Chiang Mai’s Great (Creative) American Road Trip| การเดินทางทางถนนแบบอเมริกันครั้งใหญ่ในจังหวัดเชียงใหม่

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The Chiang Mai U.S. Creative Cities tour was developed in cooperation with the U.S. Consulate General in Chiang Mai as part of the Chiang Mai Creative City organization. The trip built on a Thai Triangle visit from North Carolina’s Research Triangle Region to three Thai Creative Cities in March. Ten delegates from Thailand’s northern hub participated in a special collaborative visitor program with the U.S. Department of State, funding their own round-trip airfare but compiling their itinerary from existing and new contacts facilitated from Washington, D.C. The State Department also provided a welcome and orientation before the visitors hit the road September 4-14, 2012 to find new partners in San Francisco, California, Austin, Texas, and Oklahoma City.

Upon landing in San Francisco, delegates tackled jet lag with the excitement at Stanford University’s Bio-X facility, including a tour, meetings with the Stanford-Thai Exchange Program, and Professor Henry Etzkowitz of Triple Helix fame. The group was able to stop by the IBM research and development facility in Silicon Valley and meet the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Innovation.

Their next stop is already famous for the annual new-media, technology, and cultural event SXSW Interactive, and an unparalleled live music scene that culminates in the Austin City Limits festival and is epitomized by the “Keep Austin Weird” phenomenon. Austin’s Silicon Hills now serve as the terminus of a daily airline route from San Jose in Silicon Valley – a flight dubbed the ‘nerd bird’ – as well as home to a Facebook satellite office. Here are some more links from local entrepreneur and East-meets-West scene philosopher Bijoy Goswami:

While in Austin, the group had the chance to meet a cross-section of community builders and economic drivers:

Embarking to new frontiers, the last stop for the visitors was Oklahoma City. Combining urban development with tech clusters and cultural programming, the city won’t be content with “Just OK”, positioning themselves for economic opportunity as part of the “State of Creativity“. The leaders in this renaissance are:

Delegates returned from the U.S. reinvigorated, saying the nation had shown its “best side,” and ready to apply what they’d learned to tackle ongoing development and integration for Chiang Mai’s future. Perhaps there will soon be a NXSE festival, high tech corridor, or Lanna history movement, and maybe a watersports championship on the Ping River. After some mind-mapping, the group compiled a list of top-ten lessons learned, including highlights and lowlights from all the U.S. creative cities:

  1. Chiang Mai VolVis Lessons Learned – EN (PDF 1.2MB)
  2. เชียงใหม่ เมืองสร้างสรรค์ กับ 10 บทเรียนจาก สหรัฐอเมริกา – TH (PPT 2.6MB)


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