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About the Project

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Outline

With the goal of supporting the growth of human society in the 21st century and resolving urgent global issues, we will strive to create a transdisciplinaryProblem-solving approach based on extensive industry-academic-government cooperation that brings together diverse knowledge and information that span multiple academic disciplines and fields. To resolve the complex and wide-ranging problems facing society in the 21st century and to achieve a sustainable, pluralistic society, it will be necessary to adopt an integrated approach based on a transdisciplinary viewpoint. community that brings together individuals from a wide range of disciplines and industries from around the world through cooperation between Japan and ASEAN countries and to conduct humanosphere research based on environmental and social diversity.

Objective

As we enter the 21st century, we face a growing number of issues such as the degradation of the global environment, expansion of economic disparities and poverty, cultural and religious conflicts, aging societies and increasing welfare burden, spread of infectious diseases, and natural disasters that threaten the sustainability of human society. These issues are interrelated, and efforts to treat the symptoms of individual issues will have limited impact. We must rethink the development approach that assumes the existence of abundant resources, stable environment, and measures based on individual countries, which supported the development of human society in the 20th century. Through our research on the “humanosphere,” we have been exploring the type of development that human society should be collaboratively engaging in in the 21st century. This research has revealed that Southeast Asian society, while retaining elements of 20th century style development, has achieved well-balanced hybrid growth, created pluralistic coexistence supported by resilient and soft governance, flexibly structured society based on mutual prosperity and mutual aid, cyclical use of the environment and resources, mutual coexistence of multi ethnic and multi religious societies and flexible peacetime structures, and economic development in a manner that reduces economic disparities. We believe pluralistic coexistence to be a fundamental principle not only of future political and economic partnerships between Japan and ASEAN countries but, also, of when thinking of new paths of development for Japan, given its status as a developed country facing newly emerging problems.

The objective of this project is to strengthen technological and citizens’ networks that underpin political and economic partnerships between Japan and Southeast Asian nations by systematically organizing a transdisciplinary community that brings together not only scholars on Southeast Asia, scientists, and engineers but, also, policy makers, opinion leaders in the private sector, and individuals from a wide range of disciplines and industries based in Japan, ASEAN countries, and elsewhere. Furthermore, we will make full use of the available information technology to disseminate results of our research to various stakeholders around the world as a global humanosphere initiative originated by Japan and ASEAN countries in order to envision approaches to the development of human society based on environmental diversity and the historical, cultural, and social foundations that exist in various regions around the world.

Activities

We will carry out transdisciplinary humanosphere research with the goal of contributing to the formulation of policy, design of institutions and systems, and maintenance of peaceful civil society. Specifically, we will work on the development of economic strategy to realize well-balanced, hybrid growth, strategy for creating a “care society” supported by a public sphere based on resilient, flexible governance and an intimate sphere with a flexibly social structure based on mutual prosperity and mutual aid, and strategy for natural resource management that promotes the cyclical use of the environment and resources.

To advance transdisciplinary research that integrates academic, governmental, and civil societies in a coordinated manner, we will establish an ASEAN Research Platform and create a collaborative research scheme that brings together the expertise of scholars on Southeast Asia, scientists and engineers, and the Japanese and ASEAN political and business communities.

To contribute to the resolution at a global scale of problems brought about by social development in the 20th century, we will also establish a Glocal Information Network, disseminate the results of our transdisciplinary research to stakeholders around the world as a humanosphere initiative originated by Japan and ASEAN countries, and further reinforce it as a model of pluralistic coexistence to be shared by 21st century human society by proactively using and applying information in cyber space that can be exchanged via ICT and used to cross-reference and cross-verify the humanosphere in different regions of the world.

To nurture the next-generation of trans and interdisciplinary researchers, we will recruit excellent young researchers from Japan and around the world, with particular emphasis on Japan, Southeast Asia, Europe and the United States, and promote the “brain circulation” of younger researchers by encouraging their participation in transdisciplinary humanosphere research, advancement of their own research agenda, and the planning and organizing of international workshops.