Ashoka: Innovators for the Public

Ashoka envisions a world where Everyone is a Changemaker: a world that responds quickly and effectively to social challenges, and where each individual has the freedom, confidence and societal support to address any social problem and drive change. Ashoka strives to shape a global, entrepreneurial, competitive citizen sector: one that allows social entrepreneurs to thrive and enables the world's citizens to think and act as changemakers.
Feb 9, 2010

Youth Ventures on display

Interactive architectural model for health center
Interactive architectural model for health center

Bill Brower is a Field Program Officer with GlobalGiving who is visiting projects throughout Southeast Asia. On February 5th he visited the Youth Venture Thailand booths at a craft fair in Esplanade mall in Bangkok.

Visiting GlobalGiving projects in the region has brought me to a wide range of locations—remote villages, zoos, one-room schoolhouses, orphanages—but this was a new one (and certainly the most climate-controlled): a shopping mall. Young adults working with Youth Venture Thailand were presenting their project plans and progress thus far at a book and crafts fair in the atrium of Esplanade shopping center.

The projects were professionally presented on large, colorful displays with text in Thai and English. The young people presented their ideas in very good English, and were clearly passionate about them. One focused on building a holistic health center in a fairly isolated community, and had an impressive scaled model people could play with. But I must admit I spent more time looking at the other two projects, both of which dealt with climate change. (I used to head up GlobalGiving Green for projects which address climate change.)

One, “Cool Bus Cool Smile”, sought to encourage people to use public transportation. The other was a short animation telling the story of a boy who doesn’t care much for the environment…until he finds himself in the distant future in possession of the planet’s sole remaining tree. Shots of the boy with the tree resembled Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s illustrations of Le Petit Prince with his rose. All the more impressive considering the animator and director, Darunbhop Puangsombat, started off doing computer animation using PowerPoint. His aspiration matches his dedication: He hopes to extend the animation into a full-length film.

In chatting with Phonchan Kraiwatnutsorn, the organization’s director, the youths appear to be getting good guidance and support in their endeavors, and they are clearly getting fantastic opportunities to develop and promote their social enterprises and businesses.

Darum Puangsombat(director/animator), Tulya Tulyasuwan(co-direc)
Darum Puangsombat(director/animator), Tulya Tulyasuwan(co-direc)
Puangsombat with his animation
Puangsombat with his animation