Kyoto Seminar, Pale Bleu Dot (PBD) Foundation and Kyoto University


Pale Bleu Dot (PBD) Foundation and Kyoto University jointly organized the international seminar on ‘Next-Generation Human Resource Development for Harnessing the Forces of Culture and Nature for Peace and Sustainability’ (18 and 19 March 2024)

On 18 and 19 March 2024, Pale Bleu Dot Foundation and Kyoto University jointly organized a meeting and international seminar entitled ‘Next-Generation Human Resource Development for Harnessing the Forces of Culture and Nature for Peace and Sustainability’, at its Seifuso Villa, an important cultural property, and Rakuyu Kaikan, a registered tangible cultural property, both located in Kyoto.

In today’s interconnected world, humanity finds itself confronted with a multitude of unprecedented cross-border challenges, including climate change, wars and conflicts, energy insecurity, natural disasters, pandemics, and demographic problems. These crises have far-reaching consequences, inflicting untold suffering upon the population, jeopardizing global stability, and imperiling the delicate balance of the planet’s ecosystems, natural treasures, and biodiversity.

The urgency of addressing these pressing issues – with their profound impact on current and future generations – through multisector efforts has never been more pronounced.

In light of these challenges, it has become increasingly imperative to champion the causes of peace, mutual understanding, sustainable development, and environmental preservation.

The international seminar was organized by Kyoto University Research Administration Center (KURA) and the Pale Bleu Dot Foundation (PBD) to promote these efforts with a focus on nurturing next-generation talent from diverse backgrounds, contributing to the development of human capital who can harmonize the potent forces of culture and nature to cultivate shared values and aspirations.

At the meeting on 18 March, Dr Taro Sonobe, a university research administrator (URA) from KURA, and Mr Shigeru Aoyagi, Founder and Director-General of PBD, outlined the purpose of the event, before several speakers shared their thoughts on and experiences related to the theme of ‘harnessing the force of culture and nature for peace and sustainability’. The speakers from Kyoto University included three students and the following: Assistant Professor Kosuke Shiraishi from the Graduate School of Agriculture, Assistant Professor Tomoko Takahashi from the Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS), and Ms Chiyoko Kanno, senior URA, and Ms Kei Ayukawa, URA, from KURA. Speeches were also delivered by Sophia University Professor Miki Sugimura, PBD Councilor Mr Etienne Clement, and PBD Auditor Shiki Aoyagi. Each presentation was followed by a lively discussion.

The companion seminar on 19 March began with remarks from URA Ayukawa and PBD General Director Aoyagi. Professor Sugimura, Assistant Professor Shiraishi, Mr Etienne, and Assistant Professor Takahashi then delivered keynote speeches discussing ‘harnessing the force of culture and nature for peace and sustainability’ from the perspectives of their respective fields of expertise.

Following a video message from EP Group CEO Cavalierie Enzo Peroni, a panel discussion took place with PBD General Director Aoyagi moderating. The session included lively exchanges between the speakers and the audience on topics such as how specific fields of expertise can contribute to a peaceful and sustainable society and what the most crucial role of future higher education institutions would be.

A highly uncertain future requires continuous multidisciplinary expert dialogues on the fundamental values of humanity and the challenges faced by contemporary society; it is  through such dialogues that collective future goals – ones that resonate with each of the diverse stakeholders – can emerge. The seminar also highlighted the need for experts to form multidisciplinary collaborative networks based on mutual understanding and respect aimed at achieving common goals and cultivating next-generation human capital capable of creating effective solutions for a peaceful and sustainable society.

Meeting at Seifuso Villa

Inside the Seifuso Villa

Seminar at Rakuyu Kaikan

Panel discussion

Video message from Cavaliere Enzo Peroni

Seminar participants

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