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President Makino visits Naoshima to talk with CEO of Benesse Holdings, Inc. ADACHI Tamotsu

July 30, 2020

The United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) form a core part of Okayama University’s institutional goals and the University actively promotes the SDGs in collaboration with various shareholders. Okayama University’s contributions to the local region have drawn the interest of Okayama Broadcasting, a local TV station. As a result, Okayama Broadcasting is shooting a special feature (scheduled to be broadcast later this year) documenting Okayama University’s activities.
 
As a part of the documentary, Okayama University President MAKINO Hirofumi met up with CEO of Benesse Holdings, Inc. ADACHI Tamotsu, in Naoshima on the 22nd of July to learn more about the company’s efforts to reinvigorate the area through art for the past 30 years and to discuss how the SDGs can contribute to Naoshima’s prosperity in a post-COVID-19 world.

Mr. Adachi took President Makino on a tour of the island’s landmark artworks, including “Pumpkin” by KUSAMA Yayoi, which is thought to be the symbol of Naoshima, Art House Project “Kadoya”, an installation that weaves time and memory by creating spaces that become art works in themselves, and Art House Project “Go’o Shrine”, an installation that involved renovating a decaying shrine. Representatives of the respective projects explained how residents collaborated with artists to address local issues and find solutions through art.

Afterwards, Mr. Adachi and President Makino travelled to Benesse House, where Mr. Adachi explained Benesse's SDGs efforts under the corporate philosophy of “Benesse = Well-Being”. They exchanged opinions on a wide range of topics, including the type of skills that will be necessary in a post-COVID-19 society, and goals for the planned joint research project. President Makino noted that, “The COVID-19 pandemic has been a warning against overcrowding. At the same time, local regions are becoming increasingly connected directly to other countries as a result of globalization. Therefore, it will be necessary to facilitate the development of skilled graduates who are able to adapt to this precarious and complicated situation”.

Okayama University is dedicated to promoting the SDGs. Our diverse collaborations with local and global shareholders bring together a range of experiences and knowledge that encourages “Open Innovation”. Inspired by the work of Benesse, we plan to promote scientific research related to wellness.

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