IAFOR collaborated with the United Nations in the hosting of a special session at the Third Annual Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals (STI Forum 2018) at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on June 6, 2018.
Dr Joseph Haldane, Chairman and CEO of IAFOR, co-moderated the Official Meeting, a roundtable session on Innovators and Investors, and focussed on questions at the intersection of innovation and value, including “Impact investing”; investments made into companies, organisations, and funds with the intention to generate social and environmental impact alongside a financial return. The chair of the meeting was Japanese Ambassador to the United Nations, His Excellency Dr Toshiya Hoshino.
Dr Haldane said: “For IAFOR, impact investing is a particular area of interest in regards to the funding of research in higher education, and dovetails with the work we will be doing within the IAFOR Research Centre at the Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP) at Osaka University, as part of our new Innovation and Value Initiative, and also with The IAFOR Global Innovation & Value Summit 2018 (GIVS2018) to be held in Tokyo later this year.” He added that “it is a great recognition of IAFOR to have been invited to collaborate, and we are honoured to have been asked to work with the United Nations at this important event, and look forward to working with the UN and other stakeholders in the support of Science, Technology and Innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals (STI-SDG).”
Dr Haldane, who teaches on the postgraduate Global Governance course at OSIPP, and is an Expert Member of the World Economic Forum in this area, was also keen to raise the issue of governance and policy implications of the uses of blockchain technology. In his introduction to the panel, he suggested that the use of blockchain, given its verifiability and the transparency of transactions might have a positive effect on systems of governance. This might be especially important at a time when the rules-based international system, exemplified by institutions such as the United Nations, are being challenged.
The Fifth IAFOR Research Centre Special Talk took place June 17, 2018, at OSIPP, Osaka University. The speaker was Dr Takuma Melber from the University of Heidelberg, Germany.
In a seminar titled "Indigenous Forced Labourers in Japanese Occupied Malaya and Singapore", Dr Melber, an historian, talked about his research, and went into some detail about the action of Japanese wartime forces in Southeast Asia. The well-attended event concluded with lively question-and-answer session.
As a way to take part in this global endeavour to renovate the current international system and create new values, the IRC is proud to announce the Innovation and Value Initiative that will start as a three nodes project in the following areas: International economy, international politics and international social innovation.
IAFOR is to collaborate with researchers from UCL’s Bartlett Real Estate Institute and Osaka University in a project to research design for an ageing population. The research project “Design for Ageing: East meets West” aims to explore spatial policies for people throughout their lifespans in two countries: the UK and Japan.
“Design for Ageing: East meets West” has won a Butterfield Award from The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, an organisation set up in 1985 to enhance mutual appreciation and understanding of British and Japanese culture, society and achievements.
Ageing is one of the greatest challenges facing humanity and a hot topic on political, economic and academic agendas, but its spatial aspects remain largely unexplored – even in healthcare facilities, where people are at their most vulnerable.
In the UK, an ageing population threatens not just the sustainability of healthcare services, but also the cohesion of the British society. The complexity of the problem implies that the whole field of care provision needs to be addressed, including the provision of facilities and building stock.
So far, the emphasis has been on technology and smart developments to bridge the gap. However, literature from the related field of Dementia supports the view that the Human Resources and Built Environment sectors contribute as much to the care of dementia sufferers as medico-pharmacological interventions.
With particular reference to care settings, where people are in their most vulnerable state, the built environment could play a major role in alleviating their symptomatology and supporting staff and carers. However, the evidence base to support a fit-for-purpose environment for ageing is still limited.
Japan is a global leader in the discourse for ageing, partly because the ageing of its population is more pronounced than in the UK. The role of this project is to establish a learning path from Japan to UCL. This will include designing facilities for ageing, and will pave the way for cross-fertilisation and joint ventures between UCL and Osaka University – in particular, the departments within these institutions that research the physical environment of the healthcare provision.
Dr Evangelia Chrysikou
Professor Andrew Edkins
UCL Global Engagement Office:
Professor Shin-Ichi Ohnuma
Dr Tadasu Iida
Professor Takashi Yokota
Dr Joseph Haldane
Professor Haruko Satoh
Professor Toshiya Hoshino
A workshop will be held at UCL bringing together scientists from across UCL, the NHS and industry, with the participation of the Osaka University Partners. This will provide evidence on the contribution of psychosocially supportive design, and try to promote understanding of the built environment in relation to human physiology and perception for people over their lifespans.
The proposal is to increase general public awareness on social injustice, stigma and mental health. It sets out to combat Nimbyism and support the fairer allocation of resources and placement of health facilities. But its biggest aim is to put pressure stakeholders involved in NHS decision-making by demonstrating, through mapping and art exhibits, the outcome of the comparison.
The aim of this project is to bring together academics from both countries, with a focus on the built environment and how it has been used to support health and wellbeing in each context. It intends to explore these key themes and foster future exchange of knowledge, research and entrepreneurial collaborations. Its ultimate goal is the increased well-being of the ageing population, as well the younger generation that cares for them.
UCL collaboration with our counterparts in Osaka University is very important for both organisations. The team will attempt to establish a common language between partners, cultivating bridges between the UK and Japan. A complementary proposal to support and increase the leverage of this project will lead to an upcoming UCL Grant Challenges scheme, marking UCL–Osaka University activity towards bilateral collaboration.
The project also intends to increase the awareness of architectural students, in line with The Bartlett’s the broader objective to create a more evidence-oriented and socially responsible generation of young architects.
In terms of the development of the research team, co-operation with researchers using alternative methodologies and ways of addressing issues will provide new insights into individual work-streams.
On May 29, 2018, The OSIPP-IAFOR Research Centre played co-host to a Conference with the Southern African Centre for Collaboration on Peace and Security (SACCPS), the University of the Free State (UFS, South Africa), and the Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP), Osaka University.
The Conference, held at Osaka University’s Main Library Hall, was titled “Security in Africa and the Outside World”. Attendees heard how Africa is faced with various interrelated challenges to peace and security, which impact upon (and are impacted by) the outside world.
This event featured a diverse group of speakers who offered their perspectives on a number of key security issues on the continent, as well as past and present interventions in responses to these issues, and finally, how African security is viewed by the outside world through the lens of the media.
The Third IAFOR Research Centre Special Talk took place May 17, 2018, at OSIPP, Osaka University. The speaker was Dr Philip Sugai, Professor of Marketing within Doshisha University’s Graduate School of Business, and Senior Fellow at the OSIPP-IAFOR Research Centre at OSIPP.
In a seminar titled “Innovation in Global Business: KitKat the Japanese Way”, Dr Sugai explored aspects of innovation as they are described globally, and how these definitions can be applied to innovative practices in Japan.
The Special Talk walked participants through a workshop where the innovative thinking that went in the development of a distinctive Japanese product was deconstructed. KitKat, Japan’s must popular confectionary product, was uniquely innovated for the Japanese market, and this product was used to determine if the practices used in its development in Japan might be translated into a “new” model for innovation globally.
The first IAFOR Silk Road Initiative roundtable of 2018 was held in Moscow on February 21 in partnership with Moscow State University.
The event was hosted by the Moscow State University Institute of Asian and African Studies, and opened by the Director of the Institute, renowned scholar of politics and international relations, Professor Igor I. Abylgaziev. A group of invited scholars from both universities in Moscow and abroad attended the event, and it was organised with the kind support of the President of the Faculty of Foreign Languages and Area Studies, Professor Svetlana Ter Minasova, and Dr Elena Mishieva, Academic Secretary of the same faculty, and IAFOR Silk Road Initiative Project Coordinator in Moscow.
The roundtable was co-chaired by Professor Georges Depeyrot of the École Normale Supérieure (ENS), Paris, and Board member of the CNRS, and Dr Joseph Haldane, chairman of IAFOR, and took as its subject, "International Academic Cooperation in Uncertain Times". The topic was very timely, as this is a period of great global political uncertainty.
Professor Svetlana Ter Minasova delivered the opening address, which set the scene by underlining that most senior academics had effectively lived in two separate countries in succession, The Soviet Union, and then Russia. She described the Soviet times as the "Kingdom of Prohibitions", where everything was governed by what could not be done, and by what was prohibited, and there existed an insularity and isolationism, making relations with countries outside the communist sphere difficult.
With the fall of the USSR, the new Russia, became suddenly very popular, as different companies, NGOs and universities, sought to quickly build relations with the country, and money started to pour in as people sought to gain market position and influence. Although that created funding pools that had until that point been non-existent, it also ushered in an era of inflation, and meant university lecturer wages were not enough to live on, and obliged many to engage in supplementary private tuition, with academics being underpaid and overworked. This has led to the familiar problem of a brain drain, and economic migration, as Russian academics sought higher paid opportunities abroad. Although there have been market reforms introduced, the state educations system remains slow and highly bureaucratic. A presentation by Dr Lubov Kulik of the Faculty of Economics at Moscow State University spoke of the economics of education in a presentation that considered education as both a public good and a commodity.
Recently, Russia has found itself more distanced from the west, as a result of, and resulting in, a context of increased authoritarianism and nationalism, and this has often made international research collaborations more difficult, and has seen cuts in funding from such programs as Erasmus +. For its part, the Russian funding bodies have continued to prioritise STEM subjects over the liberal arts, following a policy that mirrors most other countries. In the non science areas of study, funding is more often directed towards internationally and internally sensitive issues that are often geared towards encouraging internal cohesion, nation building and so on, and in areas such as geopolitics, small and minor languages, and other religion; not surprising given that Russia is an once an old and a young country.
The intellectual life of the country is heavily weighted in Moscow and St Petersburg, although there are attempts to ensure that other parts of the country are well funded, and there are well respected state universities elsewhere in the country, such as Novosibirsk and Vladivostok, as well as satellite campuses in the former Soviet republics, where Russia maintains considerable economic, cultural and linguistic influence.
The country also enjoys relations with many of the countries it now borders, and although these are historically weighted both positively and negatively, reflect a continued strong regional and cultural influence, where there are also large minority ethnic Russian populations. China has enjoyed a continued intellectual relationship with Russia, and there are frequent exchanges of students and professors alike, and Russian enjoys continued popularity in China, while Chinese is becoming a more popular language option. Professor Tatiana Dobrosklonskaya of Moscow State University, and a Visiting Professor at Beijing International Studies University gave a presentation which looked at the relationship and an overview of educational and cultural exchange between the two countries.
Professor Ljiljana Markovic, Dean of the Faculty of Philology at the University of Belgrade closed the symposium by speaking of the modernisation paradigms of education, and in a context of political instability, drawing attention to crises of identity, both individual and national. She underlined that we must seek ways to collaborate, to work together, and that this is both a philosophical and practical commitment.
In all, the symposium was a great success, and we look forward to future IAFOR Silk Road Initiative events.
On February 1, 2018, Dr Christopher K. Lamont, Assistant Professor of International Relations at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands, delivered the Second OSIPP/IAFOR Research Centre Special Talk to graduate students and professors at Osaka University. The talk was titled, "Post-ISIL Iraq: The Challenges of Reconciliation and the Politics of Memory".
According to Dr Lamont, In 2018, Iraq will be confronted by a myriad of challenges such as the physical reconstruction of devastated urban areas, rebuilding Iraq’s infrastructure, and the return of internally displaced persons. While these challenges will take years to address, dealing with what it means to be Iraqi is just as much an imperative as the physical reconstruction of Iraq itself, if Iraq is to emerge from decades of armed conflict as a viable state.
Dr Lamont's writings have appeared in the Journal of Democracy, Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding, Global Policy, and in numerous other peer-reviewed journals and edited volumes. He is also the author of International Criminal Justice and the Politics of Compliance (Ashgate 2010) and is co-editing the forthcoming edited volume New Critical Spaces in Transitional Justice (Indiana University Press 2018) with Dr. Arnaud Kurz
Dr Lamont has conducted extensive fieldwork in the Middle East and North Africa, including in Tunisia, Algeria, Libya, and Iraq.
On January 26, 2018, Dr Victor Teo, Assistant Professor in the Department of Japanese Studies at the University of Hong Kong, delivered the First OSIPP/IAFOR Research Centre Special Talk to graduate students and professors at Osaka University. The talk was titled, "Enlarging the Japan-US Alliance: The India Factor".
After the talk, IRC Research Associates, Irina Novikova, César Rodrigues, Carmina Untalan and Dennis Boor, asked Dr Teo questions on the lecture topic (video below).
Dr Victor Teo received his BA (Hons) from the National University of Singapore. He subsequently trained as a lawyer, and was called to the Bar of England and Wales by Middle Temple, United Kingdom. He received his MSc and subsequently, PhD in International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
His primary research interest is in the international relations of the Asia-Pacific, as well as the politics and society of China, Japan and the Koreas.
Dr Teo started his career as an LSE Fellow. He has also had fellowships at Kyoto University, Oxford University, Cambridge University, and Harvard University. Dr Teo is also one of the founding directors of DPRK Observatory, an NGO with a primary focus on the study of North Korea Affairs.
Dr Joseph Haldane from the IAFOR Research Centre was a plenary speaker at Nevsehir University for the 1st Symposium of International Silk Road Academic Studies, where he delivered an opening address, along with the rector of the university, as well as a presentation entitled “A Perspective from the Furthest Ends of the Silk Road”. The conference, held September 21–23, 2017, was chaired by Professor Ljiljana Markovic of the University of Belgrade, Serbia.
The international event took place in Nevsehir, central Turkey, and attracted more than 300 delegates. The province has an ancient history and important role in the silk road story.