The formation of the ASEAN Learning Network was first agreed upon and planned at a meeting at the Banking University in Ho Chi Minh City (on 21 November 2008) involving representatives of 4 university institutions, namely, the Asia Research Centre of the University of St Gallen in Switzerland, the Bandung Institute of Technology of Indonesia, the Banking University of HCMC in Vietnam, and the San Beda College of the Philippines. Following this meeting, the Network was launched at the International Conference on Intercultural Management to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of ITB in Bandung on 9 February, 2009 with 5 member institutions, with the Universiti Kelantan Malaysia as the additional founding member. The late Professor Dr. Surna Tjahja Djajadiningrat, who was then Dean of the School of Business Management at the Bandung Institute of Technology (SBM ITB) was the Founding Chairman and Prof. Dr. Chong Li Choy, the then Director of the Asia Research Centre (ARC) at the University of St Gallen was the Founding Executive Director of the Network.

 

 

The Network was formed to further socially responsible teaching and learning (including research) through the Context-Based approach pioneered by Prof. Chong at the Asia Research Centre in St. Gallen. The Social Enterprise for Economic Development (SEED) program is an excellent example and the first of such teaching and learning programs conceptualized by Prof. Chong as Professor for International Management with focus on South East Asia, to teach Intercultural Management in the context of the Southeast Asian region through practice on-site and hence, experiential learning.

 

The idea is to enable students not only to learn, but also to “learn to learn” quickly on-site (within a period of 2 weeks) in intercultural teams in an unfamiliar cultural context (South East Asian village) by setting up viable and operational village enterprises (social entrepreneurship) which could be managed successfully by the concerned villagers and bring about village economic development through many such projects and with coordination and over time. The first SEED program, involved mainly volunteer student participants from St Gallen, Singapore and Bandung who were taught by Prof. Chong at the University of St Gallen’s Asia Term at the Singapore Management University in Singapore and the Bandung Institute of Technology at ITB (where Prof. Chong was also a Visiting Professor), was first implemented at a village in Cisandori, in the mountains of Bandung, in December 2007. This collaboration was between Prof. Chong Li Choy of the Asia Research Centre of the University of St. Gallen, and the School of Business Management at the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB).

 

Prof. Chong who was a Visiting Professor at ITB was also the Director of the SEED program. In December, 2008, the SEED program was held up as an excellent example of socially responsible management education curriculum at the United Nations’ First Global Forum on Responsible Management Education in New York. One of Prof. Chong’s then doctoral students at the Asia Research Centre in St Gallen, Daniela Beck, made the presentation on behalf of the Asia Research Centre (Session 7.6 at http://www.unprme.org/resources/display-resources.php?cid=2).

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