• Networking Meeting/Discussion between Practitioners and Students/Faculty for the Accomplishment of SDGs


Networking Meeting/Discussion between Practitioners and Students/Faculty for the Accomplishment of SDGs

    In accordance with the SDGs promotion, on December 12 (Sun) Soka University invited 9 practitioners (businessmen, professionals, researchers, international organizations, persons related to NPO/NGO, and others) to engage in the accomplishment of SDGs in the environment, climate change, human rights, and other fields, to the university campus, and facilitated the 1st Networking Meeting/Discussion between Practitioners and Students/Faculty for the Accomplishment of SDGs.

    This project was implemented with the aim of facilitating discussions about the activities and research related to SDGs set by the students of Soka University, exceeding the particular field through the feedback, etc., of external practitioners, as well as completing research and other activities through expansion of networking.
    At the opening ceremony, Associate Professor, Mrs. Michiyo Kakegawa from the Faculty of Economics, the head of this project, introduced the project outline and the participants. Following, the participants were divided into four groups as per the topics listed below, where activities continued in the form of student presentations and the exchange of opinions with the practitioners.

    [1G] Creation of resource-recycling communities included in the process of spreading and disposal of solar panels within Hachioji City
    [2G] Survey aimed at improving renewable energy rate at Soka University
    [3G] Saving waste fabric
    [4G] Student activities for the promotion of innovation and revolution within the international community through education (refugee film festival and other activities provided by ASPIRE SOKA)

    Afterward, the students created the activity improvement plan on the basis of advice, etc., received from the practitioners, constructed the guidelines based on digitization and discoveries deriving from new perspectives, and presented their efforts reflecting the newly acquired knowledge.
    The practitioners offered the following and other comments at the closing ceremony regarding students’ endeavors: “Each and every one of you has their own, particular viewpoint toward the subject matter”, “We look forward to your future contributions to society deriving from what you have learned as university students”, “Let us nurture the variety of viewpoints regarding the pertaining issues”. With closing remarks, the President Mr. Yoshihisa Baba expressed the following hope: “I wish that our university would undertake the leading role in the process of achieving SDGs, utilizing the advice received from the practitioners.
    After the discussions were concluded, Associate Professor Kakegawa offered the following remarks: “The largest insight for the students was not only thinking about idealistic theory but acquiring comprehension of actually existing issues within the society, issues that need to be overcome. Likewise, this was also an opportunity to consider how ideas can be implemented in real life. We hope that the experience gained through this session will be useful for the student's future learning endeavors.

    The participating students and the practitioners made the following comments.
    This gathering was not useful only because we could learn from practitioners from various fields, but it also provided added value with information about what the other students are doing. There are not many opportunities to know what the students on higher-level engage in, so this was a very precious experience. (Student)
    Without this discussion, I would not be able to encounter these practitioners. The connection made is very important for me personally, as well as for my future learning activities. The opinions provided were completely different from those students could think of, so this opportunity was very insightful. (Student)
    Especially because they engage in practical business they have rich knowledge and experience, and I was able to learn a lot from the questions and advice viewpoints. It is a great honor for me to have been able to participate in this monumental first-time debate. (Student)
    I am very grateful to have been invited to participate in this first-time discussion. I participated with the wish to provide at least some small learning experiences to the students, but actually, this also turned out to be a day of learning for me. (Practitioner)
    Looking at the results of students’ own ideas and activities provided me with a lot of encouragement. The activities and the debate were wonderful! I feel this is a very important endeavor providing many students with an opportunity to act based on their own ideas, and encounter various people and ways of thinking, giving them an opportunity to grow. (Practitioner)
    Companies face the issue of not exceeding the existing way of thinking by having an inclination to only prioritize economic rationality. I felt there were many things we could learn from students’ flexible thinking. (Practitioner)