UK-JP 2022: Building the Future, Together
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In the 2022 edition of the UK-Japan Student Conference, we explored what the future holds for both countries and the wider world we live in. It saw lively discussions and debates amongst our participants and our invited speakers in issues pertaining to equality, justice and inclusivity in different areas of societal development ranging from immigration policy, brain-computer interface technology, education and many more interesting topics.
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 chose the theme ‘Building the Future, Together’ to respond to this feeling and to empower our participants. Our aim was 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.