GNW March 2020 in Tokyo will explore innovations to create a sustainable and inclusive society
Although sustainable and inclusive development is universal topic, Tokyo and the entire country of Japan are facing challenges that are unique to them or, at least, are facing them sooner than other countries will. Japan tops the list: it’s the society with the highest rate of aging as well as a declining population and workforce.
How are Japanese companies utilizing advanced technology to provide support to the elderly as well as their caregivers?
How are Japanese companies improving productivity to overcome the labor shortage?
On the second point, the traditional culture of Japan prizes nature as part of daily life. You can feel it in the New Olympic Stadium designed by Kengo Kuma, in which he utilized a lot of wood to symbolize this connection to nature.
However, when combined with our focus on hygiene, individually packaged items and over-packaged food products became the standard. Today, people have started to recognize the impact this has on the environment, but the majority still prefer individual packaging.
We are also experiencing increasing natural disasters and more powerful typhoons and rains, in addition to earthquakes. How are we dealing with such challenges? How can we make our cities and our citizens more resilient?
Third, the traditional culture of Japan emphasizes inclusiveness. The art of Ikebana (flower arrangement) recognizes the uniqueness of each flower and its role in creating a symphony of flowers overall. Zen philosophy tells us to accept differences. The participants of GNW Tokyo 2020 will experience all of this first-hand.
We do not yet have answers to all the challenges we face. However, we hope that the participants will be inspired by the initiatives underway here in Tokyo and throughout Japan and take ideas back to spark movements in their home countries.
We look forward to seeing you in Tokyo in March 2020!