Our Story in Northeast Thailand, Isaan
Northeast Thailand, otherwise known as Isaan, is the poorest, most marginalized part of the country. Yet, it is also the most populated, and it is the agricultural heartland of the country with its own distinctive language, cuisine, and culture. It is a region that is rapidly changing due to industrial agriculture and the decreasing availability of jobs and opportunity for young people. The communities of Isaan must work together to co-create new futures for young people through innovative and creative opportunities in enterprise, social impact, and food and agriculture.
7 years ago, Lalana Srikram and Bryan Hugill started Raitong Organics Farm to promote progressive, technology-forward, and socially impactful business in food and agriculture. Based in Baan HangWao, Lalana's hometown, Raitong Organics Farm has been a shining example of social enterprise for Thailand the region.
We know that creating a sustainable social enterprise is not enough. Innovative, creative, and fulfilling jobs and opportunities for young people are critical for sustaining Isaan's cultural heritage and economic future. Raitong Organics Farm's long-term vision is to create the "Silicon Valley" of organic food and agriculture for Thailand and Southeast Asia.
What we're doing
Raitong Organics Farm and Designing for Social Innovation and Leadership Global (DSIL Global) have come together to join local and national knowledge with regional and global perspectives to pioneer a new way of thinking and action in food and agriculture in Southeast Asia - beginning with Sisaket, Thailand. IDDS Sisaket is the first step towards co-creating new ways of thinking and imagining the possibility of innovative futures for everyone in Northeast Thailand.
We will kickstart this by by running the first International Development Design Summit (IDDS) in Southeast Asia. IDDS itself is an initiative from the MIT D-Lab, and has been running every year since 2007. Over a decade of expertise and experience has refined our curriculum, and we are always still learning and improving. The summit builds confidence, skills, and communities. The gift of the toolset that is design thinking, which can be applied to most any problem, enables its owner the sense that “I can change this. We have effect. We can organize, and with these tools, we can find a solution.” We know this, because we’ve been there.
In 2017, IDDS will run again in Sisaket, Thailand to bring together local and a global community together for 2 and a half weeks of intensive learning of the design thinking process, which is made particularly effective by direct application of what you’re learning to a real life situation. We aren’t just working hard together, we are sharing ourselves and our culture. We are challenging ourselves in a safe space. The people we’ve assembled to organize this summit are amazing; some of whom have offered their skills to bring to you some fantastic rewards for this campaign. We also look forward to sharing with you the awesome people who will participate in this life-changing workshop.
2 or 4 meters of hand-woven silk from Baan HangWao - connect personally with the women who are weaving Thai Silk
To learn more about Thai Silk in Baan Hangwao, read this blog from one of our organizers, Irene Laochaisri.
90 Minute Mixology Session for 2 at the Asia's Top 50 Restaurant, Eat Me Restaurant with head mixologist Pop Direkrittikul
Exclusively Re-Colored Illustrations by Shehzil Malik
"My Body, My Choice" | "Desi Wonderwoman" | "Fearless" | "Hands"