The Meaning of Sufficiency Economy: Theory and Practice in Society, Economy and Business

Venue: Bangkok

Location: Bangkok, Thailand

Event Date/Time: Oct 18, 2011 End Date/Time: Oct 19, 2011
Paper Submission Date: Aug 05, 2011
Report as Spam


Since HM the king has introduced the idea of ‘sufficiency economy’ in his birthday address in December 1997 the idea increasingly gained currency among Thailand’s political institutions, academics, and the wider public. The rapid circulation of sufficiency economy owed much to the experiences and disillusion during the unfolding Asian economic crisis in the same year. However, the meaning of the philosophy remained yet unclear to many for years to come following the speech. Its features gradually took shape after the adoption of sufficiency economy as Thailand’s national development paradigm. The UNDP Report on Thailand in 2007 meant to outline the concept more clearly by citing the application of the philosophy in various societal sectors, namely the grassroots level, in business, and the national economy. Sufficiency economy, taking form by the contributions of various institutions and academics, has seen a wide range of interpretations of its aim and origins, as well as different views about its application.

Today there is widespread agreement that sufficiency economy is meant as a development alternative based on an attitude towards life that encompasses the three components of moderation, reasonableness, and self-immunity. Questions however remain, such as: What makes sufficiency economy different from other development alternatives, notably those that stress sustainability and empowerment of communities? Is it applicable by all the actors as are cited in the UNDP Report? To what extent can it be incorporated in a country firmly integrated in the globalized economy?

The conference aims at exploring the status quo of research and practice of the sufficiency philosophy on various levels. Moreover, as initiatives such as the “Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress” (since 2008) by the French government show, there is increasing awareness globally about a need for development indicators beyond GDP and about development goals beyond economic development. Thus, in order to further define the meaning of the sufficiency economy concept the conference encourages academics and development actors from related theoretical backgrounds to share their experiences and give their take on sufficiency economy. This will bring together different views and “sharpen the edges” of sufficiency economy vis-à-vis similar approaches.

Conference Subthemes

1) Sufficiency Economy and Mainstream Economic Theory

- Sufficiency Economy and Sustainable Development

- The Economics of Enough – A viable Alternative?

- Happiness and Alternative Development Indicators

2) Sufficiency Economy and Grassroots Development

- Sufficiency Economy and Related Approaches on the Community Level

- Projects and Practices

- Bottom-up vs Top-Down: The Question of Project Ownership

3) Sufficiency Economy, Business and Ethics

- Sufficiency Economy: Beyond Corporate Social Responsibility?

- Entrepreneurship, Business Ethics, and Religion

4) Sufficiency Economy, Education, and Values

5) Sufficiency Economy and Alternatives to Globalization

- Buddhist Economics

- Developing Self-Immunity: Deglobalization and Delinking (National Autonomous Development), and Community Economies

6) Development and Religious Movements