The Yomiuri Shimbun About 50 university students from 13 countries have wrapped up their discussions on sustainability at the Global Next Leaders Forum (GNLF) international conference recently held in Kanagawa Prefecture and Tokyo.
Students from Japan and other countries, such as Singapore and Tunisia, participated in the conference held by GNLF, an organization of university students who aspire to be future leaders, with partnership assistance provided by The Yomiuri Shimbun and The Japan News.
The participants discussed various issues, such as the protection of the environment and how to sustain local communities.
This year’s conference, held from Feb. 7 to Feb. 14, was the sixth of its kind, and the participants were expected to build relationships to enable them to jointly tackle international issues in the future.
During the conference period, the students took part in activities such as a visit to the Fujisawa Sustainable Smart Town, an environmentally friendly residential area developed by Panasonic Corp. and other organizations in Fujisawa, Kanagawa Prefecture. They also listened to lectures given by Yomiuri Shimbun Senior Writer Hiroko Kono and University of Tokyo Prof. Taikan Oki, among others.
On the final day of the conference the students, who were divided into several groups, gave presentations to wrap up their discussions. One of the groups suggested that people who can achieve a sustainable society can be fostered through education.
“It was interesting because I could find differences in views on the perception of sustainability among students from different countries,” said GNLF President Shohei Yamade, a sophomore at the University of Tokyo.
Lucas Caiado, a graduate student studying law at the University of Sao Paulo, said the conference was meaningful because he could exchange opinions with students from various parts of the world. He also said that he wants to make good use of what he learned at the conference to solve problems faced in the local community of his hometown.Speech