Transformative Learning Towards a Just and Ecologically Sustainable ASEAN Community

  • The Grant Program for Promotion of Cultural Collaboration
Grant Year
Fiscal Year 2018
Grant Amount
THB 278,222
Country of Activity

The ultimate objective of this project is to start a regional platform to discuss critical issues facing Asia and turn the discussion into actions to establish a just and sustainable society in the region. As the project’s Year 2, first, we hosted an international seminar (attended by some 50 participants) to enhance our understanding of how to use traditional wisdom to transform human behaviors and attitudes, while reviewing various cases such as UNESCO’s application of intangible cultural heritage (ICH) into teaching practices and environmental education through folktales at Thai rural schools. Second, we took part in the planning and implementing stages of the Bangkok Forum (attended by more than 800 participants) and related activities, co-hosted by Thai’s Chulalongkorn University and other higher educational institutions in the region, to discuss importance and details of participatory generation or “co-creation” of knowledge. Third, we made progress towards publishing a book to compile innovative practices of sustainable development in the region and policy-level recommendations. As the outcomes of these activities, we have been able to clarify roles and limitations of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and expand the project’s stakeholders into international organizations and higher educational institutions that are active in the region, thus obtaining a clear scope and a strong stakeholder network to start a regional platform.


Related Countries
Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, South Korea, India, U.S.A.
Co-organizer(s), Cooperator(s)
Ahmad Rifai, Kita Foundation
Dicky Sofjan, Indonesian Consortium for Religious Studies
Hezri Adnan, ISIS Malaysia
Hiroko Aihara, Japan Perspective News, Inc.
Mochamad Indrawan, Independent resercher and consultant for forest and climate change
Nadarajah Manickam, Centre for Compassion Studies, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Xavier University Bhubaneshwar
Penchom Saetang, Ecological Alert and Recovery – Thailand
Supa Yaimuang, Sustainable Agriculture Foundation
Theodore Mayer, International Network of Engaged Buddhists Institute
Toshiyuki Doi, Mekong Watch
Yeoh Seng Guan, Monash University Malaysia

From the Organizer

The ultimate objective of this project is to build a regional platform to discuss critical issues and turn the discussion into effective actions, while envisioning the establishment of a just and sustainable society in Asia. We have been carrying out the project through the principles of “civic engagement” and “transformative learning,” taking particular notice of citizen-initiated practices and building upon their achievements and lessons in starting a new platform. In Year 1, we hosted a regional workshop to invite various practitioners, mostly NGO activists and academics, to exchange experiences and reflections. As a result, we have identified the region’s major sustainability challenges and formed a network of like-minded individuals and organizations. In Year 2, we hosted an international seminar to discuss how to utilize traditional wisdom in the project and actively involved in the planning and implementing stages of a regional forum to promote participatory generation or “co-creation” of knowledge. As a result, we have gained a clean scope and a strong foundation to build a regional platform. In year 3, we are planning to start a platform called “Civic Engagement 4.0” in Solo, Indonesia with “just and sustainable urban-rural interaction” as an overarching interest. A challenge is how to facilitate interface dialogues with state and private sector actors, as well as active participation by the ASEAN youth.

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