Tibetan Education to Employment Initiative

The Tibetan Education to Employment Initiative is a project of the University of Virginia, in partnership with the Tibet Sustainable Governance Program, the nonprofit Machik, the Tibetan and Himalayan Library, and the UVa Curry School of Education. The E2E Initiative seeks to create a foundation for the exploration of new models and practices to foster greater economic self-sufficiency for Tibetan communities through educational programs focused on workforce development on the Tibetan plateau.

E2E Fellows outside the McIntire School for Commerce

E2E Fellows outside the McIntire School of Commerce

The Education to Employment Initiative (E2E) builds on previous initiatives focused on sustainable tourism and Tibetan social business developed  in partnership between Machik and the University of Virginia.  Drawing on these earlier programs, E2E seeks to develop new strategies and approaches to the challenges of improving educational platforms for expanding employment prospects and socially beneficial economic revitalization in the Tibetan region.

The E2E Initiative includes a two-month Education to Employment Fellowship program in the US for fourteen Tibetans from Tibet in the areas of vocational training, tourism, business, cultural preservation, and digital technology.  The E2E Fellowship includes a public colloquium in Washington DC and a two day academic symposium, in addition to a eight week applied studies “common program” hosted at the University of Virginia.  E2E Fellows work with mentors and a network of volunteers to develop their various areas of work and interests.  Through these mentorships, Fellows develop individually designed activities at cultural and education institutions in Charlottesville and Washington DC.

The program also includes a three week series of Education to Employment Forums to be held in the Tibetan areas of Utsang, Kham, and Amdo in summer 2011.

McIntire Professor Mark White leads a discussion on sustainability in business

McIntire Professor Mark White leads a discussion on sustainability in business

The 2011 E2E Fellows include three researchers, four entrepreneurs, and three major cultural institutions, two teachers and three community workers. The program is organized around four themes:

  • Responsible Tourism
  • Social Entrepreneurship
  • Digital Technology and Cultural Preservation/Agency
  • Vocational Training

In addition, a policy research component links the activities and discussions across the themes and encompasses not only the technical and institutional aspects of public policy and administration, but also larger questions concerning the negotiation and allocation of resources, social agency, and public authority.  One of the objectives of the policy research component of the E2E Initiative is to produce a formal policy document through the course of the program.

Past Events

Education to Employment Tibet Forums, Gyalthang, Lhasa, and Ziling, Tibetan Plateau, July 27-August 14, 2011

Education to Employment Symposium, University of Virginia, April 9, 2011 (see below for details)

 

US Symposium Agenda

Business professor Tsering Dondrup shares his thoughts during the symposium

Business professor Tsering Dondrup shares his thoughts during the symposium

MORNING SESSION (NAU Auditorium)

10:00-11:00 –  Self-Reliance, Communities and the Future of Human Work

  • Welcome: David Germano, Professor of Tibetan Studies and co-director of the UVa Tibet Center
  • Moderator:  Tashi Rabgey, Founding Director of the Tibet Sustainable Governance Program; Co-founder of Machik
  • Key Note: Matthew Crawford: Best-selling author of Shop Class as Soulcraft. Writer, philosopher, PhD and entrepreneur and currently fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at UVa (http://www.matthewbcrawford.com/)

11:00-12:00 – Higher Education and Improved Employment Outcomes

  • Moderator: Manla Kyi, Education Research Fellow and Associate Director of Tibet Sustainable Governance Program, University of Virginia
  • Brian Pusser: Associate Professor at Curry School of Education with a focus on Higher Education and relationships to the State
  • Diane Hoffman: Associate Professor at Curry School of Education with a focus on multiculturalism and diversity in education
  • Tsewang Dorje: Associate Professor at Qinghai Normal University in PR China
  • Discussant: Drukla, Associate Professor of Tibetan Studies at the Minzu University of China
  • Discussant: Tsering Dhondrup, Associate Professor at the College of Business Administration of the Qinghai University for Nationalities

 

Lunch 12:00-2:00

AFTERNOON SESSION (NAU Auditorium)

2:00-3:00 – Training for the Workforce

  • Moderator:  Losang Rabgey, PhD, Executive Director and Co-founder of Machik
  • Kesang Tashi: “Mentoring the Next Generation of Social Entrepreneurs”. Tibetan social entrepreneur working in China with a focus on Tibetan cultural products
  • Valerie Palamountain: Dean of Workforce Services at Piedmont Virginia Community College
  • Tsering Dhondrup: Associate Professor at the College of Business Administration of the Qinghai University for Nationalities
  • Discussant: Tashi Tsering, Member of Eastern Tibet Training Institute
  • Discussant: Drolma Kyab, Founder and Manager of the Tibet Namchen Travel Agency and Hotel Services company based in Lhasa

3:00-4:00 – Social Responsibility and Communities

  • Moderator: Bradley Aaron, Associate Director of the UVa Tibet Center and manager of the Tibetan Education to Employment program
  • David Germano: Professor of Tibetan Studies at UVA, and leader of initiatives in Tibetan areas focused on culture, digital technology, and participatory approaches
  • Chris Fletcher: JD candidate at Northeastern School of law specializing in corporate social responsibility and with strong background on Tibet
  • Kunchok Gelek: Director of the Yunnan and Sichuan programs of the international NGO The Bridge Fund with extensive experience in the non-profit sector
  • Discussant: Tsem Gonthar, Vice-director of the Qinghai Tibetan Medical Culture Museum
  • Discussant: Dechen Lhaze, Sichuan regional director of The Bridge Fund

4:00-4:15 – Concluding Remarks

  • David Germano, Tashi Rabgey, Tsem Gonthar