Asia Centre’s International Faculty Club gained momentum as people gathered for the second installment dedicated to interdisciplinary discourse and networking. Held on 1 Sep at Asia Centre’s premises, the event attracted about 25 participants from different academic and professional backgrounds, all keen to engage on subject matters outside of their comfort zones. Six speakers took to the floor to share their research and experience on a range of issues from philosophy to architecture,  to fundraising and on environmental governance.

Eva Rappoport, a Mahidol University Ph.D student, presented her research on spirit possession in Javanese culture, set to the backdrop of a collection of photographs on the subject that she had taken while in Java. This niche area of research definitely struck a chord with the participants who were interested her insight into the connection with Islam, the role of youth in such activities as well its intrinsic value to the community. Dr Taro Mochizuki, a visiting professor at Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Arts introduced his passion for the development of Southeast Asian philosophy while Jonathan Rhodes, an independent environmental consultant, gave an overview of his work in environmental governance.

Another hot topic for the evening was captured in a presentation by Francisco Garcia Moro, an architect who is researching urban governance in Southeast Asia. His presentation captured some of the resilience and often unheard of struggle for survival of informal and illegal developments in bustling cities, with the Klong Toey slum being one such example. Abdullah Al Noman, a law lecturer from ASA university in Bangladesh introduced his efforts at developing and attempting to mainstream a human rights curriculum. The final presenter for the night, fundraising expert Faz Yusof, addressed some of the hard questions he often faces as a fundraiser for international NGOs including the importance of accountability and winning the public trust.

The presentations were followed by questions and pointed discussions on the topics, which carried on during the networking segment of the evening.

The next IFC Night is set for Thursday, 23 November 2017. Asia Centre welcomes presenters and co-organisers interested in becoming a part of the IFC.