Monday, December 16, 2019

Bangkok hosts borderless youth conference

Mar 07. 2019
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By The Nation

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“Design Across Borders” is a technology developed to lay the seeds of empathy and understanding, analytical thinking and problem-solving skills.

The innovation assists young people from different cultures in addressing three specific issues laid out by the Thailand Institute of Justice (TIJ) and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC) in the Borderless Youth Forum, conducted from March 2-3.

The issues are social reintegration for ex-prisoners, gender-based violence and access to justice for vulnerable peoples.

Prof Kittipong Kittayarak, executive director of TIJ, said: “TIJ is confident that youths are the hope of a better future for society. They are integral in building the rule of law and sustainable development. Which is why we’ve invited youths from many countries to join in solving social problems concerning the justice system through Design Thinking at the world’s first Borderless Youth Forum. Technology is allowing us to reach across borders and build a sustainable network.” 

From 14 countries, 162 young members of the Design Across Borders programme developed by Stanford School to share experiences, brainstorm ideas, consult with experts and develop solutions for the three issues given, with regards to their national contexts.

The program is developed by Glen Fajardo of Stanford School, who led the discussions between the 162 young people from TIJ’s Bangkok headquarters. According to Fajado, the essence of Design Across Borders is “helping people be creative together when they are far apart and different cultural contexts”. In this, he stressed the importance of not just brainstorming ideas and finding solutions, but also to “build empathy and understanding”. 

A Thai youth participated in the forum, Chanyanuch Butsayaturt, said: “Being a part of this seminar is one of the best experiences for me. To meet with people from so many countries who all share the same interests. Just looking into their eyes and it’s apparent how passionate they are about these issues. Talking to them, you can feel their energy, and that help to fire up our own energy. Also, the seminar enabled us to talk to the experts, which is a rare opportunity whether online or in person.” 

The findings from the Borderless Youth Forum will be presented at the 6th Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development organized by UNESCAP March 27-29 in Bangkok.

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