This was an email conversation with my advisor, Dr. G. Padmanbhan of NDSU
First day, opening speech was under the topic Convergence of Nanotechnology and Microbiology: Emerging Opportunities for Water Disinfection Integrated Urban Water Management, and Risk Assessment, Prof. Dr. Pedro J.J. Alvarez, Rice University, USA (http://www.nwri-usa.org/documents/Alvarez.pdf)
A series of results of studies related to uses of Nanotech and Microbiology was presented, an eye opening talk for me as various techniques were tested and finally used to treat drinking water in rural areas, this really started the feel of what is about to come in the following days.
Later in the afternoon, a panel discussion “Green Economy Concept and Policies - Pathways to Sustainable Development” (http://new.unep.org/ozonaction/Portals/105/documents/events/green-economy-side-event-fotiou.pdf), I’ve learnt several new ideas about Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) or the concept of green economy, especially on the idea of clustering which has proven to be the most efficient way of pushing towards green economy, the talk emphasis that multidisciplinary of both science and arts should be used and integrated. Also looking from a macro and international perspective point of view was refreshing and showing that there is light at the end of the tunnel, and others have been through it already. Although, having talked with other researches – they believe it’s too big and far from what they are and that should be left for UN people to pursue instead. I guess there is a gap there still.
On the second day a panel “Sustainable Consumption and Production Policy for Waste Management”. IMO, this was an extension of the previous panel discussion, but rather more focused on real practice, from various type of communities – a very good example to state that not only one solution solves all problems – leaving the audience to think how their research/interest can contribute to the activities needed to achieve SCP. Again, the idea of policy making and enforcement has been launched here.
IMO the highlight was the afternoon talk from Siam Cement Group’s CEO on the topic of Green Industry Initiative for Sustainable ASEAN Economic Community (http://www1.siamcement.com/pdf/SD-Guideline-Eng.pdf) where he shares the story of how he drove SCG’s business with the believe of going green since day 1. How he managed to create a culture (in the DNA and mindset) and RD plan towards SCG’s success of being one of the top companies awarded Dow John Sustainable Index (DJSI). Such an inspired speech and thinker to work with. My thoughts were, how can we breed this kind of great visionary, thinker and leadership, and how can we download his experience and skill for the next generation – to have a successor like him in other businesses.
And finally, the final panel on the topic of Opportunities and Impact of ASEAN Economic Community on the Environment: Future Research Needs, this was more or less the ideas for researchers to take for their researchers, the speakers did a really good job in thinking the research areas that would still be needed, although the majority focused on policy and integration regional matters – to a level that I think would be too big for researchers in our instituted, but yes these are thinkers, series of researchers and collaboration would therefore be needed to achieve those topics however, I’m glad that we also had people from UNU and influencers from TRF, BASEL and IGES to support if one dares to stand up and take the challenge, and example was also given from one of the panel discussion on her work.
Apart from that I had a chance to listen to various works undergoing by young researchers, also meet with various fields of academic people e.g. (a joke that I posted on my FB that “Being surrounded with a room full of PhD, is an exciting feeling!!”)
My teachers and colleagues e.g Dr. Somporn, Dr. Manaskorn, Dr. Sabatini, Dr. Khan, A. Akiko Dr. Thunyalux, Dr. Sumana, Dr. Thantip– which I conveyed your regards to, that you encouraged me of coming here to present our work.
Researchers worldwide that I’ve personally talked with – very inspiring thoughts exchanged:
Dr. Yasushi Kiyoki – Fac. Of Env and Info Studies, KEIO University, Japan
Dr. Shiori Sasaki – Graduate School of Media and Governance, KEIO University, Japan
Dr. Tjandra Setiadi – Dept. of Chem. Eng, Institute Technology Bandung, Indonesia
Dr. Petros Gikas – Dept. of Env. Eng, Technical University of CRETE, Greece
Mr. Mohammad Helmy, Indonesia Solid Waste Association, Indonesia
Mr. Aboejoewono Aboeprajitno, Basel Convention Regional Centre for South-East Asia (BCRC-SEA)
Dr. Mario Tabucanon, United Nations University-Institute of Advanced Studies
Ms. Kubota Rieko – Center for Material Cycle and Waste Management Research, Japan
Dr. Chanatip Pharino – Dept of Env. Eng. Chulalongkorn Univ, Thailand
Dr. Annop Wongrueng – EHSM, Chulalongkorn Univ, Thailand
Dr. Alice Sharp – Dept of Common and Graduate Studies, SIIT, Thailand
In summary, I really like to complement the organizers for their efforts in holding this event, this conference was a “gold mine” for networking and ideas, of which I believe has to be refreshed and revisited from time to time to remind oneself of the mainstream you’re in and not to be lost in only your current research, especially in the vast dynamics of world economics and environmental policies with trans-boundary trades. It is therefore our job as young energetic researchers to realize and reduce the gap between what we’re doing and the goal we’re aiming upon. And yes, I will do anything under my strength to carry on the mission that Dr. Somporn mentioned in the closing speech to contribute to the success of the community of scholars.