Bhutan to host global thought leaders at Bhutan Innovation Forum centered on GMC this October

July 4, 2024 5:09 am

Dungkar Dzong in Pangbisa
Dungkar Dzong in Pangbisa

Thimphu: The Inaugural Bhutan Innovation Forum is set to be held at Dungkar Dzong in Pangbisa from 1-3 October, 2024. It will bring together the world’s most eminent thought-leaders, innovators, entrepreneurs, artists, philosophers, scientists, philanthropists, and investors to build pathways for impact in Bhutan. Guided by a shared commitment to mindfulness, innovation, entrepreneurship and sustainability, the Forum will serve as an incubator of innovations in digital technology, ecology and environment, education, health, urban planning, economic transformation and aesthetic appreciation in Bhutan and beyond.

Featuring more than 70 renowned international speakers, including Evan Spiegel, CEO of Snap Inc., the company responsible for Snapchat, Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, leading climate economist Lord Nicholas Stern, Nobel Laureate scientist Rich Roberts, Nobel laureate economist Mike Spence, Chair of Global Research at J.P. Morgan & Chase Joyce Chang, philosopher and Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard, and architect Bjarke Ingels, the Forum is expected to attract participants from all around the world.

Evan Spiegel said that he is honored to attend the inaugural Innovation Forum in Bhutan, inspired by King Jigme’s vision for supporting the country’s next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators. “I look forward to discussing how mindfulness helps to create the opportunity for innovation, and the supportive role that technology can play”, he said.

The Forum will center around Gelephu Mindfulness City and invite attendees to reflect, design and deliberate upon how to build mindful and innovative cities.

Gelephu Mindfulness City was announced by His Majesty The King on National Day in 2023, who described it as “one-of-a-kind, anchored on the vision and values of GNH.” His Majesty said that the new city to be built in Gelephu will be “a Mindfulness City, encompassing conscious and sustainable businesses, inspired by Buddhist spiritual heritage, and distinguished by the uniqueness of the Bhutanese identity.”

Bhutan offers Gelephu Mindfulness City as a Special Administrative Region, envisioned as a knowledge economy that balances sustainability and well-being with prosperity, and an incubator for excellence in art, innovation, and entrepreneurship. The City is also intended to be an economic hub that would propel the rest of Bhutan and the entire South Asian region toward greater progress and prosperity.

Joseph Stiglitz noted that the Bhutan Innovation Forum has the potential to transform the society’s most important kind of “endowment” — our collective learning capabilities. “The Bhutan Innovation Forum will set the dynamics for building human capital and creating a learning society, while upholding its commitments to mindfulness and societal well-being,” he said.

Information on the Forum and registration for interested participants can be found on the event website (

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