Sulak Sivaraksa returned to Thailand after receiving an education in Great Britain and has since then played a leading role in the mobilisation of Thai civil society, thing that has repeatedly brought him into conflict with the local authorities. Some examples of his lifelong activism are the creation of a string of social welfare and development organisations; the proposal of alternatives to consumerism; his concern for democracy, human rights and accountable government; the support of Burmese refugees in Thailand – for example with the famous Jungle University for fleeing Burmese students. His work has been able to inspire people beyond the borders of Thailand and his concept of development has been of great influence worldwide.
Concern for democracy, human rights and accountable government, and the ability to inspire thousands of others in many different countries with such concern, have been a central strand in Sulak’s life-work.
Sulak returned to Thailand (which he keeps calling Siam) after studying law in Great Britain, and has since played a leading role in the mobilisation of Thai and South-East Asian civil society. This has repeatedly brought him into conflict with public authorities. Some examples of the lifelong activism of “Ajarn” (= Doctor) Sulak are the creation of a string of social innovation and development organisations, such as the Spirit in Education Movement (SEM), International Network of Engaged Buddhists (INEB) with the INEB Institute for transformative learning; and the early “Alternatives to Consumerism” network. He also founded the Sathirakoses Nagapradipa Foundation and recent activities such as Awakening Leadership Training programme, School for Wellbeing Studies and Research which is the RLC Campus in South East Asia, Towards Organic Asia, and CURLS SummerSchool.
Sulak received the Right Livelihood Award in 1995.