This profile was prepared when Chatchawan Thongdeelert was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2000.
The New Idea
In each of Thailand's four regions, Chatchawan is mobilizing professionals from various sectors–business, government, academic, civil society, religion, media–to collaborate in developing fresh solutions to enduring social problems. He is creating relationships that allow civic-minded professionals an alternative to passively funding annual campaigns. They can lend their expertise, resources, and fresh analysis to social problems, thus participating more fully in solutions. No longer confined by the traditional, one-way donor-grantee relationship, they can unite their skills and resources in realizing social objectives. In addition, Chatchawan is encouraging professionals to collaborate in designing regional strategies for tackling pressing problems. The next step will be distilling these ideas into a set of concrete proposals to aid in the design of a national social policy, called the People's Plan, which is encouraged under Thailand's new constitution.