First Okayama University Round Table Talk for the Future in academic year 2019 was held under the main theme, "SDGs"
October 02, 2019
Okayama University has been holding the "Okayama University Round Table Talk for the Future" series since academic year 2017, offering it as a new platform for university governance. In the round table talk, young faculty and staff members of Okayama University, who are responsible for the next generation, discuss their new ideas freely on how to enable Okayama University to be a sustainable university. The first round table talk in academic year 2019 was held at the 50th Anniversary Hall on September 25, 2019.
The talk was held under this year's theme, "To deepen the efforts of "Okayama University × UN SDGs." In addition to young faculty and staff members, students assigned as Okayama University SDGs Ambassadors also participated in the round table talk.
At the opening of the event, President MAKINO Hirofumi gave a speech, expressing his great expectations for the participants, titled "What I want to convey to all of you who will bear the next generation: aiming to ensure that Okayama University will be chosen by many people ten years from now." Then, Professor KANO Mitsunobu, Vice Executive Director who serves as Chair of the university's SDGs Initiatives Planning Committee, explained a framework to promote the SDGs at a university, such as the basic concept and procedure.
Divided into six groups, the participants discussed how to design a project most needed at present to ensure that Okayama University can promote the SDGs and conduct research on them in a unique manner. In the discussion, they considered what kind of education, research, social contribution, and university administration should be required to achieve this objective. Aiming to set up an effective new project, they had an energetic discussion on the following topics: what we want to do, expected effects, barriers to overcome to realize the goal, and how to overcome the barriers. After the discussion, representatives of each group provided presentations, introducing productive ideas that responded to the questions and possible challenges raised from the perspective of students.
At the closing, TAKAHASHI Kayo, Executive Director for Planning and General Affairs, gave her impressions of the event. She also said that Okayama University and its local community would improve together through the SDGs promoted by the university, and pointed out the importance of continuing to create new value.
Okayama University plans to offer some more round table talks this academic year. It is important to find a way to incorporate the ideas and opinions offered at the talks into actual efforts to promote university reform. The university will clarify the challenges that need to be overcome on a short-term and mid- to long-term basis, promoting measures to ensure that the university will be chosen by many people ten years from now and beyond.