USJC and Shizenkan University Discuss a Sustainable Future

In a new partnership between USJC and Shizenkan Graduate School, a joint online forum was held to discuss “22nd Century Leadership for a Sustainable Future” on May 21 (U.S.) / May 22 (Japan). Representing USJC, TOMODACHI-Mitsui & Co. Leadership Program alumnus and Council Leader Yoh Kawanami from Hawaiian Electric participated as a panelist, together with Shizenkan Professors Junko Edahiro and Peter David Pedersen. USJC and Shizenkan are both focused on developing next generation leaders.

Professor Pedersen set the stage with his remarks, noting that even before reaching the 22nd century, the global population will expand to 10 billion in the 2050s and the middle class population will be doubled. He questioned whether we can support a growing global middle class and what kind of leadership is necessary in order to create a sustainable future. 

Professor Edahiro spoke on the importance of understanding dynamic complexities in a changing society and discussed a major shift in the “mental model,” such as the business world valuing social purpose rather than profit. Mr. Kawanami shared Hawaiian Electric’s endeavor to shift power generation to 100% renewable by 2045, and noted that the challenges in Hawaii to overcome climate risks and societal issues are similar to those in Japan. Professor Pedersen also noted that in order to empower the next generation of corporate innovators, we need to nurture “social intrapreneurs” who have a combination of these skills: dreamer and doer, systemic perspective and storyteller.

The speakers concluded their discussion by sharing their vision for a sustainable future: “creating a critical mass of young leaders to lead social system changes,” “fostering the ability to express and communicate their technologies,” and “empowering people of all ages to seek well-being of human and other creatures on earth.”

Click here to view the forum online