Building the Future, Together
Apathy, cynicism and fear tend to be the dominant attitudes towards the future in civil society and public discourse. These negative emotions are fundamentally rooted in a sense of disempowerment– that we, as individuals, have no way of making a difference to various global and national problems and no way of navigating many disorienting changes as time marches on. In this year's conference, we aim to challenge those feelings and by meeting the future– both the challenges it presents and potential it holds– head on.
At the same time, we believe that in an ideal society everyone is valued and no one is left behind. Our societies will be much stronger when the full spectrum of human difference within them is meaningfully recognised. If people feel that their individual uniqueness is not a barrier to social participation, they will feel like they belong to a community. In turn, that sense of belonging will engender a desire to contribute to the progress of that community.
Join the UK-Japan Student Conference on "Building the Future, Together" to explore what the future holds for both countries and the wider world we live in. We will ground our discussions and debate in issues pertaining to equality, justice and inclusivity in different areas of societal development ranging from robotics, healthcare systems, education and many more interesting topics.
Past UK-JP Speakers
CEO, Internews Europe
Jodie Ginsberg is the Chief Executive of Internews Europe. She is the former CEO of Index on Censorship, which publishes the work of censored writers and artists and campaigns for free speech worldwide. In addition, she was previously London Bureau Chief for Reuters news agency and spent more than a decade as a foreign correspondent and business journalist. She sits on the council of global free expression network IFEX and the board of the Global Network Initiative, and is a regular commentator in international media on freedom of expression issues.
Technology & Ethics
Roman Krznaric is a cultural thinker, founding member of The School of Life and Empathy Museum, and author who writes about the power of ideas to change society. His books, including Empathy, The Wonderbox, and Carpe Diem Regained, have been published in more than 20 languages. He discussed his new book, How To Be a Good Ancestor, with UK-JP participants, addressing our limited collective capacity for long-term thinking.
Koko Kondo is a Hiroshima survivor, having been exposed to the nuclear bomb at 8 months. Only an infant at the time the bomb was dropped, her life was affected long after it had detonated. Many hid their survivor status to avoid discrimination. The novelty of the bomb and public ignorance about its effects created a fertile ground for fear. She broke her silence to raise awareness about the effects of nuclear weapons, becoming a peace advocate and urging UK-JP participants to create a nuclear-free world.
Migration and Labour Rights
Pablo de Orellana
Pablo de Orellana is an inter-disciplinary scholar on diplomacy, nationalism, the relationship between art and conflict, and a lecturer at King’s College London. He delivered an interactive talk on the "Transition of Nationalism in Japan" with a unique mix of political philosophy, literary analysis, history, and aesthetics.
Takehiko Kariya is Professor of the Sociology of Japanese Study at the University of Oxford, having taught at the University of Tokyo for two decades. His research focuses on the sociology of education, educational and social policies, and social changes in postwar Japan. With him, UK-JP participants identified the poverty-education link and examined solutions to break the intergenerational chain of deprivation in Japan, in the context of a declining birthrate and an aging population.
Coming Soon– watch this space!