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Nov 22, 2023
On October 20, 2023, the College of Sustainability and Tourism collaborated with the Kyushu Bureau of Economy, Trade, and Industry to hold the "Future Co-Creation Conference - Youth Addressing Social Challenges" at APU.
This event aimed to foster understanding of social businesses and entrepreneurship among students and young people, and to create new players who can contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the sustainable development of Kyushu and Japan. Discussions revolved around resolving social issues in Kyushu through business initiatives.
The conference was held in collaboration with the Kyushu Economic and Industrial Bureau of the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry, the Kyushu SDGs Management Promotion Forum, and the Specified Non-Profit Organization APU Global Business Network. It was also organized as part of the students’ curriculum, open not only to enrolled students but also to the general public interested in social business, attracting around 70 participants.
Mr. Akimichi Kanadani, Director of the General Affairs Planning Department, delivered the opening remarks on behalf of the Kyushu Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry. Following this, Mr. Masahiro Osuji, from the Planning and Survey Division of the General Affairs Planning Department, delivered a keynote speech titled "Approaches to Business in the Era of SDGs.
Under the panel discussion titled "Swelling Tides of Social Issues in the World," panelists included Megumi Arakawa of the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry, Miku Hino from Borderless Japan Co., Ltd., and Yujin Yamaguchi, who is a first-year student from the College of Sustainability and Tourism and the CEO of Emunitas Co., Ltd. Professor Tomonori Sudo of the College of Sustainability and Tourism served as the facilitator.
The discussions highlighted the resistance among some young people to undertake long-term behavioral changes aimed at achieving the SDGs, the challenge of entering the market due to the difficulty of generating profits from addressing societal issues, and the need for SDGs to become ingrained in society to the extent that the term itself becomes obsolete. Mr. Yamaguchi concluded by urging, "Let’s work together, even though I am still learning too." Additionally, Ms. Arakawa introduced social entrepreneurship development programs specifically designed for students by the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry, aiming to encourage and support young individuals toward social entrepreneurship.