Innovation for shaping the future and moving the society forward: Thailand Institute of Justice and Thailand Policy Lab pass on knowledge on innovation to university educators

Event Details
  • LOCATION: Online Conference
  • DATE: Friday, 23/07/2021 - Saturday, 24/07/2021
  • TIME: All Day.
  • Status: Close

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we are facing new challenges that are fast-emerging, constantly pressing, and increasingly complex. Over the past months, ‘innovation’ has been utilized by numerous future-proofing sectors as a creative way to solve problems, meet the needs of the public and keep up with ever-changing situations.

‘Innovation’ is not only technology, but it also is an idea, framework, new methods and tools invented to help people solve problems or better overcome their challenges. The Thailand Institute of Justice together with the Thailand Policy Lab, a policy innovation platform established by the UNDP and the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council, have organized an activity dubbed Policy and Justice Innovation Tools For Educators: The First Knowledge Boosterwith an aim to exchange knowledge and experience in innovation including teaching approaches methods between experts and university educators. Another objective of the activity is to enable the university educators to pass on their knowledge and skills to students which would ultimately transform Thailand into an innovative society.

The activity featured Suriyon Thunkijjanukij, Senior Advisor of the National Economic and Social Development Council, who shared his views as a veteran policy expert that policy design and implementation requires public participation in order to establish and develop policies that truly respond to new challenges and people’s needs.

Renaud Meyer, UNDP Resident Representative in Thailand, said that the COVID-19 crisis has reinforced Thailand to reconsider what policies the country needs the most and how to establish policies that can address the problems young people are facing these days. Furthermore, Anuwan Vongpichet, Deputy Director of the Thailand Institute of Justice, emphasized that understanding the social context is essential for workers in the policy and justice sectors to be able to adapt themselves to the changing world.

‘Human-centric innovation tools for justice and policy’

At this knowledge sharing event, the Thailand Institute of Justice and Thailand Policy Lab invited innovation experts in various fields together to share their knowledge.

In the field of justice and policy, Paricha Duangtaweesub, Lecturer at the Chulalongkorn University’s School of Integrated Innovation and the Thailand Institute of Justice, has applied innovation such as design thinking and future thinking processes to justice practice to enable students and practitioners have a deeper understanding of the context of the problem. Moreover, Paricha said, using this way would allow the problem-solving designers to not put themselves at the center of the problem and be able to anticipate future challenges so that those working in the justice related fields can prepare and adapt themselves to changes.

In terms of policy design, Asst. Prof. Dr. Prapaporn Tivayanond Mongkhonvanit, Dean of the School of Global Studies at Thammasat University, introduced applying design thinking and system thinking approaches among students and policy designers for a better understanding of problems in a systematic way, which would lead to inclusive policy design and implementation. Additionally, in modern times like today, anyone can be a policy designer, said Asst. Prof. Piyapong Boossabong, Deputy Director of the School of Public Policy at Chiang Mai University. Policy designing, Piyapong added, should be more than just identifying problems and solutions, but it should include developing policies that can raise people’s hope and help them overcome their fears.

Applying innovation to justice and policy design therefore does not only help people understand the problems comprehensively, but it also allows policy makers and officers working in the justice field to be able to come up with solutions with a deeper understanding of contexts of problems.

‘Foresee future challenges to effectively deal with problems’

Apart from design thinking, this activity also highlights foresight as a tool used in a variety of areas such as politics, international security, urban design and development.

Innovation is vital in international relations and security as well. Sipim Sornbanlang, head of Srinakharinwirot University’s Political Science Department, and Wasin Punthong, Lecturer at Thammasat University’s Faculty of Political Science, have utilized foresight as a strategic tool to predict future events that could have an impact on international politics. This tool would benefit students who aim to be a foreign policy planner.

According to Wan Chantavilasvong, Lecturer at Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Architecture, innovation can significantly promote sustainable urban planning and development as well. By combining the use of foresight and the (marketing) personas of residents in urban areas, we would have a deeper understanding of the city dynamics – different problems and expectations of different groups of residents so that we can develop city plans and policies to improve the populations’ quality of life as a whole.

Businesses in the new normal require long-term plans

In addition to the society and policies, Asst. Prof. Dr. Kulachet Mongkol, Lecturer of Srinakharinwirot University’s Faculty of Business Administration, emphasizes on the necessity of foresight in business sector that new-generation entrepreneurs can no longer plan their business models within only 2 or 3 years, but they need to address short-term, middle-term and long-term plans. They need to look beyond their companies to cover greater goals which are to understand the changes of the society and to develop a thorough and thoughtful business plan based on the world’s rapidly changing values (Megatrends). Furthermore, Kulachet presented five dimensions of the business environment that influence several companies which are 1. society and culture 2. technology 3. economy 4. environment 5. politics and law.

A good idea is an idea that we put into experimentation practice

Since innovation deals with new ideas, frameworks and methods; accidents, mistakes and failures are thus expected to occur. However, Nutthapon Rathie, Head of experimentation of UNDP’s Accelerator Lab, said experimentation can be a way to give ourselves permission to try new things and see if our ideas actually are practical, effective and worth investing in.

While large enterprises and medium-sized businesses usually have a clear plan and strategy in running their businesses, Nutthapon said, on the other hand, startups and new ventures need to rely on experimentation to develop their businesses and minimize risks possible.

Lastly, Nutthapon said that sometimes a good solution does not necessarily come from the governmental bodies. Oftentimes, innovative solutions can come from community members who play a major role in the processes to enable policymakers to make more informed decisions. This modality of inclusive innovation is also known as “grassroots innovation.”

The Thailand Institute of Justice and Thailand Policy Lab would like to organize more knowledge-sharing activities on innovation in the future. Any institutions, organizations or those who are interested in the knowledge on innovation and policies can contact Thailand Policy Lab via email [email protected]

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