We haven’t featured anything on sufficiency economy for a while (at least not since its principle architect was identified by Forbes as the world’s wealthiest royal) so I was very pleased yesterday when a colleague passed me information about a scheme to take sufficiency economy to the world. It’s been organised by the Thai Research Fund, DTAC, Toyota and a couple of development foundations.

As you all know, these are dark economic times and the ray of sufficiency light shining from Thailand may well develop into a beacon that lights the way forward for other nations. A group that the Thai Research Fund refers to as the “12 gurus” is helping to promote sufficiency economy to the world. This apostolic dozen feature some big names on the international academic scene. They have each provided their perspectives on sufficiency economy. Here are some samples:

“Sufficiency Economy comes in when we wonder what kind of objectives we should follow. What should we expect from an economy, expect from technology? If you expect very much high performance, excessive performance, you bound to need a great amount of energy and materials. … “The question is why we should construct cars that are able to run at 200 km. per hour on a free way, when we use cars at the speed of 20 km an hour in the city like Bangkok. I mean that it is ridiculous. So why don’t construct cars that can run only 100 km an hour. Now, that will change the entire technology.”

Sufficiency Economy can also be applied to people in the urban area. Under Sufficiency Economy concept, people should medicate [!!!!] and contemplate about their needs allowing you to live up to the state of unattachments. “Inner happiness is more fulfilling than the happiness of different needs, the way out is offer great enjoyment and this is where I like when the culture and spirituality comes in the Sufficiency Economy concept.”

“Don’t try to concentrate the aggregate pigs [???] like GNP, nor only particularly on the objects of convenience such as income or wealth. You look at human life and say “what is sufficient in some ways” you could even say “necessary” for human life. In that sense, it is also the same question as “what is necessary for it to be a human life? … In fact my view is that democracy is not just about voting, it is also about having an open public discussion so that the public know their way to speak up their mind and it could be heard.

A lot of food for thought here. Enough to make you want to medicate and contemplate your needs!

This is presented as a scheme to take sufficiency economy to the world. But I suspect the real audience is closer to home. International endorsement of sufficiency economy thinking is much valued by its proponents in Thailand and this is a useful way of showing that international critics of the royal scheme have less gravitas than the gurus who can be assembled to praise it.