4 November 2014 (10.30-12.30) - Room 3 – Palais de l’Europe, Interpretation: FR/EN/RU - Sponsored by the INGO Conference of the Council of Europe


Understanding is the first step towards change. Simulating democratic policy-making makes young people understand public policy. How can democracy education help democratic structures to evolve instead of simply  reproducing the status quo?

SIM Democracy, Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom: Regional Office for Southeast and East Asia, Thailand

SIM Democracy is an interactive educational tool through simulation of a democratic community. Within less than an hour, it allows players to play different roles and actively perform tasks and responsibilities in a democratic society; such as the government that makes parliamentary and public decisions, plan budget, allocate resources, provide infrastructure and run the country, or ordinary citizens who generate income, pay taxes and actively participate in monitoring government administration. As a result, its fundamental elements and better understanding of public policy are fostered and democratic values are strengthened. Most importantly, it generates politically related questions in young minds, creating platforms for debates on political issues and its government administration.


Mr Rainer ADAM, Germany, Regional Director for Central, East and Southeast Europe, South Caucasus and Central Asia, Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom

A man who remembers his childhood fun and effective learning experiences through interactive-participation, he knew what was missing in the civic education classrooms in Thailand and why most youngsters had no interest in politics. This was how SIM Democracy came into existence.  He strongly believes that an interactive-learning tool can encourage young people to view the world through a democratic-political involvements spectrum.  Since 2008, he was a Regional Director for Southeast and East Asia of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF) Bangkok, Thailand. He holds a PhD degree from Bonn University, Germany.

Ms Pimrapaat DUSADEEISARIYAKUL, Thailand, Project manager for Thailand, Regional Office for Southeast and East Asia, Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom

Her youth public forums across Thailand never fail to inspire her subjects, she is known for the nationwide future search campaign “Dream Thailand”. Later when SIM Democracy was implemented across Thailand under her leadership, she successfully continues to inspire the youth, but for them to “Dream Democracy” instead. She is currently a Programme Manager in Thailand team for The Friedrich Naumann Foundation. She obtained her doctorate degree in International Relations in 1999 from the University of Aberdeen, United Kingdom and her master degree in International Politics in 1993 from the University of Aberystwyth, United Kingdom.


Discussants are invited to make critical comments during the lab on the impact, transferrability, sustainability and risk of the initiative.

Ms Silvia GOLOMBEK, USA, Vice President of Programs at Youth Service America

Silvia Blitzer Golombek is the Sr. Vice President at YSA, an organization that helps young people find their voice, take action, and have an impact on vital community issues. With a doctorate in Sociology from the Johns Hopkins University, her career in nonprofit management, international collaborations, strategic planning, and academia is focused on positioning children and youth as key partners in building democratic societies. She created and currently leads various initiatives to increase youth participation in civic activities around the world including awareness raising, volunteering, advocacy campaigns, and philanthropic efforts around issues youth see as relevant and strategic. 


Mr Desmond KANNEH, Sierra Leone, District Coordinator for the Western Area Local Rights Programme of ActionAiid International Sierra Leone

Desmond Kanneh is the Acting District Coordinator for the Western Area Local Rights Programme of ActionAiid International Sierra Leone. He holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Master in Sociology from Njala University College in Sierra Lone. He has worked as a Programme Officer for the Youth Alliance for Peace and Development on a project funded by the Princess Diana Memorial Trust Fund through Village Aid UK. Desmond started working with ActionAid in 2009 as a Project Officer in a project called Youth Empowerment through Livelihood Support and Skills Training.  He is now the Acting District Coordinator of the Western Area Local Rights Programme.

Ms Cristina RUIZ HERNANDEZ, Mexico, Membership Coordinator for the Mexican Center for Philanthropy

Cristina Ruiz Hernandez got her degree in Human Resources Management at the Iberoamerican University. For 8 years, Cristina worked as Executive Director of the International Cultural Youth Exchange Mexico (ICYE Mexico), where she developed international volunteering programs in Mexico. Christina Ruiz was also part of the Board of Managers of the ICYE Federation and its Panamerican Region. Currently, she works as Membership Coordinator for the Mexican Center for Philanthropy (Cemefi). Her main responsibilities include serving as the link between Cemefi and its members (around 1200 non-profit CSOs in Mexico), the organisation of the Institutionality and Transparency Standards Programe, and regional partnership coordination between Cemefi and organizations with whom programs are developed at the local level.