2018.2.13 Tue
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"Osaka University Symposium - The Future of Kansai Led by Diversity" held

On Monday, February 5, the Osaka University Symposium was held at the Osaka International Convention Center. Despite the cold, some 430 individuals attended the symposium, which exceeded the original 350 attendee capacity for the event.

The theme for this year's symposium was "The Future of Kansai Led by Diversity," and the symposium saw discussions by corporation leaders and practitioners of diversity on their practical visions for the realization of diversity.

At the start of the symposium, KATSUNO Yorihiko (Deputy Director-General, Science and Technology Policy Bureau, Science and Technology Policy Bureau, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology) and AIZAWA Masuo (Adviser/Management and Administration, Department for Promoting Science and Technology System Reform, Japan Science and Technology Agency/Professor Emeritus and Former President, Tokyo Institute of Technology) greeted attendees and gave their strong anticipation for the symposium.

In Part 1, three keynote speeches were given. First, TORII Shingo (Vice Chairman of the Board/Representative Director, Suntory Holdings Limited) gave a speech entitled " Sake Brewing and Human Resource Development, " speaking about his company’s efforts to promote diversity in workforce in their globalized environment and introduced some of his employees with individuality. Then, FUKUCHI Toshiyuki (General Manager, Industry Sales, IBM Japan) delivered a speech entitled " One Hundred Years of Endeavors and Challenges in Promoting Diversity at IBM. " He spoke about the company's advanced approaches, such as  women's promotion to an executive position based on an in-house survey, support for LGBT employees, and the development of apps for hearing-impaired users.

Finally, NISHIO Shojiro (President, Osaka University), made a speech entitled " Gender Equality to be Realized by a Virtuous Cycle of Industry-University-Government Co-Creation, " speaking about industry-university cross appointment, which is carried out in the project Initiative for Realizing Diversity in the Research Environment (Collaboration Type), as well as the progress and future prospects of the university’s efforts to form a cycle-oriented female research development cluster in collaboration with industry and government.

In Part 2, the panel discussion was held on " The Future of Diversity that We Create -- Changing People’s Consciousness and its Implementation Plan " by four panelists, chaired by KUDOH Mayumi (Executive Vice President, Osaka University/Director, Center for Gender Equality Promotion, Osaka University). The panelists were SAWADA Takuko (Director/Senior Executive Officer, Shionogi & Co., Ltd.), MACHIDA Tomoko (Board Director (Cultural Projects and Business Development/Women's Empowerment Project), The Asahi Shimbun Company), and NAKAO Rui (Chief, Technical Human Resource Strategies Department, HR/CTO Office, Innovation Promotion Sector, Panasonic Corporation).

They exchanged opinions on the following four topics:

1. "The Past and Present of Role Models, and the Future of Diverse Working Styles,"

2. "What the Cycle-oriented Female Research Development aims at (Flexible Career Paths beyond the Boundaries of University and Corporations),"

3. "People’s Unconscious Bias and Changing their Way of Thinking," and

4. "The Goal of True Diversity and the Practical Vision Towards its Realization."

They had concrete discussions while citing their own experiences and receiving comments and questions from the audience.



KUDOH Mayumi (Executive Vice President, Osaka University/Director, Center for Gender Equality Promotion, Osaka University)

At the end of the symposium, Vice Chairman Torii encouraged the university to lead Kansai by involving organizations and individuals in various positions, while General Manager Fukuchi mentioned that the people of Osaka, who are genuinely friendly and open-minded people, could become vanguards in a globalizing society.

Finally, President Nishio ended the symposium, saying that diversity is necessary for the university to pursue science and create new value, and that he wants as many women as possible to come and thrive at Osaka University.

Panels on diversity of 20 cooperating corporations, universities, research institutes, and municipalities, were exhibited in the foyer at the venue, which saw a lively exchange of opinions among attendees.

Panel Exhibit

Those in attendance gave their hope to Osaka University, such as “I want the university to become the most diversified university in Japan," and "I hope the university will give positive influence to the private and government sectors beyond the academic field."

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