New Mandala has received a comment from Hans van Willenswaard and Wallapa Kuntiranont of the Suan Nguen Mee Ma Co., Ltd. It relates to Andrew’s post on the upcoming Sufficiciency Economy conference which will be held at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok.

Hans and Wallapa have extended an invitation to “commentators and critical thinkers, [and] activists” who may want to join the public debate on Saturday 21 April. Andrew and I will be unable to attend but we are certainly happy to publish reviews or reflections from New Mandala readers who do go along.

Hans and Wallapa write:

By chance I came across the article of Andrew Walker on our Sufficiency Economy conference and the comments.

If Anrew received the right anouncement for this creative gathering it should have indicated that some supporting groups were not yet confirmed. The final co-organizers are: Schweisfurth Stiftung, Sathirakoses-Nagapradipa Foundation, Bangchak Petroleum, Social Research Institute, Chula, Suan Nguen Mee Ma Co., Ltd. and Social Venture Network Asia.

So Heinrich Boell Foundation did not confirm and that makes the exchanges on German political parties meddling irrelevant (but many remarks are interesting and deserve to be included in a more consistent analysis).

The most important input from the German side we expect will be (not from any organisation but) from Wolfgang Sachs who is known for his independent thinking and critical analysis. We asked him to cast a fresh light on ’sufficiency economy’ and our intention is to go beyond ritualistic or stereotyped appraisals. We offer the discussion between a variety of stakeholders as an opportunity for open debate on fundamentals of the economy and the title of the conference is ‘Sufficiency Economy and global transformation’.

Where are the farmers? Last year in April we organised, also together with Scheisfurth Stiftung, a meeting on ‘Green Marketing’ and that has resulted in strengthening of the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) project that makes a direct link between rural producers and urban consumers of organic vegetables on one year subscription base.

This year the issue is more complicated and we have persons in the workshops on 20 April who speak from various perspectives including the farmers, labour in industry, and micro-finance.

We try to involve civil society, government and the business sector as equal partners.

It is true that our small-scale company is closely connected with Sulak and other organizations inspired by him but I can assure you that we work in a climate of total independence and diversity of opinioins.

So we really would appreciate participation of many commentators and critical thinkers, activists (’join our love-in’) in the public debate on Saturday 21 April 9.00 – 12.30 at Chumphot Pantip auditorium, Chulalongkorn University (in between Faculties of Political Science and Economy).

Hans and Wallapa
Suan Nguen Mee Ma

Thanks to Hans and Wallapa for their contribution and clarification.