Born in England in 1958 as Shaun Michael Chiverton, his love for books led the young Ajahn Jayasaro on a journey across Europe, the Middle East and eventually to India, where he spent two-years contemplating the meaning of life and practicing Buddhist meditation.
His devotion for Dhamma continued on and in 1978, he joined Ajahn Sumedho’s community for the Rains Retreat as anagarika at Amravati Buddhist Monastery (Hampstead, UK). Then later left for Nong Pah Pong Manastery (Ubonratchathani, Thailand), whereupon he became the disciple of Ajahn Chah Subhaddo and underwent full ordination in 1980, as his view, contemplation and action of Buddhadhamma were affirmed.
Ajahn Jayasaro held the position of Abbot at the International Forest Monastery (Thailand) for many years since 1997 before moving to Janamara Hermitage in Pak Chong, Nakorn Ratchasima in 2003, where he continues to engage himself in solitary retreat.
In addition to being the Chairman of the Advisory Board of Paccaya Foundation, Ajahn Jayasaro chairs the Advisory Board of the Panyaprateep Foundation. He holds both positions with the aspiration to spread the words of Dhamma for the benefit of all sentient beings.
Ajahn Anil Sakya
Ajahn Anil Sakya, a direct descendant of the Lord Buddha’s Nepalese Sakya clan, is an internationally renowned as both an academic and as a Buddhist monk.
Ajahn Anil Sakya holds a Bachelor Degree in Religious Studies from Mahamakut Buddhist University; a Masters Degree in Anthropology from Tribhuvan University (Nepal); as well as a Masters Degree in Sociology and Anthropology from Christ College, University of Cambridge. He has also received a scholarship from HM King Bhumibol of Thailand to complete a PhD. in Sociology and Anthropology from Brunel University (England).
And after ordaining as a novice monk in Nepal and studying Dhamma at Bowonniwet Vihara Temple (Bangkok), Anil Sakya was fully ordained by the late His Holiness Somdet Phra Nyanasamvara, the Supreme Patriarch of Thailand. Thereafter, Ajahn Anil Sakya was appointed as a Deputy Secretary to the Supreme Patriarch and to the Vice Chancellor of the Foreign Affairs Department, Mahamakut Buddhist University (Bangkok).
Ajahn Anil Sakya is currently Vice Dean and Lecturer at the Faculty of Sociology, Mahamakut Buddhist University, and a Visiting Fellow at the College of Religious Studies, Kasetsart University (Bangkok); Santa Clara University (USA); and the University of Oxford.
In addition to these roles, he is a Director of Paendin Dhamma Foundation under the Patronage of the Supreme Patriarch of Thailand, and he serves as an academic advisor to the Paccaya Foundation.
Ajahn Paisal Visalo
A former social activist, Ajahn Paisal is widely respected in Thailand as an academically-oriented and open-minded thinker, lecturer, writer and monastic practitioner of Buddhism.
Ajahn Paisal holds a Bachelor Degree in History from Thammasat University (Bangkok), where he was Editor of Pajarayasarn Magazine; an officer of the group, ‘Buddhist Work for Society;’ and a participant in an ahimsa movement during the October 6, 1976 Massacre—a watershed in the development of democracy in Thailand.
Ordained in 1983 at Thong Noppakun Temple, Ajahn Paisal studied meditation with Teean Jittasubho Bhikkhu before moving to study with Khamkhian Suvanno Bhikkhu at the Sukato Forest Monastery, where Ajahn Paisal currently holds the position of Abbot.
Ajahn Paisal’s open-minded Dhamma-based thoughts have found appeal amongst the younger generations, while his encouragement of spiritual preparation for a peaceful passing has earned him the respect of many others. His interest in integrating Buddhist principles with societal development role is widely acknowledged to have helped advance morality and social development in the country.
In addition to regularly holding meditation and moral development retreats, Ajahn Paisal is also the Chairman of Buddhika Network; Director of Komol Khemthong Foundation; Director of Thai Holistic Health Foundation; Director of Peace Way Foundation; Director of Institute of Human Rights and Peace Studies; and Director of Arsom Silp Institute of the Arts. He was formerly a Director of Thailand’s National Reconciliation Commission.
Veerathai Santiprabhob, PhD.
An experienced economist, financier, and banker whose distinguished career has taken him through government and private sectors as well as international organisations, Veerathai, Governor of the Bank of Thailand, is an important driver of the Thai economy.
Veerathai started his career as an Economist at the International Monetary Fund in Washington D.C., and returned to Thailand during the 1997 Asian financial crisis to become a Co-Director of the Fiscal Policy Research Institute, Ministry of Finance. Veerathai has since served as a senior executive at the Siam Commercial Bank and the Stock Exchange of Thailand; and as a Director, and/or Advisor to numerous organisations, such as the Anandamahidol Foundation, Mae Fah Luang Foundation, Royal Initiative Discovery Foundation, and the Buddhadasa Indapanno Archives; as well as serving as a columnist for the Krungthep Turakij newspaper. He was a member of the first Oversight Committee of the World Health Organisation, and has also written influential books on economic policy.
A recipient of the King Bhumibol’s Award and Anandamahidol Foundation Scholarship, Veerathai holds a Bachelor Degree in Economics from Thammasat University (Bangkok); and a Masters and PhD in Economics from Harvard University (US).
Away from his many professional responsibilities, Veerathai is a regular meditator, an appreciator of the arts and sees beauty in simple ways of life close to nature.
A contemporary artist based in Chiang Mai, Kamin believes that art—as a medium of communication—is one of the more powerful languages through which one is able to express and understand the meaning of life and the explanation of the truth.
Kamin’s own work is a contemporary interpretation of Buddhism and draws heavily on his contemplations of impermanence, of truth, and of the value of life: They are driven by his vipassana meditation practice, and are recognized as continually pushing the perceptions of Buddhist art.
A firm believer in the inextricability of art and the meaning of life, his participation at the Stimulating Cities with Art seminar at the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art (Japan), inspired him to further opportunities for artistic collaborations nearer to home, and Kamin founded the 31st Century Museum of Contemporary Spirit (Chiang Mai), whose flexible exhibition space transforms according to the spirit of each exhibition. Kamin also co-founded The Land Foundation in Chiang Mai as an initiative to transform the region’s ubiquitous rice paddies into destinations for local art and architecture projects.
A graduate of the Faculty of Painting, Sculpture and Graphic Arts at Silpakorn University, (Bangkok), Kamin also studied at the Art Students League of New York.
Today, Kamin continues to create art and hold exhibitions both in Thailand and abroad.
ML Abhawadee Devakula
With 20-years’ experience in international finance and private real estate investment, Abhawadee views society from a unique vantage point: She is acutely aware of the imminent economic and social issues that face us, and yet believes that the wisdom of the dhamma will be a mitigating factor in their effect on us.
After an encounter with forest monks and then during her years in England, Abhawadee saw the value placed on Buddhism abroad, and questioned the efficacy of opportunities available to Thais for the study of their own cultural and spiritual heritage. Seeing life as a journey of learning, and recognising that Buddhism’s wisdom is worthy of preservation, Abhawadee studied the Tripitaka at Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University (Thailand), and continues to study Dhamma together with HM King Bhumibol’s Sufficiency Economy Philosophy, with the intention of helping to integrate Dhamma into modern Thai society.
Alarmed and disturbed by social disparity and inequality, Nophol has strived to build social change capacity among those at the top of the pyramid and place upon them the onus to effect positive changes on the world around them.
Nophol has a demonstrated interest in social development as evidenced through his role as a Director of the Thai Young Philanthropist Network (TYPN); as the Founder and Co-Director of NEXUS Thailand—a subsidiary of NEXUS, a network that brings together over 3,500 young wealth holders, social entrepreneurs, philanthropists and change makers focused on strategic philanthropy, inclusive business, and social entrepreneurship; and as Director of SPB Group (his family business). Nophol has also founded startups in both Thailand and China.
A holder of a Post Graduate Diploma in Economics from the University of Cambridge and a BSc (Hons) in Physics with Theoretical Physics from the University of Manchester, Nophol has been a recipient of the Cambridge-Thai Foundation Scholarship; and has also received the Model Business Person of the Year Award (2012) from the Foundation of Science and Technology Council of Thailand in the Household and Office Goods Sector.