professor of the Practice of Development, Religion, and Conflict in the School of Foreign Service. She also leads the World Faiths Development Dialogue (WFDD). Established in 1998 by James D. Wolfensohn, then President of the World Bank, and Lord George Carey, then Archbishop of Canterbury, The World Faiths Development Dialogue (WFDD) bridges between the worlds of faith and secular development. Katherine Marshall is active in The Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers. The Network strengthens peacemaking through supporting the positive role of religious and traditional actors in peace and peacebuilding processes. The Network connects religious and traditional actors to national and international peacebuilders, such as the United Nations, UN Member States, regional and sub-regional bodies and Civil Society Organizations. Katherine Marshall spent 35 years at the World Bank in operational leadership positions, and now serves or has served on the Boards of several NGOs and advisory groups such as The International Shinto Foundation, the Niwano Peace Prize International Selection Committee, and the Opus Prize Foundation. She was part of the founding members of IDEA (International Development Ethics Association), the International Anti-Corruption Advisory Conference (IACC) and the End Child Poverty Steering Committee. Her most recent books are Global Institutions of Religion: Ancient Movers, Modern Shakers, (Routledge 2013) and (co-edited with Susan Hayward) Women, Religion, and Peacebuilding: Illuminating the Unseen (US Institute of Peace, 2015).

Alissa Wahid (Indonesia)

National Director of Gusdurian Network Indonesia

National Director of Gusdurian Network Indonesia.  Alissa Wahid, is a trained family psychologist, but is most recognised for her work in the social sector on multiculturalism, democracy and human rights and moderate Muslim movements in Indonesia. She currently focuses on leadership development for interreligious youth leaders. 

She is the National Director of Gusdurian Network Indonesia (GNI), named after her late father, President Abdurrahman Wahid who is also known as Gus Dur. GNI hosts thousands of grassroots-level activists in more than 100 cities in Indonesia, working to promote interfaith dialogue and understanding, active citisenship, democracy and human rights. GNI is known for its work at the local level, for example the 2015 International Day for Tolerance that took place in 50 cities.   

Recent publication of the late Gus Dur’s writings.

Alissa has a master’s degree in psychology and is also active in Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), the biggest Muslim organisation with more than 50 million members, as General Secretary of its Family Welfare Agency. In this role, she aims to promote just, strong, and moderate Muslim families.

Wahid meets with and speaks to thousands of people annually through public events. She is a Civil Society Ambassador for Sustainable Development Goals in Indonesia, focusing on Goal 16: Peace, Good Governance and Access to Justice. She received Indonesia Shine-On Award in 2015 from Good Housekeeping Indonesia magazine. She was also awarded the Women Award 2016 from Indonesia Marketing Week.

Wahid dreams of a just and peaceful world. As a leader, she lives by the principle: ‘without integrity, no one listens; without trust, no one follows.’

Yeb Saño (Philippines) –                                                                                                                   

Passionate former diplomat became Greenpeace Southeast Asia’s Executive Director.

Yeb is Greenpeace Southeast Asia’s Executive Director. In 2015 the former international climate negotiator-turned-environmentalist walked from Rome to Paris, hoping for a “miracle” that would push world leaders to strike a deal on global warming. Blessed by Pope Francis He made the 1,500 km walk with the blessings of Pope Francis.                                                                                          In 2016 Yeb joined Greenpeace with the firm belief that the solution to the world’s ecological crisis does not exist in the corridors of power, but by catalysing an interconnected, global movement of people. “The battle cannot be won merely within the confines of the institutions we have built and the boundaries of my own country. All of us need to stand together to make it happen”. Recently he sent together with fellow activists a letter to the Guardian: “The world faces two existential crises, developing with terrifying speed: climate breakdown and ecological breakdown,” the group writes. “Neither is being addressed with the urgency needed to prevent our life-support systems from spiralling into collapse”. The signatories of the letter support joining massively the UN Decade for ecosystem restoration 2021 – 2030.

Thai priest urges peaceful path to reform

Father Vichai Phokthavi replaced Yeb Sano at the interreligious ceremony.

Father Vichai, former director of the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace, is known for addressing in 2014 protesters in a city still scarred from deadly riots advising them that the use of nonviolence was the best way for them to achieve their goals.

“I am not involved in politics and I am not here to choose sides. I am here to help strengthen Thai society and to promote justice and peace and good morals among Thai people and Thai politics,” he said.

Harsha Navaratne (Sri Lanka)

Chairman of the International Network of Engaged Buddhists (INEB).

Harsha Navaratne, the Chairman of the Executive Board of the International Network of Engaged Buddhists (INEB), has devoted his life to progressive, religious based social development: first as a member of the founding generation of the Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement, and more recently, as the founder of Sevalanka, an independent NGO in Sri Lanka. He became Chairman of INEB to bring Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus and Christians together for peaceful dialogue in particular in Asia, including indigenous peoples and their beliefs.

According to Harsha “Sri Lanka boasts of a past where traditional village societies thrived. Decisions were made locally as people came together and shared their experiences, wisdom, and knowledge handed down over generations. As members decided over the fate of their own lives, villages also nurtured a sense of ownership of the community. However, political changes in the country e.g. colonization and shift of decision-making to the centralized government, upset this traditional way of communal governance. With the growing bureaucracy to meet the demands of developmental and social needs and the elitist majority-based politics, common people are excluded from the public sphere. Economic policies favored the wealthy, leading to a widening gap between the rich and the poor. Populist policies to win over votes of the majority led to minorities being marginalized”.

“Civil society sets up (…) space for people to participate in decision-making and makes them feel empowered to effect changes within their communities. Only when people feel that they are active members of civil society – able to organize and mobilize – will there be sustainable resolutions to the peace issues in Sri Lanka (in Asia, and globally)”.

Somboon Chungprampree (Thailand)

Social development in Myanmar.

Before becoming Executive Secretary of the International Network of Engaged Buddhists (INEB) in 2009, Somboon Chungprampree (Moo), a pioneering member of the Wongsanit Ashram community, worked for progressive, Buddhist based social development in Myanmar. More recently, he has helped guide INEB’s International Forum on Buddhist-Muslim Relations, which has brought together Buddhist and Muslims leaders throughout South and Southeast Asia to promote mutual understanding and speak openly on non-violent dialogue and diplomacy.  

Moo is a co-founder of the School for Wellbeing Studies and Research.

Rexy Prakash Chacko (Malaysia)

Rexy Prakash Chacko is an engineer by profession and a nature lover by passion. A ‘part time’ activist and a promising young advocate for sustainable growth in Penang, he helped co-found the Penang Hills Watch initiative in 2016, a crowd sourcing platform to protect Penang’s hills. In 2017, Rexy also lead a team of researchers and volunteers to conduct a 10 month study on the ecologically and historically significant Jerejak island, which is under threat of wanton development, to bid for its protection. He has also been a participant of the Penang Green Agenda, a Penang state government initiative, where he seeks to bring more sustainable ideas to the fore, especially in highlighting the need to protect and preserve our natural habitats. Rexy’s passion for the forests and the hills, comes from the fact that he is a hiker, having explored the hills for many years. In 2019, he authored and published a hiking guidebook, titled “Nature Trails of Seberang Perai”, to spread his passion for hiking and to get people to connect with nature.

Victor Karunan (Thailand/India)

16 years at UNICEF

Victor Karunan has worked 16 years with UNICEF, as Regional Advisor on Participation and Partnerships at UNICEF Regional Office in Bangkok, Chief of Adolescent Development and Participation in UNICEF Headquarters in New York and as Deputy Representative and Senior Social Policy Specialist in UNICEF Malaysia. He was the Regional Development Advisor for Save the Children-UK at the Regional Office for Southeast Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok. He has worked as a Development Evaluation Consultant for European donor agencies and has conducted research, evaluations and training programmes among community organizations and NGOs in over 15 countries in South and Southeast Asia. He is a founding member of the Focus on the Global South – a policy research programme of the Chulalongkorn University Social Research Institute in Bangkok. He holds a M.A. in Sociology from Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi and a Ph.D. in the Social Sciences from the University of Nijmegen in the Netherlands. He has also taught Child Rights and Development, Human Rights in Asia, Asian Studies, Development Studies and Public Policy at the Asian Social Institute in Manila, the Philippines, the Institute of Social Studies, The Netherlands, SIPA-Colombia University and New York City University Brooklyn College, and Nottingham University. He is currently Senior Visiting Lecturer in the M.A. and Ph.D programmes in International Development Studies at Chulalongkorn University; M.A. and Ph.D in Human Rights, Democratization and Peace Studies at Mahidol University; and B.A. in Social Policy at Thammasat University in Bangkok.

Swati Banerjee (India) – could not join

RLC Coordinator at TISS

Dr. Swati Banerjee is Associate Professor at the Centre for Livelihoods and Social Innovation, School of Social Work, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, India and Co-ordinator, Right Livelihood College (RLC), TISS, the first RLC in the Asia Pacific Region. She has been a post-doctoral fellow at Lund University, Sweden and visiting faculty to many Universities across the world. She is also a recipient of several fellowships from national and international organizations including German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), Ford Foundation, Erasmus Mundus and Erasmus Plus (funded by European Commission).

She has been heavily involved in research studies focusing on People centred Social Innovation, Human Centred Design Thinking, Entrepreneurship Development, Collectivization and Empowerment of Women, Livelihoods of Marginalized Communities, and Participatory Methodologies and Pedagogies. She is also involved in global discussions on social innovation, poverty reduction and achievement of sustainable development goals (SDGs) in UNESCAP Asia Pacific regional forums. Simultaneously, she is part of several grassroots innovation initiatives and processes of participatory development in India.

Ambassador of the Netherlands Kees Rade

Kees Rade

Ambassador Kees Pieter Rade was born in Amsterdam, the Netherlands and studied law and international relations at Amsterdam University. Before he became the Amabassador in Bangkok, for Thailand, Laos and Cambodia, he served at various departments at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in The Hague, including the United Nations desk and Inclusive Green Growth. Kees Rade was Ambassador to Nicaragua and Brasil. He joined research at Antarctica on the effects of climate change. He campaigns for Thai – Dutch collaboration for sustainability especially targeting the business sector.

Ralyn “Lilly” Satidtanasarn (Thailand)


Since she was 8, Ralyn “Lilly” Satidtanasarn has been meeting with mall executives to demand reductions in single-use plastic waste. Central Group’s recent decision to stop automatic bagging in its malls is due in part to her petition.

“I want to ask him for help,” Lilly said by phone Tuesday. She was at Government House hoping to meet Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, though she ultimately didn’t get to.

Quietly in the background of school climate strikes and the Greta Thunberg movement, Lilly has been meeting directly with officials to lobby for policy change. A sixth grader at St. Andrews International School, Lilly spends about three to four days a week visiting other schools and meeting both government and corporate officials.

“When I was in face-to-face discussions, some people were defensive. I was saying all the cons and alternatives [to single-use plastic], but they just said I was a small girl and all alone,” Lilly recalled, describing her most discouraging moment of activism. “The Mall Group and CP were most offensive, and so I kept bugging them.”

A US-Thai dual citizen, Lilly was shocked when she first visited a Thai beach at the age of 8 and met enormous amounts of trash.

“I wondered why it was so bad. It looked nothing like the photos,” Lilly said.

Chulalongkorn University (CU) – CURLS 2019 Home Team

Suthipand Chirathiwat

Economist and former Advisor Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Suthiphand Chirathivat is Executive Director, ASEAN Studies Center, and Chairman, Chula Global Network, and emeritus professor of economics at Chulalongkorn University. Until recently, he was Dean, Faculty of Economics, Chairman of the Ph.D. Program in Economics, Chairman of Economics Research Center and Center for International Economics at Chulalongkorn University.

Professor Suthiphand previously held a position as Advisor to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Transport and Communications, thus including Economic Affairs Committee and Foreign Affairs Committee of the Thai Parliament. He represented Thailand for the East Asia Expert Study Group (ASEAN+3, until 2009) and the Comprehensive Economic Partnership in East Asia (ASEAN+6, until 2010).

Recent publications include China’s Rise in Mainland ASEAN: New Dynamics and Changing Landscape (co-eds) (2018), Celebrating the Third Decade and Beyond: New Challenges to ASEAN-India Economic Partnership  (2017), Global Economic Uncertainties and Southeast Asian Economies (co-eds) (2016), Emerging’s Asia Growth Practices (2009), EU-ASEAN Facing Economic Globalisation (co-eds) (2006). He had also published numerous articles in journals and books. He is advisory board member of Asian Economic Journal and was editor of Chulalongkorn Journal of Economics, advisory board of ASEAN Economic Bulletin, and Asian Business and Management.

Professor Suthiphand holds a Doctorat en Economie from the University of Panthéon-Sorbonne, Paris I. He also serves as Honorary President of the Thai Association of Former Students in France.

Prapart Pintobtang

Professor, activist and organic farmer.

Associate Professor Dr. Prapart Pintobtang is the Director of Chulalongkorn University Social Research Institute (CUSRI). He is a passionate organic farmer and his farm is part of a unique area not far from Bangkok where farmers share the art of agriculture in the spirit of “the commons movement”. In 2014 Dr. Prapart co-initated a march from Chiang Mai to Bangkok to promote land reform. He was arrested and kept in detention briefly.

In response to long-standing land problems in the country, the government passed a resolution to allow communities to farm state land for a period of 30 years.  A mechanism was created to issue ‘community title deeds’, and oversee the practice of the farming communities.  However, farmers who have long struggled over land rights are skeptical of this measure, as opposed to their own version of community title deeds.

During his tenure as Director of CUSRI, Ajarn Prapart guided various international conferences and he initiated research in Thailand on sustainable agriculture and Agenda 2030. 

One of his publications, together with colleagues, is Final report “community rights situation to natural resources management in global circumstances, 2004-2005”, Thailand Research Fund, 2006.

CURLS 2019 participants will visit his farm during the ‘Ecology & Theatre’ module at Chulalongkorn University.

Surichai Wung’aeo (to be confirmed)

Promotor of “social impact university”.

Surichai Wung’aeo is Professor of Sociology (emeritus) Faculty of Political Science, and Director, Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, Chulalongkorn University. Professor Surichai earned his B.A. (Hons), in Sociology at Chulalongkorn University, an M.A. in Sociology, University of Tokyo and a Ph.D. (ABD), University of Tokyo, Japan. He was the Director of the CU Social Research Institute and Deputy Director for Research, Institute of Asian Studies (IAS). He founded and became Program Director of the CU Master of Arts in International Development Studies (MAIDS).

He is Chairperson of the Executive Board, Focus on the Global South, Social Research Institute, Chulalongkorn University. He served at the Executive Board, Social Science Association of Thailand and was Deputy Dean for Research Affairs, Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University. Professor Surichai fulfilled various Visiting Professorships in Japan and the USA. He was Representative to the Asean – Japan Multinational Cultural Mission (1997 – 1998).and Vice President, Asian Rural Sociology Association (ARSA).

Chantana Wung’aeo (to be confirmed)

Committee on Education and Development, National Human Rights Commission and a Member of the Sub-committee on People’s Participation in Environmental Management

Chantana Banpasirichote Wung’aeo is Deputy Dean for Academic Affairs, Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn Univesrsity. She holds a Ph.D. in Regional Planning and Resource Development, University of Waterloo, Canada, an M.Sc. in Human Settlements Development Planning, A.I.T., Bangkok, and a B.A. in Sociology, Chulalongkorn University. She was a Researcher at the CU Social Research Institute, (CUSRI), a Member of Sub-committee on Communication and Social Relationships, and Committee on Education and Development, National Human Rights Commission and a Member of the Sub-committee on People’s Participation in Environmental Management, the National Environmental Board. Ajarn Chantana was Vice President, Peace Way Foundation and Member of the Strategic Non-violence Committee, National Security Council. She co-authored various articles: Civil Society and Good Governance: A New Chapter in Thailand’s Political Reform in Democracy and Civil Society in Asia. Chantana Banpasirichote edited together with Glenda Lopez-Wui People’s Initiatives: Engaging the State in Local Communities in the Philippines and Thailand and she wrote a chapter Rapid economic growth: The social exclusion of children in Thailand in The Exploited Child, London: Zed Books.

Surat Horachaikul

Former Deputy Dean, Faculty of Political Science and co-founder, School for Wellbeing Studies and Research.

Asst. Prof. Surat Horachaikul is a lecturer in political science at the Department of International Relations, and former Deputy Dean, Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University. He is also the Director of the CU Indian Studies Center.

He gained his M.A. in Politics and Contemporary History at Guildhall University, London. And an M.Sc. in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the University of London. One of his publications is Democratic Development in Thailand.

Ajarn Surat organized a great variety of international events at Chulalongkorn University, a.o. Gandhi Memorial Lectures with Vandana Shiva, Satish Kumar, Rajagopal P.V., and Dr. Ramin Jahanbegloo. He is a co-founder of the School for Wellbeing Studies and Research.

Jirayudh Sinthuphan

Sympathiser Visva-Bharati University, Shatiniketan, West-Bengal.

Assistant Professer Dr. Jirayudh Sinthuphan is lecturer at the Faculty of Communication Arts and Director of the South Asia Study Center, Institute of Asian Studies (IAS), Chulalongkorn University. Dr. Jirayudh earned a Ph.D. in Theatre & Film Studies, University of Exeter, U.K., 2008, and a M.A. in Theatre Studies from The University of Leeds, U.K, 1996.

Ajarn Jirayudh will conduct the CURLS 2019 module on Ecology & Theatre at Chulalongkorn University which will include a field visit to the farm of Ajarn Prapart Pintobtang.

Wallapa van Willenswaard

Wallapa is leading the School for Wellbeing Team

Wallapa graduated from the Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok. After a career in business she became the pioneering Director of the Spirit in Education Movement (SEM) founded by Sulak Sivaraksa. In 2000 she co-founded Suan Nguen Mee Ma social enterprise: a publishing house, book- and coffeeshop. The social enterprise initiated Thai Green Market Network and Towards Organic Asia (TOA) programme. The major activity of TOA is the Mindful Markets movement initiated by Wallapa.It includes the annual Mindful Markets Asia Forum and the, two-weeks, highly successful Mindful Markets international social enterprise course for sustainable food systems.

Wallapa is currently the Managing Director of Innovation Network International (ini) – creating space for social innovation.

She was a co-founder of the School for Wellbeing Studies and Research and she is the Head of the School for Wellbeing Team.

Anupan Pluckpankhajee kindly made one of his paintings available for the poster.

Founder 7 Arts Inner Place

A painter and one of the earliest recognised pioneers of Art Therapist in Thailand, Anupan studied arts and Anthroposophic art therapy in Germany, following the path of Therapeutikum am Kräherwald. Returning home, he paved the way for Anthroposophic Art Therapy in Thailand and has since worked in art therapy field for over 10 years. Anupan has also become a colour specialist with his profound study and interest in light, darkness, and colours in the context of Collot d’Herbois. In 2014, he was invited to World Congress of Art Therapy in Korea and acted as one of Thailand’s keynote speaker. Presently, he lives and works at 7 Arts Inner Place, his home and art studio in Chiang Dao, Chiang Mai, Thailand’s famous province in the North.

Narumon Paiboonsittikun

Narumon is the overall Manager

Narumon (Mon) is Manager and Coordinator of TOA. Mon is also the Director of Wongsanit Ashram – Thailand’s first eco-village –where she lived and was a member of the community for many years.

Mon holds a Master Degree in Alternative Energy.

She is a joyful moderator and coordinator of various courses.

Kanyanat Lertkhonsan

Kaem recently graduated from the CU Faculty of Political Science

Kanyanat (Kaem) is a student at the Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University. In 2017 and 2018 she joined the CURLS summer school.

Kaem concluded the last year of her studies and she is the Assistant Coordinator of CURLS 2019, together with Mon.

After Kaem graduated she became the Coordinator of the School for Wellbeing.

Zev Mishell (Israel / USA)

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Music lover

Student volunteer Princeton University

Every year CURLS has been strengthened by student volunteers from Princeton University, USA.

They bring in perspectives that make CURLS not only an exercise in Asian exchanges among diversity but a true global experience.

Zev is happy to bring in his Jewish background.

Hannah Pouler (USA)

Student volunteer Princeton University

Hannah Pouler
Editor in Chief

Hannah is Editor in Chief of Business Today, also known as Foundation for Student Communication. Based in Princeton, NJ and run entirely by Princeton University undergraduates, Business Today aims to be the leading forum for student-executive interaction. Through its magazines, conferences, Seminar Series events, and Online Journal blog posts, BT hopes to create a platform for current and future business leaders to offer thought-provoking (and sometimes provocative) insights into the world around us. BT sees this dialogue as vital for the development of future leaders, and equally inspiring for the business leaders of today.

Stina Thanner

Stina Thanner joined the Right Livelihood Award (RLA) Foundation in Stockholm to assist with organizing the 40 Years anniversary of the Right Livelihood Award.

At this occasion the RLA Foundation will organize an international conference Inspiring Change – Education for Trusteeship together with the School for Wellbeing in Bangkok, February 2020.

Stina will participate in the CURLS 2019 team to prepare her for the challenges ahead.

Theatre and Dance consultants – student volunteers

Marieke Vingerhoets (the Netherlands)

Student ‘Earth, Energy and Sustainability’ Leiden University campus The Hague.

After finishing Waldorf school Marieke started studies in “Earth, Energy and Sustainability” at Leiden University, The Hague campus. In 2016 she co-created a theatre play titled Monzado at the occasion of the international “Monsanto Tribunal” held in The Hague that year to expose the damages done in agriculture and households by the chemical industry. She brought a group of student volunteers together, and the play was successfully staged at a series of locations to raise awareness in the Netherlands. Impact was remarkable, in particular at the People’s Assembly, organized parallel to promote civil society and public engagement with the actual legal experts’ Tribunal. Currently Marieke chairs the Art Committee in her faculty and she prepares a public performance of a students’ musical titled CORPORATE.

Jansje Flügge (the Netherlands)

How can we become aware of “social fields”?

Jansje is doing her Bachelor of Dance at Artez University of the Arts, Arnhem. She works closely together with Marieke in arts & theatre performance.

As a dance teacher Jansje invites participants to relate to their body and with the environment. How can we become more aware of “social fields” and our whole body as an instrument of perception.

What happens with space if we consciously move from addressing one or the other?

A CURLS day starts with Body & Mind exercises for fun and awakening.

Action Research and Earth Trusteeship Platform

Hans van Willenswaard (Thailand / the Netherlands) and team

Innovation for Life …

Hans was born in the Netherlands. He settled in Thailand in 2000 and co-founded with his wife Wallapa a social enterprise with the Thai name Suan Nguen Mee Ma (in English ‘Garden of Fruition’). The enterprise includes a publishing house, the Thai Green Market Network and is based at two small rented houses (coffeeshop, green vegetables and bookshop) in the old part of Bangkok. In 2017 Hans and Wallapa retired and the social enterprise is successfully continued by a team that grew over the years.

In 2007 Suan Nguen Mee Ma social enterprise was the leading co-organizer, together with the Centre for Bhutan and GNH Studies, of the 3rd International Conference on Gross National Happiness (“GNH3”) held in Thailand, Nongkhai and in Bangkok at Chulalongkorn University. Hans was a co-founder of the School for Wellbeing Studies and Research, 2009.

A major project of the School for Wellbeing is the Towards Organic Asia (TOA) programme with core partners in the Mekong region and network partners Asia-wide. Hans serves as an Advisor.

He is the author of a thought provoking book titled The Wellbeing Society. A Radical Middle Path to Global Transformation, published by Garden of Fruition, Bangkok, 2016; and of various articles including No Food Security without Food Sovereignty in Food Security and Food Safety for the 21st Century, Soraj Hongladarom Ed., Springer Science + Business, Singapore 2015.

Hans earned his Bachelors in Cultural Work and a Masters in not-for-profit management, University of Applied Sciences, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Later he participated in the Rural Development Programme (RDP) at Emerson College, U.K. He initiated a Development Studies programme at Zeeland University of Applied Sciences and started INI-Innovation Network International in Amsterdam, 1992.

Chiang Mai field study team

Mathana Aphaimool (Thailand)and local team

Organic seeds …

Mathana Aphaimool lives in Mae Tha, a tambon (subdistrict), Chiang Mai ProvinceNorthern Thailand. The tambon consists of 7 villages with a total population of around 5,000 people. It is the most mountainous area of Thailand. Eighty percent of the people are engaged in farming. Mathana’s family has been doing organic farming since 1996 and her father was the pioneer of this break away from conventional, chemical, farming. Mathana started learning on the farm from 6 years old and later joined Mae Jo University, Chiang Mai, the oldest agriculture university of Thailand. She worked for the Green Net Foundation for 14 years and became interested in organic seed production.

Mathana became a passionate organic seeds producer and is determined to set up regional seeds exchange so that seeds can be developed in various ecosystems. She will be happy to welcome the CURLS 2019 group for ‘action research’. CURLS alumni from the region will join the Chiang Mai field study team. The CURLS 2019 group will present their experiences and individual projects by means of theatre improvisation during the Earth Trusteeship Forum in Bangkok.