Plenary Session II: Challenges of Social Justice in Asia

Oct 24
Music Hall, Art & Culture Building

The world around us is never at a standstill, constantly undergoing changes enabled and imposed by ever-newer cutting-edge technologies, ideas, rules and institutions. Fueled by global economic integration and facilitated by infrastructure connectivity, these changes have brought uneven gains and benefits within and across societies. Some have gained more from economic growth, globalization and attendant technological innovations than others, while many have been marginalized and excluded altogether. Those who have prospered from growth and globalization are poised and positioned to maintain their well-being, but as gaps widen and inequality deepens within and across countries, those who are marginalized are required more and more to fend for themselves with limited means, tools and skill sets necessary to sustain lives and livelihoods. Accordingly, a consensus has emerged among scholars, practitioners, policymakers and all other stakeholders in a multilayered and multifaceted fashion that issues and challenges of social sustainability are best addressed as a whole. Social sustainability requires an integrated approach, probing different dimensions such as equity, diversity, quality of life, democracy and other measures of sustenance and well-being collectively and comprehensively. In this session, panelists from diverse backgrounds will share their experience and expertise on critical aspects of social justice and injustice based on personal observations and efforts. This session will also explore issues not only in national contexts, but also in regional and international frameworks.  It will discuss how the struggles for social justice are interconnected and how they may need to be approached with a refreshed and recalibrated mindset. Where are the opportunities for solidarity and progress among various initiatives and movements across borders?  How can an international advocacy play a role in promoting social justice in Asia? How can cross-sectoral collaboration overcome these challenges?