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About the center














The South and South-East Asia Multidisciplinary Applied Research Network on Transforming Societies of Global South (SMARTS) is the research and outreach center at the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Thailand.



Climate change is already shaping the economy, business and future of human living and wellbeing. Globally this has triggered multi-dimensional social transformation through reconfiguration of socio-economic systems and subsystems in varying degrees.  However, the narrative and debate about well living and wellbeing are starkly different for global north and global south given the unequal starting points and achievements. How demand, lifestyle and wellbeing are going to be (re)defined with access to new technology and service provision is a major research question.  The future needs to be reimagined and implemented today. previous models/paths to development cannot be simply replicated for those who are lagging behind, at the same time as we ensure just and equitable growth and progress for all. 


Study the impact of climate change and other socio-technical global changes in transforming societies in South and South-East Asia from a multidisciplinary perspective and influence global discourse by promoting scientific voices from global South highlighting unique challenge, equity, justice and regional niches in line with multiple Sustainable Development Goals.

Specific objectives

First, to create a research community/network in South- and South-East Asia (with a focus on people and peoples’ service need satisfaction for wellbeing, end-use, demand-side changes). To advance the dialogue and cross-fertilization of research and policy analysis through interaction among researchers regarding novel data, novel concepts, methodologies and policy analyses across  regions with different levels of attainment in terms of human wellbeing/living and standard macro-economic indicator of Gross Domestic Product.

Second, to develop for South-Asian and South East Asian region a qualitative and quantitative bottom up database  using open access model platforms for service-oriented energy and non-energy resource demand model to help in providing inputs to climate and non-climate developmental policy analysis, and participate in method/model inter-comparisons, assisting in the transfer of conceptual and methodological improvements to represent the regional resolutions better in global models.

Third, to better inform policy via bottom up multidisciplinary model based analysis (both qualitative and quantitative), using state of the art theories, innovative analytical tools, methodologies, evidences to identify barriers and scope for change from historical antecedents, inequitable growth and to embed larger question of justice within multiple cultural contexts, pluralistic societies which also have a very active presence of indigenous communities and perspectives in the region. Investigate how these research and knowledge can adapt and enhance the modern framework of 2030 SDGs and beyond, how to strengthen synergies and minimize tradeoffs in the near and medium term and mainstream sustainable development dimensions in the regional context.

Thematic Areas of Research:


Infrastructure: Role in Social Transformation 

Transforming world: Changing Demand, lifestyle, human wellbeing

New Technologies:  Social Innovation and service provision 

Communication for Social Change and Transformation

Equity and Justice: in Sustainable Development & Transforming societies

Center Activities:
Original research: To undertake research on investigating the impact of climate change and other socio-technical global changes in transforming societies in South and South-East Asia from a multidisciplinary perspective with a focus on the five thematic areas mentioned above (in line with the main objectives of the Centre).
Knowledge creation and Outreach through expert consulting for decision and policy support:  In order to manage and/or investigate transitions and social transformation in various contexts in different countries and in the region, the center will provide expertise to regional governmental, intergovernmental, non-governmental and academic/research and policy planning bodies.
Regional Research Network and Capacity building Activities: To advance the dialogue and cross-fertilization of research and policy analysis, a network of regional and global researchers and institutions will be created, and build research capacities in the region through academic workshops, seminars, international conferences and publications, academic scholarships to study at AIT, joint research activities with partners and mentoring of early career scholars through physical and virtual platforms


Founder Director

Professor Joyashree Roy


TEDx Talks 

For more



"The fire that burns a hand also cooks our food. How can we say that fire is either good or bad? We can realize our true potential by forgetting our ignorance and pushing the frontiers of accumulated knowledge with the entire human race. Joyashree Roy states that this human behaviour is the key to a universal modern life that avoids dangerous interference with nature."


Reach us 
Room number W229 and W227
School of Environment, Resources and Development building
Asian Institute of Technology
Email address: 

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