Bhutan Lectures on Innovation, Science and Society (BLISS) is a public benefit event that aims to bring forward transformative ideas by Bhutanese to a wider audience in order to inform, educate, empower and inspire people. BLISS is a platform where ideas, solutions, knowledge and possibilities are presented and discussed in order to build a sustainable, just, harmonious and prosperous Bhutan, with the long term vision to expand our inquiry within the region and the world at large.

Bhutan’s journey through the pandemic and building a resilient health system | Lyonpo Dechen Wangmo

Lyonpo Dasho Dechen Wangmo is the Health Minister of Bhutan. In her talk, she recaps Bhutan’s response to COVID-19 pandemic under His Majesty’s extraordinary leadership and solidarity of the people. With only 2657 total cases and 3 deaths as of December 20, 2021, and a vaccination rate of 85.9 percent, Bhutan’s management of the pandemic has been exemplary. The effort, however, doesn’t stop here. Lyonpo Dasho Dechen Wangmo emphasizes the need to invest in the healthcare system, increase capacity of health professionals, and utilize innovation and technology to build Bhutan’s “health security” for the future.

Envisioning the future of social service | Aum Chime P. Wangdi

Aum Chime P. Wangdi, Secretary General of the Tarayana Foundation, has worked on poverty alleviation in Bhutan for the last 30 years. She is a stout advocate for increasing women’s participation in society and encouraging women leaders in Bhutan. In her talk, she recounts her experience as a social worker, highlighting various stories from the communities she has worked in. Aum Chime stresses the importance of building capacity at the grassroots to succeed as a democratic nation in a fast-changing world.

Of complexities and literacies, how will we imagine the future? | Namgay Choden

Namgay Choden is a foreign service officer, a Global Shaper, and a Climate Reality Leader and has a background in sociology and global economic development. In her talk, she explains the possible futures for climate, youth and innovation in Bhutan and the literacies required to work towards a desired future.

Reminiscences on the Forest Act of 1969 | Lyonpo Om Pradhan

How did a tiny country like Bhutan embark on its journey towards being among the most ecologically responsible nations in the world? In this first edition of BLISS Memory Banks, Lyonpo Om Pradhan reflects back to the beginning- to the drafting of the Forest Act of Bhutan, 1969, which was the first measure taken to safeguard our environment, biological diversity and ecological heritage.

The Bhutan Lectures on Innovation, Science, and Society (BLISS) is a public benefit event organized by the Bhutan Ecological Society with support from the Bhutan Foundation and the School for Field Studies.

A new hope for tigers in the region | Tshering Tempa

Tigers, a powerful symbol for culture and conservation, can be the key to protecting other species as well as sustainable human livelihood in the expanse ranging from Bhutan all the way to the basin of the Irawaddy, argues tiger biologist Dr. Tshering Tempa. He calls this region the Tigerscape, and says that in addition to furthering conservation efforts and providing hope for tigers, it will also act as a major carbon sink for the world.

Cut Trees to Save Forests | Dr. Phuntsho Namgyel

While Bhutan’s constitution mandates a minimum of 60% forest cover, statistics show the current cover to be close to 84%. Forestry scientist Dr. Phuntsho Namgyel offers a radical new perspective on the issue, stating that this is hurting rather than helping our forest conservation goals. Among his ideas is undertaking a major forest thinning operation and using the extracted timber to drive the economy.

The Bhutan Lectures on Innovation, Science, and Society (BLISS) is a public benefit event organized by the Bhutan Ecological Society with support from the Bhutan Foundation and the School for Field Studies.

We Don’t Need to Be Cold in Our Own Homes | Thorsten Chlupp

Energy inefficient design is the main reason Bhutanese homes rarely stay warm. Building scientist Thorsten Chlupp, who has worked extensively in extreme climate regions like Alaska, reveals how proper design and insulation could make our buildings much more comfortable and less expensive to heat. He says Bhutan could develop a great sustainable building environment but we need to change the way we think about design. The Bhutan Lectures on Innovation, Science, and Society (BLISS) is a public benefit event organized by the Bhutan Ecological Society with support from the Bhutan Foundation and the School for Field Studies.

This talk is brought to you by Drukair- Royal Bhutan Airlines.

The Secret to Achieving Food Security in Bhutan | Dr. Yadunath Bajgai

Decreasing investments in agriculture have resulted in a marked decline in the sector’s contribution to Bhutan’s GDP over the years. Rapid urbanization and infrastructure development have also led to a decrease in the cultivated area in the country. Agricultural scientist Dr. Yadunath Bajgai makes an impassioned case for re-prioritizing food production as a key development agenda, stressing that food security also has implications on national security. The Bhutan Lectures on Innovation, Science, and Society (BLISS) is a public benefit event organized by the Bhutan Ecological Society with support from the Bhutan Foundation and the School for Field Studies.

This talk is brought to you by Drukair- Royal Bhutan Airlines.