About Us

Connecting The Commons

The goal of the project is to explore the importance of the “commons movement” for the future of Thailand (and in a later stage: SE Asia); and how “commons” can be strengthened as social innovators.

Heinrich Böll Foundation SEA Office engages Civil Society Organisations (CSO’s), academics, media, decision makers and their networks in public gender-sensitive debates about lifestyles, socio-economic and ecological transformation in relation to the ASEAN integration.

The purpose of the CTC project is to contribute to this public engagement and debate intimated by Heinrich Böll Foundation.

Innovation Network International (ini)

The network was initiated in Amsterdam in the early 1990ies. It provided an independent umbrella for collaborative projects with organisations like International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), Institute of Social Studies (ISS) and Religions for Peace. Collaboration with the Spirit in Education Movement (SEM), Thailand, inspired Hans and Wallapa van Willenswaard to the co-founding with Sulak Sivaraksa and Social Venture Network (SVN) of a social enterprise in Bangkok named Suan Nguen Mee Ma. An alternative publishing house, Green Market Network and the School for Wellbeing with its off-shoots. After 15 successful years, Wallapa and Hans retired and revitalised INI as an independent platform for social innovation and inspired project management. Wallapa developed the Mindful Markets programme together with Towards Organic Asia (TOA).

 

Chulalongkorn University Social Research Institute (CUSRI)

Social Research Institute was founded in 1967 under the faculty of Political Science of

Chulalongkorn University with the purpose of conducting research in accordance with the need for country development by emphasizing on social research.

On 22 April 1974, the Social Research Institute was promoted to an independent institute according to Royal Decree on Establishment of Chulalongkorn University Social Research Institute Act.

School for Wellbeing Studies and Research

 In 2009 the School for Wellbeing Studies and Research was co-founded with the Faculty of Political Science of Chulaslongkorn University and the Centre for Bhutan & GNH Studies, Thimphu, Bhutan. In 2017 the School for Wellbeing has been recognized as Right Livelihood College campus Bangkok. One of the first activities, in 2011, of the School for Wellbeing, with the support of Heinrich Böll Foundation Southeast Asia, was an international symposium Rethinking Property, Towards a Wellbeing Society scenario? Including pioneering input of Silke Helfrich on the subject of “the commons”. In follow-up research on the Wellbeing Society scenario supported by Thailand Research Fund (TRF), the most articulated practical input from the commons movement perspective was manifested by the first Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) network in Thailand, the Green Market network and the Towards Organic Asia (TOA) programme that emerged from the School for Wellbeing. Further on, research was undertaken together with Local Act on the land rights movement in Thailand. In the framework of the Chulalongkorn University Right Livelihood Summerschool (CURLS), action- research on traditional commons initiatives of indigenous communities in Thailand; and on “seeds commons” among Young Organic Farmers (YOF) was realized in collaboration with TOA.

Towards Organic Asia (TOA) / Young Organic Farmers (YOF) Mekong region 

In 2011 the TOA programme (agro-ecology and mindful markets network) emerged from the School for Wellbeing regional partnership. Partners from the Mekong River region + Bhutan engage in exchanges, capacity building, technical support and advocacy. Annual experiential learning programmes are organised for young organic farmers. In the framework of the Mindful Markets programme collaboration has been established Asia-wide, including for food- system and marketing related training in social entrepreneurship.

Right Livelihood College 

The Right Livelihood College (RLC) is a global capacity building initiative of the Right Livelihood Award Foundation and universities founded in 2009. By linking young academics and civil society organisations with Award recipients, the College spreads awareness about and further expands the pioneering work of the Laureates of the Right Livelihood Award. The College operates as a global network of campuses at universities at all parts of the world.

Every Right Livelihood Laureate is automatically a Fellow of the Right Livelihood College. The role of the Fellow is to be the principal source of supply of learning resources through engagement in activities of education, scientific research, and practical activities that share and upscale their work.

The Right Livelihood College (RLC) has gained affiliate membership status with the UNESCO-based International Association of Universities (IAU). The IAU recognizes the key role higher education plays in the overall process of achieving sustainable development, by pursuing the creation, dissemination and application of knowledge. The Right Livelihood College campuses, including its researchers and students, will add substantial value to this forum for innovation, shared and mutual learning, and joint action.Right Livelihood College Bangkok is one of the nine campuses worldwide.

With support from: Heinrich Böll Foundation Southeast Asia (HBS) 

The Heinrich Böll Stiftung (hbs) is the German Green Foundation, which is part of the Green movement and conducts and supports civic educational and awareness building activities worldwide. The main tenets are ecology and sustainability, democracy and human rights, self-determination and justice.

hbs is based in the Federal Republic of Germany.  hbs established early co-operations with Southeast Asian partner organizations at the beginning of the 1990s. In February 2000, hbs opened a local presence in Southeast Asia with an office in Chiang Mai. After over ten successful years in Northern Thailand, the hbs Southeast Asia Regional office moved to Bangkok in mid-2010.

Team

Wallapa van Willenswaard

Initiator and Co-responsible person INI

Narumon Paiboonsittikun

Towards Organic Asia (TOA) Coordinator

Hans van Willenswaard

Initiator and Co-responsible person INI (honorary advisor)