Conference and Workshop

Friday, 19 July 2019

The Center for Local Governance & Research in collaboration with the Centre for the Study of Democracy, University of Westminster are happy to announce the call for expression of interest to participate in a one-day conference and workshop on the topic “Bhutan as Biodemocracy: Building Socioeconomic and Environmental Resilience” to be held in Thimphu on Friday, the 19th of July 2019.

The aim of the workshop is to emphasize the good environmental lessons from Bhutan and deliberate upon what can be done further to build more resilience for the twin environmental and developmental challenges of the future. This will be an opportunity both for highlighting what lessons there are for the wider world to learn from the Bhutanese experience, and for reflecting upon how Bhutan can best continue on its unique developmental trajectory that combines well-being and development with care for the environment.

The intention is to bring together Bhutanese from any domain of life – scholars, policymakers, professionals, businesspersons, parliamentarians, teachers, entrepreneurs, citizens active in media, non-governmental and civil society sector, students – to think about these challenges, share knowledge, experience and learning in a cooperative and non-partisan environment.

We expect to have speakers who will illuminate specific areas and topics relating tothe following broad themes –

  • Re-thinking the economy mindfully – what are the crucial issues that lie at the intersections of Economy, Development and Environment?;
  • Conservation narratives for land and people – what kinds of narratives enable better conservation of ecologies and heritage?;
  • Education and Policy – how can education embed and reproduce values that support policy-making for a better future?;
  • Specific policy domains where Bhutan leads the world – how can these be amplified?

The knowledge produced on building environmental and socioeconomic resilience on Bhutan’s development trajectory as a sustainable biodemocracy is an asset to Bhutanese policy making. It can enable the learning from experience and reflection; moreover, the Bhutanese experience may have a wider applicability outside Bhutan.

We see this conference and workshop as a small step to producing a knowledge-bank that foregrounds the developmental challenges and highlights the possible responses to them. We aim to produce a concrete output in the form of a report/book based upon the conference proceedings that would be useful in getting these discussions into the future. Please let us know if you would like your paper or presentation to be considered for inclusion in any such volume.

We invite participation from Bhutanese nationals who wish to make presentations of their work. You are kindly requested to register your interest here – – online as soon as possible or send us a short abstract of no more than 200 words with your name, topic, and affiliation, to the following email – by 20 June 2019.

There is no conference fee to attend. Tea, coffee, and refreshments will be provided. With your participation and cooperation, we look forward to creating what promises to be an exciting and thought-provoking event!