Between July 10th and August 7th 2016 the second Chula Right Livelihood Summer School was held in Thailand and Bhutan. Divided into two parts, the first part took place in Bangkok,Thailand, on July 10th to 23rd , while the second part of the Summer School took place in Bhutan July 24th to August 7th. The Summer School was organised by the Chulalongkorn University, the Sathirakoses Nagapradipa Foundation (SNF), the Royal University of Bhutan (RUB) and by Dr. Timmi Tillmann (RLC), based on a MoU between these institutions.
The focus of the first part of the workshop was put on the conceptual and experiential exploration, field work on Right Livelihood as well as on land rights and land grabbing in the Mekong region and Asia. Several resource persons such as Walden Bello (RLA 2003) and Kartini Samon from GRAIN (RLA 2011) accompanied the Summer School and gave insights into their work and visions. Walden Bello, for instance, emphasized the importance of a more direct democratic system based on equity, justice and ecological balance while Kartini Samon stressed the need of an alternative food system promoting food sovereignty.
During the second part of the Summer School, taking place in Bhutan, the participants learned and practiced Participatory Action Research (PAR) with local farm households in the Punakha and Wangdue Districts of Bhutan, thus giving the local community a voice to express their knowledge, values and ideas about their livelihoods and to develop a vision of the future for their own wellbeing. The students were given an introduction to the situation of Agri-Culture and rural livelihoods in Bhutan where the government is seeking a full organic agriculture by 2020. After a methodical preparation of the fieldwork, the participants worked on 4 field sites in Punakha and Wangdue. The aim was to generate ideas together on Right Livelihood using visual PAR Tools about the future of food and Agri-Culture for small-scale farmers in different regions of Bhutan as well as to strengthen self-reliance on healthy food. The Summer School was supported by the expertise of several RLA Laureates including Dr. Anwar Fazal (RLA 1982).
Click here to view the video summary of CURLS.