Professor Saijo presents future design framework at St. Petersburg International Economic Forum
Prof. Tatsuyoshi Saijo, Director of KUT's Research Institute for Future Design, gave a presentation at the 23rd St. Petersburg International Economic Forum held in St. Petersburg, Russia June 6-8. He introduced the future design framework that he has been developing as a step towards a sustainable future.
Under the forum theme, "Creating a Sustainable Development Agenda," leaders and businessmen from a number of countries met for heated discussions on a variety of themes related to the future of the world.
Professor Saijo took part in the June 6 session, "Is modern business capable of implementing successful long-term strategies?" He engaged in deep discussion with businessmen from various countries about the obligation of global companies to address issues such as environmental pollution and climate change.
During that discussion, Prof. Saijo introduced the concept of future design, design for a sustainable society built around decisions that reflect the benefits for both the present generation but future generations. He gave a number of practical examples.
Prof. Saijo cited the case of the water service system in Kyoto Prefecture, where people who originally thought that water pipes should be strengthened to ensure a stable water supply. Then, after discussion from the point of view of future generations, they changed their thinking in favor a focus on water purification technology. In other words, discussion led to a change in the direction of innovation.
In another case, Yahaba Town in Iwate Prefecture is trying to reconceptualize the town itself by applying the framework of future design. The town's decision-making is going to be made by the residents through a direct democratic process dedicated to the legacy for future generations.
Professor Saijo recalled the session and said, "Within the framework of modern society that tends to pursue immediate interests, it may not be easy to make decisions with consideration for future generations. Even so, a movement towards thinking about the future of each region through application of this framework is taking hold in various parts of the world, including Japan. The Research Institute for Future Design has gathered researchers from various specialties including economics, brain science and psychology. They have been applying a wide variety of approaches to the conduct of experiments and other research. We hope to spread the concept of future design to the world and contribute to the creation of a sustainable society. We are planning to hold a workshop on this theme in Kochi Prefecture in August of this year."
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