On September 24, 120 people participated in the second edition of Thailand Talks, hosted in Bangkok by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom. In addition to the live event, more dozens of people met privately all over the country – in cafés, community spaces, libraries or on video calls.
Again this year, the majority of the participants enjoyed challenge of dialoguing with a partner with contrary opinions. The organizers received very positive feedback, and many said are looking forward to return next year. Many participants also expressed that Thailand Talks is the only event providing a platform for people who have different views to talk to each other.
Among questions that participants discussed this year, the most controversial were “Will the next five years in Thailand be better?” (70% said yes) and “Should freedom of expression come with (cultural) appropriateness?” (75% said yes). Participants were most unified in their opinions on the right to access medical death treatments (89% in favor), and whether the government should protect the monarchy (11% in favor).
Most of the pairs stayed in the conversation for longer than two hours and found a safe space to discuss freely about political and social issues.