Friday Forum

The Friday Forum is the Institute’s flagship public lecture series. Under this banner the institute brings eminent speakers from around the world that include great thinkers, change-makers, spiritual masters, scholars, politicians and the like to deliver talks in Bhutan. Organized usually on Friday evenings, the Friday Forum is a public lecture and interaction forum that lasts for an hour and a half including Q&A session.

The lectures are either held at the institute in Phuentsholing or in other places such as the capital. The lectures are advertised in advance through the institute’s website, mainstream media as well as on social media. These lectures are open to the public and anyone interested can register online through the institute’s website. Seats are allotted on first-come-first-served basis, and entry is free.

Given the eminence of the speakers and the relevance of the topics, the RIGSS Friday Forum has successfully captured the attention and attendance of a wide range of audience including cabinet ministers, senior public officials, parliamentarians, scholars, university students, businessmen etc. Their Majesties The King and Queen have also graced some of the RIGSS Friday Forum lectures.

As of date, RIGSS has conducted twenty-two Friday Forum lectures as listed below:

Sl. No. Speaker Date Topic
1 Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay 25/10/2013 Bhutan: Changes & Challenges
2 Dr. Shashi Tharoor 1/11/2013 Democracy & Development
3 Amb. Pavan K. Varma 8/11/2013 Public Policy & Democratic Functioning
4 Lyonpo Sonam Tobgye (Retd. CJ of Bhutan) 21/3/2014 A Perspective on the Philosophical Basis of the Bhutanese Constitution
5 Amb. Shyam Saran 28/3/2014 Climate Change: Why Should Bhutan Worry?
6 Prof. Kishore Mahbubani 31/10/2014 Asia in Today’s World
7 Prof. Robert Klitgaard 7/11/2014 Leadership Across the Public-Private Divide
8 Ms. Suhasini Haidar 14/11/2014 SAARC: Beyond India & Pakistan
9 Amb. Gautam Bambawale 13/3/2015 India’s Act East Policy
10 HE Sogyal Rimpoche 20/3/2015 Leadership of the Mind
11 Amb. Dalip Mehta 4/9/2015 The Future of India-Bhutan Relations
12 Mr. Mani Shankar Aiyar 15/1/2016 Democracy-From Parliament to the Grassroots
13 Dr. C.Raja Mohan 5/2/2016 The Sub-continent in a Changing Asia
14 Sir Mark Tully 11/3/2016 Climate Change-The Need for Change in Lifestyles in the South Asian Context
15 Sadh Guru Jaggi Vasudev 5/8/ 2016 The Buddha Within
16 Gelong Matthieu Ricard 14/10/2016 Towards caring leadership and a more altruistic society
17 John Hardy 18/11/2016 Enterprise, Leadership and Social Responsibility
18 Prof. Marcus Du Sautoy 17/3/2017 Mathematics: The Language of the Universe
19 Dr. Parag Khanna 12/5/2017 Connectography: The Himalayan Dimension
20 Mr. Shivshankar Menon 26/5/2017 South Asia: Evolving Geopolitical & Security Issues
21 Dr. Ang Poon Liat 25/8/2017 The Secrets Behind Healthy Longevity
22 Chade-Meng Tan 17/11/2017 Search Inside Yourself: Mindfulness, Self-discovery and Leadership
23 Jonathan F.P. Rose 9/11/2018 A Well-Tempered Bhutan: Creating GNH Cities and Villages
24 Kishore Mahbubani 17/06/2022 Can Small States Survive?
25 Amb. Tommy Koh 14/10/2022 Nation Building: Lessons from Singapore's Success
26 Dr. Hamid Rashid 19/05/2023 Global Economic Outlook and Implications for Bhutan
27 Amb. Rabab Fatima 18/08/2023 Bhutan's LDC Graduation: Ensuring a Smooth, Successful and Sustainable Transition
28 Dr. Karthik Ramanna 13/10/2023 Driving Transformational Change
29 Dr. Shinichi Kitaoka 08/12/2023 Japan's Development Journey: Lessons for Bhutan's Transformation Vision