BLOG: "2017 KNOTS Summer School and Field Trip - Where Ideas Innovate and Live" Written by Huong Ngoc Nguyen

2017 KNOTS summer school and field trip - Where ideas innovate and live

Written by Huong Ngoc Nguyen

MAIDS Alumni - Chulalongkorn University, Thailand

 

Two weeks ago, I joined the first summer school and field trip of the Fostering Multi-Lateral Knowledge Networks of Transdisciplinary Studies to Tackle Global Challenges (KNOTS) project[1] in Tam Dao and Duong Lam, Vietnam. I still have mixed feelings about the trip until now.

Tam Dao – where ideas innovate

Our trip began with the one-week summer course in Tam Dao hill station, a summer retreat place for nearby urban habitants due to its cool climate and beautiful landscape. Although the town kept on satisfying me with its famous dishes “su su xào tỏi” – a fried leafy green vegetable with garlic, I felt sad while observing its changes during my stay there. 

My favorite dishes “su su xào tỏi”. Source: Internet

My favorite dishes “su su xào tỏi”. Source: Internet

Memories in the past reminded me of Tam Dao as a small town located on the hilly mountain and surrounded by the natural forests, with only a few small hotels and facilities for tourists. At night, there were a few electric lights and not much entertainment so travelers often walked around the foggy town or into the forest up to the TV tower and tasted the misty and quite atmosphere, which made the sixteen-year-old girl (me) felt like “Alice in wonderland”. Instead of being thicken by forests, at the moment the “wonderland” has been mushroomed with lots of construction sites, hotels, villas, coffee shops, central square, etc. which are dense but disordered. They seem to be built without much planning.

High dense buildings in the town

High dense buildings in the town

Surprisingly, at weekend flocks of people jam-packed the town with interweaving sounds of the motorbikes from tour groups, the music from coffee shops and local radio, the loud from conversations, and the noise from construction sites. All blend together and make the town become chaotic. In spite of acknowledging that the changes is inevitable, I felt that the town has been put too much burden on its small shoulder and I wondered why this happened and what I can do.

Questions hanged on my mind, I turned energy to classes at the summer school of KNOTS where researchers, lecturers and graduate students from eight universities across Europe, Thailand and Vietnam exchange and discuss the transdisciplinary studies in tackling global challenges, especially in Southeast Asia. To me, KNOTS in general and the first summer school in particular are the promising environments to create networks of not only ideas but also people.

Participants of the first KNOTS summer school. Source: KNOTS Facebook

Participants of the first KNOTS summer school. Source: KNOTS Facebook

First, high-density flow of ideas and knowledge has innovated during the intensive week of the summer school. Through appealing presentations, constructive discussions and team work, I have learnt that the more integrated the world become, the more complex and interlinked global development issues are. These challenging problems including human migration, environmental degradation and social inequality are not usually defined in such clear and tangible way due to different perspectives, contexts, and cultures. Consequently, it requires the mixture of different disciplines and participation of diverse actors to co-produce knowledge, ultimately to comprehensively and appropriately understand the complexity of the problems. This is considered as one of the key theme of transdipciplinary approaches. As a student interested in environmental issues, KNOTS’s summer school gave me the chance to learn, discuss and examine the transdipciplinary approaches through political ecology lens in researching on forest governance, ecotourism and river. Political ecology is understood as the combination between the disciplines of ecology and a broadly defined political economy which could help us not only understand the co-production between nature and society but also look for a chain of causality operating between the relation[1]. More notably, I have discovered some reasons answering for the chaos of current Tam Dao which are lack of co-management in tourism planning, the weakness of enforcement of forest management regulations and unclear buffer zone planning[2]. Looking deeper, the region including the town and surrounding national parks has confronted the issue of unequal distribution of forest land access due to local power structure under decentralized administration of forest land allocation policies[3].

Second, the summer school offers me valuable networking opportunities with diversity of students and researchers. Besides the classes, we chit-chat about life stories, explore the town and gather through “collective” meals and games. Through these activities, I can understand about different backgrounds, perspectives as well as different cultures. Saying goodbye to Tam Dao, the feeling of nostalgic has not been disappeared yet, but I am pleased that I have found a part of answers and more importantly have chance to know interesting people.

One of “collective” games connects us together. Credit to Winnie Wichitra, CMU

One of “collective” games connects us together. Credit to Winnie Wichitra, CMU

Duong Lam – where the ideas live

After the summer school, in order to make the ideas happen, KNOTS built “an experimental lab” to connect the dots between the theory and reality which allows researchers apply the transcipdiplinary approaches into practice with the four-day field trip at Duong Lam commune, Son Tay, Hanoi. We were divided into three groups with key main themes discussed at the summer school including human migration, social inequality and river. I chose the river group studying the aspects related to the Red River within the scope of the commune because I think the river would be a great example of applying transdipciplinary approaches and understanding human-nature linkages.

The remark of the field trip for me was the day we spent at Hung Thinh village – a small village with total length around 1,000m along Red River and with about 830 local inhabitants. The major livelihoods are 70% agriculture (rice farming) and 30% non-agriculture (factory workers, sand transportation, etc.). By using different research methods including meeting with the commune leaders, wandering around and discussing with locals, our group got an overview of the current situation of the river. Meanwhile, the river is under pressure of various factors from industrial waste from upstream factories, human waste from nearby villages, agriculture, sand mining, and further upstream dams.

Our river group walked with villagers to see the Red River and new-built bridge

Our river group walked with villagers to see the Red River and new-built bridge

Moreover, we have learnt about the perception of locals about their current state as well as future vision of the village through the co-mapping method. Villagers were asked to draw pictures of the village and important elements they perceived as important or effect to their lives with the support and facilitation of our group. To my surprise, not only the river is stressful, the village itself seems to be at the margin of urbanization and industrialization with significant problems, namely loss of livelihoods (loss of agricultural land and informal market beside the riverbank due to new built bridge and changed land use) and the risk of settlement (landslide of the riverbank). For future development, stable settlements and alternative livelihoods are two major wishes of the villagers when they were asked to dream about their future. The challenges of the village could be explained by the rapid urbanization within the commune since Son Tay (Ha Tay province) geographically merged to Hanoi – the capital in 2008 and the industrialization trends in the country since the economic reform (“doi moi”) in 1986. On the whole, the current situation of the river and the village reflects what I have learnt from the summer school that the co-produced and return way of causality relationship between environment and society in which human actions are continually producing the environment and environmental change “loops back” onto people and society.  

Locals draw mapping of their current and future village under the support of our group. Source: KNOTS Facebook

Locals draw mapping of their current and future village under the support of our group. Source: KNOTS Facebook

Returning from the trip, I somehow find out the answer for the question of “what can I do?”. Firstly, I have realized the importance of being responsible and conscious in producing knowledge. As a student planning to pursue the PhD, to consider transdipciplinary approaches as a mindset helps me critically shaping thoughts since the first stages of the pathway, namely developing research proposal including research questions, objectives and methods, and thinking about different actors including both academic and non-academic actors who are related to the research issue and who should involve in the research process. Furthermore, the field trip taught me to be organized but flexible, which is useful skill for me doing future researches. Since transdipciplinary studies require adequately address complexity of problems and diversity of perceptions, it is highly recommended for the researchers to be prepared to learn the cutting-edge issues but also be open-minded to grasp new information or explore changes. Last but not least, even though the challenging problems are big and complex, I believe that I should start from small steps, for example be conscious about what I produce and consume, not only knowledge but everything in life.

[1] KNOTS project is a three-year project which was initiated in October 2016 and created by the collaboration between seven universities in Europe, Thailand and Vietnam including the University of Vienna, Austria; Charles University, Czechia; University of Bonn, Germany; Chulalongkorn University and Chiang Mai University, Thailand; and Ho Chi Minh City Open University, Southern Institute of Social Sciences, and Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences, Vietnam. The project is funded by the European Commission’s ERASMUS+ programme. 

[1] Presentation of Ajarn Carl Middleton, KNOTS summer school and field trip, 19 – 30 September 2017

[2] Duong, V.H. (2013). Tam Dao National Park. Evidence-based conservation: lessons from the lower Mekong. Bogor, Indonesia: CIFOR.

[3] Cari, A.C. (2012). Local Power Structures and Their Effect on Forest Land Allocation in the Buffer Zone of Tam Dao National Park, Vietnam. The Journal of Environment & Development, 22(1), 74–103.

BLOG: "Transdisciplinarity as a Modern Approach for Global Challenges: Experiences from 2017 Summer School and Fieldtrip, Vietnam" Written by Veng Seang Hai

Transdisciplinarity as a Modern Approach for Global Challenges: Experiences from 2017 Summer School and Fieldtrip, Vietnam

Written by Veng Seang Hai 

If you think just giving money to the poor and building a great wall are ready-made answers to issues of poverty and migration, you may knock on the wrong door. An answer should be more critical since current global challenges have arrived at a wicked and complex system whereby there is no fixed recipe or final solution. Expertise is not always applicable to all contexts since knowledge can be co-produced and reproduced by other forms of knowledge and actors such as the non-trained or non-experts.  

This paradigm shift allows seven universities in Europe and Asia to tie together and create a multilateral program called Fostering Multi-Lateral Knowledge Networks of Transdisciplinary Studies to Tackle Global Challenges (KNOTS). The seven universities include the University of Vienna (Austria), Charles University, (Czech Republic), University of Bonn (Germany), Chulalongkorn University (Thailand), Chiang Mai University (Thailand), Ho Chi Minh City Open University, Southern Institute of Social Sciences (Vietnam) and Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences (Vietnam).

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Photo: Opening remark for KNOTS summer school at Vietnam Academy of Social Science (VASS)

Global challenges change so rapidly that they require new innovations in teaching and research methodologies. Besides methodological framework, KNOTS is to build a network of transdisciplinary studies by drawing a platform which represents close collaboration between the academic and non-academic actors, particularly focusing on 1) Environmental Degradation 2) Migration and 3) Social Inequality.

From 18 September to 1 October 2017, KNOTS team organized a hybrid program comprising of summer school in Tam Dao and a field trip in Duong Lam commune, Son Tay town, Hanoi. The idea is to facilitate students from concerned universities to put conceptual information about transdisciplinarity approach into practices during the fieldtrip.

This essay covers information, experiences and reflections that I have learned from the event. What’s more is about challenges faced while applying transdiciplinarity approaches in Duong Lam commune.

Tam Dao National Park: Found by the Occident, Consumed by the Orient  

The summer school was held in picturesque Tam Dao National Park, not far from Ha Noi. The side hides itself in the ocean of green jungle covered by blanket of white cloud underneath amusing blue sky. Such the breathtaking landscape made me no doubt why the French colonists were so deep in loved in this site decades ago that they territorized the site as their legacy. Are there any Frenchmen now?

Photo 1: Tam Dao National Park, view from my hotel

Photo 1: Tam Dao National Park, view from my hotel

Thanks to the French, who tried their best discovering such the recreational heaven on earth, Tam Dao, but now it is more popular to Chinese, Korean and local Vietnamese tourists and businessmen. In context of increased number tourists, supply of accommodations and tourist services has reached the peak—peak of price and peak of mountains. New buildings have emerged getting taller than mountains somehow. It seems to me that the massive emergence of tourist infrastructure could be potential threats to authenticity of the beautiful site. This is Tam Dao in 2017, which is being replaced by modern structures and touristy landscape over its former well-known French legacy. Not all gone. We still find some remained French architects—French ancient stone church, for example.

Photo 2: French ancient stone Church, erecting in the middle of new taller buildings and surrounded by power lines

Photo 2: French ancient stone Church, erecting in the middle of new taller buildings and surrounded by power lines

Photo 2: French ancient stone Church, erecting in the middle of new taller buildings and surrounded by power lines

Photo 3: Development sees no exhaustion. It was about 7 P.M while an excavator was still preparing a new construction site.

Photo 3: Development sees no exhaustion. It was about 7 P.M while an excavator was still preparing a new construction site.

Photo 4: Mushroom of old and new buildings including tourist accommodations and residential houses

Photo 4: Mushroom of old and new buildings including tourist accommodations and residential houses

Staying in Tam Dao for one week, I not only learned about the transdisciplinarity but also realize a part of potential issue represented by rapid growth of tourism infrastructure in the National Park. Not to claim I am 100 % correct, I only raise an alert for related stakeholders to think about construction and building regulation for Tam Dao in avoiding losing its authentic beauty of magnificence and ensuring sustainability of the site.

KNOTS Summer School: The Enlightenment in 21th Century

This section focuses on content I learned from the intense summer school on transdisciplanarity as a new paradigm for researchers and teachers in development and in general. One sentence to reflect all my thoughts is “from now on it comes to the second-path of Enlightenment where experts and academics are taken down to meet non-trained and non-academic knowledge producers and where no single discipline is dominant on a platform of mutual respects.”

I make the claim after Richard Barnthaler and Petra Dannecker kicked off the ball toward history of science and research paradigms in relation to transdiciplinarity. According to Richard, the Western history during 18th and 19th century was marked by “Western Enlightenment Project” during which Western scientific revolution took its root.

In this context, boundaries amongst scientists with different disciplines were drawn, and flawed understanding of objectivity existed. There were problematic assumptions with regard to standard science. While people started to question science more and more, sharp distinction between lay (not trained) and expert knowledge arouse. Therefore, it called for a promotion on epistemology goal aimed to have social conventionality of research. What Richard Barnthaler shared fascinated me in the sense that we could not over distinguish between scientific knowledge and other forms of knowledge produced by the untrained since people in different cultural, social and political context tend to contextualize problems differently.

   Photo 5: Richard Barnthaler giving a presentation on History of Science

   Photo 5: Richard Barnthaler giving a presentation on History of Science

Photo 6: Petra Dannecker giving her presentation on Research Paradigm and Transdiciplinarity

Photo 6: Petra Dannecker giving her presentation on Research Paradigm and Transdiciplinarity

In consequence to Richard, Petra Dannecker proceeded to update the momentum of research paradigm with emphasis on pragmatism. In this sense, researches are expected to be more conventionally important and need neutral context and partnership between development researchers and practitioners.

More importantly, Petra further gives insights into three phases of conducting transdisciplinarity. They include (1) framing, (2) research process implementation, and (3) outcomes. Firstly, a planner should ask a question for what and whom his research is designed, empathizing on aims and beneficiaries. To put in other word, research issues and questions should be amendable or feasible to scientific inquiry and ideally co-designed with non-academic actors. Secondly, transdisciplinarity implies that appropriate roles of practitioners or the non-academics and researchers have to be assigned with reference to the interests, needs, wishes and fears of all actors (i.e. there might be political threat for non-academic actors to participate). Thirdly, it acknowledges different forms of knowledge produced through transdisciplinarity. In detail, “system knowledge” reflects a complex problem; “target knowledge” is important for orientation of what a certain issue should look like. What’s more is transformative knowledge which is co-produced by other knowledge. More importantly, transdisciplinarity produces knowledge which can be used by non-academic actors and contribute to policy-making discussions or actions.

Despite fascinating elements of transdisciplanarity, challenges are inevitable. One of the challenges relates to potential conflicts of epistemologies of actors in addition to contestation of values, interests and expectation. It would be a hard work to manage the difference. Another challenge is explained by symbolic participation since not all actors are guaranteed to have intrinsic motivation or inspiration to get things done. Related to this, we should go back to participant selection process whereby each participant has to be ensured of their motives and responsibilities.

Overall, notwithstanding difficulties in transdisciplinary, I still hold strong optimism since it serves as a new turning point for searchers and scientists to rethink their roles in making better deal for global challenges. That is why I call it 21th century Enlightenment.

Duong Lam Commune: Trajectories of Human Mobility       

The idea behind having a fieldtrip in Duong Lam is to translate conceptuality into practicality. At the beginning, we had a chance to meet with leaders of Duong Lam and union leaders. I was fascinated to stories related to historic heroes born in Duong Lam. For this reason, the place became a sacred place, and 9 villages in Duong Lam became cultural heritage in 2006 due to their ancient houses.

Photo 7: KNOTS team having a meeting with leaders of Duong Lam commune

Photo 7: KNOTS team having a meeting with leaders of Duong Lam commune

Photo 8: KNOTS migration group having focus-group discussion with villagers and union leaders

Photo 8: KNOTS migration group having focus-group discussion with villagers and union leaders

General issues faced by Duong Lam relate to social inequality, conservation of ancient houses and human mobility. 70 % of total populations are farmers while 30 % of people are local business owners and traders. Therefore, migration and movement of people in the village became remarkable. Since there are different issues to focus, three different groups were divided in accordance to different issues. Particularly, I am in migration group joined by other four students from Vietnam and Thailand, under helpful supervision of ajan Naruemon Thabchumpon, Alexandra Heis, Bara Jirkova.

For benefit of broader understanding of the issue, my group decided to extend the inquiry into general nature of mobility and movement of people. Three sample groups include farmers, non-farmers and entrepreneurs who were aimed to give diverse perceptions on mobility. Our case studies lie in two villages in Duong Lam: Dong Sang and Doi Giap. 2 in-depth interviews and 4 focused-group discussion were conducted, plus observation and informal talk.

Neoliberalism in Socialist Vietnam?: A Case of a Local Chicken Business

I would consider what I learned here as a success story of the summer school because I was able to reflect to the content that Petra Dannecker talked about outcomes of transdisciplinarity related to transformative knowledge and co-produced knowledge. I also leant this content from discussion and literature on political ecology from ajan Carl Middleston and ajan Chusak Wittayapak. 

Photo 9: Group photo with the chicken farmer family. I am in the middle in black. The farmer is on my left hand and his wife is on the right hand. They are showing us a small vacuum sealer used for chicken packaging.  

Photo 9: Group photo with the chicken farmer family. I am in the middle in black. The farmer is on my left hand and his wife is on the right hand. They are showing us a small vacuum sealer used for chicken packaging.  

In theory, common knowledge of neoliberalism relates to state level of analysis on such principles as Keynesian economic model, deregulation, privatization, free trade and cross-border relocation of cooperation and territorization as touched by David Harvey.

However, I seem to have learned a new thing related neoliberalism theory after meeting with Gia Mia (sugar can chicken) business owner in Dong Sang village. An implication I learned is that neoliberalism is not always the matters at state level, but it is also village level and individualistic matter.

One aspect I found related to neoliberalism is concerned with business relocation. Gia Mia (sugar can chicken) enterprise have located in the village for generations because the owner inherited the chicken raising and breeding technology from his ancestors who had lived in the village. Since Dong Sang is enlisted to cultural heritage, the business is under strict regulation and intervention by the central Vietnamese state. The owner is not allowed to expand his farm due to concern of smell and environmental pollutions to the village. Thus, expansion of the business is not possible unless it is relocated outside the protected village. 

What fascinates me is the business owner’s future plan to expand his business by relocating the farm to another village with no regulatory restriction by the Vietnamese state. It means that he can move to outside locality beside the cultural village if he wants to make the farm bigger and more profitable. To put in other word, this case represents “laissez-faire” economic system at micro-level where the chicken farmer aims to liberate his business from government intervention such as regulatory restriction based on cultural village protection. Hence, I argue that Vietnamese individuals have neoliberal nature as reflected from relocation view.

Another neoliberal aspect relates to Gia Mia association which seemed to play a different game from the central government. What I mean by a different game is that members have different specialized roles and resources used to exchange and trade with one another due to agreed terms and price. Association serves as financial resources for the chicken business since it received limited fiscal support from the Department of Agriculture. Moreover, the association has various cooperatives which sell chicken products outside the village.   

I cannot say my preliminary analysis is sorely correct due to time and knowledge constraints. By the way, I personally come up with uncertainty since seeing it as a paradox of socialism in Vietnam. On state level, it is obviously socialist system, but at individual level, it is more related to neoliberal economy system and principles. For me, the case of Vietnam has a unique definition of socialism if analyzing state and individual perspectives.

Emotional Involvement in Transdisciplinarity: “He thinks you are his father”

Going to a field study gives you not only cultural knowledge but also something beyond. That something is what I call “emotional knowledge” gained through direct engagement with local people. However, tracking back to what Richard Barnthaler mentioned, we will think of why researchers lost their trust by public because of emotional involvement in their scientific analysis.

Here I have no means to say that it is a bad idea to have emotional connection with the local people. Actually I just share my experience in Duong Lam where I had chance to be thought as a father to a kid whose parents left him to work in Malaysia since he was 6 months old.  

Photo 10: I was spoon feeding the kid with lemonade. Ladies beside me uttered that he would consider me as his father indeed. 

Photo 10: I was spoon feeding the kid with lemonade. Ladies beside me uttered that he would consider me as his father indeed. 

That kid kept looking at me and started to touch my hand. Again and again, he came closer to me before I smiled back at him. At first, I felt normal .But later on while he kept playing with my hand, I played with him and lifted him up. The chubby kid was heavier more than I expected. I took him down and continued spoon feed him with my almost-finished lemonade. He has the same age of my niece and nephew back home. I do not know how to describe my feeling. I just started to feel happy cracking open my smile unconsciously.

According to this situation, I may say that emotional connection a researcher has with local people would be an unexpected consequence which tends to overwhelm a researcher to be unintentionally or subconsciously biased when analyzing his findings. Also, the researcher would have absolute rejection or denial against other different views and interests which do not serve the local people, which is problematic to transdisciplinarity implementation. That is what I can reflect to skeptical challenges to scientific sciences and transdisciplinarity.

CALL FOR APPLICATION: "KNOTS Summer School and Field Trip 2017"

Master of Arts Program in International Development Studies (MAIDS) and Center of Social Development Studies, Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University

in collaboration with and support from

The Fostering Multi-Lateral Knowledge Networks of Transdisciplinary Studies to Tackle Global Challenges (KNOTS Project), co-funded by Erasmus+ Program, European Union

 

CALL FOR APPLICATION

“KNOTS Summer School and Field Trip 2017”

18 September – 1 October 2017

Ha Noi, Tam Dao, Vinh Phuc, VIET NAM

Theme: “Migration, Environmental Change, and Social Inequality”

(The Summer School is Free-of-charge)

Requirements:

1.      Be a graduate student (MA and PhD) of Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University

2.      Good command of spoken and written English (English proof is required for non-English native speaker)

3.      Eager to participate in the activities and absorb new experience

4.      ***The participant is required to write 1500 words essay or diary with pictures in our blog or webpage after summer school

 

How to apply?

            Application form, Statement of purpose, Curriculum Vitae (CV), and English proof must be submitted to knots.chula@gmail.com

Deadline:      19 July 2017  

 Interview date:         TBC

EVENT: "KNOTS Roundtrip to Klong Yong, Nakhon Pathom; and LPN Foundation, Samut Sakhon" [19-20 June 2017]

Klong Yong Community Enterprise, Nakhon Pathom Province; and Labour Rights Promotion Network Foundation, , Samut Sakhon Province

Co-Organized by The Master of Arts Program in International Development Studies (MAIDS), Center for Social Development Studies (CSDS), and Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University

Monday 19 June, 2017

Round Trip to Klong Yong, Salaya

“Environment, Organic Farming and Water Governance

through Trandisciplinary Approach from Field Visiting”

Ban Chanote, Klong Yong-Lantakfa Community Enterprise located in Lantakfa, Nakhon Chaisri, Nakhon Pathom, Thailand. The community enterprise has a main goal in producing organic rice and preserving the local paddy seeds in Nakhon Chaisri field. They also applied many technics in rice field management to increase the production. This community enterprise was established in 2010.  The president of this community enterprise is Nantha Prasarnwong. The missions of Ban Chanote, Klong Yong-Lantakfah Community Enterprise are to produce organic rice which directly connects with the consumers and lift up the income of rice farming more than chemical-used or low quality rice. The community enterprise started with organic vegetables and rice. The members of the community enterprise joined to build a small community rice-mill for consumption and enterprise.

9.00        Van leave for Klong Yong

10.00     Arrival at Ban Chanote-Klong Yong-Lantakfa Cooperative

10:30     Presentation of current situation on environment and water governance issues

12:00     Lunch   

13.00     Visit pomelo farm and discussion on the need for transdisciplinary approach

15:00     Come back to Bangkok

Tuesday 20 June, 2017

Round Trip to Samut Sakorn (Mahachai)

“Cross Border Migration, Diaspora Community’s Livelihood and

Trandisciplinary Studies from Field Visiting”

                Mahachai seaport is located in Samut Sakorn which is Thailand’s largest fish processing zone. The area is accommodated hundreds of migrant workers, mainly from Myanmar, though workers from Cambodia and Laos are also present. International attention has been given to trafficking in the fishery industry. During the roundtrip, participants will meet and discuss with the organizations working on migrant workers’ rights and counter-trafficking.

9:00        Van leave for Mahachai

10:00     Arrival at Labor Rights Promotion Network Foundation (LPN)

10:30     Presentation on migration issues and the need for transdisciplinary studies 

12:00     Lunch Time

13:00     Visit migrant education center and primary school at the temple              

14:30     Discussion on the need  for transdisciplinary approach   

15:00     Free time around Burmese market

16:00     Come back to Bangkok

EVENT: "Stakeholder Conference on Transdisciplinary Approaches to Migration, Environmental Change, and Social Inequality" [21-22 June 2017]

09.00 - 17.00

Alumni Meeting Room, 12th Floor, Building 3,

Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University

Co-Organized By: The Master of Arts Program in International Development Studies (MAIDS),

Center for Social Development Studies (CSDS), and

Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University

Background

Many contemporary development challenges in Southeast Asia are complex and inter-related, including environmental degradation; migration; and social inequality. To appropriately understand these challenges and identify novel insights and innovative solutions, transdisciplinary approaches are required. Not only does this therefore require new research methodologies and new skills for researchers and practitioners, but it also requires universities to develop new curriculum, teaching/ learning materials, and programs.

The Fostering Multi-Lateral Knowledge Networks of Transdisciplinary Studies to Tackle Global Challenges KNOTS project aims to contribute towards meeting this challenge. The three-year project was initiated in October 2016, and is a collaboration between seven universities in Europe, Thailand and Vietnam: the University of Vienna, Austria, which is also the project coordinator; Charles University, Czechia; University of Bonn, Germany; Chulalongkorn University and Chiang Mai University, Thailand; and Ho Chi Minh City Open University, Southern Institute of Social Sciences, and Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences, Vietnam. The project is funded by the European Commission’s ERASMUS+ programme.

 

Event objectives

The objectives of the Stakeholder Workshop are as follows:

·        To deepen understanding on development challenges in Southeast Asia as viewed through a transdisciplinary lens, focusing on environmental degradation; migration; and social inequality

·        To inform KNOTS project design towards establishing innovative teaching methodologies with contribution from academics and non-academic stakeholders in Southeast Asia

·        To contribute towards establishing a “transdisciplinary knowledge network” on Southeast Asia

 

Agenda

Wednesday 21 June, 2017

9:00 – 9:20                  Opening remarks

Assistant Professor Dr.Nunghatai Rangponsumrit, Assistant to the President for Research, Development and Innovation (Social Sciences and Humanities), Chulalongkorn University

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ake Tangsupvattana, Dean of Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University

 

9:20 – 10:00                Keynote address

“The need for transdisciplinary studies: Towards transforming a challenging world” by Emeritus Professor Surichai Wun’gaeo

 

10:00 – 10:30              Coffee break

 

10:30 – 12:15                 “Migration and transdisciplinary perspectives

Academic perspective: Emeritus Professor Dr. Supang Chantavanich

Civil society perspective: Sompong Srakaew, Labour Protection Network

Educators perspective: Dr. Laddawan Tantivitayapitak, DEAR Burma

Chair: Assistant Professor Dr. Naruemon Thabchumpon, MA in International Development Studies program, Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University

Discussant: KNOTS partner

 

12:15 – 13:15              Lunch

 

13:15 – 15:00              Social inequality and transdisciplinary perspectives

Academic perspective: Dr.Sayamol Charoenratana, CUSRI

Civil society perspective: Poonsub Suanmuang Tulaphan, Homenet  

International organization perspective: Representative from FES

Chair: Assistant Professor Dr. Sukanda Lewis, Institute of Asia Studies, Chulalongkorn University

Discussant: KNOTS partner

 

15:00 – 15:30              Coffee

 

15:30 – 17:00              Panel discussion on “Bringing transdisciplinary thinking into Higher Education”

Representative from KNOTS partners

Assistant Professor Dr. Wasana Wongsurawat, Thai Studies Program, Faculty of Arts,     Chulalongkorn University

Dr. Susan Vize, UNESCO

Chair: Assistant Professor Dr. Naruemon Thabchumpon

 

Thursday 22 June, 2017

9:00 – 10:45                Environment and transdisciplinary perspectives                       

Academic perspective: Dr. Soimart Rungmanee, Thammasat University

Civil society perspective: Pianporn Deetes (International Rivers) 

International organization perspective: Dr. Babette Resurrecion (SEI)

Chair: Assistant Professor Dr. Naruemon Thabchumpon

Discussant: KNOTS partner

 

10:45 – 11:15              Coffee break

 

11:15 – 12:30                 Linking transdisciplinary themes together…  and making it policy relevant

“Flooding and migration in Southeast Asia” Assistant Professor Dr. Carl Middleton

“Migration and development” Professor Dr. Petra Dannecker                            

“The need for transdisciplinary perspectives in ASEAN policy” Apichai Sunchindah

Chair: Emeritus Professor Dr. Supang Chantavanich

 

12:30 – 13:30              Lunch

 

13:30 – 15:00              Roundtable discussion and reflections amongst KNOTS partners

One representative from each KNOTS partner institution

Chair: Emeritus Professor Surichai Wun'gaeo                          

   

15:00 – 15:30                 Concluding remarks

Professor Dr. Petra Dannecker, Department of Development Studies, University of Vienna

Assistant Professor Dr. Naruemon Thabchumpon, Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University

EVENT: "KNOTS Project Launch" [16 June 2017]

09:00 - 12:00

Alumni Association Conference Room, 12th floor, Building 3,

Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University

Co-Organized By: The Master of Arts Program in International Development Studies (MAIDS),

Center for Social Development Studies (CSDS), and Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University

Background

The KNOTS project will focus on contemporary development challenges in Southeast Asia, where transdisciplinary research methods could offer novel insights and innovative solutions. The particular focus is on: environmental degradation; migration; and social inequality.

The KNOTS project will prepare curriculum and teaching/ learning materials on transdisciplinary methods to be integrated into each universities’ teaching programs. Three summer schools and fieldtrips will be organized in Vietnam and Thailand over the duration of the project to pilot and refine these materials. There will also be a Stakeholders Workshop in June 2017 and a final conference in 2019, to be hosted at Chulalongkorn University.

The three-year project was initiated in October 2016, and is a collaboration between seven universities in Europe, Thailand and Vietnam: the University of Vienna, Austria, which is also the project coordinator; Charles University, Czechia; University of Bonn, Germany; Chulalongkorn University and Chiang Mai University, Thailand; and Ho Chi Minh City Open University, Southern Institute of Social Sciences, and Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences, Vietnam.

The project is funded by the European Commission’s ERASMUS+ programme. At Chulalongkorn University, the MA in International Development Studies program is the project partner, alongside a network of academics and practitioners interested in teaching and practicing transdisciplinary research approaches.

 

Event objectives

This event will launch the KNOTS project at Chulalongkorn University. The objectives of the event are:

·         To formally launch the KNOTS project at Chulalongkorn University

·         To introduce the Chulalongkorn University team to the KNOTS project partners, and share about each team member’s institute/ department programs