MSM Alumni refresh their CSR knowledge in Bhutan


From 17 until 25 October MSM Alumni from multiple countries came together in Paro and Thimphu, Bhutan to join Dr. Diederik de Boer and Prof. Meine Pieter van Dijk for the Refresher Course “Financing sustainability: CSR for financial inclusiveness”. The course enhanced the participants’ knowledge on innovation and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy development, and how to build a sustainable business strategy in their countries.

The Dutch Consul in Bhutan Ms. Phuntshok C. Tshering Together with Dr. De Boer and the President of the Netherlands Alumni Association Bhutan (NAAB) welcomed the participants coming from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Thailand and Vietnam.

The first few days of the course took place in Paro, where Dr. De Boer taught the MSM alumni about CSR concepts, CSR management and CSR strategy. The participants discussed the principals of sustainability and inclusion as well as on the development of a business strategy focusing on shared value. Followed by a guest lecture on Global Happiness by Mr.OM P Nirola, Chief Resource Officer at BNB. After a few lecture days a hike and work visit to Taktsang was planned. The Taktsang monastery or better known as the “Tiger’s Nest” is about 900 meters above the Paro valley floor. All participants joined the hefty hike and enjoyed the beautiful views once they reached the Monastery. Furthermore there was room for a couple of hours sightseeing in Paro where among others Rinpung Dzong, a large dzong - Buddhist monastery and fortress was visited.  

“Joining the MSM refresher course has sharpened my knowledge in financial inclusion and the Bhutanese gross national happiness principle. Importantly, this has strengthened my network with the Nuffic Alumni in the Southeast and South Asia region.” – Kesaraporn Sreechun, Participant

For the second half of the Refresher Course the participants traveled to Thimphu where Prof. Meine Pieter van Dijk of MSM lectured on financing for sustainable development. Prof van Dijk was joined by Dorji Phuntsho, Chief Executive Officer at RSEB and MSM MBA Alumnus for a guest lecture on inclusive finance cases.

Besides learning about CSR and Financial Inclusiveness we were very honored to welcome Lyonpo J. B Rai, Minister of MoE. The Minister and MSM alumnus joined the Refresher Course participants in the morning on the 23rd of October. The visit of Mr. Rai was followed by a work visit to RENEW, an organization which addresses the issues of gender inequality through awareness, education and strategizing action plans to promote and advocate communal responsibility to stop domestic violence, and sexual and gender-based violence. It was a very interesting work visit where the participants received a lot of new information on this topic.

“The course has broadened our knowledge on the importance of Corporate Social Responsibility to the society and to the world at large. I also learned that CRS plays an imperative role for financial conclusiveness which ultimately contributes to the economy.” – Sangay Wangdi, Participant

Furthermore, MSM Alumnus of 2004 and former Minister of Labour and Human Resources and the current eminent member of the parliament, Mr. Dasho Dorji Wangdi joined the participants during the evening to talk and share knowledge.

When the last day of the Refresher Course arrived, a back-home action plan was given to the participants. This practical plan will help the participants incorporate the newly acquired skills and knowledge in their organization. For the official closing of the course Dutch Consul Ms. Phuntshok C. Tshering was present to give every participant their MSM certificate of attendance. The program finished with a dinner where the Alumni enjoyed a nice meal and looked back on a successful course in Bhutan.

Refresher courses are tailor-made training courses initiated by a local organization or an OKP, NFP, NICHE alumni organization together with or in cooperation with a Dutch organization. The courses contribute to the institutional development of the alumni’s employing organizations, prolong the impact of the original training and educate alumni on the latest trends in their field of knowledge, combined with skills education to be able to bring the newly gained knowledge into practice.

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