Bridges Program

NIST Alumni Newsletter, February 2010

Bridges Program

“Bridges – Dialogues towards a Culture of Peace” is facilitated by the International Peace Foundation. (Details of the “Bridges” events are available on NIST has been a sponsor of the Bridges programme since 2003. Through the programme, NIST students are given opportunities to dialogue with Nobel Laureates, as well as, honorary guests like Jackie Chan. To date, NIST has hosted, amongst others, Rev, Jesse Jackson, President Ramos Horta, Dr. Karan Singh, Dr Richard Roberts, Sir Gareth Evans, Dr Jakob von Uexrull, Bishop Carlos Felipe Ximenes

Jackie Chan Speaks to NIST Students

On Monday, November 9, 2009, students from the New International School of Thailand (NIST) heard an inspiring talk by Jackie Chan followed by a dialogue session with him. Jackie Chan‘s visit to NIST was part of the third ASEAN event series "Bridges - Dialogues towards a Culture of Peace".

At NIST, well-known actor, philanthropist, and Goodwill Ambassador Jackie Chan talked to Year 12 and Year 13 students, as well as drama and art students from the lower secondary school on the topic "Art and Culture as a Pathway towards Peace". His speech gave inspiring messages through sad, hilarious, and interesting real life stories that he has encountered during his charity trips to various areas around the world and particularly, China. Chan highlighted the importance of education and how he regrets not having the opportunity of a proper education as a child due to his family‘s poverty.

Linking his work to peace building, he shared with students how, in each of his recent movies, he has tried to give hidden messages to teach values to his audience, especially the young. Chan encouraged the students to learn how to give and help others around them. "When you give back to society, you sleep well," but it must start from the heart, he said. Last but not least, Chan repetitively told NIST students to Never Give Up‘ as that slogan‘ has helped him throughout his life, no matter the situation he has found himself in. Students enjoyed the very frank talk with Chan and were able to ask him questions on both personal and global issues.

Jackie Chan is a Hong Kong actor, action choreographer, filmmaker, producer, martial artist, screenwriter, entrepreneur and singer. Acting since the 1970s, he has appeared in over 100 films. As a cultural icon, he has been referenced in various pop songs, cartoons and video games and has received stars on the Hong Kong Avenue of Stars and the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He is also a keen philanthropist and a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, having worked tirelessly to champion charitable causes.

To view Jackie Chan‘s talk on VDO clip, please visit NIST‘s You Tube site:

Nobel Laureate Professor Eric S. Maskin Speaks to NIST Students

On Monday, January 18, 2010, stu- dents from the New International School of Thailand (NIST) heard an edu- cational talk by Professor Eric Stark Maskin, 2007 Nobel Laureate for Economics, followed by a dialogue session with him. Professor Eric Stark Maskin‘s visit to NIST was part of the third ASEAN event series "Bridges - Dialogues towards a Culture of Peace".

At NIST, Professor Eric Stark Maskin, a renowned American economist, talked to Year 12 and Year 13 students on the topic "Why global markets have failed to reduce inequality". His speech simplified complex economic concepts and helped explain the fundamental functions of global markets and the importance of globalization to NIST students. His talk focused on inequality as a serious social problem and how the study of economics can offer to illuminate such a problem while at the same time formulates a solution for social goods.

Professor Maskin used his current study on inequality in developing countries to ex- plain the problem of globalization and how the rapid spread of globalization has increased inequality more than ever. However, he argued that 'stopping globalization is not going to help; rather the solution is to give more people the opportunities to benefit from globalization'. He proposed education and training as one of the solutions. In turn, creating more equality globally is a way towards world peace, the purpose of his talk and visit to NIST.

To view Professor Eric S. Maskin‘s talk on VDO clip, please visit NIST‘s You Tube site:

Hollywood legend Oliver Stone speaks to NIST Students

On Monday, January 25, 2010, students from the New International School of Thailand (NIST) were treated to a talk and dialogue with Academy Award Winner Oliver Stone, as part of the third ASEAN event series "Bridges - Dialogues towards a Culture of Peace".

Mr. Stone gave a keynote speech on film-making and peace-building in which he suggested ―kindness as a key ingredient for a peaceful society. The foundation of kindness should be nurtured through schooling and education. Therefore, a school must not only teach students to be knowledgeable but it should teach them to be kind. For Mr. Stone, knowledge is gained and comes in forms of collective experiences which he described as the “Theory of Living”

Sharing stories about his films, as well as his personal life, Mr. Stone encouraged NIST students to learn from mistakes and to not be afraid to face struggles. Many of Mr. Stone‘s works focus on contemporary political and cultural issues which in various instances have made his work controversial and difficult to complete. However, he said, he never gives up trying. To serve as a case in point, he told a student that he is currently working on a 10-hour/10-part series for Showtime called The Secret History of the United States, and a third interview with Fidel Castro– both have taken much longer than expected.

Oliver Stone is an American film director, screenwriter, and producer whose work has earned him three Academy Awards (Oscars), namely for his movies Platoon, and Born on the Fourth of July, both centered on the Vietnam War, and for Midnight Express. Some of his more recent films include JFK, Natural Born Killers, Nixon, Alexander, World Trade Center and W. He has just concluded the filming of Wall Street 2 with Michael Douglas, set for release in April, 2010. He has also worked with actors such as Nicolas Cage, Tom Cruise, Anthony Hopkins, Angelina Jolie, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

To view Oliver Stone‘s talk on VDO clip, please visit NIST‘s You Tube site: