Okayama University


President Makino and Vice President Yokoi visited the WEF Headquarters in Geneva

January 15, 2020

In September 2019, in relation to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which our university has been making university-wide efforts to promote, the United Nations and the World Economic Forum (WEF) signed the Strategic Partnership Framework, with the aim of jointly accelerating the implementation of the agenda for the SDGs. In response, President MAKINO hirofumi and Vice President YOKOI Atsufumi visited the WEF Headquarters in Geneva on January 9, 2020.

The purpose of their visit was to meet with the WEF to establish a comprehensive and strategic partnership between Okayama University and the organization for SDGs in education, research, and society, with a view toward building an industry-academia-government collaboration project related to achieving the goals.

At the meeting, President Makino and Vice President Yokoi talked with Mr. TAKAHASHI Masao, a member of the WEF Executive Committee, and Ms. HONDA Kiriko, the head of the WEF Business Engagement Japan. President Makino introduced them to his university, its on-going efforts toward “Education for Sustainable Development (ESD),” its vision for promoting the UN SDGs, and its university-wide initiative for promoting them. In addition, he reported that OU is Japan’s only state-run university presented the Special Prize in the first Japan SDGs Award, and that at a UN High-level Political Forum held in July 2019 at UN Headquarters, Okayama University described its whole-institution approach for the SDGs.

Vice President Yokoi talked about Okayama University’s intention to promote global engagement strategies to achieve the SDGs, in cooperation with the UN and other international organizations, through two frameworks: “ESD for 2030,” a new framework about ESD based on the “Earth Charter” (an ethical framework promoted by the UN-mandated University for Peace), and “STI for SDGs,” in relation to which Okayama University signed a comprehensive partnership agreement with the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) on January 9, 2020.

After that, Mr. Takahashi emphasized the importance of universities’ roles in achieving the SDGs based on ethical values and all present at the meeting lively exchanged views on the possibility of collaboration between Okayama University and the WEF in implementing the SDGs in education, research, and society.