The 5 fishbowls of economic freedom in Asia

The two-days Economic Freedom Network (EFN) Asia conference 2015 in Bhutan is just 3 days away. Among the important activities on Day 1 is the dynamic discussion on Economic Freedom and Happiness: Five Fishbowls.


The term “fishbowl” is taken from the seating arrangement of participants: listeners form a circle in the centre of which sit the discussants.

Each fishbowl will have six persons at the centre: 1 expert, 1 moderator, 1 rapporteur, and 3 “open” resource persons. The listeners form a circle. The first 3 persons never leave their positions while the 3 open resource persons can, they can be replaced by some listeners who want to speak, upon the permission of the moderator for orderly allocation of time and discussions in case there are debates.

I have not attended this type of discussion before, it looks challenging and exciting.

The five fishbowl topics are also the five areas that constitute the Economic Freedom of the World (EFW) scoring, and “Happiness” is added to each fishbowl topic. Here are the topics and the facilitators that day:

  1. Size of government: expenditures, taxes, and enterprises and Happiness

Expert: Muntasir Mamun Iqbal, Lecturer, North South University, Bangladesh

Moderator: Ruben Dieckhoff, Regional Project Manager, FNF Regional Office South Asia

Rapporteur: Akash Shrestha, Senior Research Office, Samriddhi, The Prosperity Foundation, Nepal.

  1. Legal structure and security of property rights and Happiness

Expert: Muntasir Mamun Iqbal, Director, Takshila Foundation, India

Moderator: Subodh Kumar Agarwal, Programmes Executive, FNF Regional Office South Asia

Rapporteur: Sreya Majumder, Executive, Energy, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) (TBC)

  1. Access to sound money and Happiness

Expert: Nonoy Oplas, President, Minimal Government Thinkers Inc., The Philippines

Moderator: Moritz Klein-Brockhoff, Resident Rep. Indonesia, Project Director Malaysia, FNF

Rapporteur: Yu Suhyeon, Programme Officer, FNF Korea

  1. Freedom to trade internationally and Happiness

Expert: Prof. Eric Gartzke, Professor of Political Science, University of California, San Diego, USA

Moderator: Olaf Kellerhoff, Head of Asia Department and Human Rights, FNF Head Office

Rapporteur: Khim Sophanna, Programme Manager, FNF Cambodia

  1. Regulation of credit, labor, and business and Happiness

Experts: Suwanchai Lohawatanakul, President, Institute of Small and Medium Enterprise Development, Thailand

Moderators: Armin Reinartz, Regional Project Manager, FNF Regional Office South East and East Asia

Rapporteur: Sorasak Phaengkote, Student, Thammasat University, Thailand

Below, from left to right:
1st row: Muntasir Mamun Iqbal, Muntasir Mamun Iqbal, me.
2nd row: Eric, Gartzke, Suwanchai Lohawatanakul.
3rd row: Ruben Dieckhoff, Subodh Kumar Agarwal, Olaf Kellerhoff.
4th row: Moritz Klein-Brockhoff, Armin Reinartz.

Excited to see Bhutan, and experience the fishbowl discussion. Both for the first time.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s